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Theory Test

Before you can apply for your practical test, you need to take a theory test. It consists of two parts:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Hazard Perception

Multiple Choice

This is performed on a computer terminal where you give your answers by touching the boxes on the screen. There are 50 questions in all, of which you need to answer at least 43 correctly to pass this section. You’ll have 57 minutes for this, so that’s more than one minute per question. Some questions will need more than one correct answer and you’ll only get a score if you give all the correct answers for that question.

Test Tips:

  • Be at the test centre early. It gets quite busy sometimes and you need a few moments to get your head together.
  • Use as much time as you need. The time doesn’t go as quickly as you think.
  • Answer the questions that you find easier first and bookmark the harder ones for later.
  • Read the questions very carefully before making your choice.
  • A lot of the questions actually contain the answers. Look for clues in the wording.
  • When choosing your answers, think about safety first and progress second.
  • After finishing, check and double check your answers. Some people have the right answer in their heads, but mark the wrong box. Nerves can do funny things to you.

Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

This is performed on the same terminal. Fourteen video clips are shown to you where you have to respond to things happening around you. You score points depending on how early you respond to the things that cause the biggest problem in the clip.

The clips were produced by DVSA staff who spent weeks driving around various parts of Britain with a camera on top of the car. Recently, some of the clips have been made using CGI. Some hazards are fairly subtle and some show some real potential dangers. The videos were then processed with timed “scoring windows” between the time the main hazard begins to develop and the time the car has to brake or swerve. You show your response by clicking the mouse button. Each clip runs for about a minute. The earlier you show your response, the more points you get and a red flag shows on the screen for each click. In the HPT, there are 14 clips that contain 15 scorable hazards. This means that one clip has two hazards that can get you a score. Each hazard can get you up to 5 points, which means that you can get a maximum of 75 points. The pass mark at the moment is 44.

Test Tips:

  • Before the HPT, you have a choice of a 3 minute break. Use in to relax and focus your mind.
  • You can use either mouse button to respond in case you’re left handed.
  • Scan the whole area in the same way you would if you were actually driving.
  • Look for any signs of movement and respond without any hesitation.

Some clips have more potential hazards than others, so click for ANYTHING you see happening.

There's no need click on the area where the hazard develops, the click alone will register your response.

Don't be afraid to click more than once for the same hazard.

If you just keep clicking randomly, you’ll score zero for that clip.

Unlike the multiple choice section, you can’t go back and change things. Just like real life!

Even if something major happens in a clip, stay alert. One of those clips will have more than one.

At the end of the test, go back to the front desk and the staff will give you your result.

Good luck!

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