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 for the purchase of rail tickets
||School bus pass
||Photographic cheque guarantee or credit
||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
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
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.
Tel: 0870 01 01 372
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
||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.
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
||Photographic evidence of your
||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
||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
||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
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.
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
||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.
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.
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.
The examiner will ask you to ride at walking speed
for a short distance. He will be checking for your control, balance
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.
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