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About the driving theory test

The theory test is an important part of learning to drive.

It’s a computer based test, and is split into two areas; multiple choice questions, and the hazard perception test.

Having a good knowledge of driving theory is just as important as being able to drive.

Revising for your test and practice

You can use books (such as The Highway Code) and computer software to help you revise for your theory test.

The Safe Driving for Life website has free practice test resources available.

Multiple choice questions

The multiple choice questions in the theory test are based on three books:

You can download a free copy of Know Your Traffic Signs from the Simply Driving website.

Driving – The Essential Skills, is available from the Safe Driving for Life website, for £14.99.

It may be available as part of a bundle, or from a local book retailer at a lower price.

Hazard perception test

Before you start the hazard perception test, you’ll be shown a video about how it works.

You’ll then watch 14 video clips, which feature everyday road scenes, and contain at least one developing hazard (a hazard that would cause you to take action, i.e. changing speed or direction).

One video clip contains two developing hazards.

Example of a developing hazard

A car is parked at the side of the road, and isn’t doing anything. It wouldn’t cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.

However, as you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicatior begins to flash, and the car pulls away. You’d now need to slow down, as this is now a developing hazard.

How the scoring system works: each developing hazard is worth up to five points – to get a higher score, click as soon as you see a hazard starting to develop.

You won’t lose points if you click and get it wrong.

However, if you continuously click, or click in a pattern, you won’t score anything.

About your test result

You’ll get your result at the test centre – after you’ve completed your test.

You must pass both parts of the test in order to pass the test.

Test sectionPass markMaximum mark
Multiple choice4350
Hazard perception4475

If you pass: you’ll get a letter with a pass certificate number at the test centre.

You’ll need this number to book your driving test, so keep the pass certificate in a safe place.

Your pass certificate number is valid for two years.

If you don’t pass your driving test during this time, you’ll have to re-take your theory test.

If you fail: you’ll get a letter with a review of how you performed on your test, and where you can improve.

You’ll have to re-take the whole test again, and you must wait at least 3 working days before you can re-take your test.

Book your theory test

Always book your theory test through the official government website – otherwise, you may end up paying more, or being scammed.