The Driving Theory Test Explained

Since July 1996 all new drivers have to pass a separate theory test before obtaining a new driving license. In November 2002 the original multiple-choice test was extended to include a hazard perception part and from the 28th of September 2009 the test incorporate a few case study questions.

You should ensure that when you arrive at the test centre you have all the relevant documents:

- your signed photocard license and paper counterpart or
- your signed old-style driving license and valid passport.

The passport does not have to be British but it must be current. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time or you may not be allowed to take the test.

The multiple-choice part

The theory test is a screen-based test and consists of two parts. The first part consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, just select the answers to this part by simply touching the screen. Before starting you are given the chance to work to a practice session of up to 15 minutes. If you have any problem raise your hand to attract the attention of the test supervisor.

Pay attention to the questions: most of them require one correct answer from four possible answers given but some may ask for two or more correct answers from a selection.

Read carefully below the question when it says “please mark x answers”.
If you don’t mark the correct number of answers you will be reminded to do so.

For this part of the test you are allowed 57 minutes. You can move forwards and backwards through the questions and can also flag those questions you are not sure about.
You can then revise them at a later point.

Keep an eye on the time remaining which is displayed on the screen.

Should you have some spare time it is advisable to select the “review” feature for a final check of your answers.

To pass this part of the test you must answer at least 43 questions correctly.

The hazard perception part


After the multiple choice part you can choose tohave a break of up to three minutes before starting the hazard perception part of the test.

Before starting the test you will be shown a short video to explain how the test works.

The test consists of 14 video clips. On 13 clips you will have one developing hazard and on one clip you will have two developing hazards, this clip with a double hazard will be shown at random.

When you see a hazard you have to click on the mouse and if the hazard develops you have to click again.The earlier the hazard is spotted, the highest the score.
Each hazard is worth a maximum of five points if you spot it when it just starts developing to a minimum of zero when you don’t notice it at all.

In total you have 15 scoreable hazard giving a maximum score of 75.

Important: don’t just click at random or you will be given a “0″ for clicking in an “unacceptable manner”.

This part of the test lasts approximately 20 minutes and the pass mark is 44 out of 75.

Your test result should be available within 10 minutes. In case you are unsuccessful ( hopefully not! ) you must wait three working days before retaking it.

If you pass you can then apply for the practical test. Remember that the theory test pass certificate is valid for only 2 years. If you don’t take you practical test within that time you will have to retake the theory test.

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