The theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
You need to pass both parts to pass the 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.
Part one – multiple choice
Before the test starts you will 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 in 40 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.
You can navigate between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test. After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
Part two – hazard perception
After the break you will then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.
The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You will be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing 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 will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.
The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.
For more information please read our detailed guide:
The practical driving test
The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). This should reassure you as the exmaniner is not looking for the perfect drive. However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you won’t pass the test.
The test will include an eyesight check (if you fail this, your test will not continue). The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate that is a certain distance away. After the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions. You will then be examined on your general driving and on one manoeuvre. These are:
- reversing around a corner
- turning in the road
- reverse parking
You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
You will also be asked to perform 10 minutes of independent driving.
What happens during the test?
Before being taken out on the road, your instructor will ask you two questions about general car maintenance and safety, drawn from a list of 19 possible questions. For more information about this section of the test please read our detailed guide:
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.
Throughout the test you should drive in a confident and safe manner. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.