Taking the English driving test in Denmark is insanely stressful!
Today, after months of studying and stressing, I passed the Danish driving theory test with 5 wrong answers, which is the lowest passing score, but enough to get me another 2 month temporary license and pass me on to the practical test :)
Converting a Non-EU License to a Danish License by Taking the English Driving Test in Denmark
If you are in the unfortunate situation of having to convert a non-EU license to a Danish license by taking the English driving test in Denmark, I offer you my deepest sympathy. And some advice:
1) The best way to prepare is to take practice tests. I know there aren’t a lot of English study materials, but don’t rely on the free English versions of the Danish practice theory tests that are put out by driving schools in an attempt to intimidate you and get you to sign up for classes. I used this service, which sells 10 practice tests for 80 kr. I made PDFs of all the photos, questions, and answers, which gave me 250 scenarios to study. A few days before the test, I bought and took another 10 randomized tests, which was the closest I could get to simulating the actual test.
2) Ordinary Cars, the English version of the Danish driving theory book and study materials, is nice to have, but it’s not enough to prepare you for the test. You need to study/take the practice tests! The theory test has little to do with how well you know the rules, and everything to do with how well you take the test.
3) I’d be wary of signing up to a license conversion program from a driving school. It’s much more cost effective to self-study with the practice tests and hire an instructor ad hoc to answer questions and evaluate your driving/readiness for the practical test. You already know how to drive, and you do not need theory classes, you need to practice taking the test, and you can do that on your own!
4) They’ve recently launched an English version of the theory test. According to the guy giving the test, it has a high failure rate due to discrepancies in terminology between the study materials and the actual test. There were four of us taking the test. Two were taking it for the second time, but we all managed to pass this one!
English Driving Test in Denmark: The Theory Test
The actual English driving test is quite similar to the practice tests, except the photos are projected onto a screen, the questions are only given verbally, and you mark your answers on a paper form.
My biggest challenges were:
1) The photo resolution is better suited to a computer screen than a projector, so it was difficult to see some of the details. I’m pretty sure that one of my misses was due to not being able to tell whether or not the lorry was using its turn signal. I gambled on that one and lost.
2) Unlike the practice tests where you can read and hear the questions and answers, the actual test is only given verbally, and they do not repeat anything. This was challenging for me because I process information best visually, and I missed some of the questions because I was still trying to understand the scenario and what they were asking.
3) The study materials are translated literally from Danish, so a lot of terminology seemed odd to me. Going in, I felt I had a solid grasp of the terms and how they applied to the test scenarios, but the way the test questions were asked did not always mirror the practice tests or the book, or the terminology I’m used to from the US, so sometimes I didn’t quite understand what they were asking. However, the English test is brand new, and people are complaining, so hopefully it will improve with time.
Anyway, all is well that ends well! I’m so happy that this is behind me and never to be dealt with again :)
Now on to the practical test, which I’ll need to take through an interpreter!
P.S. If you’re an expat trying to convert a license by taking the English driving in Denmark, and you have questions, feel free to contact me via comments or email. I’m sure you can use all the help you can get. I know I did :)