Driving Theory Test

A sample driving theory test certificate.

Preparing for the driving theory test, remember failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

The driving theory test is taken in two parts, the first part consists of multiple-choice questions, and the second part is the hazard perception test. 

Before you can take the test, you must have a valid provisional driver’s licence, which should be presented to test centre staff on arrival.


Why should you take the driving theory test?
All persons requiring a valid UK driver’s licence are obliged to sit the driving theory test by law, and must successfully pass the driving theory test before entering into the practical driving test.

The multiple choice questions

The multiple choice section consists of 50 questions covering a wide range of driving topics, some questions may require more than one answer.

To pass, you must correctly answer 43 or more questions in the allocated time of 57 minutes. You will have the option of working through a practice session prior to the test starting.  Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study.

The case study will:
  • Show a short story that five questions will be based on
  • Focus on real life examples and experiences that you could come across when driving

You can navigate between questions and 'flag' questions that you want to come back to later in the test.  After the multiple-choice part, you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.

The hazard perception test

stockport learner drivers

After a break of up to three minutes from completing the multiple choice section of the theory test, the hazard perception test will begin.

You will be shown a tutorial video first.  This uses sample footage with a sound track (headphones supplied), which will explain how to complete this part of the test.  You may repeat the tutorial once more if you wish.

The test consists of 14 video clips, which feature everyday road scenes, in each clip there will be one developing hazard, but one of those clips will contain two hazards.  You make your response to the developing hazard by way of clicking a mouse button.

The maximum you can score on any single clip is five, the earlier you respond to the developing hazard the higher your point score within the clip.  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.

If you click continuously, or in a pattern, during a clip a message will appear at the end.  It will tell you that you have scored zero for that particular clip.

An example of when to respond to a hazard.
Think of a parked car on the side of the road.  When you first see it, it is not doing anything - it is just a parked car.  If you respond at this point, you would not score any marks, but you would not lose any marks.

The difference between a potential and developing hazard.
When you get closer to the car, you notice that its right-hand indicator starts to flash.  This would make you think that the driver of the car is going to move away.  The hazard is now developing and a response at this point would score marks.  The indicator coming on is a sign that the car has changed from a potential hazard into a developing hazard.  When you get closer to the car, you will probably see it start to move away from the side of the road. You should make another response at this point.

The pass mark for the car hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.

At the end of the test

On completing both parts of the theory test, you can answer some customer survey questions; you do not have to answer them if you do not want to, and they will not affect the result of the test.  You will return to the waiting area of the test centre, where you will receive your results.

The Law requires that both parts of the driving theory test are concluded with the minimum required pass marks before a candidate is provided with a Theory Test certificate. 

In the unfortunate event where a candidate is not successful with either one part or both parts of the Theory test, there is a requirement to sit the whole test again, which will require another payment to the Driving Standards Agency in order to resit the Theory Test.

Additional Help for Candidates

There is also additional help available for pupils who require additional time or a private area to take the multiple choice questions part of the theory test.  Enquiries of what help is available the Driving Theory test should be made with the DSA booking centre before booking an appointment for the Theory Test.


Driving Theory Test Cost:
The current fee for the Theory exam is £31.00 (as of 5th October 2009).