What is the Theory Test for a Driving Licence?

Anyone in the United Kingdom who needs a driving license has to meet specific requirements first. These include:

  • Passing Your Theory Test
  • Passing Your Practical Test
  • A Provisional Driving Licence

You can only book a theory test if you have a provisional driving licence.

What is Included in the Theory Test?

The theory test contains two parts:

  • Hazard Perception Test.
  • MCQs (multiple-choice questions)

They are part of a single test, and you must pass them to be eligible for your driving license.

All About the Multiple Choice Questions Section

This test has 50 MCQs, and you have to complete the test in 57 minutes. Before beginning the test, you will be given instructions to help you take the test and also an on-screen practice question to familiarise you with the test methodology.

  • What Happens in the Test?

Every MCQ will appear on your screen with several options for possible answers. Three questions pertain to a silent video that you will be shown. The video exhibits a common driving situation. You can watch the video as many times as you want. Select the correct answer and move to the next question. You can mark the questions you want to answer later with a flag. You can review your answered questions and change the answers if you wish. Once you have answered all the questions, you can take the hazard perception immediately or take a 3-minute break.

Hazard Perception Test

After completing your MCQ test, it is time for the hazard perception test. Before the test begins, you will be shown an instructional video regarding how to take the test. You will then be shown fourteen video clips showing different scenes of everyday driving. All videos will feature one developing hazard, except one video, which will feature two developing hazards. Spotting these hazards as they start to happen will reward you with points.

  • What is a Developing Hazard?

Developing hazards are incidents that would compel you to act, like changing your direction or speed.

How Does the Test Scoring Works?

You get up to five points for every developing hazard you successfully identify. If you want to score high, click as soon as you witness the hazard starting to develop. Attempt all the chances because you do not lose any points if you can’t get it right. Please remember that you should not keep clicking randomly because that will not earn you any points. You cannot change or review your answers in this test.

Check the Test Details to Change Them

If you have already booked your test but want to change the date, you can do that easily. You can review your appointment details if you have lost the booking confirmation. If you fail your test, you can rebook it after three working days.

Theory Test Practice

Books and software are available to help you prepare for your theory tests. You can also take lessons from a certified driving school. If this is your first time, you may find driving lessons more useful than self-preparation.

How to Prepare for the Multiple Choice Question Test?

There are three books which can help you prepare for the multiple-choice question section:

  • Driving: The Essential Skills
  • Know Your Traffic Signs
  • The Highway Code

You can get these books online or from a bookshop. You can also find practice theory tests to prepare for your test.

How to Prepare for the Hazard Perception Test?

There is an official guide for the hazard perception test, and you can download the version supported by your operating systems, such as PC, Mac, apple phones & tablets, and android phones& tablets. The guide is also available on a DVD which you can get from online and street bookshops.

What Should You Take Along?

When you take your theory test, you must have your provisional license, ID document, etc.

You should not bring personal items into the test room, as you will not have access to them. This includes things like:

  • Bags
  • Watches
  • Mobile Phones
  • Earphones

If the test centre has lockers, you can store your personal belongings. If no locker is available, you have to :

  • Switch off your mobile phone before entering the test centre.
  • Store your things in a transparent plastic box and store them under your desk. The box will be given to you by the test centre.

Please also note that the staff will check you for any item which could be used for cheating, and you will not be allowed to take the test if you don’t let them check you.

Passing Mark and Test Result

After you have taken your theory test, you will get the result from the test centre. You need to answer 43 MCQs correctly out of 50, and you need to score 44 out of 75 on the hazard perception test. Upon passing, you will receive a pass certificate number which you need for taking your practical driving test. If you fail, you will get a letter detailing which parts you failed to answer correctly. You can retake the test after three days.

Important Things to Note

  • If you have any disability or a condition that prevents reading correctly, you should disclose it when you book the theory test.
  • If you have a reading problem, you can listen to an audio file and answer the questions. The audio file is available in Welsh and English.
  • You can get extra support with your test if you provide evidence that you cannot read correctly. The evidence includes a doctor’s report, a letter from a teacher/professor, a therapist, or evidence from an online product that screens dyslexia.
  • The help you can get includes extra time, assistance with reading questions and recording your answers, and assistance with rewording the questions.
  • If you have a hearing impairment or you are deaf, then you can take the test in BSL (British Sign Language).
  • You can also opt for a BSL interpreter. Just make sure you disclose this when you book the test. There is no extra fee for this.
  • You can also arrange a lip speaker or a hearing aid without additional charges.

Should You Take Driving Lessons Before or After You Pass the Theory Test?

You can take driving lessons while you are preparing for your theory test. It might prove to be more beneficial because you will get to learn from expert drivers. You might increase your chances of passing the examination by preparing theory and driving lessons together. The theory test has a passing rate of 47.7 %, implying that almost half of the people who take the test fail. You will have to spend money on books and help material and deposit the test fee again. While you should take help from books and DVDs, combining them with driving lessons from an expert instructor will help you understand practical driving situations.

Can Driving Lessons Help You Pass Your Theory Test?

Taking driving lessons from a certified driving school will allow you to engage with instructors who have spent a lifetime teaching people how to drive and have helped countless people pass their theory tests. You will learn driving rules from people who are well aware of them. You can interact with the instructors and address any confusion or misunderstandings. You will learn about the following:

  • The different Road traffic signs, what they mean, and what the regulations are about them.
  • Different Road markings, what they mean, and what the regulations are related to them.
  • Nearly all the essential road traffic rules & regulations
  • Hands-on practice to improve your hazard perception so you can score well in the hazard perception test.