|THE THEORY TEST for car, motorcycle, LGV and PCV candidate
THE THEORY TEST
Since 14 November 2002 you will be asked to answer 50 multiple choice
questions, followed by a test of your hazard perception skills. You will
need to pass both parts of the theory test at the same sitting to obtain
your theory test pass certificate.
Why has the test changed?
Each year around 3,400 people are killed on Britain's roads. New drivers
take much longer to recognise hazardous situations than more experienced
drivers, and many driving test candidates have poor scanning and anticipation
These skills are vital for safe driving. By introducing the new hazard
perception part to the test, we hope to encourage more drivers to develop
hazard perception skills while they are still learning to drive.
What is the multiple choice part of the test?
This part consists of 35 multiple choice questions covering a wide range
of driving topics. By touching the screen, you select an answer, or
answers, from the selection shown. To pass you must answer 30 or more
questions correctly in 40 minutes.
You have the option of working through a practice session lasting up
to 15 minutes to get used to the system before starting the actual test.
How does the hazard perception part work?
After a break of up to three minutes, the hazard perception part will
start. You will be shown a tutorial video first. This uses sample footage
with a sound track (headphones supplied), which will explain how to
complete this part of the test. You may repeat the tutorial once more
if you wish.
The test consists of 14 video clips, each lasting about one minute.
The clips feature various types of hazards, such as vehicles, pedestrians
and road conditions. You should respond by pressing a mouse button as
soon as you see a hazard developing that may result in the driver having
to take some action, such as changing speed or direction. The earlier
the developing hazard is spotted, and a response made, the higher the
Candidates can score up to five marks on each hazard and the test contains
15 scoreable hazards.
The pass mark for this part of the test is 44 out of 75 for car drivers
and motorcycle riders.
Those taking LGV or PCV (lorry or bus) tests must score at least 50
out of 75.
Candidates are given their results when they have finished both parts
of the test and have returned to the waiting room.
How do candidates with special needs sit the test?
Candidates who have special needs, which are not met by any of the facilities
listed below, may apply to have longer than the standard time of 40
minutes to take the multiple-choice part. Such requests should be made
when booking the test.
Facilities for candidates with special needs include:
- for car and motorcycle candidates, using a headset to listen to the
test being read in one of 20 other languages. This will help candidates
who do not understand or read English, or who wish to take the test
in their first language.
These languages are Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi,
Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Mirpuri, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi,
Pushto, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh.
- large goods vehicle drivers and passenger carrying vehicle drivers
can use a headset to listen to the test being read in English nd Welsh.
- for all candidates, using a headset to listen to the test being read
in English. This helps those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
- an on-screen video of the test being signed in British Sign Language
for car and motorcycle candidates who are deaf or have other hearing
Preparing for the new theory test
We strongly recommend that all candidates prepare thoroughly for the
test. To help prepare we recommend The Highway Code, relevant books
from our Essential Skills series and Know Your Traffic Signs. The official
theory test books and CD-Roms contain the multiple choice questions.
The CD-Roms show screens similar to those used in the multiple choice
part of the test and information about hazard perception.
We have also produced a DVD or a video and booklet package called RoadSense,
which is the official guide to hazard perception for all drivers and
For details of how to order these products please see the publications
Being a safe driver with good hazard perception skills means being able
to use speed correctly, keeping the correct distance between yourself
and other road users, scanning the road effectively, anticipating and
planning for potential hazards.
All these skills can be taught effectively. You should prepare with
a professional instructor as part of a structured programme of on-road
tuition, covering the recommended syllabus.
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.
Tel: 0870 01 01 372
Ordering Learning Materials
For videos including RoadSense, Inside View 2 and What if? for cars
Tel: 0870 241 4523
Fax: 01709 881 673
For theory test CD-Roms for cars and motorcycles or large goods vehicles
and passenger carrying vehicles:
Tel: 0870 241 4523
For books including the Driving Skills series, Know Your Traffic Signs
and The Highway Code:
Tel: 0870 600 5522
Fax: 0870 600 5533
Visit The Stationery Office
For information about the new theory test:
Browse these pages
Tel: 0115 901 2500
Fax: 0115 901 2640