Everyone is required to pass the theory part of the driving test before they may take the practical part of the driving test. The theory part of the driving test is designed to test both situational awareness and hazard perception and knowledge of the roads, Highway Code as well as key driving facts. The theory part of the driving test is split into 2 parts:
Multiple choice test
Hazard perception test
Multiple Choice Tests
The multiple choice tests consist of a total of 35 questions and possible answers focusing on road safety. You will be required to correctly answer 30 out of the 35 questions within the 40 minutes allocated for the test. During the test you may skip questions and come back to them later.
Before the test actually starts you will be shown a short video showing you the format of the test and giving you the opportunity to practice on some sample questions.
Some of the questions have only one answer such as the one below:
At a pelican crossing the flashing amber light means you MUST
stop and wait for the green light
stop and wait for the red light
give way to pedestrians waiting to cross
give way to pedestrians already on the crossing
Some of the questions require you to select all correct answers from their list; in this case 2 answers are expected:
In each case you will be told how many answers are expected in red text such as “Mark one answer” for the top example and “Mark 2 answers” for the bottom example.
After you have attempted all of the questions you will be presented with a summary detailing the number of questions answered, not answered and flagged for review. You can review your answers to any or all of these at this point. From here you may also end the test. If you run out of time the test will end automatically. You will get your score once you have completed the Hazard Perception Test.
There are 2 sample multiple choice tests on the DSA’s website, these use official questions that you may be asked.
The hazard perception test consists of 14 video clips (without sound) designed to test your ability to spot potential hazards before they become real hazards. Each video clip lasts approximately 1 minute. In these tests you take the view of the driver, when you see a potential hazard you must click a button to indicate that you have identified a hazard. There are 15 hazards in total, every clip contains a hazard and one of the clips contains 2 hazards. For each hazard you are scored from 0 to 5 depending on how early you identified the hazard, maximum score for the test is 75 (15 hazards with a score of 5 for each) and you are required to score at least 44 points to pass.
Before the test actually starts you will be shown a short video showing you the format of the test and giving you the opportunity to practice on some sample video clips.
All video clips start with a freeze frame of the scene.
You will score points depending on how early you identified the hazard. 5 points are awarded if you identify the hazard as it appears, the points award is reduced as the “developing hazard” turns into an actual hazard. Only your highest scoring click will be taken into account for a hazard. There is no penalty for clicking at any time during the video clip so it is best practice to click as soon as you see a potential hazard even if it does not develop into an actual hazard, continuous clicking will however invalidate the test. There will be a short period where the screen will be blank between video clips.
After the Tests
After both tests you will have the opportunity to complete a customer care survey, you will then be asked to leave the room whilst your results are totalled. You will need to pass both tests in order to pass the theory part of the driving test, 30 in the multiple choice and 44 in the hazard perception. If you fail you must retake both parts of the test.
THEORY TEST – Booking your theory test
In order to book your theory driving test you will need your UK driving licence number from your provisional licence.
The cheapest and easiest way to book your theory test is likely to be via the DSA’s online signup
You may also book your test by phone by calling 0870 010 1372 (0870 010 0372 for Welsh and 0845 600 6700 for Irish), by booking by phone you will have your times immediately and a reference number that you must take with you to the test.
You can also apply by completing a TT26 form that is available from: