REVEALED: Hacks for learning the Highway Code

Father teaching son driving a car

Data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) shows that over 730,000 driving theory tests were conducted in the 2021/22 timeframe, with a pass rate of 54%. There’s a lot to learn for a learner driver to prepare for the test and the amount to remember can have a huge impact on their confidence.

This isn’t helped by the theory test pass mark being very high. A pass mark of 86% requires at least 43 out of 50 correct answers in the multiple-choice section and 44 out of 75 in the hazard perception point. In addition to having to pay a fee each time you take the test, there’s a lot that can play on a learner driver’s mind.

When revising, knowing the Highway Code inside and out can help to push the learner’s marks up. In this article, Jardine Motors go through some hacks to make sure the information sticks ahead of your pupil’s test. This can also help any established drivers looking for a quick refresher on some of the rules of the road they may have forgotten.


While many of us might associate these with school or university days, flashcards can be hugely effective when learning the Highway Code. But there’s a reason they’re so hotly suggested when it comes to revision, as they can encourage your brain to better recall information.

But how much information can flashcards help to retain? One study from professors at the University of Kentucky observed students who took exams after using flashcards to help their studying. The results found that the students who used the flashcards performed noticeably better than those who didn’t.

The key to making them effective for your own style of learning, but one of the main ideas is to keep the contents simple and bitesize. The purpose is that they’re to be used to jog your memory and allow you to build on the piece of knowledge. For the Highway Code, an example of this could be the numbered section your pupil is struggling to learn and a few words that’s directly associated with the regulation. Getting your learner to use flashcards to memorise areas of the Highway Code would be a huge help for them.

Practice tests

Test environments can be stressful and can have an impact on how we answer the questions. For those of us who find themselves struggling during tests, finding a way to replicate that experience can help prepare them for the real thing.

Driving is such a universal experience that so many strive to achieve as soon as possible. With the number of applicants for theory tests consistently being so high, there are plenty of practice tests available for free online that you can test your knowledge on. Your pupil can do this both with an open book or from the top of their head to really push themselves and track their progress.

These practice tests are also a good way of understanding what your pupil would be coming up against during the test. The content for these practice versions can be helpful in building a study plan around the most commonly occurring questions and themes that appear to bump the marks up.

Get out there and drive!

One way a learner may not have thought to assist their learning is simply by driving and getting more used to the signage and rules of the road that they read about. First-hand experience behind the wheel and practice on live roads can reinforce their own understanding of the rules.

While your learner may not have a full licence yet, if there is a car they have access to like a family car that could be a used Audi A3, your pupil could purchase temporary insurance. Obviously they’d have to have someone else in the car for safety and to meet the rules of the road, but your pupil could have them quiz them on specific Highway Code regulations. They could point out when they’re relevant as your pupil is driving, so they can assign a visual memory to the section.

There are plenty of ways to assist your memory when it comes to learning the Highway Code, but the important thing is finding what works for your pupils. You might look at some of the examples listed here but know that solely reading and rewriting notes helps the learner learn the best. In the end, there’s no wrong way to learn.

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