Taking your theory test
The theory test for car and motorcycle drivers is made up of two parts which are taken at the same time; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. You must pass both parts of the test to obtain a test certificate. The fee for the car and motorcycle theory test is £30.00.
Delivery of test
The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer monitor and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test and you’ll need to take both parts again.
When you take the theory test, you’ll be asked some specific questions relating to the particular category of test being taken - motorcycle, car, Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) or Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCVs) - as well as questions that apply to all road users.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) provides two free online tests for each of the following categories:
- Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs)
- Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCVs)
The links below will take you to practice screens that look similar to the theory test you will take at the official theory test centre.
Each test for cars and motorcycles contains 50 multiple choice questions. There are no hazard perception clips within these tests.
The practice LGV and PCV tests are shortened versions. The actual tests contain 100 questions, and you'll need 85 correct answers to pass.
Part one - multiple choice
Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how the test works. You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.
You will be asked 50 questions and the pass mark is 43 out of 50. You will have just under an hour to answer the questions. If you have reading difficulties, you can apply for additional time, and have just less than two hours to answer the questions.
Some of the multiple choice questions will be presented to you in the form of a case study. A case study shows a scenario on which five questions will be based. The subject of the scenario will focus on real life examples and experiences that you might encounter when driving.
DSA publications 'The Official Theory Test for Motorcyclists' and 'The Official Theory Test for Car Drivers' have been updated to show an example case study.
Part two - hazard perception
After the break you’ll then be shown a short tutorial clip about how the hazard perception part works.The pass mark for the car and motorcycle hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.
At the end of the test
At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you’ll be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions. This survey is to measure customer satisfaction and to consider what improvements can be made.
You don't have to answer the questions if you do not want to and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don't affect the result of the test.
When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you won’t be allowed to enter it again. You will be given your result and feedback information within 10 minutes of finishing the test.
After passing the theory test
If you pass your theory test you will receive a pass certificate. You will need this to book and take your practical test, so it is important that you keep this safe.
Your theory test certificate is valid for two years from the date you passed the test. If you do not pass your practical test within this two year period, you will have to take another theory test.
There are no exceptions to this rule.
If you fail the theory test
If you fail your theory test you should look at the feedback given on the letter and identify why you failed.
If you want to book another theory test you can book a test straight away, but you cannot take the test for another three clear working days. So, if you failed your first test on Monday afternoon, you will have to wait until Friday morning before you can take your next theory test.
For the multiple choice test, you will be given feedback on the topic areas in which you answered questions incorrectly, and the number of questions you got wrong.
For the hazard perception test, you will receive a summary of how you scored in the clips.