Before taking the practical driving test you are required to pass the theory test. This is made up of two parts – the multiple choice part and the hazard perception test part.
The multiple choice part
The theory test consists of 50 randomly selected questions and in order to pass you must answer at least 43 questions correctly by using a touch screen computer. This section is designed to test your understanding of the theory behind driving. You may spend up to 15 minutes prior to this test working through the practice session. Once you have completed this multiple-choice element you will be given a 3 minute break before the hazard perception element begins.
Hazard Perception Test
The hazard perception test is also delivered on a computer where you will be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. It is designed to test your awareness of potential hazards whilst driving. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards and you must respond by clicking a button on the mouse when you perceive the hazard developing.
Before you start this part of the test, you are offered a video tutorial explaining how the test works. The tutorial can be run more than once if required
In the actual test, each clip will start in pause mode, so that candidates can familiarise themselves with the environment e.g. rural road, single carriageway, dual carriageway or motorway. The clip will start playing automatically after 10 seconds.
You will then be asked to respond, by pressing the mouse button as soon as you recognise a hazard developing that may result in the driver having to take some action for example changing speed or direction.
The earlier the hazard is spotted and a response actioned by pressing the mouse button, the higher the score. Candidates can score up to 5 marks on each hazard and there are 15 scoreable hazards.
To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five.
You must score at least 44 out of a maximum of 75 points to pass this element of the test. Each video will be displayed once and you cannot retake any of them.
You need to pass both the multiple choice question part and the hazard perception part in order to pass the complete theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test, and you will need to take both parts again.
Taking Your Theory Test If You Have Special Needs
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) provides a number of facilities for those people with special requirements, these include foreign language voiceovers, extra time, British Sign Language interpretation and translator assisted tests.
How do candidates with special requirements take the theory test?
The following facilities are available for candidates with special requirements. All of the facilities need to be requested at the time of booking.
Facilities for those whose first language is not English
If your first language is not English, or you can not read or understand written English well, you can request a voiceover in one of 21 languages. A voiceover allows you to hear the theory test instructions and questions through headphones. The questions will automatically be read out to you, you can hear the answer options by touching the text on the screen. You can hear the questions as many times as you like, you simply need to touch the text of the question onscreen again.
These languages are:
Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dari, English, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Mirpuri, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushto, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh.
Translator assisted tests
If there is no voiceover provided in the language you require, you can request to have a translator assisted theory test. The call centre agent should be able to tell you the names and contact details of the relevant DSA approved translators. It is your responsibility to arrange a test date with the translator and to pay any fees involved.
Facilities for those with reading difficulties
If you have dyslexia or other reading difficulties you can ask for an English or Welsh voice over. You can also request to have up to double time for the multiple choice part of the theory test. If you require more than the standard time of 40 minutes for the multiple choice part you will need to send in evidence of your reading difficulty to the theory test booking customer services.
Facilities for those with hearing difficulties
If you are deaf or have hearing difficulties you can ask to take the theory test in British sign language (BSL). The BSL interpretation will run alongside the standard test questions and answers. If you do not use BSL, an interpreter can be taken into the test centre, this facility needs to be arranged through the theory test customer services section. There is no extra fee for either facility.
(Thanks and acknowledgment to DSA for the above information)
Online Mock Theory Tests …… Give it a go!
If you’d like to have a go at some of the theory questions, take a look at the following link which will give you the opportunity to test your knowledge.