You will need to your theory test before you can apply for you practical driving test.
How the theory test works?
The theory test is made up of 2 parts:
- multiple-choice part
- hazard perception part.
You need to pass both parts at the same time to pass the theory test.
The Multiple-Choice Part
Before you start the multiple choice test, you can have a 15-minute practice session if you want to get used to the format of the test.
In the test there are 50 questions: you’ll need to get at least 43 correct to pass and you will have a maximum of 57 minutes to complete this part of the test.
All the questions during the test are multiple-choice and they will vary between straight text, text with graphics of road signs and text with photographs of road and driving scenarios. By using a mouse or touching the screen, you can choose one or more answers from the options shown. Most will ask you to choose one option from a choice of four, but some will ask for two, three or four correct answers from a choice of up to six options – there’ll be a message if you don’t choose enough answers.
There are also case study questions: these will show you a short ‘story’ and you’ll need to answer five questions about it.
During the test you have the option to skip questions, ‘flag’ them and return to them later.
The Hazard Perception Part
After you’ve done the multiple-choice part of the test, you can take a break of up to three minutes and then the hazard perception section of the test will begin automatically. Before the test you will be shown a tutorial video featuring sample footage with a commentary sound track that explains how to complete the test. You’ll be given the opportunity to watch the tutorial a second time if you need to.
The test itself is made up of 14 one minute long video clips. The clips feature various types of hazard, such as vehicles, pedestrians and road conditions. You will need to click the mouse or touch the screen when you see a developing hazard (i.e. something that would need you, the driver, to take some action such as changing speed or direction): the sooner you spot the hazard, the more points you’ll score.
You can score up to five points for each hazard. You’ll need to score at least 44 out of 75 points. Each film shows one hazard apart from one film, which has two.
What happens if I pass?
You will get your pass certificate, which lasts two years. This means you have a two-year period in which to take and pass your practical test. If you don’t do it within this period you have to take the theory and hazard tests again.
What happens if I fail?
You can retake the theory test again after waiting 3 working days and there is no limit to the number of times you can retake it. Study some more, then take the test again. About 37% of people fail the theory test first time. The most common reasons are forgetting the rules of the road, and not bringing the right documentation.
More information about your theory test is available on the DVSA website