Green Badge Knowledge Q&A's

 
We try to make it easier for you to access information about things that are often surrounded by myths or theories about the Knowledge. So we thought we would help you by cutting through all these and present the answers to some of the most popular questions customers like you ask based upon 26 years of experience.
         
1. I'm thinking of doing the Knowledge, what should I do first?
2. What is the minimum age when you can apply to do the knowledge?
3. Do I need a Driving Licence before I can start the Knowledge?
4. Do I need a Driving Licence to make application to TfL to do the Knowledge?
5. What are the costs involved in studying the Knowledge?
6. Can I start the Knowledge before being accepted by Transport for London?
7. How long does it take to do the Knowledge?
8. Can I do the Knowledge in a car?
9. How do I learn the Blue Book Runs?
10. Can I learn the runs only first, then worry about learning the points later?
11. How long do I have to learn the runs and the 1/4 mile radius areas?
12. How many runs and 1/4 mile radius areas should I learn per day?
13. How many hours should I ideally spend per week learning?
14. What do I need to learn about when setting down at a point?
15. Do I need to learn the Blue Book Runs in reverse?
16. Do I need to have used Knowledge Point's runs to join Knowledge Point School?
17. When learning the Knowledge can I do it alone or do I need a Call-Over partner?
18. When is the best time to join Knowledge Point School?
19. Can I get any one to one advice to help me with the Knowledge?
20. What can I expect on the map test?
21. What do I do if I feel I am not ready for my written test?
22. What should I expect on my first appearance?
23. How does the scoring system work once I'm on appearances?
         

1. I'm thinking of doing the Knowledge, what should I do first?
         
First of all we recommend that anybody thinking about starting the Green Badge Knowledge should come to our FREE Knowledge Introductory Session. The session is designed to cut through all the myths and theories and present you with the facts based on over 30 years of experience. In the session we will explain the Knowledge system from the application process through to qualification. We will tell you how to get started with the Blue Book Runs, when is the right time to come into the school, how the written test and appearances work, plus much much more. At the end of the session you will have a chance to ask any knowledge related questions you wish.

These sessions take place at our school every 2nd Wednesday (apart from the Christmas break) and start at 4.00pm and last approximately 1 1/2 hours. There is no need to book just turn up at our school shop reception by about 3.50pm and you will be directed where to go.
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2. What is the minimum age when you can apply to do the knowledge?
         
You have to be 18 years of age to apply. However you cannot be issued with a Motorcab Drivers Licence until you have reached the age of 21.
 
       
3. Do I need a Driving Licence before I can start the Knowledge?
         
No, to actually start learning the Knowledge you do not need a Full Driving Licence. However you do need a Full Driving Licence when you actually make application to TfL to be officially accepted onto the Knowledge.
 
       
4. Do I need a Driving Licence to make application to TfL to do the Knowledge ?
         
Yes, you must hold a full Driving Licence before you can make application.
 
       
5. What are the costs involved in studying the Knowledge?
         
The principal cost will be your time. The initial cost of a moped and protective clothing together with an allowance for fuel must be taken into consideration along with training material which will need to be purchased at various stages of the Knowledge. Later in your studies you will have to pay for a DSA Driving Test. There are also the fees to the licensing authority that will need to be met.
 
       
6. Can I start the Knowledge before being accepted by Transport for London?
         
At the end of the day the Licencing Authority requires you to be a 'fit and proper', meaning that you have no serious criminal convictions or any serious medical conditions.
You are the only one who knows whether this the case or not. If you believe yourself to be a 'fit and proper' person then generally it is no more than just a formality, so there is nothing to stop you starting the Knowledge prior to being officially accepted. However, we do recommend that you attend one of our FREE Introductory Sessions to enable you to get started in the right way.

If on the other hand you believe there might be a problem with your application then it is advisable to wait until your Medical and  Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check has been formally accepted by the Licencing Authority.
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7. How long does it take to do the Knowledge?
         
Basically this is a difficult question to answer as in reality the more time you can spend studying the Knowledge the quicker it will take. Obviously depending on whether you are able to do it full-time or part-time will make a difference. That said, doing the Knowledge the correct way from the beginning is very important. If you start the Knowledge the wrong way you could well end up having to go back over the same ground again.

As much as it is about the time you put into the Knowledge it is also about how you go about learning. It is important that you realise it is about quality and not quantity.

In general the average time spent on the Knowledge is 3.5 years, although some school members have been through the Knowledge considerably quicker and less than 2.5 years has been achieved.
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8. Can I do the Knowledge in a car?
         
Yes, it can be done by car, however in reality it is much easier on a moped as this allows much greater flexibility when learning the 1/4 mile radius areas and the runs themselves. A moped is also much more fuel efficient than a car.
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9. How do I learn the Blue Book Runs?
         
Contrary to popular belief learning the Blue Book Runs is not just about going out on a moped and learning a list of 320 runs. It is important that you understanding the list sent to you by TfL, once you have been accepted onto the Knowledge, is only designed as a guide to what you are expected to learn.

Along with the list of runs you will also receive a booklet called  ‘An introduction to learning the Knowledge of London’. If you read Section B, page 8 of this booklet you will see that the process of learning the Blue Book Runs is all about 1/4 mile areas at the beginning and end of the runs, as well as the run itself. This process is more commonly known as the Dumb-Bell effect.

Understanding how alternative points of interest, roads and road restrictions within these 1/4 mile radius areas relate to the Blue Book Runs is the basic foundation of learning the Knowledge of London.

You will not acquire a sufficient Knowledge simply by either using a computer or a map, you will only gain the necessary Knowledge by actually travelling the 1/4 mile radius areas and runs.

The basic process learning the Blue Book Runs is as follows:

1. Learn the area and points within a 1/4 mile radius of the Blue Book start point.
2. Learn how to link these points up with the run.
3. Learn the run itself.
4. Learn the area and points within 1/4 mile radius of the Blue Book end point.
5. Learn how to link these points up with the run.

We highly recommend you come along to one of our FREE Introductory Sessions where you will be given a much more detailed explanation of how to learn the Blue Book Runs as well as the Knowledge in general.
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10. Can I learn the runs only first, then worry about learning the points later?
         

It is advisable to follow the guidelines laid out by TfL. They advise you to learn the 1/4 mile radius areas at the beginning and end of each run and to drive the run at the same time.ALWAYS REMEMBER TFL WILL BE TESTING YOU SO WOULD IT BE WISE TO GO AGAINST THEIR GUIDELINES?

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11. How long do I have to learn the runs and the 1/4 mile radius areas?
         
Once you have been acceptance by TfL onto the Knowledge you are given 2 years to complete the runs and the 1/4 mile radius areas however it can be done much quicker than this so if you think you are ready before you can apply before the 2 years.
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12. How many runs and 1/4 mile radius areas should I learn per day?
         
Whilst working on the first 80 runs you should be looking to do around 1-2 runs including the time at the beginning and end of the run collecting points within the 1/4 mile radius areas. Remember it is about quality not quantity.

Tackling the runs and collecting the points in the correct way is the foundation for learning the Knowledge. Remember, everyone is different, some people can hold more information in the mind than others, work to your own ability after all it is not a race.
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13. How many hours should I ideally spend per week learning?
         
The more time you can spend studying the Knowledge the less time it will take to complete and thus gain your badge and licence. In reality a minimum of 16 hours per week inclusive of bike work, call-over and map study will be required.
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14.   What do I need to learn about when setting down at a point?
         
Although you should generally try to set down on the left, the side of the road you drive down, you can and sometimes have to set down of the right depending on the various traffic restrictions. Obviously a degree of common sense needs to be applied, for example if you are prohibited by traffic signs, or if there are railings or traffic lights.
Be aware for the purpose of appearances you MUST set down outside the point or as close to it as is safe to do so, even if the entrance is around the corner.
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15. Do I need to learn the Blue Book Runs in reverse?
         
If you do the runs correctly and concentrate on the 1/4 mile radius areas and the points within them, there is no need to reverse the whole run. However you should reverse each run for a distance of about 1/4 of a mile of the end point.
You will find that as you progress through the Blue Book, the runs start overlapping to such an extent that you will automatically be able to call runs in either direction with the possible exception of a few runs which you can do at a later date.
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16. Do I need to have used Knowledge Points runs to join Knowledge Point School?
         
You are very welcome to come along and join our school regardless of which runs you are using. It doesn't matter too much, we have skilled qualified teaching staff who will be working with you.
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17 When learning the Knowledge can I do it alone or do I need a Call-Over partner?
         
Once you have completed around 10 -12 runs and 1/4 mile radius areas you will need a call-over partner. This person will be able to test your Knowledge and you theirs. By working together progress can be measured and revision of what you have learnt can be maintained.
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18. When is the best time to join Knowledge Point School?
         
We recommend that you join our school after you have done about 10 runs.

The reason for this is so that when you come into the school you have an idea of what is involved in completing a run and secondly you may need to go back and do them again if you haven't done them properly.
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19. Can I get any one to one advice to help me with the Knowledge?
         
Although we do not offer one to one teaching. If you need advice or help call 0207 700 3999 and we can book an appointment for you to speak to Peter Allen who has 10 years of experience in the Knowledge and will be happy to help you.

Please Note - This facilities is for Knowledge Point Members Only.
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20. What can I expect on the map test?
         

When you are accepted onto the knowledge your Blue Book and examination procedure will be sent to you. As part of the examination procedure you will be required to take a multiple Choice test which you need to pass before you can proceed onto appearances (oral examinations).
The multiple choice test comprises 25 points which you have locate out of a possible 4 options for each point. Every point you locate correctly is worth 2 marks.The next section comprises of 5 blue book runs with 3 options only 1 of which is correct. This section is also worth 50 marks.You must get 60 marks to pass.You are allowed 1 hour to complete the test.It is very important that you are ready for this test because if you pass it you will be called up for your first appearance within a month.  There is a fee that has to be paid for the test (see TfL website for current rate).

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21. What do I do if I feel I am not ready for my written test?
         
One of the reasons the written test was created is to enable the licensing authority to keep track of how many people are still on the knowledge and haven’t given up in the early stages.

As a result of this they will destroy your file after a period of time if you have not applied for the written test within the allocated time. Should this happen and you decide to continue with the knowledge you will have to start the whole application process again.

If you feel you are not ready to undertake the written test within the allocated time for whatever reason we suggest you contact the licensing authority, preferably in writing and they may grant you an extension.
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22. What should I expect on my first appearance?
         
Your first appearance will last approximately 30 minutes - all subsequent appearances are 15 minutes. The extra 15 minutes on the first appearance are used to put you at ease, find out how you tackled the knowledge, if you attend a Knowledge School etc.

The questions will be to establish if you did the Blue Book correctly. Therefore questions could include runs furthest from where you live and those toward the end of the Blue Book to ensure you covered it comprehensively. You are likely to be asked four questions - not a lot to demonstrate what you have learned.

There is a one off fee that has to be paid to commence appearances (see TfL website for current rate).
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23. How does the scoring system work once I'm on appearances?
         
Basically you can score either an A, B, C or D.

A = 6 points,  B = 4 points,  C = 3 points and D = 0 points.

You are required to score 12 points within a maximum of 7 appearances at each level, i.e. 56’s, 28’s and 21’s. If you fail to achieve this you revert to zero points at your current level and have to start accumulating points again. This is known as “being red lined”.

A’s are extremely difficult to acquire,  B’s marginally less so, C’s are the most common and D’s are not infrequent. You must therefore expect to do at least 4 appearances at each level to score the necessary 12 points.
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