How to pass the theory test
Watch the official DVSA video to see how to get through the theory test – both the multiple choice and hazard perception parts.
Revision is the key to successfully passing
You need to revise with care for the theory test; did you know more than half the people taking the theory do not pass on the first attempt.
Many failures are down to lack of preparing for the day.
The DVSA, the people, who run the theory test have the official DVSA driving test books and digital products to help you pass.
A brief overview of the theory test
The theory driving test has two parts – The Multiple Choice followed by the Hazard Perception. You have to pass both parts to pass the theory test.
- Before you start the multiple choice part, you have the option of a 15-minute practice period to get ready for the test.
- For both parts of the test – you are given a test question to practice with before starting the assessed part of the test.
- When you start the theory test – you need to answer questions by pressing on a touch-sensitive screen- In the hazard perception test – you will respond by using the mouse.
Multiple choice part
The Multiple Choice questions are Highway Code and road safety matters.
- You will have 50 multiple choice questions – The pass mark is 43 or more.
- The time allowed – to complete this part of the test is 57 minutes.
- Some questions will require more than one answer – a message appears if you don’t select enough answers.
- There are case study questions as well – you will be shown a short ‘story’ and be required to answer five questions about it.
- You will be able to ‘flag’ questions – if you are unsure, and return to them later.
Hazard perception part
Watch the DVSA video to understand how to approach the hazard perception part of the theory test.
In the Hazard Perception test – a hazard is something that will cause you, as the driver, to unexpectedly change speed – direction or stop – For this part of the test, you will be using a mouse to indicate a hazard is developing.
- The questions are made up of 14 one minute clips – each video will show one hazard except for one video, which has two. The faster you spot a danger, the more points you score. The pass mark is 44 out of a possible 75.
- If you click the mouse too many times – you will see a warning message and receive zero points for that video.
Take your provisional licence with you
What happens when you arrive at the theory test centre
The atmosphere in the test centre is quite formal, similar to school exams. You will need to remain calm to pass the theory test.
- You will be asked to empty your pockets of any items – such as a mobile phone or notebook – this is locked away until after the test.
- In the test room – you must not talk or distract any of the other candidates.
- For the test – you will be shown to a computer workstation and given some brief guidance on its use.
- Introduction videos and headphones – are provided so that you can listen to voice instructions.
What happens when you pass your theory test?
When you pass the theory test you’ll receive a letter with a pass certificate number on it – you’ll need this when you book and take your practical driving test.
If you do lose the pass certificate, you can find a lost pass certificate number here.
What if you fail?
If you are unsuccessful this time – remember you are not alone – the test has a pass rate of less than 50%.
Book another theory driving test appointment, and next time you will know how to pass the theory test. You’ll need to wait at least three working days before you can retake the theory test, but there is no limit on how many times you can retake it.
Two-year theory test pass rule
How long do you have to pass the driving test after theory?
The theory test certificate is valid for two years from the date you passed.
You need to pass the driving test within the two-year period to avoid having to retake the theory test.