Friday, 28 April 2017

Driving Theory - Need to Knows!

Hey Guys!

Hope you're all well. 

Today's post is going to be about one of my favourite things to do, and that's driving. I wrote about my road trip adventures around this time last year and you seemed to enjoy the post so here we are again, this time with some tips for your theory test. Let me know if you find them useful, if you do I can do a follow up guide with tips for the practical test!

It was exactly this time back in 2007 that I was preparing ahead of my theory test which I took and passed on my 17th birthday, the day before I had my first actual driving lesson. It was so daunting and all of the information I went off was a CD rom I got on my Tesco clubcard vouchers, things have changed a fair bit since then though so I'm going to lay out all the information you need in this post, basically everything I would have wanted to know and be able to access.

Why take the test? 

When you're learning to drive the theory is an important part of that, you learn about the highway code, hazard perception and that information is critical for safety on the road. You also need to take the theory test before you can apply to take the practical one, so it is a compulsory part of the passing journey. There is really good information about the test on Pass ‘N’ Go’s comprehensive driving theory test FAQ and you can get in touch with them with any questions you have. 

Cost?

For a standard car theory test, it will set you back £23 and this doesn't change whatever day you decide to take it on, for people with Safe Road User Awards it is £18.

Multiple Test Bookings?

You must rebook your theory test if you have failed the original theory test that you sat. The date you select for a resit must be at least three working days away from the booking date.

While you can’t book multiple theory tests , you do have the option to change the date of your solitary theory test appointment. You can make the following alterations:

· You can find an earlier date for your theory test.
· You can move your theory test to a later date.
· You can change the test centre where you would like to sit your theory test.

Can a theory test be done online?

No. A theory test must be sat in person at a theory test centre.

You can take a free mock test of the multiple choice portion of the theory test on the GOV.UK website. This is made up of 50 questions just like in the actual driving theory test.

There’s also The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception DVD-ROM for learner drivers to get to grips with hazard perception skills on their PC or Mac.

Is the theory test free?

No. Only GOV.UK’s practice theory test, consisting of the multiple choice portion of the driving theory test, is free.


Which theory test do I need to take?

The majority of drivers will be required to sit the standard theory test, priced at £23; the abridged theory test is also available to those who have a Safe Road User Award.

However, you won’t be required to sit a driving theory test in the following scenarios:

· When you’re booking a driving test to upgrade a car licence.
· When you’re booking a driving test to upgrade a motorcycle licence that you’ve held for a minimum of two years.
· When you’re booking a driving test to upgrade a lorry or bus licence.
· When you’re booking a taxi driving test.
· When you’re booking a tractor driving test.

What age can I sit a theory test?

As soon as you turn 17 years old, you can take a driving theory test.

If you receive or have applied for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you can sit the theory test as soon as you turn 16 years old.

How long is the theory test waiting list?

According to this report by Book Theory Test Today, the DVSA aims to achieve a target of 95 per cent of driving theory test candidates receiving a theory test appointment no longer than two weeks from their preferred date. 

Where are theory test centres?

You are never too far away from a theory test centre, with a huge number dotted across the UK. The easiest way to find your nearest centre is by using GOV.UK’s simple postcode search service.

Are theory test centres open on Saturdays and bank holidays?

Not all theory test centres are open for business on Saturdays or bank holidays. Fortunately when booking your test you will be advised whether or not you can sit it on a weekend or bank holiday.

Do theory test questions change?

Questions will change from one theory test to the next. However, all questions are based on the following three books:

1. The Highway Code by the Department for Transport
2. Know Your Traffic Signs by the Department for Transport
3. The Official DVSA Guide to Driving — The Essential Skills by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

How do theory tests work?

Each theory test consists of the following:

A set of 50 multiple-choice questions, some of which will be presented in a case study whereby:

A short story is shown and then five questions will be given based on this.
A real-life situation that you could come across while driving will be detailed.
A hazard perception test consisting of 14 separate video clips.

At the end of the test, you must score at least 43 out of 50 for the multiple-choice questions and 44 out of a possible 75 points for the hazard perception test. Both parts of the test must be passed.

How long do theory tests take?

You have a maximum of 57 minutes to get through the 50 multiple-choice questions. Additional time can be requested for this part of the test if you have reading difficulties, though proof must be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the form of an email or a letter supplied from:

A. A doctor or medical professional.
B. An independent party who is aware of your reading difficulty — your employer, for example.
C. A teacher or other educational professional.

This proof should be sent to one of the following two locations:

1. DVSA theory test enquiries, via the email address customercare@pearson.com.
2. By post using the address: DVSA Theory Test Enquiries, PO Box 1286, Warrington, WA1 9GN.

Up to three minutes can be taken as a break between the multiple-choice portion of the test and the hazard perception test. There is no time limit as such for this part, as this is based on how long it takes for all 14 video clips to be shown.

If you have obtained a Safe Road User Award within the three years prior to sitting your theory test, take note that you can sit a shorter version of the theory test. This is known as the ‘abridged theory test’, which will see you answering 35 multiple-choice questions with the aim of getting 30 out of 35 to pass. There are no changes to the hazard perception test though — it still consists of 14 video clips.

To book an ‘abridged theory test’, you must contact the DVSA theory test booking support team via the phone number 0300 200 11 22 between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday and have the following to hand:

· A credit or debit card to pay for your test.
· Your provisional UK driving licence number.
· Your Safe Road User Award certificate number.

Does a theory test include hazard perception?

Yes, all theory tests are made up of a series of multiple-choice questions and then a hazard perception test. You must achieve passes in both parts of the test in order to pass the overall theory test.

Does the theory test include the highway code?

Yes, due to the questions in the theory tests being based on the following three books:

1. The Highway Code by the Department for Transport
2. Know Your Traffic Signs by the Department for Transport
3. The Official DVSA Guide to Driving — The Essential Skills by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Are driving theory tests timed?

Yes, there is a 57-minute time limit on the multiple-choice portion of the theory test. However, you aren’t expected to use the full allocated time — you can finish this part of the test at any time once all questions have been answered.

A break of up to three minutes can also be taken between the multiple-choice part of the theory test and the hazard perception test. Again though, this entire time does not need to be taken.

Are theory test questions multiple choice?

Yes, every one of the 50 questions that you will be presented with will come complete with several possible answers. You simply need to select your answer from the list for each question.
The hazard perception part of the theory test

What are hazard perception tests?

The hazard perception test is a video assessment which trials you on your effectiveness at spotting hazards on the road through a series of 14 video clips.

Each video clip consists of the following:

· Everyday road scenes.

· At least one ‘developing hazard’ — this is something that would cause a driver to take an action, such as changing their speed or direction — though one clip will feature two developing hazards.

Points are scored if you spot the developing hazards as soon as they begin to occur.

What is the hazard perception pass score?

You need to score at least 44 points out of a possible 75 points available in order to pass the hazard perception part of the theory test.

How does the hazard perception test scoring system work?

Each developing hazard within the hazard perception test can see you score up to five points. The sooner you click your computer mouse to indicate that you see the hazard is starting to develop, the higher the score you will achieve.

Take note that you cannot lose points if you click your computer mouse and get the timing of the hazard developing wrong. However, no points will be scored for a developing hazard if you click your computer mouse continuously or in a manner that is seen as a pattern.

How long does the hazard perception test take?

There is no time limit as such for the hazard perception test; this portion of the theory test lasts as long as the 14 video clips take to be viewed as you only receive one attempt at each clip.

How much does the hazard perception test cost?

The hazard perception test must be taken as part of a theory test, so the charge is £23 for a theory test if you’re learning to drive a car and £18 if you have a Safe Road User Award and so are able to sit an abridged theory test.

Do theory tests expire?

Yes. When you pass your theory test, you will receive a letter that contains your pass certificate number. This number is needed when you book and take your driving test but it only lasts for two years from the time that it is produced. Fail to pass your driving test within those two years and you will be required to pass your theory test again.

Where is the theory test pass certificate number?

The theory test pass certificate number will be recorded within a letter that you will receive at the test centre as soon as you pass your theory test. You must keep this number safe, as it is required in order for you to both book and take your driving test.

What is Theory Test Pro?

Theory Test Pro is a highly realistic online simulation of the UK’s driving theory tests, containing every official revision test question that has been licensed by the DVSA as well as complete access to the hazard perception test. When compared to the national average, learners who used Theory Test Pro were twice as likely to pass their theory test. Click here to find out more about Theory Test Pro and how to get started on the system for free.

And finally a little history of the theory test:

When did theory tests start?

The theory test was introduced across the UK in 1996, where it replaced the requirement for questions about The Highway Code to be asked during the practical test.

The sources mentioned in this post are below so you can check them out easily:


Hope you all found these details helpful! If you think anything is missing or have any of your own tips please comment them down below!

Thanks for reading! Love Sally X

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ramblings and Updates



Hey Everyone!

Hope you're all having a great week.

It's been a while since I've had the time to sit down and wrote a rambly post just talking about what I've been up to, so here it is!

Last month was my first trip abroad of the year and I went to Copenhagen with one of my friends which was really cool and exciting for me. We ended up walking around most of the main parts of the city, saw some amazing buildings and gardens and ate incredible food including this beauty of a pizza from Neighbourhood, a restaurant near where we stayed in Vesterboro, called Nordic Apples!


The trip has definitely lit a fire within me to go travelling more, I think I forget how easy it is to just jump on a plane and experience a completely different country. I've added Thailand to my list for either later this year or early next year as I've been wanting to go to a Thai yoga retreat in FOREVER! Ideally I'd like to do my teacher training out there but I haven't been able to train at normal classes as much as I'd like so need to get that back on track first really. 

On the topic of yoga and workout stuff, I have a few things in the pipeline that I plan to blog! So on the 30th April I'm going to the Mind, Body and Spirit Festival in London which is going to be a day packed with seminars and classes which I'm so excited about. Also in June I'm going to be attending the Ashy Bines Squad Tour in London which is going to be awesome, I've already been nattering away on the Facebook group pages and a few of us are meeting up locally in Greenwich to go for long walks in the park and work outs. It's awesome how these events bring people together and you can end up making really good friends out of it. 

Next month I am going to a hen party in Newcastle that we have been planning for ages, I'm going to be a bridesmaid so I've been helping out on decorations and activities etc which is more time consuming and expensive than you would think! Let me know if you'd like to see a post on hen party ideas and tips, I've definitely learnt a few things when it comes to organisation and could probably knock together quite an informative post!

That's about it in terms of the immediate future, my birthday is coming up in August so need to plan a nice weekend away for me and the boyfriend, we shall see! Hopefully it will be a change from Kent this time but I'm such a creature of habit and we stay in the loveliest country house in Kingston. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more posts, they are definitely coming and if you want to see what I'm up to most days I post on Instagram so make sure you give me a follow on there: www.instagram.com/sallywills.

Speak Soon!

Love Sally X


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Monday, 20 March 2017

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Zippo


Hi Guys,

Today in my Mother's Day gift idea series is a couple of different products from the company Zippo.

The first is their 6 Hour High Polish Chrome Hand Warmer* this retails at £21.95 and provide up to 6 hours of heat for your hands. This is a very thoughtful gift if you know your mother always struggles with cold hands. They also offer handwarmers in other colours and designs including a funky looking camo and ones which will keep your hands warm for even longer for up to 12 hours.


The second gift idea is a Armor windproof lighter* this particular one retails at £23.00. On the Armor lighters the casing is 1.5 times as thick as a standard case. Also, it comes in a nicely presented gift box as you can see.


To have a look at Zippo's full range, have a look on their website: https://www.zippo.co.uk/

I hope you enjoyed this post! Love Sally x
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Monday, 13 March 2017

Introducing..Oteas


Hi Guys,

I am reviewing one of my favourite subjects today, tea from a company called Oteas. 

Oteas is a British tea company and their blends only contain whole leaf teas, herbs, flowers, spice and other natural ingredients. You can pick from either loose leaf tea or tea in bio-degradable tea pyramids. 

I received  one of their 12 tea gift boxes*, you can choose from either a Pick & Mix of blends or a set selection and they also do larger gift boxes containing 24 teas.



I like the transparent packaging as you can clearly see what teas you have and I also think the graphics look really appealing great for if giving as a gift. Let's take a better look what teas I have in my gift set!


Black tea with apricot
Red berry dream tea
Mango mint tea
Liquorice tea
Oriental pearl tea
Green tea with jasmine
Chamomile flowers tea
Berry blend tea
Earl grey tea
Goji berry, vanilla & strawberry tea
Shanghai Chai
Lemon, ginger & cinnamon tea

All come on the back with the ingredients, brewing time and what water temperature to use. 


My favourite I've tried is the black tea with apricot, you could really smell the apricot when brewing and tasted sweet and refreshing.

I hope you enjoyed this post, which of these tea flavours do you think you would like the most? Let me know in the comment below.

Love Sally x




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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Terraillon Web Coach Prime Fit Kit Review


Hi Guys,

Today I am talking about a company called Terraillon and their Web Coach Prime Fit Kit.* This includes a body composition scales and a wristband which connects to your smartphone via the Terraillon Wellness Coach app.


Firstly, lets take a closer look at the scales called the WebCoach Prime.* They connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and offer full body composition analysis including weight, BMI, body fat, muscle mass, body water and bone mass. They have a capacity up to 160kg 

They have a sturdy glass platform and large clear number display which I really like. I much prefer digital display scales as they are easier to read and I find them more accurate.

 I mainly use these scales just for measuring my weight and it's a great way for me to keep track using the app. You can connect up to 8 smartphones simultaneously which I think is a great feature, it means other family member can use these scales too and keep track. Each member of the family can have their own personal profile and the scales synchronize their data to their own Wellness Coach account.



Also in the Terraillon Web Coach Prime Fit Kit* is the Activi-T Band* it has3D sensor that monitors your physical activity and also displays the time and can be used as an alarm.
The Activi-T Band has a large  screen that allows you to monitor your activity (steps, distance, calories) directly and it also tells the time. You can also 
synchronise your data on the Wellness Coach app wirelessly using Bluetooth. The battery life is very impressive of a whopping 7 days and you can recharge it within 90 minutes using the integrated USB port. This is so handy for if you are on the go a lot, all you need is a USB port in order to charge.



I found the Terraillon Web Coach Prime Fit Kit easy to use and the app really useful for when you are trying to lose weight. You can see all your progress and set your goal weight. It is currently available on Argos, link is here: http://www.argos.co.uk/product/6735726

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Love Sally x

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Skates.co.uk - Mother's Day Gift Idea


Hi Guys!

Today I am bringing you a slightly more out of the norm Mother's Day gift idea from Skates.co.uk

The company Skates.co.uk is family owned and based in Romsey and launched in May 2007 after the huge success of their sister site www.flywalk.co.uk. They have over 50 members of staff and strive on providing excellent customer service and helpful advice on their products.

I was lucky enough to receive the Rio Roller Varsity Quad Skates in black and gold*, link them on the website here: https://www.skates.co.uk/rio-roller-varsity-quad-skates-black-gold.html 


Appearance: They come in a matching themed box with gold lettering which I think would made them perfect to give as a gift. The skates themselves look flawless! I like the fact the black means they are not too extravagant and slightly more muted so well suited for a slightly old audience but then the gold gives just the right amount pop of colour and the design makex them look cool and trendy.

Specification

Semi-soft upper with PVC leather construction
High quality supportive insoles with additional cushioning
PU cast 82A exclusive Rio wheels
PU cast stopper with easily replaceable bolts
Nylon hi-impact chassis and aluminium trucks
ABEC 7 bearings


My thoughts: These skates retail at £69.95 and I think this is a good price for this item as they are quality and made to last. You can tell the quality just from the care when making them, the stitching and finish is great on them. When wearing them my feet felt very well supported and they were comfy. In the past my feet have started ache after a short amount of time wearing roller skates but with the supportive insoles and super thick cushioning I could wear these for ages. 


I hope you enjoyed this post, would you consider trying some roller skates? Let me know in the comments below. 

Love Sally x

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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Introducing Amara


Hi Guys,

Today I'm delighted to be writing a post on a fabulous company called Amara. A Luxury international online store specialising in luxury gifts, designer homeware, lighting & contemporary furniture. 

Some history about the company; Amara was founded in 2005 by Sam Wood as initially an interior design business. In 2006, her husband Andrew spotted a gap in the online market for a distributor of real luxury homeware, and the husband and wife team then created Amara.co.uk. This business has been growing massively since then now offering nearly a whopping 35,000 products on their website and have over 70 members of staff. 

Amara currently have  a Mother's Day gift idea section on their website: https://www.amara.com/shop/mothers-day-gifts and when I browsed this section I was overwhelmed with the selection! They have lots of my favourite designer brands; Ted Baker, Orla Kieley, Joules, Kate Spade and many more.

So I decided to pick out from the Amara site some Ugg slippers*, I love warm sheepskin slippers and I think every mother would use a pair of quality slippers. 


They are the Women's Ugg Scuffette Liberty Slippers in Black* and have a beautiful blue floral pattern on them as you can see which is Liberty Art Fabric. 


They are lined with luxurious UGGpure wool and have a beautiful sheepskin collar which makes them so soft and comfy. After a long day at work it makes such a lovely treat to take your work shoes off and slip on these. 


I'd highly recommend these beautiful slippers*, I think any mother would be delighted to receive them, they will last her a long time and make her feel very treated and special. 

They are actually on sale at the moment on their website from £90 down to £60 which I think is a very good price for Ugg slippers! They are currently available in sizes 3-8 but if you are interested I recommend buying them asap so they don't sell out in your desired size. Link to the exact slippers is here: https://www.amara.com/products/women-s-scuffette-liberty-slippers-black

I really hope you enjoyed this post as much I enjoyed writing it, please check out their Mother's Day section and let me know in the comment below what your favourite item is! https://www.amara.com/shop/mothers-day-gifts 

Love Sally x

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