Pass The Theory Test Like A Pro!

How to pass the theory test like a pro

Passing your theory test is very important for a lot of learner drivers. Whether you’re just starting out your theory journey or you’re looking to get some support and you find passing the theory test difficult. We understand, it can be challenging, but with all of the information in this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about passing your theory test for the first time.

Page Contents

What is the theory test?

It’s best to understand what the theory test is and the purpose it serves. The theory test was introduced into the UK on the 1st of July 1996. Its goal was to help the governments commitments to reduce fatalities caused on the road: by deaths or by serious injury. And to help make driving, safer for everyone.

The theory test is part of the learner driver process in obtaining a driving licence for a car. For other vehicles, there are other similar theory tests too for motorcycles and lorries etc. Today we will be solely focusing on the car theory test.

The theory test is a computer exam where the candidate has to answer a series of questions on the computer and answer them correctly. There are 2 parts to the theory test, the questions part and the hazard perception part. In the first part (questions) a candidate will be provided with 50 questions and they must answer 43 or more correctly in order to pass the 1st part of the theory test.

Then in the 2nd part, (hazard perception) there is a collection of 14 CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) clips that require the user to click when there is a developing hazard. The marking criteria are based upon clicking at the correct moment in the video.

The earlier and quicker you click of noticing the developing hazard, the more points you can score. The maximum points are 5 and the lowest is 0.

Questions Part

The first part of the theory test will most likely take up the majority of the time a candidate is sitting doing their test. You are allocated 57 minutes to complete the theory test. You can be given an extension if you struggle taking tests or find it difficult to concentrate. Please contact the DVSA directly to enquire about this.

There are 50 questions and they test you on 14 theory topics across the theory test syllabus. Those topics can include:

  1. Alertness
  2. Attitude
  3. Safety & Your Vehicle
  4. Safety Margins
  5. Hazard Awareness
  6. Vulnerable Road Users
  7. Other Types Of Vehicle
  8. Road Conditions & Vehicle Handling
  9. Motorway Driving
  10. Rules of The Road
  11. Road And Traffic Signs
  12. Essential Documents
  13. Incidents, Accidents & Emergencies
  14. Vehicle Loading

There is also a case study section which we will gloss over later in this article.

These 14 topics, break down the theory test into easy to consume sections, for you to plan your theory studying. This makes it easy to get your head around the theory test in a bite-sized manner.

The types of questions will vary in wording, the topic and you will choose from a list of options of the correct answer. Most of the questions have 4 options to pick from when choosing the correct answer. The theory test is all done on the computer and you need to click on the answer you deem is correct and you will be taken to the next question.

You don’t submit your answers until you have viewed every question and you proceed onto the hazard perception.

You can flag questions you weren’t sure about and look at them later when you have provided an answer to all of the previous theory questions.

Hazard Perception

The hazard perception part of the theory test is done after the questions have been submitted. This section will involve 14 CGI clips that will play for a minute long. 13 of the clips will have 1 developing hazard, and 1 clip, will have 2 developing hazards in the same clip. So make sure you don’t stop concentrating as you could miss out on extra marks.

The clips will vary from one another, and showcase some scenarios where a developing hazard may occur out in the real world. It is your duty to ensure, as a safe road user, you are able to react insufficient time to the developing hazard.

Depending on your theory test centre, you will need to click on the screen the moment you have seen the hazard developing in its early stages. A marker on your computer screen will occur when you have clicked your mouse.

You can click multiple times on 1 clip, but be aware, you can lose marks and face a penalty if you click in very quick succession or over click too many times. It’s best to click once, where you think the hazard is developing and then 1 shortly after to reconfirm your intention.

They provide penalties on your marks, as you could easily click your mouse fast to gain an “advantage” of the hazard perception test.

The hazard perception is marked out of 75 points, and to pass you need to score 44 or more to pass the hazard perception. Remember: Passing 1 part of the theory test and failing the other, will not mean you will pass the theory test overall. Both parts have to be passed, in order, to pass the theory test overall.

Theory Test Centre Pass Rates

It may spark your curiosity to know what the pass rate of the theory test is as it could give you a sense of how “difficult” it could be when going down the theory test process. However, don’t look at the statistics of why people may fail or pass the theory test and assume your chances of passing are similar to the national average.

For the last 5 years, the car theory test pass rate has been:

2016 / 2017 – 48.7%

2017 / 2018 – 48.7%

2018 / 2019 47.3%

2019 / 2020 – 47.1%

2020 / 2021 – 55.7%

As you can tell due to recent events with COVID, there has been skewed results and more people have passed the theory with the sample of data as illustrated here.

How To Prepare For The Theory Test

Now you know how the theory test works, now it’s time to look into how you actually pass the theory test first go!


As with any new topic, you will have to spend time learning the details of the theory test in order to become confident in your ability to point out facts, know the rules and best practices when it comes to passing the theory test. Revising can be done in many different forms.

You may decide to go and learn the theory test by yourself, with a friend or family member or purchase a book/application or course that can help guide you.

It’s best to allow enough time before your theory test appointment to study sufficiently before you take it. It wouldn’t be advised to book a theory test appointment in quick succession without prior time allocated to revising.


Having somebody to learn with or from, can be very helpful to pass your theory test. If you have a friend who had also passed their theory test, you may as well ask them how they revised to gain some insight into how they passed.

You may consider learning with a family member who will sit down / assist you in going over certain facts to discuss the reasoning behind why certain facts/laws are the way they are presented. Learning with someone else can create a good environment to discuss and debate on different aspects of the theory test to help you pass it quickly.

Driving Instructor

If you’re currently doing some driving lessons or an intensive course, you may find your driving instructor can be of great help to study the theory test.

You don’t need to pass your theory before you are allowed to drive a car with an instructor or somebody present (who is over the age of 21 and has had their licence for more than 3 years) with adequate learner insurance, to start the physical side of learning to drive.

Some learners may benefit more from driving first and then going through different aspects of the theory test so that they can see how it is applied in the real world. Your instructor can inform you of many aspects of the theory test and explain to you why certain things are the way they are.

After all, they have gone through extensive training to become a driving instructor and who is better than a fully qualified ADI to help inform you of the theory test and highway code.


There are many apps on the app store or Google play store for theory training resources. Simply type into the search bar “theory test” and you will be presented with lots of free and paid apps. Some of the apps can be a simple mock theory test app or some are dedicated to hazard perception.

When searching for the best app to learn the theory test, make sure you are clear on what the app provides before downloading them.

It’s advisable to look at some reviews and comments from other people and how it has benefited them passing the theory test.


There are plenty of other ways to study for the theory test, you may purchase a dedicated course from a driving school that has tailored the course to help study the theory test. A course from LPOD Theory has created a fantastic online course for learners to study their theory tests.

One of the outstanding features is that the course has been dubbed in audio so if you know somebody who prefers to listen than to read, this course is for them! This course was also made with learners who have dyslexia and find it difficult to read the material on an app or book.

To get access, please visit: to enrol!

They even have a “money-back guarantee” where if you don’t pass your next theory test after completing their course, you can request the money back. It’s a win-win!

Booking Your Theory Test Appointment

If you feel as if you’re ready to take on the theory test! It’s time to look at booking the test at your local theory test centre. If you’re unsure where your local theory test centre is, visit our theory test centre locations page to view where you can take a theory test appointment.

Booking your theory test is very simple. Simply go to the website: and you will need to have your driving licence number handy when booking your theory test appointment.

A few tips:

  1. When booking your theory test, make sure you allow enough time to study for your theory test (Our suggestion would be a minimum of 2 weeks).
  2. Make sure you are paying the correct test fee. As of 2021, the theory test fee is £23. Any higher prices on another website can be simply a company adding markup for the service. If you book a package like a crash driving course, some providers do include the theory test fee within the price.
  3. When you arrive at the theory test centre, make sure you arrive 15 mins earlier. Follow the instructions on the email carefully.
  4. As obvious it is, bring your provisional driving licence with you! A Lot’s of learners have mistakenly forgotten to bring their provisional licence and they were refused entry into taking their exam. You will also lose your test fee too.
  5. If you need to cancel your theory test, make sure you cancel it or change it before the last date to cancel which is usually 3 clear working days.


Getting the desired outcome on your theory test will be the best feeling ever. Now you can focus on the great task of passing your practical driving test with your instructor. However, passing the theory is also a major milestone as you now understand how the road works and why things have been implemented the way they have. Keep studying and keep striving towards top marks on your next theory test appointment!

Add Comment