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Driving Theory Test

The theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. Once you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

Taking your Theory Test

The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button. If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test, and you’ll need to take both parts again.

The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you’re hoping to obtain a licence for, ie a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that don’t appear in any other test.

For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, each vehicle category takes the same test, however the pass mark is different for different categories of tests.

Part One - Multiple Choice

Before the test starts you’ll 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 onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.

For cars and motorcycles you’ll be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

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.

Part Two - Hazard Perception

After the break you’ll then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.

The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You’ll be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there’ll be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.

To achieve a high score you’ll 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 won’t be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you’ll only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.

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

At the End of the Test

At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you’ll be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions.

You don’t have to answer the questions if you don’t want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don’t affect the result of the test.

The Driving Test

The driving test will include an eyesight check that requires you to read a number plate that is a certain distance away.

After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions (known as Show Me, Tell Me). These are basic safety checks that you should carry out to ensure the your car is safe drive. Some checks may involve you opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked. You will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.

You will then be examined on your general driving and on two reversing exercises which could be either reversing around a corner, turning in the road and/or reverse parking. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

What happens during the driving test?

During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. The test routes you follow will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, you will be asked to carry out set exercises.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

The practical driving part should last about 40 minutes. During the test the examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test but just one serious or dangerous fault will mean a failure. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.

After the practical test

When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. You can request feedback on your test from the examiner, who will then go through your performance during the test.

If you pass and have a photocard driving licence the examiner will take your old licence off you, scan the details and send them electronically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will then be given a pass certificate to prove you passed your test. DVLA will then send you your new full licence by post within four weeks of you passing your practical test.

If you fail the test you should ask the examiner for some feedback to help prepare yourself for your next test. Your driving report form will also show you where you made any mistakes. You must wait at least 10 working days before you take your next test.

When and where can I take my test?

Practical driving tests are available between 7.30 am and 3.27 pm Monday to Friday. You can also book a test for a Saturday but will pay slight more.

nter it again. You’ll then be given your result by the test centre staff.

Subpages (1): theory test pro
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