Driving Theory Test

theory-testBefore booking your Practical test, you must sit the driving theory test made up of two parts – a multiple-choice section and a hazard perception section. You’ll need to pass both parts to book a driving test.

About DVSA driving theory test – car theory test, motorbike theory test

To get your full driving licence you need to pass two tests, online theory test and practical test.

Online theory test –
The online theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole online test, and you’ll need to take both parts again. Once you have passed the online theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

A. Multiple choice element in driving test
The theory test is a computer-based test at various tests centres around the country.
This section is designed to test your understanding of the theory behind driving.
Before the online test starts you’ll be given instructions on how the test works. You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
You have 57 minutes to complete the test. There is a 15-minute practice session you can work through before starting the tests.
The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you’re hoping to obtain a licence for, i.e. a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that don’t appear in any other test.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.
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.
For cars and motorcycles you’ll be asked randomly selected 45 multiple-choice questions and 5 marks  questions in 57 minutes and you need to get at least 43 right to pass. For lorries and buses you’ll be asked 60 questions in 70 minutes and the pass mark is 51 out of 60.

Driving theory test – Case study style questions –
As part of the multiple choice section of the test, the case study will assess candidates’ understanding of driving theory, while the multiple choice questions will continue to assess their knowledge of the subject.
The theory test case study will take the form of a scenario, or short story, on which five questions will
be based. Candidates will answer the questions in the same way as they do now, using either the touch screen or mouse.
If you have understood all the current questions in the DVSA theory test question bank, then there is no need to worry.

So multiple choice element of the theory test will be of

  • 45 multiple choice questions = 45 marks
  • One case study scenario with 5 questions to answer = 5 marks
  • The pass mark = 43/50

B. Hazard perception test
After the break you’ll then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.
This forms a second section of the online theory test and must be passed at the same time.
This section is designed to tests your awareness of potential hazards whilst driving.
The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse.
You’ll be presented with a series of 14 video clips each about a minute long, which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there’ll be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
The videos feature various types of hazard, such as road conditions, vehicles and pedestrians.
The earlier you spot a hazard developing that may require the driver to take some action, the higher the score.
There are 15 scoreable hazards in the tests and candidates can score up to 5 points on each hazard.
Unlike multiple choice questions, for the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles e.g. car, bike, heavy vehicle etc, each vehicle category takes the same test, however the pass mark is different for different categories of tests.
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 the car and motorcycle hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75. For lorries and buses the pass mark is 50 out of 75.