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KNOWLEDGE OF LONDON APPEARANCE: Taxi driver video reveals what KoL students can expect when tested

Image credit: Tom Hutley

A popular London taxi vlogger has released his latest video detailing how Knowledge of London (KoL) student are tested, whilst also revealing his own NIGHTMARE taxi exam failure.

All black cabs in the capital can be hailed in the street, so all taxi drivers must have a thorough knowledge of London within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. Tens of thousands of road names and places of interest must be learnt. This is why taxi drivers have to learn and pass the world-famous Knowledge.

In the twelve minute long video, London cabbie Tom Hutley describes in detail how KoL ‘appearances’ are structured and how students prepare for the exam.

Each KoL student must attend ‘appearances’ which are face-to-face tests usually consisting of four questions asking the shortest route between any two points in London. An appearance takes about 20 minutes, and you'll get a score from A-D.

Depending on your score you will accumulate points; when you have enough you will progress to the next stage, when appearances will become more frequent. However, if you get too many Ds, you may be put back to a previous stage.

At Stage 3, appearances are about 56 days apart, at Stage 4 they are about 28 days apart, and at Stage 5 they are about 21 days apart. On average you will have to score on four appearances to accumulate enough points to progress to the next stage.

The KoL was introduced as a requirement for taxi drivers in 1865 and completing the test usually takes students three to four years.

Tom Hutley, a London taxi driver and successful YouTuber with more than 40,000 subscribers, runs through the purpose of daily ‘Points Sheets’ that help those taking part in the oral face-to-face questions set by Transport for London (TfL) examiners and also runs through what examiners are looking for from students.

Hutley’s YouTube channel has been a massive hit with viewers ever since it first launched in March 2020. The London black cab driver and qualified taxi guide completed the ‘Knowledge of London’ in 2017 after 3 years of studying. Four years into the job he now has a fast-growing channel on YouTube and has recently launched his own blog.


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