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Theory Test
Information about the Theory Test

The Theory Test, launched on 1st July 1996, is designed to improve the knowledge and safety of all new drivers.  You are assessed on topics such as road procedure (including motorway rules), traffic signs, alertness, attitude, safely, hazard awareness, vulnerable road users, vehicle handling and driving documentation.

The theory test is broken down into two sections (which must both be passed in the same sitting):
  1. Multiple choice questions
  2. Hazard perception test
Multiple Choice Test
The multiple choice section of the exam involves answering questions using a touch screen computer and mouse.  Some questions will be based on a case study scenario given on the screen. For cars and motorcycles you'll be asked 50 questions and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

Hazard Perception Test
The hazard perception test involves watching 14 video clips on a computer screen, from the perspective of a driver, and responding to developing hazards in each clip.  Each clip has at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips features two developing hazards.  You will be marked as to how early you spot each developing hazard, with a maximum score of 5 awarded for an very early response down to 1 for a very late response, or 0 if the hazard was missed. The pass mark for the hazard perception test for learner drivers is 44 out of 75.

Advice on taking the Theory Test
  • Buy the Highway Code.  This is a small booklet available in any good bookshop.  The Highway code is also available online at
  • Start your driving lessons before taking the theory test; your Instructor will give you theory training as new driving topics arise and will give you advice as to how best to prepare and how and when to book the exam.
  • Their are many good books and CD / DVD ROMs available for computers which provide an excellent means of preparing for your theory test.  Ask you Instructor for advice as to which to purchase.
  • Do not sit the exam until you have done your homework!
To get an idea of the kind of questions you might be asked in the theory exam, please click here to take a mock theory test.
Did you know?

You are not allowed to book a practical driving test until you have sat and passed the theory test.  However, you are allowed to start driving lessons before taking the theory test (indeed, this approach is encouraged as practicing driving will reinforce the theoretical side, and your Instructor can help you prepare for the theory exam).

The Driving Standards Agency will ask for a theory pass certificate number to be quoted when booking the practical test, and on the day of the practical test, you will need to present your theory pass certificate to the driver examiner.

You have a maximum of 2 years on passing the theory test to pass the practical driving test.  Failure to do so would mean having to re-sit and pass the theory test again.

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