What to Expect From Your Driving Theory Test

May 20, 2013


As well as a practical driving test, a theory test also has to be passed before people in the UK can legally drive on the road unsupervised. Before the driver is able to take their theory test, they must have their provisional driving licence. As with all exams, there may be some apprehension beforehand, and many drivers worry about what to expect.  Luckily, the theory test is fairly simple as long as the candidate has completed plenty of revision before the official test. The intention of the theory test is to educate learner drivers about the rules of the road including road signs, road markings, and even the car itself. There are two parts to the theory test, and this article examines both in detail.

Theory tests can be revised online before the official test, so the candidate will have plenty of time to prepare before their big exam day. There are many companies that offer a free theory test online.  The first part of the theory test is the hazard perception test.  This part consists of a series of videos filmed from the driver’s perspective whilst on the road. There are 14 one-minute clips in total, and the candidate has to identify hazards as soon as they notice them by clicking a mouse or button. There are two terms used during the hazard test: a ‘developing hazard’ is where the driver must either change their direction or speed, whereas a ‘potential hazard’ is where the driver should monitor the hazard.  Candidates are scored on each clip and can be awarded up to 5 points. To get 5 points, the candidate has to notice the danger immediately and press the button. If the candidate is slow, but still reacts, they are awarded between 1-4 points. However, if they do not react at all to the hazard, they are scored 0 points.  This can also happen if the candidate clicks excessively.  The pass mark for the hazard perception test is 44 out of 75.

The other part of the theory test is the multiple-choice test. This test is completed on a computer and takes 57 minutes.  The test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions which are selected at random from an index. These questions can be about anything to do with cars, road safety, or road signs, which is why it is recommended that the candidate becomes accustomed with the Highway Code before taking their official theory test. As the test is performed on a computer, all the candidate has to do is touch their desired answer from the selection shown on screen.  If they make a mistake, they can simply press their answer again to deselect it and choose a new one. The candidate can also go back to the previous questions at any time during the 57 minutes to check their answers. They have the ability to highlight answers they are not sure on, which makes it easier for them to return to the question before the end of the test. The candidate will pass the test if they score at least 43 out of 50.

As long as the candidate is well-prepared for the big day by revising for the theory test online, passing the test should be a breeze. If the candidate does not pass the first time, they may retake their test after 3 working days.  Many new drivers experience anxiety before their theory test, but this can be avoided by ensuring they are fully prepared.  The test is designed to equip drivers with all the knowledge they will require whilst on the road, and will help them to become more aware of any potential dangers.  Online courses have made it possible for drivers to practice every aspect of the test beforehand, so new drivers will know exactly what to expect in real life.

Gillian Kearney enjoys sharing her driving instructor tips through blogging.

What to Expect From Your Driving Theory Test