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TESTS

THE THEORY TEST

Before taking your practical test, you will have to take and pass the theory test. (See "Booking your theory test")

The theory test will gauge your knowledge and understanding of riding theory. A sound knowledge of the theory is essential to a better understanding of practical riding skills.

To help you learn the theory there are quite a few good books available.

All provisional driving licence-holders will have to pass the theory test before a booking for a practical test will be accepted.

Not so long ago, if you held a full car licence, and you were riding on the provisional motorcycle entitlement that this provided, then you didn't have to take the theory test. But, as from 1st February 2001, all riders have to take the written theory test, even if they hold an existing full car licence.

Theory test sessions are available during weekdays, evenings and on Saturdays. A test appointment will normally be available for you within about two weeks. Your training centre will tell you where your nearest test centre is.

When you attend your theory test you'll have to show photographic evidence of your identity as well as your driving licence and CBT Certificate of Completion. The photographic evidence of your identity must show both your photograph and your signature. The only acceptable documents for this purpose are a

* Current signed passport
* Workplace identity card
* Trade union or students' union membership card
* Card for the purchase of rail tickets
* School bus pass
* Photographic cheque guarantee or credit card
* Photograph that's suitably certified by an acceptable person

The 40-minute test, taken under exam conditions, consists of multiple choice questions. Most questions ask you to identify the correct answer from a choice of four or five possible options. There will also be some multiple response questions that will ask you to select several answers from five or more options. Some questions will contain pictures of road signs or road situations.

To pass the test you will need to answer at least 30 out of 35 questions correctly. You will take the test using a computer screen. You will select your answers by simply touching the area of the screen that shows the answer of your choice.

No previous computer experience is required. You will have up to 15 minutes to get used to the system before starting your test. There will be staff available to help if required.

The screens are easy to read and only one question will appear on the screen at the time. You will be able to move forwards or backwards through the questions at any time to look at the questions again to complete or to alter your answer. The new system will inform you if you have not completed your answer fully.

At the end of the test your answers will be calculated and you will be given your test result.

It is recommended that you buy a book which contains all the questions and answers, which are in the same format as in the actual test. There are now over 1000 questions that the test centre has in its question bank.

Candidates with special needs will have additional time and assistance - e.g. hearing the written text through a headset. The test is also written or spoken in 15 other languages.

If you fail on your first attempt, don't worry - about 50% of candidates fail their first theory test. There will be no limit on the number of times the theory test can be taken and there is no minimum time period imposed between attempts at the test, other than booking dates being full.

For examples of some typical questions click HERE.

THEORY TEST FAQ'S & INFORMATION

BOOKING YOUR THEORY TEST
Master Card, Visa, Switch, Delta, Solo and Electron are accepted.
Application forms are available from test centres, Approved Driving Instructors or the booking number opposite. Forms need to be sent with a cheque, postal order or credit or debit card details.
www.dsa.gov.uk
www.motoring.gov.uk
Tel: 0870 01 01 372

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The Hazard Perception Test (introduced 14th November 2002)

Research has shown that the more experienced riders and drivers scan the road better and recognise much earlier the clues that show a hazardous situation is developing and therefore start to take action before the danger occurs.

The DSA have now extended the Theory Test by adding a Hazard Perception Test. It's taken at the same time as the Theory Test and takes about an extra 15 minutes.

During the test candidates are shown a number of moving video clips filmed from the motorcyclist's point of view. Each clip contains one or more developing hazards.

The candidate will be asked to indicate as soon as they see a hazard developing which may result in the motorcyclist taking some action, such as changing speed or direction. The sooner a response is made the higher the score.

Hazard perception is the ability of a rider or driver to make an early identification of situations where some form of avoidance action might be necessary, such as changing speed or direction. It involves techniques such as

* scanning
* selecting a safe separation distance
* using an appropriate speed
* planning well ahead
* having good anticipation

For more on the hazard perception test visit 2pass.co.uk

And for a bit more (with pictures) take a look at the In-Gear Training School's Hazard Perception Page.

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THE PRACTICAL TEST

Before you can take your practical motorcycle test you need to have successfully completed Compulsory Basic Training ( CBT ) and to have passed your theory test.

To apply for your practical motorcycle test you will fill out an application form, DL26, which is available from any DSA Area Office or any driving test centre.

Send the completed form and the fee to your local DSA Area Office. If you don't know where that is you can find out from the DSA Head Office on 0115 901 2595.

Within 2 weeks you should receive your appointment card which will tell you the date and time of your test and the address of the test centre.

When you go you must take

* Your licence
* Photographic evidence of your identity
* Your CBT certificate ( DL196 )

You'll also have to sign a declaration that your motorcycle is insured.

The first thing you'll have to do is take an eyesight test. This involves reading a number plate in good daylight at a distance of about 67 feet ( 20.5 metres ). If you can't the examiner will measure the exact distance and repeat the test. If you still fail then the test won't continue.

Then you will be fitted with a radio receiver on a belt and an earpiece designed to be worn under your helmet.

When you're taking the test the examiner will follow you either on a motorcycle or in a car.

You will be given directions clearly and in good time and you will be asked to carry out set exercises.

You will pass if you show that you can

* Ride safely
* Comply with correct road procedure
* Obey traffic signs
* Carry out the set exercises correctly

Your examiner will watch you and will be looking to see if you

* Make appropriate progress along the road
* Keep up with the traffic while keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front
* Show confidence and good judgement
* Choose the correct speed for the type of road, density of traffic and weather
* React correctly to road signs and speed limits
* Be aware and react correctly to what other road users are doing, including pedestrians, cyclists and animals

You should not be over-cautious. For example, you must not ride too slowly as you could be holding up other traffic and you must not stop and wait when it's safe and normal to proceed.

SPECIAL EXERCISES

Emergency stop

The examiner will tell you the signal he will use and then ask you to ride around a short circuit. As soon as you see the signal you must

* Apply the front brake just before the rear
* Apply both brakes effectively
* Stop the machine as quickly as possible without locking either wheel

Walking with your machine

Your examiner will ask you to put your machine on its stand. He will then ask you to take it off its stand and walk with it with the engine off.

U-turn

You will be asked to perform a U-turn and stop on the other side of the road. Rear observation into the blind area is vital just before you carry out the manoeuvre.

Angle start

You will be asked to stop just behind a parked vehicle. You will then be asked to move off again. Before you do, make it obvious that you look behind you AND in front to see there's no danger from approaching traffic.

Slow riding

The examiner will ask you to ride at walking speed for a short distance. He will be checking for your control, balance and observation.

Hill start

You may be asked to stop on an uphill gradient and then move off again. The examiner will want to see a smoothly accelerating hill start.


There is no particular order in which these exercises are carried out - that's up to the examiner.

At the end of the test the examiner will ask you a question about carrying a pillion passenger.

Reasons for failing

You will only fail if you have accumulated more than 15 minor faults or made one serious error.

Some examples of serious errors are

* Dangerous or illegal manoeuvres or actions such as turning right or changing lanes without looking over your shoulder
* Failure to obey traffic signs such as No Entry signs, speed limits, or traffic lights
* Failure to cancel an indicator leading to a potentially dangerous situation
* Failure to observe lane markings
* Riding too slowly where it was safe to ride more quickly
* Poor machine control on the U turn or Emergency Stop
* Pulling out in front of another vehicle at a junction

For more information on reasons for failing read the Driving Standard Association's report on reasons why you don't pass. Most of it applies to motorcyclists as well as drivers.

The whole test will last about 35 minutes and you will be told at the end of it if you have passed or failed.

GOOD LUCK

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