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The Driving Theory Test Explained


Before you can take your Driving Test, you need to pass your Theory Test. It’s really important to show that you can use what you learn for this Theory Test when you’re Driving on your Driving Test. The car theory test costs £23.00 and it’s vital to prepare for your theory test as there’s a lot to learn. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to pass, which will save you time and money. There are 2 parts to the test Part 1 = The Multiple-Choice Part 2 = The Hazard Perception.


Part 1 = The multiple-Choice part consists of 50 questions: you’ll need to get at least 43 correct to pass. The multiple-choice questions appear on-screen and you’ll use the mouse to choose the correct answer. For some multiple-choice questions you’ll need to select more than one answer there’ll be a message if you don’t choose enough answers. There are also case study questions: these will show you a short, silent, video clip and answer 3 multiple-choice questions.


If you aren’t sure about any of the questions, you can ‘flag’ them and come back to them later. When you’ve finished the multiple-choice part, you can go straight on to the hazard perception part or take a three-minute break. You can watch a short video before you start the test, showing you how the test works. You’ll need to click the mouse when you see a developing hazard: the sooner you spot the hazard, the more points you’ll score. You can score up to five points for each hazard.


The multiple-Choice part covers the following topics alertness, attitude, safety and your vehicle, safety margins, hazard awareness, vulnerable road users, other types of vehicle, road conditions and vehicle handling, rules of the road, road, and traffic signs, essential documents, incidents, accidents, and emergencies. By watching and preparing for the hazard perception test checks you can recognise and respond to hazards that could happen while you’re driving on UK roads.


Part 2 = Hazard Perception In the Theory Test, you’ll see 19 film clips, each shown from a driver’s point of view. You’ll need to spot the developing hazard in each clip this is something that might need you, as the driver, to take some action. When you’re ready to take your Theory Test, book your test at a local test center using the guide below. Remember, you must pass your Theory test before you can take your Practical Test. It’s best to book your Theory test using the official site, GOV.UK.


If you have special needs, such as Hearing or Reading, or Learning Difficulties, or if you need the test translated into another language, you might be able to get extra help. Before you start to book your theory test you need your: UK driving licence number, and email address. You must have lived in England, Wales, or Scotland for at least 185 days in the last 12 months before the day you take your Theory Test. If you need any help you can contact the DVSA to get help booking your Theory Test.


You’ll need to score at least 44 out of 75 points. Each film shows one hazard apart from one film, which has two.


If you click the mouse too much, you’ll be given a warning message and you will not score any points for that clip.


You’ll be given your results shortly after you’ve finished. If you pass, you’ll be given a letter with your pass certificate number on it. Make sure you keep this safe because you’ll need the number when you book your Driving Test. Your Theory Test Certificate is valid for two years. If you don’t pass your Driving Test in that time, you’ll have to take the Theory Test again before you can take the Driving Test. If you lose the letter, you can find a lost pass certificate number on GOV.UK.


If you don’t pass the Theory Test, you’ll need to wait at least three working days before you can retake it.


Theory Test Explained


Theory Test Explained


You must take your UK photo-card driving licence for your test.


If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the photo card and paper counterpart licence.


Your test will be canceled and you won’t get your money back if you don’t take the right things with you.


Personal belongings

You can’t take personal items into the test room with you.


This includes things like:



Mobile phones


You have to store any personal items in a locker.

The center staff will check if you have anything with you that could be used to cheat.

Your test won’t go ahead if you don’t let them check.

It’s illegal to cheat while taking the test.

You can be sent to prison and banned from driving.


Theory Test Explained


You can use books and software to revise for the theory test and take practice tests.


The multiple-choice questions in the theory test are based on 3 books:


The Highway Code


Know your traffic signs


Driving – the essential skills


Study these to learn the rules and skills you’ll be tested on.


You can buy them from the highest street and online bookshops.


Theory Test Explained


You have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions.


Before the test starts you’ll get:


Instructions on how the test works

The chance to do some practice questions to get used to the screens


How the test works


A question and several possible answers appear on a screen. You have to select the right answer.


Some questions are given as a case study. The case study will:


Watch a short, silent, video clip and answer 3 multiple-choice questions about it.

Be about a real-life situation you could come across when driving once you pass your test.


Leaving a question


You can ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later.


Changing your answers


You can go back to any question to review and change your answer at any point.


When you’ve finished


You can finish the multiple-choice questions part when you’ve answered all of the questions.


You don’t have to use the full 57 minutes.


You can have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception test starts.


Take a practice test


Take a practice theory test to check how much you’ve learned.

The questions aren’t used in the real test, but they are based on the same topics as the test


Theory Test Explained


To prepare for this test you can use the official guide to hazard perception.


You can buy the guide in these formats:


online for your PC or Mac


app for Apple phones and tablets


app for Android phones and tablets


You can also buy it as an interactive DVD from the high street and online bookshops.


Multiple-Choice Questions


Before you start the hazard perception test, you’ll be shown a video about how it works.


You’ll then watch 14 video clips. The clips:


Feature everyday road scenes

Contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ – but one of the clips features 2 developing hazards

You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.


What a ‘developing hazard’ is


A developing hazard is something that would cause you to take action, like changing speed or direction.




A car is parked at the side of the road and isn’t doing anything.

It wouldn’t cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.

When you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicator starts to flash and it starts to move away.

You’d need to slow down, so it’s now a developing hazard.


How the scoring works


You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard.

To get a high score, click the mouse as soon as you see the hazard starting to develop.

You don’t lose points if you click and get it wrong.

However, you won’t score anything if you click continuously or in a pattern.

You only get one attempt at each clip. You can’t review or change your responses.


Theory Test Explained


The theory test is changing to use video clips instead of written case studies

Currently, you have to read a case study and then answer 5 questions about it.

This tests your knowledge and understanding of road rules.

You’ll watch one video clip instead of reading a case study, and answer 3 questions about it.


How using a video clip will work


You’ll watch a short, silent, video clip and answer 3 multiple-choice questions about it.

You can watch the video clip as many times as you like during the multiple-choice part of the theory test.

For example, you can watch the video, answer a question, and then watch the video again before you answer.


What the video clip will look like


The video clip will show a situation, such as driving through a town center or driving on a country road.

The type of questions you’ll answer about the video clip


You’ll answer questions like these:


Why are motorcyclists considered vulnerable road users?

Why should the driver, on the side road, look out for motorcyclists at junctions?

In this clip, who can cross the chevrons to overtake other vehicles, when it’s safe to do so?

For each of the 3 questions, you’ll have to choose the correct answer from 4 possible answers.


Theory Test Explained

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The Theory Test Explained

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