Don’t fail the Driver Knowledge Test! (NSW)

by EzLicence Last updated

The driver knowledge test (DKT) is the first step on the the driver's licensing journey in NSW. None of us want to fail but unfortunately many people do.

In 2017, a government survey found that approximately 30% of all DKT attempts resulted in failure. That’s a lot of of disappointed people and a lot of wasted time & money. The pass rate reduces further when analysing the test results of people who failed their first attempt. By the time you look at people sitting their 4th test attempt (And there were over 10,000 of them in a single year), the pass rate is down to approximately 50%.


Your driver knowledge test

Passing the DKT is one of the most important milestones on the learning to drive journey. You cannot begin driving a vehicle until you pass this test. Once you have passed the DKT you are free to begin learning to drive under supervision at your own pace, and for most people this means learning to drive over the next 12 months, before attempting the driving test. You can read our blog on the number one reason people fail the driving test here.

The DKT is a theory test that consists of 45 questions broken up into 2 sections. The first 15 questions are ‘general knowledge’ and you must get at least 12 questions correct to pass this section. In the next section you will receive 30 ‘road safety’ questions, you must get at least 29 questions correct to pass, there is little room for error in this section. You must pass both sections to receive an overall pass.


What does failing the DKT mean?

Apart from embarrassment, failing the DKT means you have wasted your time & money. You will have paid $45 for the privilege of sitting the test, and you will not get this money back. You may have spent quite some time preparing for the test and you will have taken time out of your day to travel to the testing location and sit the test. You will have to do this all over again and as we highlighted earlier, the pass rates get lower and lower for each subsequent DKT attempt, no doubt a reflection of the increased nervousness of the applicants.

Not passing the test prevents you from beginning to learn to drive, this could have longer term implications for employment & education opportunities and even your social life.


The reasons people fail the DKT

The reason most people fail the DKT is simple. They do not give the test the respect it deserves and they fail to prepare properly. You cannot expect to show up and pass the DKT unprepared, particularly as the ‘road safety’ section allows you one incorrect answer only out of 30. Given the breadth of possible road safety questions it is highly unlikely you will pass without having prepared properly.


How you can pass the DKT first time?

So how do you prepare properly and pass the DKT first time? You are actually given all the tools required to pass the DKT, you really don’t need to look far. We recommend you do the following three things to make sure you pass first time.

  1. Obtain a road users handbook. The Road Users’ Handbook provides practical information on NSW road rules as well as road safety, low risk driving, vehicle registration and penalties for driving offences. We recommend you read this entire handbook and complete the practice questions. Reading the handbook will give you a great general knowledge of the road rules and on it’s own will go a long way to helping you pass the DKT.
  2. Obtain a copy of the entire DKT question bank. Believe it or not, the RMS provides a PDF of every single question you may be asked in your DKT. You will only be asked a selection of these questions however you do not know which questions will appear in your test. We recommend going through the entire question bank at least once, try coming up with the answers without looking first.
  3. After building your road rules knowledge and reviewing the breadth of DKT questions you may be asked, it’s time to complete some practice DKT’s. You should simply keep practicing until you can consistently pass the test. EzLicence provides comprehensive practice DKT’s, our questions are taken from the real DKT question bank and delivered in the same format as the real test. You can try the test as many times as you like and each time the questions will be different.


Passing the DKT is actually not that hard if you put the effort in and follow these simple steps. Everything you need is available to you and you can simply keep doing practice tests until you are certain you are ready, thus saving wasted time, effort and money.