About the Theory test

The Theory test consists of two parts; a Hazard Perception test (HPT) and a Theory test.

Before you can apply for your Practical driving test, you must pass both the Hazard Awareness and Theory test. This can be taken anytime before the Practical test. Once you have passed the Theory test, you have two years to pass the Practical test.

You can apply for the theory test here. or you can call DVSA booking support on: 0300 200 11 22, between 8 am and 4 pm.

The Day of the test

Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early as you will have to check in and store any valuables in a locker.

At the allotted time, you will be shown to your cubicle which has a monitor screen and mouse.

Theory test

Before you start the test proper, you will be shown a series of very simple questions unrelated to driving to help you relax, this can last for 15 minutes.

You will be given 50 multiple questions of which 43 must be correct.  You have a maximum of 57 minutes to complete the test. If your not sure about an answer, you can ‘flag it’ so you can go back to it if you have time. Take note, if there is more than one answer to the question.

The Hazard Perception test

A hazard is some kind of danger that as a driver, you would need to either slow down for, or change your direction.

The purpose of the HPT is to show that you have the skills needed to identify hazards in real life, so you can respond to them in good time.

The Hazard Awareness Test. or HPT for short, consists of 13 video clips of various real driving scenes. For example, driving along a busy shopping centre; driving along a dual carriageway; on a country road.

Each clip has a scoring ‘window’. You are marked on how quickly you have identified a hazard by clicking on a mouse. Each “scoring hazard” has a maximum of 5 points. Which means, the sooner you identify a developing hazard  the higher your score. Although you can click as many times as you want, you will score zero points if you click too rapidly.

Although I said earlier, that the HPT test has 14 clips, one of them has two hazards to identify. This double hazard is random. It could be at the start, or the last one, or any where in between.

The pass mark is 44 from a maximum of 75 points.

Hazard perception explained: Official DVSA guide to the Hazard perception test.

Some tips to help you pass