About the Driving Theory Test
Introduced in 1996, the Driving Theory Test is designed to ensure that drivers knowledge about road awareness and safety is comprehensive and isn’t restricted to purely how to practically drive a car. A new element of the Theory Test that was brought in in 2001 is the Hazard Perception Test, this is a video-based test designed to examine your ability to detect hazards on the road. It is essential to pass your Theory Test before you can take your Practical Test.
Preparing for your Theory Test goes hand in hand with learning to drive, and it will help you improve your practical skills if you revise and learn your driving theory concurrently alongside your driving lessons.
In order to gain your Driving Theory Test certificate, you are required to pass both aspects of the test – the Hazard Perception and Theory Test questions. If you fail either of these sections it is necessary to take the whole test again – so preparation is key.
What Topics are covered in the Theory Test?
The Driving Theory Test questions are based on information from 3 books: The Highway Code, Driving – the essential skills and Know your traffic signs.
The topics covered in the Theory Test are as follows:
- Safety and your vehicles
- Safety margins
- Hazard awareness
- Vulnerable road users
- Other types of vehicle
- Road conditions and vehicle handling
- Motorway driving
- Rules of the road
- Road and traffic signs
- Essential Documents
- Incidents, accidents, and emergencies
- Vehicle loading.
Make sure you read about each of these topics individually, gaining firm background knowledge in these areas before attempting to tackle some practice questions. It is important that your preparation allows you to learn in detail about these topics, rather than simply trying to memorise the questions. Knowing your driving theory in detail is essential for any safe driver.
While it might be tempting to attempt to pass your Driving Theory Test before starting your driving lessons, this will inhibit your learning as some of the questions in the test are related to practical driving skills, so make sure you are developing your practical skills alongside learning your theory.
Driving Theory Test FAQs
How do I book the Driving Theory Test?
Driving Theory Tests take place within a DVSA Test Centre and you will need to book ahead to get a slot to take your test, you can do this online.
How much does the Driving Theory Test cost?
The cost of the test in the UK is £23.
What is the format of the Driving Theory Test?
Once you are settled and ready for your test you will be given comprehensive instructions about the test, and have the opportunity to run through a practice version of the multiple-choice questions. You will then have a total of 57 minutes to complete the theory section which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions (including 5 case study questions which is discussed below). The questions will appear on the screen one at a time with four possible answers. It is a touch-screen system so simply press your selected answer on the screen.
What are the Case Study questions?
There are 5 case study questions in the theory section which are designed to test you on your ability to respond effectively to a real-life driving situation, so that you know how to apply your theory knowledge when you are driving. The questions can be on a range of driving situations so make sure you are thinking through your theory knowledge during your driving lessons.
Take a free mock theory test case study.
Can I go back to any questions I haven’t answered?
Yes, you can, as long as you still have time left within the designated 57 minutes and if you have missed any questions the computer will prompt you to return to them. As you go through the test you can ‘flag’ any questions you want to re-visit and by clicking ‘review’ all of these flagged questions will be highlighted. If you have time at the end of the test it’s a good idea to check through your answers before completing.
What is the pass mark for the Driving Theory Test?
Currently, the pass mark is 43. This is the same pass mark as the motorcycle theory test.
What to expect in the Hazard Perception Test
Once you have completed the multiple-choice theory section of the test you will be given the option of a short break – it’s worth making the most of this to give your brain and eyes a rest. When you are ready to begin you will be given a set of instructions on how the video-based Hazard Perception Test works as well as the chance to practice using the click-based system. It is a good idea to make the most of this practice run to make sure you are comfortable with how to identify the oncoming hazards.
You will be required to view 14 video clips from the perspective of the driver which run through various scenarios that involve other vehicles as well as pedestrians. Keep your eyes peeled for developing hazards as well as immediate ones as the test is assessing your ability to notice potential dangers and respond to them in good time.
The aim is to click your mouse as soon as you see the hazard developing, and you will score more points the sooner you click. The maximum score for each video is 5 points, going down the scale the slower you take to respond and 0 marks if you fail to see the hazard completely. Don’t get complacent once you have clicked through as some videos have more than one hazard to spot. The pass mark is 44 out of 75.
The system is designed to notice if someone is clicking throughout the video clip, so make sure you’re not clicking consistently or you may be penalised and score 0 for that particular video clip. It is important to note also that once you have finished each video you can’t revisit the clip.