Driving Licence – The Theory Test

What is a driving theory test?

Well it’s quite straightforward really. If you want to ride a motorcycle or drive a car then you’ll need to pass a driving theory test in order to do so along with passing the practical driving test. You’ll need to pass your theory driving test before you can do your practical test.

You must have a provisional driving license to be able to take the theory test.

There are two parts to the theory test including:

The multiple choice part and The Hazard perception test.

Both of these theory parts will be taken on the same day and you must book the theory test in advance.

The questions that will be in the multiple choice part and also the hazard perception part will be determined by what vehicle you would like to drive.

You will need to successfully pass both of these theory parts.

If you have a “Safe Road User Award” then you will be able to take the shorter “abridged” car theory test.

Once you have successfully passed both of these theory parts you will then go on to receive your theory test pass certificate.

You’ll need this theory test pass certificate when you book your practical test as it will contain the certificate number that you’ll need.

There are many tools and books out there that will help you greatly with your theory test and if you have any special needs then there are also many facilities to help you with your driving theory test.

You will need to take another theory test if you want a license for a new category of vehicle, for instance you may have a car license and would like to have a motorcycle license, then you will need to take a motorcycle theory test before you can go on to the motorcycle practical test.

You will not be required to take a theory test if you just want to upgrade within the same vehicle category.

Please be certain that you have the right license. Contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to make sure that you need to take another theory test.

Those who don’t have to take the driving theory test

You will not need to take the driving theory test if:

  • You have a full automatic car license and want to change to a manual car license.
  • You have a B1 license (3 0r 4 wheeled light vehicles)

For each of these you will only be required to take the practical driving test.

The theory test, how does it work?

Ok so as I mentioned earlier there’s the hazard perception test and also the multiple choice part. You need to pass both of these to completely pass the theory test. If you manage to pass one part but fail on the other then you’ll fail the whole theory test and you will have to take both parts again. The questions will all depend on the vehicle you want to drive.

At the theory test centre

You won’t be allowed to take any personal items into the test room with you there is a locker there where your possessions can be kept in safe keeping until you have finished the theory test. I you are found to have any belongings on you then you will be asked to leave the test room and the test will be stopped. You aren’t allowed to talk to the others in the test room with you.

The multiple choice part

You will be given instructions on how to complete this part before the test begins, you have the choice of completing a practice session before the actual test begins so that you can get used to the layout of the test. Then once this practice session has ended you will then move onto the real test.

There will be a question on the screen with several different answers for you to select. Some of the questions will require more than one answer.

You will be able to move on from one question and “flag” it and then go back to it later on in the test.

There may be some car and motorcycle questions that will be provided as a case study which may include:

A short story that will have 5 questions based on it.

There may be real life examples and experiences that you will come across when driving.

The motorcycle and also the car multiple choice test will last for 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

Once the multiple choice test is over you can either take a 3 minute break or move straight onto the hazard perception test.

The hazard perception test

Before the test begins you will be shown a video on how the test works. Then you will be shown a series of videos 14 in total that will appear on the computer screen.

The clips will:

Feature some everyday road scenes.

Will contain at least one “developing hazard” however one of the clips will contain two “developing hazards”.

What a developing hazard means is something that will force you into having to take some action including changing your speed or direction.

Hazard perception scoring

Your score will be higher if you notice the “developing hazard” early in the clip. The most you can score for each developing hazard is 5 points.

So to get the highest score you must recognise that a hazard is developing early in the clip, as soon as you see it starting.

However, if you continuously click or in a pattern a clip message will appear on the screen at the end saying that you have scored zero for that clip.

You will not be able to review your answers.

The pass mark for motorcycles and cars is 44 out of 75.

The test results

Once you have completed your theory test you will be given your results at the test centre.

You will receive a pass certificate if you pass the theory test you will need this so that you can go on to book the practical driving test.

The theory test pass certificate will last for 2 years after taking the test, you will need to take the theory test again if you haven’t passed your practical driving test in that time.