Arrival and Registration

On arrival at your local theory test centre, you will be expected to show the photo part of your driving licence. If you have an old-style licence, (no photo on it) you must bring a valid passport, other forms of photographic identification will not be accepted. If you don’t show the required documents you will not be allowed to take the test and you will lose your fee.

Exam Conditions

Once you have registered at reception you will be shown through to the test room. You may not take anything into the room with you; lockers are provided for storage of all personal items. In the test room you are under examination conditions and must not talk or distract other candidates. A computer screen will display your name and the category of test you’re taking.

If you have a problem of any kind during the theory test or hazard test you should raise your hand to attract the attention of a test invigilator.

The theory test is made up of two parts;

  • The multiple choice part.
  • The hazard perception part.

You need to pass both parts. If you pass one part and fail the other, the whole test is classed as a failure and you will need to take both parts again. The questions in the multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you wish to obtain a licence for.

The motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that don’t appear in any other test. The hazard perception test has no separate versions for different vehicles; each vehicle category takes the same test, although the pass mark is different for each vehicle category tested.

Once you have passed the Theory test you can apply for a practical driving test. You may take driving lessons before you pass the theory and hazard test.

Part One – Multiple Choice

At the start of the test you’ll be given instructions on how the theory test works.

You can choose to have a practice run 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.

The multiple choice part is delivered with a touch screen computer. A question and several answer options will appear onscreen. You then have to select the correct answer by touching the screen. Read the questions properly. Some questions may require more than one answer.

During the multiple choice test for cars and motorcycles you’ll be asked 50 questions over a 57 minute period and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.

Some car and motorcycle multiple choice questions will be given as a case study. The case study will show a scenario that five questions will be based on. The scenario subject focuses on real life experiences that drivers could come across when driving.

You can navigate between questions by flagging any that you wish to return to later in the test. Once you have completed the multiple choice part you can have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.

Part Two – Hazard Perception

After the break you’ll be shown a short tutorial video showing how the hazard perception clips work. The hazard perception part of the theory test is delivered to a computer and you respond by clicking the mouse button during a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. Each video clip will show you at least one developing hazard, but one of the video clips will feature two developing hazards. You must respond to the developing hazard during its early stage to achieve a high score. A maximum score of five can be attained on each hazard. All drivers and riders need to recognize clues and early perception of danger. These skills are necessary irrespective of the vehicle being driven.

When to identify and respond to a developing hazard

Knowing when to respond to events can be tricky.

Consider a parked vehicle on the road. When you first see the parked vehicle, it is not doing anything. If you were to click the mouse button at this point, you would not score any marks, but you would not lose any score marks.As you get closer to the vehicle, you notice that the right hand indicator of the vehicle starts flashing.

The flashing indicator would lead you to believe that the driver of the vehicle has an intention of moving away, therefore the hazard is now in development and your response by clicking the mouse button at this point would score marks. The right hand indicator, flashing on the vehicle 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 parked vehicle, you may see the vehicle start to move away from the side of the road, another click of the mouse button should be made at this point.

Different video clips in the theory test will have various signs to indicate that the hazard is changing its status and starting to develop.

The pass mark for the car and motorcycle hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.

Five points is the maximum you can score for each developing hazard. You should respond by clicking the mouse button as soon as you see a hazard development that may result in you, the driver, having to take some action such as changing speed or changing directions. The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher score you will obtain.

You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test. You will only have one opportunity to give a response to the development of a hazard, so you will need to concentrate throughout each of the video clips just as you would on the road – you have only one chance!

During the video clips if you click the mouse button continuously or in patterns of responses you will get a zero score for that particular video clip. At the end of the clip a pop-up box will appear giving information that you have zero score for that particular clip

Finally…

Once you have completed both parts of the test you will be asked some customer survey questions. It is not compulsory to answer these questions, all information you give is anonymous and confidential. Survey questions do not affect the final result of the test. When you finish both tests you may leave the examination room. Once you leave the room you will not be allowed to enter it again. You will be given your result by the test centre staff.