Bus driver theory test passed!

One down, four to go – today I passed my PCV Driver Theory Test. This was the multiple choice question module, which I took at the test centre in Torquay.

After scoring 48 out of 50 in the second online practice test I was fairly confident that I’d pass but I’d revised frantically anyway. I was nervous as I walked down into town in the rain, rehearsing in my head some of the questions that were likely to cause me trouble. These would be the ones involving numbers; EU driving hours, weights, distances and so on. I kept reassuring myself “It’ll be OK. After all, it’s not rocket science, is it?”

As I stood in the waiting area there was a young woman at the desk in a bit of a state. She’d turned up to re-take her theory test but had forgotten to bring the paper counterpart of her driver’s licence. The man behind the desk was adamant that she couldn’t take the test without both parts and she was adamant that she hadn’t needed to show it the first time. He was right of course so, while she phoned a friend, I got myself booked in. The woman was just telling her friend that she’d have to cancel the booking (and forfeit the fee) when Mr Jobsworth turned into Mr Second Chance and told the lady that, if she could be back within 15 minutes with her licence, she could still take the test.

By this time I’d been signed in and had stowed my coat, phone and umbrella in a locker and was ready to take the test. The small room was divided into about 10 workstations with touch screens and I was allocated number 4. There was a brief on-screen introduction to the test, most of which I’d seen before in the online practice tests. I ran through it anyway. I cleaned my glasses, blew my nose, said a little prayer, took a deep breath and hit the ‘go’ button.

I was delighted to find that I could answer the early questions easily as they were ones I’d revised most recently. In fact I had to keep telling myself to slow down. It would be tempting to plough ahead with confidence but still make silly mistakes. I had almost two hours for the test so I really didn’t need to rush.

The time ticked by and the 100 questions counted down to zero. There weren’t any that I couldn’t answer but I did flag several that I was unsure about so that I could come back to them later and review my answers.

When I was sure that I’d answered every question correctly I ended the test and signed out, having taken less than an hour to complete it. By the time I’d retrieved my belongings there was a folded printout waiting for me on the receptionist’s desk. My hand shook a little as I unfolded it. After my name, the word “congratulations!” leapt out. I’d passed! There were 100 questions and the pass mark is 85. I’d scored 97! I must admit I was rather pleased. The letter told me that I’d answered incorrectly twice in the ‘Carrying Passengers’ section and once in the ‘Accident Handling’ section.

Before leaving I spoke to Mr Second Chance to ask about booking the Hazard Perception part of the test. He also confirmed that I can take the CPC Case Studies module at the same test centre.

So, a good day. Just four more hoops to jump through.

3 comments on “Bus driver theory test passed!

  1. Graeme says:

    Hi John,
    I like the blog, it’s an interesting read. Well done on the Theory test and good luck for the Hazard Perception. It’s obviously changed in the two years since I did it. Back then you did the Theory and Hazards at the same sitting and for some reason that no-one could ever explain, you had to pass both tests at that same sitting. Fail one and and you had to retake both. Pleased to see that nonsense has now gone! I had to do it twice, as I failed the hazard perception first time which meant that my 59/60 on the theory was useless! Having been driving cars for 20 years, I’d been advised that the hazard test was straight-forward. It wasn’t, it was much more of a subjective computer game than an objective test of observation skills. I had to go and buy the DVD and book a second test. As you’ve already practised on the DVD, hopefully you’ll be okay, I do hope so. I managed it second-time (and got 100% in the theory), so fingers-crossed you’ll get through it okay. Just don’t click too frequently! Good luck and I look forward to reading more!

    • busmanjohn says:

      Thank you for your kind comments, Graeme. Your name seems familiar – do you inhabit one of the Yahoo bus groups?
      Anyway, yes the Hazard Perception module is flexible in that I could have done both at the same time but it wasn’t mandatory. I chose to do them separately due to time constraints mainly, having to pop into town during my lunch break to do the tests.
      You’re right about the timing of the mouse clicks. I learned that the first time I ran the DVD! Thanks for your advice though.

  2. Graeme says:

    Yes, you’ve probably seen me on some of the Yahoo Groups like the South West bus ones. I’m also involved as part of the organising team behind the Weymouth and Torbay Running Days.

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