A common misconception is that you have to pass your theory test before you can start to take driving lesson. This is not the case – You can start taking driving lessons before you take your theory test. However, you cannot apply for the practical driving test until you have passed the theory test.
What does the test cover?
The theory test is made up of two parts, the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test, and you will need to take both parts again. Relevant literatures are available to read during theory test revision time. Click here to view our recommended reading material.
PART ONE – Multiple Choice
Before the test starts you will be given instructions on how the test works. You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear on-screen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.
You will be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes. You can navigate between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
Pass mark required: 43/50
After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
PART TWO – Hazard Perception
You will be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception test works.
The hazard perception test is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking on the mouse.
You will be presented with a series of 14 video clips that feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five.
You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test, as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.
Pass mark required: 44/75 (car and motorcycle hazard perception test)
At the end of the test
At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you will be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions. You do not have to answer the questions if you do not want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions do not affect the result of the test. Upon completion you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you cannot re-enter.
You will then be given your result by the test centre staff, including feedback aboutany topic areas you answered incorrectly.
Does everyone have the same test paper?
When you take the theory test, everyone in the room may have a different test. So, don’t try to ask anyone else the answers! The Driving Standards Agency has compiled about 1000 different questions and your test paper will be made up from 50 of them.
Is there help for people with special needs?
If you have any special needs or difficulties with English then help is available. You can apply for additional time when booking the test. You can also choose to listen to the text being read in English through a headset, which should help those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
Fifteen other languages are available including Welsh, Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Gujerati, Punjabi, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Tamil, Portuguese, Farsi, Albanian, Spanish and Kurdish.
A video of the test in British Sign Language is also available on screen for candidates who are deaf or have other hearing difficulties.
Booking your Theory Test
Call the Driving Standards Agency on 0300 200 1122, or book online. The current fee is £25.00.