Everything You Need to Know About the Theory Test
As of November 2002 onwards the theory test is now made up of two tests in one, the traditional multiple choice theory test and the newer hazard perception test. You can take your theory test at any point once you have received your provisional driving license.
What is the Multiple Choice Theory Test?
The first section of the overall theory test is the multiple choice questions. The test is presented on a computer with a touch screen monitor and mouse, a total of 50 questions are asked which may include an associated image or road sign.
Each question will have multiple choices for the answer, however some questions may require more than one selection, make sure you read each question thoroughly.
Before the test starts you will be given instructions on how the test works and have the option of a practice session to get to grips with the system. You can also navigate between the questions if you are unsure about a particular answer.
What is the Hazard Perception Test?
The second part of the theory test is the hazard perception test, which will begin shortly after the completion of the multiple choice questions.
The hazard perception test aims to test your competence and ability to recognize and respond to developing hazards that appear during everyday motoring by presenting 14 video clips to which you must click or touch the screen to identify a developing hazard.
Each video clip features every day road scenes from a drivers point of view looking through the front windscreen, in each clip will be at least one hazard to which you must click at the earliest moment to gain the highest score, remember only the timing of the click or touch is recorded, the position on screen is not relevant.
The maximum score per hazard is 5, with the score reducing to 1 as the hazard develops further and then a score of zero if the hazard develops thoroughly before it is identified. A total of 44 points out of a maximum of 75 must be scored to gain a pass, unlike the multiple choice questions you cannot review or skip your clips, you only have one choice per section.
Common questions on hazard perception test:
When should I click?
You should click the mouse or touch the screen whenever you see a potential hazard developing.
Do I lose a point if I click when there isn’t a hazard?
You do not lose any points for clicking when the hazard has not appeared. You might assume a certain scenario in the clip is a hazard but this may not be the section you are being tested on so remember to stay alert and click whenever you feel a hazard is developing.
Can I just keep clicking all the time in order to gain a high score on the hazard?
Too many clicks or an identified pattern of clicks in any clip will result in a zero score with a notification message at the end of the video. As long as you click meaningfully, your selections will appear as natural.
How to revise for the Theory Test
The theory test is aimed at testing your knowledge of the UK road system, rules and regulations. Everything that the multiple choice test includes is covered in the Highway Code, this is the best place to start your revision, purchase the latest edition of the Highway Code and read through its content. When you feel confident in your knowledge, have a friend make up questions based upon the books content and put names to the road signs.
Interactive DVD systems are also available, which can help give an insight into how the questions are presented in their multiple choice formats. Constantly test yourself with individual questions as well as sitting mock tests of 50 questions to ensure you can achieve the necessary pass rate of 43/50.
The DSA has a great resource for theory test practice at http://www.theory-tests.co.uk/home/
Due to the nature of the hazard perception test, revision is not particularly relevant, however plenty of practice using interactive DVD ROMS will help gain an understanding of how the hazard perception video clips work and the types of hazards that may appear.
Theory Test Advice
A number of facilities are available for candidates with special needs such as reading or hearing difficulties as well as voiceovers in a range of languages. Contact the theory test booking customer services for more information on available assistance.
In order to pass the complete theory test you must gain pass grades on both the multiple choice and hazard perception tests, even if you only fail one you will still have to take them both again on your next attempt. Therefore only apply for your theory test when you are fully confident in both areas.
Swap the poster in your room of your favourite band for a list of road signs, not only will this make you look cool in front of your friends, but also help with the identification of the different road sign types and their meanings.
Keep your concentration throughout the hazard perception clips, remember some clips have two hazards or you may think that you have identified a hazard but the actual tested scenario is still to come.
Whilst being driven as a passenger, pay attention to the road signs, markings and any potential hazards in the distance to gain a natural ability to recognize them.
Applying for your Theory Test
When you are confident in your ability and knowledge you can book a test at your local theory test centre by either applying online at https://pt.dsa.gov.uk/tests/tests_E/tt/index.asp?test=tt, phoning the theory test booking line on 0300 200 1122 or applying by post by requesting a form from the DSA.