Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Join Community
Driver SOS (UK)
2898 members 1217 topics 2221 posts

Preparing For Your Driving Theory Test

last updated
5 replies
5 users
gices anonymous_2

Before you can sit for your practical driving test, you will need to have passed your theory test. If you're wondering the reason behind this, it is just because you need to be familiar with the different road signs and have prompt road awareness to become a good driver. The theory test is devised in such a way to give you all you need to start driving safely.

What is involved in the theory test

The theory test is divided into 2 parts - a multiple choice and a hazard perception section.

Multiple Choice Questions

There are now 50 questions in the form of multiple choice. Each question has one or more answers which is correct. You will need to choose the right answer(s). If a question requires more than one answer and you have selected just one, a message will appear on the screen asking you to select another one. This part of the test contains questions about road signs, your vehicle, insurance and other general questions about driving. You will be allocated 57 minutes for the test.

Hazard Perception

Many people find the hazard perception more challenging because it is a rather new assessing method. You have 20 mins to complete this test but usually it takes only 12 minutes. This is because you will be shown 12 video clips each 1 minute long and you will have to click each time you think there is a hazard. Eleven of the clips will carry 5 points and only one of them will be worth 10 points as there will be two hazards for you to spot.

During each clip, you will be required to click your mouse (either LEFT or RIGHT) as soon as you see a hazard. The sooner you react to the hazard, that is the sooner you spot it and click your mouse, the greater the probability of getting the 5 points for that clip. If you are slow to react, you will lose the points. For example, if you see somebody crossing the road a bit further down the road and you wait till you're in front of the person to click for the hazard, you will not score anything at all. The time interval between seeing the person crossing and it becoming a potential danger for you is the scoring moment for the clip. As the hazard is developing, you need to click to score the maximum number of points else you will receive only part of it depending how late you were.

How much should I score to pass my the multiple choice and hazard perception

For you to pass the theory test, you will be have to score at least 43 out of 50 (86%) from the multiple choice section and 44 out of 75 (59%) from the hazard perception. If you fail any of the 2 sections, you will have to sit for both sections again.

How to prepare for the theory exam

It's very easy to pass the theory test if you study it the right way. The LDC Theory Test Complete CD-ROM is probably the best one to use. It costs only £7.99 and you will have access to over 1200 multiple choice questions and around 400 clips for hazard spotting. Combine this with all the free theory tests that you can get online and you will significantly improve your chances of passing. Note that you should not memorise the answers to the questions as they will be different in the actual exam but you should rather concentrate on understanding what is required of you as a driver.

How to book your theory test

The theory test can usually be booked within 2 weeks. The current cost to sit the driving theory test is £23. You can either book your test through your driving instructor or school, through the post, by telephoning the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) on 0300 200 1122 or doing it online at DirectGov.

gices Published 24 Oct 2008
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

Get help with your own questions, discover what's new and talk with people doing the same thing

This is a premium community exclusive to our members to discuss all things motoring where some of the discussions have been made public but read-only for you to get a taste of what it's like on the inside. Membership is £9.99 for 30 days access, collected through Paypal and can be subsequently renewed or cancelled as you see fit.
2898 members . 1217 topics . 2221 posts
anonymous_2 10 Jul 2012

Can you take a theory test before your 17th birthday?

gices 10 Jul 2012

To be able to book your theory test, you will need to have your provisional driving licence at hand. Since you can apply for your provisional licence 2 months before you are 17, you are thus able to book the driving theory test as soon are you get hold of the provisional.

Gemma 14 Apr 2011

I got 50/50 on my theory 60 (odd) on my hazzard percepption. I did get extra time in my test as I'm dyslexic. I passed mine with the help of the Internet and the LCD rom. I used the direct gov high way code and revised that like I would revise for any other exam. Then I did the hazzard perception on the CD rom. When I finished that I googled free hazzard perception tests and did as many as I could. It helps looking out for hazzards in your practical lessons and shouting click, every time you see a potential hazzard. I'm a rubbish learner my. Memory doesn't work very well at all and if I can do it I'm sure anyone else can! Xx

gices 15 Jan 2008
I am assuming you are refering to the multiple choice part of the driving theory test. You will fail the exam because you need 86% (43 out of 50 questions right) on the overall score to pass the test.
Lotti 06 Jan 2008
If you have got 84% on a online driving test, would that be a pass or a fail?