Learning To Drive? - Taking Your Car Theory Test Advice...

What, Where, When, How?

Since July 1996, all learner drivers have had to sit a theory test before being allowed to take their practical test. In 2002, a hazard perception element was added to the existing multiple choice element and you must now take and pass both of these tests in one sitting before you are able to book your practical test. The test is carried out by Pearson VUE on behalf of the Driving Standards Agency at around 160 theory test centres throughout the Country. In East Berkshire and the surrounding areas, the local centres are in Slough, Reading, Uxbridge and Staines and you may, of course, decide where you would like to take the test. Your instructor will recommend the best time for you to take the test, but normally it makes sense to take the theory test soon after starting to learn. The test is carried out entirely on a touch screen computer. The fee for the test is currently 28.50 and this can be booked either directly with the DSA or, if you prefer, through your Clearway Driver Training Instructor.

Multiple Choice

The multiple choice part of the test consists of 50 questions covering various driving topics. The questions appear on a computer screen and you touch the screen to select your answer or answers from the selection given. To pass this element, you have to answer a minimum of 43 questions correctly in the 57 minutes allowed. You will be given the opportunity to work through a practice session lasting up to 15 minutes to familiarise yourself with the system before the test.

Hazard Perception

The hazard perception part of the test commences after a break of up to three minutes. You are shown a tutorial video first that explains how the test works. For this part of the test, you will need to wear the headphones provided. The test itself consists of 14 video clips of around a minute each. Each clip contains numerous hazards including parked cars, pedestrians, moving vehicles and so on. When you see a hazard developing that might result in the driver having to take some action, specifically changing speed or direction, you should click the mouse. The earlier you respond to the situation arising, the better and the higher you will score. The maximum score for each hazard is 5. 13 of the 14 clips contain one hazard with the other clip containing two. You need to score a minimum of 44 points in the hazard perception part of the test to pass.

Some people find that they click too early and clicking the mouse a second and even third time can help.


Once both parts of the test have been taken, you will be given your results before you leave the test centre. You must pass both the multiple choice and hazard perception parts at the same time to achieve an overall pass. Scoring 50 on the multiple choice is insufficient to pass overall if you only score 43 on the hazard perception.

Thanks to clearway-driver-training.com for the info. Visit their site for more advice.


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