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How to prepare for your theory test

To prepare for your theory test, the Driver & Vehicle Agency recommends that you study the Highway Code. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) publishes a wide range of official learning materials. These include books, CD-ROMs and DVDs .You can purchase these from high street book stores or online.

Preparing for the theory test

The driving theory test has two parts:

  • multiple choice questions
  • hazard perception

The multiple choice part

To prepare for the multiple choice part of the theory test you should refer to the source material detailed below.

The Highway Code

The Highway Code is essential reading.

Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence, or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.

Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could significantly reduce road casualties.

Know your traffic signs

Traffic signs play a vital role in directing, informing and controlling road users’ behaviour. This is to make the roads as safe as possible for everyone and makes having knowledge of traffic signs vital.

There are three basic types of traffic sign – signs that give orders, signs that warn and signs that give information. Each type has a different shape. A further guide to the function of a sign is its colour.

You can practise the multiple choice part of the theory test online to test your knowledge and understanding of the source material.

The essential skills

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) produces books in the essential skills range. The books provide everything you need to learn about, and maintain, safe driving or riding skills for life. The books contain:

  • sections of text for motorcyclists, a free e-book for car drivers and full references throughout to help candidates learn and revise
  • questions and answers for revision, including practice for case studies
  • the official DVSA explanations for every revision question, helping candidates fully understand the answer

The latest official software revision materials includes vast amounts of information to promote safe driving for life, and support for on-road learning. Candidates can:

  • study background information on every topic, presented in an easy-to-remember way
  • customise their practice by topic to see how much they've learnt
  • sit unlimited mock tests which offer the closest experience to the real test
  • monitor their progress at each step to find out exactly where they can further improve so they can tailor their revision

You can buy the essential skills range from most high street book shops. They are also available to order online or over the phone from The Stationery Office.

The hazard perception part

DVSA has developed a training DVD for the hazard perception test called ‘The Official Guide to Hazard Perception’.

You can buy the DVD from most high street books shops. It is also available to order online or over the phone from The Stationery Office.

The DVD has information about:

  • defining hazards
  • looking for clues
  • the ‘mirror – signal – manoeuvre’ routine
  • scanning and planning
  • prioritising hazards
  • cutting down the risks
  • responding to hazards

The DVD also has a number of interactive examples of hazard perception video clips.

Theory test fees

Test Category Current cost October 2015 cost
Car & Motorcycle £25.00 £23.00
Bus & Lorry Multiple Choice £28.00 £26.00
Bus & Lorry Hazard Perception £12.00 £11.00
Bus & Lorry CPC (Module 2) £24.00 £23.00
Driving Instructor / Motorcycle Instructor £66.00 £64.00

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