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BECOMING A BLACK TAXI DRIVER FAST: Strategies to speed up Knowledge of London journey

The Knowledge of London test, a requisite for becoming a licensed black cab driver in London, is notorious for its complexity and typically takes several years to pass. Applicants seeking to expedite this process can adopt certain strategies to potentially shorten their journey.

Aspiring black cab drivers should be reminded that while the goal might be to complete the Knowledge quickly, it is crucial to be thoroughly prepared. A comprehensive understanding of London's complex layout is essential to becoming an effective and safe taxi driver. There are no shortcuts on the Knowledge so be prepared to graft for that taxi licence!

Some of the strategies to potentially speed up the process include:

Dedicated Study: To begin with commit to intensive study of the 320 ‘Blue Book’ routes, landmarks, streets, and points of interest in London. The more time you throw at this part the quicker you’ll be ready for testing.

Regular Practice: Drive, scoot or cycle the routes you are learning to become familiar with them and build a mental picture of every road you learn. On-the-ground experience is crucial for understanding the layout and traffic patterns of the city.

Effective Use of Materials: Utilise maps, smartphone apps, and other study aids effectively. There are specific apps and tools designed to help with studying for the Knowledge.

Join a Study Group: Collaborate with others who are also studying for the test. Sharing knowledge testing each other and bouncing off others in the same boat can be beneficial and build confidence.

Professional Training Courses: Consider enrolling in a Knowledge School. Some schools offer courses specifically designed to prepare candidates for the Knowledge.

Mock Tests: Regularly take mock tests by calling the routes and points being asked by Transport for London examiners. You’ll be able to better assess your progress and identify areas that needs more focus.

Time Management: Prioritise your study and practice time effectively. Balancing it with other life commitments is key. At certain stages of the testing period it can feel all consuming. Ride this part out and eventually the routes and London will just ‘click’.

Stay Updated: Keep up with any changes in London's roads, landmarks, and points of interest that are trending with examiners.

Physical and Mental Health: Maintaining good physical and mental health is crucial, as the process can be stressful and demanding. Set daily tasks, but remember those around you supporting you through this process too.

Persistence and Resilience: Perhaps most importantly, be persistent and resilient. The process is long and often frustrating, but determination and a positive attitude can make a significant difference. No one fails the Knowledge… they just give up.

A rewarding job awaits for those that can pass the test.


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