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Preparing for (and passing) the Theory Test

Before you can take the Practical Test, you must pass the Theory Test. This is a vital test of your knowledge of The Highway Code and hazard perception – in other words, whether you have the knowledge and aptitude to drive safely. You can take the Theory Test from the date of your 17th birthday onwards.

Getting started with the theory test

The test for cars and motorcycles costs £23 each time you take it. To sign-up for a Theory Test, you’ll need your driving license number (displayed on your provisional license), an email address (if you don’t have this, it’s possible to book over the phone) and a debit card to pay the fee. You must have lived in England, Wales or Scotland for at least 185 days in the last 12 months before the day you take your test.

What to know before taking your test

There are two parts to the Theory Test:

  1. Multiple-choice: questions that test your knowledge.
  2. Hazard perception: a video test that assesses how well you can spot hazards on the road.

You can take them as a single test and you must pass both parts to pass the Theory Test as a whole. 

You will get 57 minutes to answer the 50 multiple-choice questions. The Hazard perception test involves watching 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes with at least one hazard. However, one of the clips will show two hazards. You get points for spotting each hazard quickly – as soon as they start to develop. A ‘developing hazard’ is defined as something that would cause you to take action, like changing speed or direction. An example of this would be a pedestrian suddenly crossing the road or another vehicle pulling out of a parking space.

Before the test begins, you’ll receive instructions on how the test works. For the multiple-choice section, there’ll be some practice questions so you fully understand how it works. 

Getting your results

After taking the test, you’ll get your results at the test centre. If you pass, you’ll get a letter with a pass certificate number at the test centre. You can then use this to book and take your Practical Driving Test. 

This certificate number will last for two years – giving you a time limit to pass your Practical Test. If you don’t pass your Practical Driving Test during that time, you’ll have to re-take your Theory Test. 

If you fail your Theory Test, you’ll get a break-down of the points you lost in each section. That’ll help you practise in the future. You have to wait at least three working days before taking your Theory Test again, however, we recommend taking your time to revise both parts of the test fully.

How StartnDrive can help

As previously mentioned, you can take your test anytime from your 17th birthday. So, you can take it before starting driving lessons and some learners prefer this approach. However, you can also take your Theory Test whilst doing driving lessons and this may help you with your theoretical knowledge and hazard perception. Our expert driving instructors can work with you to spot developing hazards that occur during your driving lesson. 

Contact us now to discuss your driving lessons and how we can best prepare you.

Beginners Offer First 2 Hours £30