About The Driving Theory Test

Before you can book your theory test you will need to have a provisional driving license. You can book your theory test as soon as you have your provisional licence providing you are 17 years of age.

The theory test is split up into two parts, the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. In order to pass your theory test you will NEED to pass both parts of the test. Once the theory test is passed you can then go on and book your practical driving test.

The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you’re hoping to obtain a licence for ie a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that don’t appear in any other test.

How the test works

Theory Test
The multiple choice part is delivered using either a touch screen computer or a mouse to decide the answer to each question. The hazard perception test is delivered by the computer responding to the click of the mouse during a series of videos.

Please note – You can not take your practical test until you pass your theory test

How you should prepare

In order to prepare for the theory test the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) recommend that you study the highway code, know your traffic signs and practice sample questions as much as possible. I can always help assist in any problems you have throughout the lessons or over the phone.

With your first theory test booking confirmation letter, DSA send you a DVD called “Are you ready?” which you should watch as this explains the process of taking the theory test in even more detail than on this website.

DSA provide an online service allowing you to practice and test your knowledge on the Highway Code, traffic signs and get used to the multiple choice style questions. The practice theory tests only contain multiple choice questions and do not allow you to practise the hazard perception test online. Please note that repeatedly passing this practice test does not guarantee you pass the real test under real exam conditions. The link below will take you to this online service.

Practice theory test online questions 

General Theory Test information

In order to go onto taking a test for a new category of vehicle, you will need to take a theory test. For example, if you have a car licence and you want a motor vehicle licence you will need to take another theory test.

However, if you want to upgrade within a vehicle category for example, automatic car licence to manual car licence you will not have to take another theory test.

Taking your theory test if you have special needs, visit this site for help:

Taking your test if you have special needs

It is your own responsibility to make sure you have the correct type of licence. Please contact me, Driving Standards Agency (DSA) or the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you are unsure.

The Theory Test – Part 1

Theory Practical Exam
Before the test starts you will be given a set of instructions on how the test works. You can also chose an option to have a few practice questions to get used to the layout and environment of the exam before you take the real thing.

Each question will have 4 answers to chose from and you will need to choose the correct one, some questions may require more than one answer. You can move between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.

You will be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

You can navigate between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test. After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.

Highway Code Open in new window

The Theory Test – Part Two

After the break, you will be shown a short clip on how this part of the test works. This test is also delivered on the computer but involves clicking on the mouse at certain points in each videos clip and this click is recorded. You will work through 14 different videos clips which feature everyday road scenes. In every clip there will be 1 developing hazard and on one clip there will be two.

To achieve a high score you’ll need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five. You won’t be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you’ll only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.

The pass mark for this part of the test is 44 of out 75.

An example from the DSA on when to respond:

As an example, of how to identify and respond to a developing hazard, consider a parked vehicle on the side of the road. When you first see it, it is not doing anything; it is just a parked vehicle. If you were to respond to the vehicle at this point, you would not score any marks, but you would not lose any marks.

However, when you get closer to the vehicle, you notice that the car’s right hand indicator starts to flash. The indicator would lead you to believe that the driver of the vehicle has an intention of moving away, therefore the hazard is now developing and a response at this point would score marks. The indicator coming on is a sign that the parked vehicle has changed its status from a potential hazard into a developing hazard.

When you get closer to the vehicle, you will probably see the vehicle start to move away from the side of the road; another response should be made at this point. Different clips in the test will have various signs to indicate that the hazard is changing its status and is now starting to develop.

After the test

Theory Certificate
After the test you will be asked to answer a number of customer survey questions. You don’t have to answer the questions if you don’t want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don’t affect the result of the test.

When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you’ll not be allowed to enter it again. You’ll then be given your result by the test centre staff.

How to Book

So where are the theory test centres?

Theory Test Centre
Persimmon House Ground flr The Parkway
100 Wickham Road
PO16 7HT
Theory Test Centre
Capital house (6th floor)
Houndwell Place
SO14 1HU
Theory Test Centre
Venture Tower (4th flr)
Fratton Road