When it comes to passing your theory test, it is important to get the right theory test training to help you pass your theory test first time. The theory test pass rate is less than 50%, so it is vital to ensure you get the best training before you sit your theory test.
There are many books and apps on the market that will help you with your studies, however, in a digital world – fewer and fewer people are inclined to read books, and the apps are only good to help test your knowledge. The UK does lack classroom-based training, and there are very few companies that offer theory test training workshops and events. To help you succeed with your theory test training studies, here is the ultimate guide to giving you the best start when it comes to training for your theory test.
- 1 Theory Test Questions & Answers
- 2 Theory Test Booking
- 3 Theory Test Pass Rate
- 4 Theory Test Training Courses
- 5 Theory Test Course Syllabus
- 5.1 Theory Test Training – Alertness
- 5.2 Theory Test Training – Attitude
- 5.3 Theory Test training – Safety & Your Vehicle
- 5.4 Theory Test Training – Safety Margins
- 5.5 Theory Test Training – Hazard Awareness
- 5.6 Theory Test Training – Vulnerable Road Users
- 5.7 Theory Test Training – Other Types Of Vehicles
- 5.8 Theory Test Training – Road Conditions & Vehicle Handling
- 5.9 Theory Test Training – Motorway Driving
- 5.10 Theory Test Training – Rules of the Road
- 5.11 Theory Test Training – Road & Traffic Signs
- 5.12 Theory Test Training – Essential Documents
- 5.13 Theory Test Training – Incidents, Accidents & Emergencies
- 5.14 Theory Test Training – Vehicle Handling
- 6 Hazard Perception Test
- 7 Theory Test Centres
- 8 Theory Test Centre Contact Details
- 9 Share this:
Theory Test Questions & Answers
The UK theory test was first introduced in July 1996 as a written examination that consisted of theory test questions and answers and was updated in 2000 as a computerized test. The hazard perception test was introduced in November 2002. You need to score 43/50 for the multiple choice questions in order to pass, and you also need to score a minimum of 44/75 for the hazard perception test.
In 2009, a theory test case study was introduced to the multiple choice part of the theory test. Whereby a case study is presented, and you have to answer 5 questions – these 5 questions complete the 50 questions of your multiple choice exam. In 2018, the theory test changed when the DVSA made a few changes, these include:
- The DVSA scrapped the multiple answer questions
- They also replaced certain words for easier ones, ie: greater for bigger/smaller, complex to difficult.
- They scrapped the ‘statement’ style questions, ie: “When driving downhill, you should…” to “What should you do when driving downhill?”
These changes were introduced to make the theory test easier to understand, especially for people with learning disabilities and foreign students. For a timeline of the “History of The Highway Code“, please visit here.
Theory Test Booking
When it comes to booking your theory test it is important to have your provisional driving licence with you and your debit card. You can book online or by phone. Booking your theory test is really easy. You should make sure you know when you are free and use the booking calender on the DVSA’s website to book and manage your driving theory test. Please follow these tips for a successful booking:
- Make sure have plenty of theory test training
- Make sure you are passing mock tests prior to your booking
- Expect to wait 4 weeks for an appointment
- If you fail your theory test, you can’t resit for 3 days
- Do NOT be late for your appointment, make sure you arrive 15 minutes early
- Use your time wisely and do NOT rush your theory test
- If you need to change your appointment make sure you allow 3 clear working days prior to your theory test booking, otherwise you may lose your fee.
- The theory test costs £23 (2018)
- Make sure you take your provisional licence with you to your appointment. They won’t allow you to sit your exam if you do NOT have it with you. They will NOT accept a passport.
- You should make sure that your provisional driving licence is in your current name and address. It is a legal requirement and needs to be kept up-to-date.
Theory Test Pass Rate
The theory test pass rate is less than 50%, with only 28% of people passing first time (2015). The pass rate has declined over recent years with changes to the theory test being made, more and more people are struggling to pass their theory test first time. Here is a breakdown of the recent changes over the past decade.
- In 2007 the number of questions of the theory test increased from 35 to 50 questions
- In 2012 new practice questions stopped being published online or in exam papers
- In 2013 the question bank got refreshed, which lead to few real-life questions in the question bank
- In 2014 foreign-voiceovers and interpreters were banned
All of these changes have contributed to the declining pass rates for the theory test. International students have particularly been affected by the changes. People wishing to take the theory test need to have a good understanding of English to be able to pass the theory test. Although there is an English voice-over option for people who struggle to read, there isn’t much training material in audio. However, one of the few books in audio is the Highway Code. You can purchase an audio version of the Highway Code here.
Theory Test Training Courses
If you are struggling to pass your theory test, or have had multiple attempts at the exam without passing, you should take a look at how you are studying. A lot of the apps only provide questions and answers and more and more people are failing due to NOT preparing properly and educating themselves with the theory syllabus.
A few companies online have introduced online theory training courses. One, in particular, caters for international students, where English is their second language and for students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. This course has been made in a video format explaining the theory course syllabus in detail. You can access the course here. This course is a consolidated crash course online which takes approximately 12 hours to complete. Here are some of the benefits of the crash course.
- A classroom-style tutorial programme
- Bite-sized videos with real-life video footage
- Bite-size mock exams on each topic
- A downloadable workbook to help with revision
- Practice PDFs
- Learner manual to help with your driving lessons
Learning the theory through practice mock exams is a very long-winded way of learning. A lot of answers CAN be guessed right, but you may NOT understand why you are getting the questions right. Training with a proper theory based tutorial will help you understand a certain topic – which in turn will help prepare you for the theory test. This type of learning is designed to give you a proper insight into life on the road which is centred around the Highway Code.
With proper training – you will also be able to assess your own driving and understand the rules of the road better, so when it comes to real-life driving, you will make better decisions and actions. From personal experience, a lot of past students have studied the theory apps to pass a test, but when it comes to their driving lessons, they still get perplexed about certain driving topics.
For example a pupil of mine stopped in a box junction. I asked her: “Why have you stopped in a box junction?”, her answer: “What is a box junction?” She had passed her theory test the previous week. So when you start your theory test training – you should be very mindful of life on the road. If you have learnt that it is a legal requirement to STOP at a STOP junction, you should always plan to STOP at the STOP junction, this does NOT mean roll slightly forward and give-way to the traffic in the new road.
Another example: The Highway Code states: ‘No overtaking in the zone of the zig zags at pedestrian crossings.’ Therefore you should avoid overtaking cyclists in the zone of the zig zags.
Theory Test Course Syllabus
When it comes to your theory test training, it is very important to understand what topics you will NEED to learn. The theory test course syllabus consists of 14 topics that you will be tested on during your theory test. You will need to answer 50 questions and get a minimum score of 43/50 to pass this section of the theory test. The second part of the theory test is the hazard perception part of the theory test. Again, you will need to score a minimum of 44/75 to pass this section of the test.
Both parts of the theory test need to be passed at the same time to pass your overall theory exam.
The 14 topics of the theory test course syllabus are:
- Safety & Your Vehicle
- Safety Margins
- Hazard Awareness
- Vulnerable Road Users
- Other Types of Vehicles
- Road Conditions & Vehicle Handling
- Motorway Driving
- Rules of the Road
- Road & Traffic Signs
- Essential Documents
- Incidents, Accidents & Emergencies
- Vehicle Loading
Theory Test Training – Alertness
This topic of the theory test concentrates on general observations, concentration, distractions and anticipation. The main focus on this topic is safety. Being aware of what is around you at all times will help prepare you in the eventuality of a developing hazard. This section also concentrates on what other drivers are likely to do next.
- Observations – making sure you are aware of other road users near you at all times, to include cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Concentration – understanding the actions of other road users whilst out driving
- Distractions – being aware of distractions that can affect your driving
- Anticipation – being alert at all times and understanding what other road users can do next
Theory Test Training – Attitude
This section of the theory test consists of your attitude towards driving. How you feel whilst out driving, how you react to developing hazards and how you deal with other road users and their actions. This section focuses on you being calm and considerate whilst driving. The DVSA wants to encourage positive attitudes whilst driving – to make the roads an overall safer place to be.
During this topic, you will focus on rules on priority, road position, courtesy, and consideration.
- Road position – understanding how road position can help other road users make decisions
- Priority – when out driving who has priority and when to give priority
- Courtesy – how to develop a courteous nature whilst out driving
- Consideration – how to be a considerate driver to other road users
Theory Test training – Safety & Your Vehicle
This section of the theory test focuses on being safe whilst driving, how to keep your vehicle safe and how to detect any mechanical problems with your vehicle. It also covers vehicle emissions, vehicle defects, and noise pollution. It also discusses safety equipment in your vehicle. The topics cover the following:
- Safety equipment – how to use safety equipment your vehicle may have. How to use a sat nav safely
- Vehicle defects – how to identify whether your vehicle has any defects and what to do
- Vehicle emissions – understanding vehicle emissions
- Noise pollution – how driving can affect the levels of noise pollution
Theory Test Training – Safety Margins
This topic on the theory test teaches you all about keeping safe whilst following other traffic. It also covers different road surfaces and how they can affect your driving. It also covers stopping distances and weather conditions, and how these contribute to the safety of your driving. In this topic you will cover the following:
- Skidding – what skidding is, how you can avoid it and what to do in the event of skidding and handling your vehicle
- Weather conditions – this covers how the weather can affect your driving and to apply different stopping distances to different weather conditions
- Stopping distances – you will learn what stopping distances are, how they can affect your driving, the thinking and braking distance needed for the overall stopping distances.
- Road conditions – this part of this section will help you understand all about the different road conditions and how they can affect your vehicle handling.
Theory Test Training – Hazard Awareness
During this topic, you will learn all about hazards. What kinds of hazards we have, and to identify and deal with them. It covers the use of alcohol and drugs and the impact on driving it can cause, it will make you aware of your tiredness and attention whilst driving, anticipation, and reaction times. It will also cover speed and reaction times and how you should apply driving.
- Drugs & Alcohol – the effects of drugs and alcohol whilst driving. Also includes medication
- Tiredness – how tiredness can affect your driving and what you should do
- Concentration – how to keep concentration during long journeys
- Anticipation – how to anticipate the actions of other road users
- Hazards – what hazards are, and the many types of hazards there are
Theory Test Training – Vulnerable Road Users
This section of the theory test covers who/what are vulnerable road users, how to anticipate them, and how to keep safe. It will inform you of how to identify when you are approaching certain vulnerable road users, why they are vulnerable and how to deal with them safely. This topic covers the following:
- Animals – what kinds of animals you are likely to encounter when out driving in both urban and rural settings
- Cyclists – this section covers how to anticipate cyclists, what actions they may take and how they communicate with other road users
- Motorcyclists – how to identify them, when to expect them, how to avoid them when overtaking, when to keep back
- Elderly – how to be aware, and to anticipate their slow reactions
- Children – how to be aware around children and to know how they can be unpredictable on and off roads
- Disabled – how to deal with blind dogs and what equipment less-abled people may have
Theory Test Training – Other Types Of Vehicles
This topic covers the many different vehicles you may encounter when out on the road. You should be aware of the many different vehicles from sea and rescue, bomb disposal, mountain rescue, highways maintenance vehicles, disabled vehicles, doctors on call and of course the emergency services. This topic covers the following:
- Buses and trams
- Emergency service vehicles
- Sea and rescue
- Moutain rescue
- Blood transport vehicles
Theory Test Training – Road Conditions & Vehicle Handling
During this topic, you will learn all about different types of road surfaces, how they can affect your driving and how you should deal with different types of occurrances out whilst driving. This topic covers the following:
- Night driving and overtaking
- Potholes – how to identify and avoid
- Skidding – what to do if you skid
- Driving up and down hills – gears and fuel consumption
- Box junctions – road markings and their meanings
- Motorway driving
Theory Test Training – Motorway Driving
During this section, you will learn all about driving on motorways. This topic covers speed limits, road signs, overtaking, lane use, slip roads, exit roads, hard shoulders, breakdowns. This Topic covers the following:
- Slip roads and exit roads
- Traffic signs – thier meanings
- Overtaking – what lanes to use and for what vehicles
- Vehicles allowed on the motorway – who is NOT allowed on the motorway
- Hard shoulders – what is a hard shoulder and their purpose
- Breakdowns – emergency calls
- Service stations
- Highways Agency officers – traffic officers
Theory Test Training – Rules of the Road
This topic covers the main rules of the road that you should obey when driving. You will learn more about speed limits, the use of lights during the day and at night, lane discipline and road position, parking restrictions and one-way streets. You will learn the following items in detail:
- The use of lights – you will learn how to use lights, what kind of lights the car has and when to use them on different types of roads and in weather conditions
- Lane position – you will learn where to place your car when driving, when in lanes on a roundabout or on a motorway, and on rural roads.
- Parking – you will learn where you are able to park, what road markings and signs restrict parking and you will learn about red routes.
- One-way streets – you will learn the rules of one-way streets and systems.
Theory Test Training – Road & Traffic Signs
In this topic, you will learn all about road signs and road markings. You will be informed on all of the road markings and their meanings, and road signs. You will learn about different shaped signs, colours and one-off signs such as the STOP sign and tram signs. You will also learn the use of traffic light sequences and crossings.
- Road signs – colours and different shaped road signs
- Road markings – the different road markings found
- Traffic lights – the sequence of the lights
Theory Test Training – Essential Documents
In this section, you will learn all about the documents you will encounter as a driver. This topic covers insurance groups, licensing authority, V5, MOT certificate, car manual, DVLA, road tax and more. This topic covers the following in detail:
- MOT – what it is and when it is due
- Car insurance and excess – different types of car insurance
- Legal requirements – name and address details
- DVLA & DVSA – governing organisations
- Road Tax – road fund
- Vehicle emissions – MOT checks
Theory Test Training – Incidents, Accidents & Emergencies
During this section, you will be taught all about accidents, incidents, and emergencies. What to do when someone has a bleed, how to perform CPR, and what to do if you are the first to the scene of an accident. This topic covers the following in detail:
- CPR – compressions
- DR ABC – Danger, response, airway, breathing & circulation
- What to do if you have a minor accident
- How to deal with bleeding and shock
- Priorities – what to do first when at the scene of an accident
- The role of the police – taking notes
Theory Test Training – Vehicle Handling
During this topic, you will learn all about how to load your vehicle. How to reduce fuel consumption. What to do on long car journeys, how to plan for a long car journey, and how to secure pets and animals safely in your vehicle. This topic covers in depth the following:
- Towing – how to tow safely
- Loading a caravan – legal requirements when loading a caravan
- Travelling with children – who is responsible
- Car seats – children’s car restraints
- Roof racks – wind resistance, secure load, fuel economy
- Fuel consumption – how to reduce fuel with tyre air pressure
- Pets – travelling with and securing pets
Hazard Perception Test
Hazard perception is a module of the theory exam. You will have 14 videos, each 1 minute long, and you will need to identify where the hazard is – you should click the mouse pad when you see (react) to the developing hazard.
The clips used are CGI clips and are off-real life quality. One of the clips will have a double hazard, and y0u should click the mouse when you see it. If you click too many times on each video clip, you may be disqualified and will get a score of 0 for that clip.
You can get a maximum score per clip of 5. If you score 5 then you have clearly identified the hazard at the right time. If you only score 4 or less, then you have been a little late to click – and will receive a lower mark. You do need to have a minimum score of 44 out of 75 to pass this section of the theory test. Here are a few examples of typical hazards you may find:
- A tractor pulling out of a side road
- Sunshine beaming through a copse of trees
- A car pulling out of a side road too early
- A cyclist passing across the traffic
- A pedestrian stepping out in front of a bus
- An emergency vehicle rushing through traffic
- A car moving away from a line of parked cars without a signal
- A car door opening
- An animal running across a road
- A child running near the kerb.
Theory Test Centres
Theory test centres are located all over the UK. Most major towns and cities will have a local theory test centre. You should ONLY book your theory test online or by calling the theory booking line. You can’t book directly with the theory test centre itself.
Most theory test centres will have a waiting time of 4 weeks for an appointment. Once you have booked your theory test at your chosen test centre, you will receive an email with your test booking information on it. If there are any problems with your theory test appointment – the theory test centre will contact you either by phone or email detailing any problems.
If you need to change your theory test, you can do up to 3 clear working days of your appointment. If you do NOT change or cancel your appointment with three days or more notice you will lose your booking fee of £23.
If you fail your theory test, you can NOT sit another test before three days has passed. You NEED this time to prepare for your next appointment. You can’t sign-up for a ‘quick’ theory test appointment with the DVSA, however, you may be able to check regularly to see if there are sooner appointments if this is the case with you.
You should make sure you only sit your theory test if you are confident that you will pass your test. You should be scoring high marks on your multiple choice regularly, and you should also be scoring 50+ for the hazard perception. If you are NOT scoring high on both parts of the test – chances are, you will NOT pass your test on the day.
The results of your test will be given to you when you exit the test room. A person at the counter will give you an envelope with your letter inside detailing your ressults. The staff are NOT there to ask why you have failed your test. They are just there to monitor the conduct of the theory test.
You will need to make sure you are NOT late for your appointment, and you should aim to arrive 15 minutes early. Once you arrive you will be called to enter the exam room, where your licence will be needed to check for identification.
Theory Test Centre Contact Details
If you are searching information for your local theory test centre, please check our theory test centre category here.