Learner Tips and Tricks

Learner Tips and Tricks

Learner Tips and Tricks: Common questions and answers about the driving tests.

Please check out the questions and answers below as these are the most asked questions we receive from candidates requesting information about the driving tests; both theory and hazard perception and the practical driving test.
If your question hasn’t been answered below please e-mail us with your question and we’ll get a reply straight back to you. We’ll also add your question to the list in order to help others’.

What happens during the driving theory tests?


You will be sat in a small private area away from distractions with a very simple to use computer operated by touching the screen. You’ll have 15 minutes to get used to the feel of things. When your test starts you will read one question at a time displayed on the screen and touch the screen to select an answer from the option displayed below the question. When you have completed the theory questions part of the test, you will be prompted to start the hazard perception test. See below for details. At the end of both tests, you will be given the driving theory test results almost straight away.

What format does the theory test take?

The driver theory test is divided into two parts. The first being a multiple-choice section where you read a question select the correct answer by touching the computer screen.
The multiple-choice questions are then followed by the hazard perception part of the test, comprising 14 video clips, which show developing hazards from a moving camera car. Hazards may involve other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists etc. Before this test starts you will be able to see an explanatory video showing you exactly how the hazard test works and how to react to the hazards as they are shown.

How do I answer the driver theory test questions?

The computer screen displays one questions at a time along with the possible answers. All you have to do is touch the computer screen to select the right answer.

Can I change any of the driving theory test answers I gave?

Yes, you can. Just go back and change the answer from the options under each question.

Can I return to a question I was unsure about?

If you are not sure about an answer, simply mark the question so you can go back to it later. If you forget and perhaps leave a question unanswered the computer will notify you on the screen.

How do I know when to respond to the hazards in the perception test?


Simply click the mouse button when a potential hazard has been recognised – i.e. anything that may cause you to slow down. The start and end of each hazard in each clip is defined by an electronic timeline. Click at the start of the hazard equals a high score, click at near the end equals a low score. Clicking too early or too late may register no score.

Will I have to wait for the results of the theory test?

Not at all. You get the results almost immediately.

Do I need to know about computers to take the theory test?

The computer system is very easy to use – all you have to do is to point and touch the computer screen in the area of the correct answer. No experience with computers is necessary at all.

How long does the theory test last?

The question and answer part of the theory test lasts for 40 minutes and in that time you have to answer 50 questions. However, people with special needs can ask for 80 minutes.

How many questions make up the theory test?

In the first part of the test, there are 50 multiple choice questions and in the second part, there are 14 video clips with 15 scorable hazards which you must click on.

What mark do I need to pass?

You must obtain 43 correct answers out of 50 to pass the questions part of the test, and score 44 out of 75 to pass the hazard part of the test.
You must pass both sections to achieve an overall pass of the test.

What happens if I fail the hazard perception part of the test?

If you fail either of the two parts that make up the theory test then both parts will have to be taken again.

Is there a time limit between passing the theory and passing the practical test?

If you haven’t passed your driving test within two years of passing your theory, then the theory test must be taken again!

What help is there for people with special needs?

Candidates may listen to the multiple-choice theory questions and tutorials through a headset and their required language. Deaf candidates will take the test signed in the British Sign Language.

What happens if I am dyslexic.

Dyslexic candidates may listen to the questions through a headset. Candidates with dyslexia can also ask for an extra 40 minutes to sit the test.

Booking the driving tests

How do I apply for my test?

You can book both the practical and theory driving test online or you can also phone the DVSA’s booking number on 0300 200 1122. Application forms may be sent by post including a cheque or postal order. To avoid delay, forms should be sent to: DVSA, PO Box 148, Salford, M5 3SY

Payments may also be made by credit or debit card.

How much does it cost to book the theory test?

The cost of the theory test is £25.00 and the driving test is £62.00 during weekdays and £75.00 during the weekend.

Theory Test Training Information

What should I study for the theory and hazard perception test?

Useful training materials are:

  1. The Highway Code
  2. DVSA Theory Test for cars
  3. DTLR Know Your Traffic Signs

Alternatively, FREE and most up to date theory training material is available from Kinghams.theorytestpro online service. The actual theory test questions are no longer published but similar questions and video clips for the theory test may be purchased on CD, available online at Amazon online bookstore. However, Kingham’s Driving School online theory test training is the best of all and it is free.

The Driving Test

Can I book my theory test and practical driving test together?

Unfortunately not! You must pass the theory test first before you can book the practical driving test.

What car will I use when I take my driving test?

If you have been taking driving lessons from a qualified instructor then you will take your test in the car you were taught in. However, you may take the test in your own car as long as the tyres are legal, all lights and seat belts are working properly, door mirrors are intact, the vehicle is taxed and insured for the purpose of the driving test and has L plates clearly displayed on the front and back. An extra stick-on mirror must also be supplied for the examiner to use. If there is a problem with your car meeting any one of these requirements then the examiner will give you five minutes to sort it out. If you cannot fix the problem the examiner will abort the test and your test fee will be lost. For more information view the DVSA rules for cars used to take the driving test.

What happens when I get to the driving test centre?

When you arrive you will wait with your instructor for the examiner’s arrival. Once your name is called, the examiner will check your driving licence and ask you to sign the test sheet to declare your vehicle is insured for the purpose of the driving test. The examiner will ask you to lead the way to your car and on the way will check your eyesight and ask you to read a number plate of a vehicle at a distance of 20.5 metres. When you arrive at your vehicle you will be asked a couple of show me/tell me questions about basic car maintenance prior to getting in the car and starting the driving part of the test. The examiner will tell you to follow the road ahead at all times, unless road markings or traffic signs tell you to do otherwise, or unless you are asked to do otherwise by the examiner. Directions will always be clear and well-timed, so there is no reason to worry about this part of the test.

What happens at the end of the driving test?

You will finish the driving test from where you started or just around the corner. If you wish, your driving instructor can be present at the debrief so he/she can listen in on the driving examiners comments. The examiner will total up any minor or serious faults that occurred during the test and inform you of the result straight away. You are allowed a maximum of 15 minor faults and NO serious faults to pass. Whatever the result, your driving instructor will drive you home after the test.

What documents do I take to the test centre?

In order for your driving test to go ahead, you must take the plastic photocard part of your licence, plus your theory test pass certificate. Examiners carry technology to detect forged driving licences. If you hold an older style licence, then you must bring a passport to validate your identity. No other form of photo identification is acceptable.

Do the DVSA have driving test pass quotas?

NO. If you drive to the required standard you will pass.

What happens if I’m stuck in traffic during my driving test?

If you are unfortunate to get stuck in traffic for too long than the test may be recorded as a ‘no result’. You will be invited to resit the test at a later date.

Will I fail the driving test if I go the wrong way?

No. If you drive safely and you meet the standards to pass then you will pass. If you go the wrong way then follow that route and the examiner will redirect you. Don’t panic – just drive safely.

Can I take someone with me during my driving test?

Your driving instructor, a friend or family member may go with you as long as they do not interfere in any way while the test is conducted. You may also bring an interpreter if you are concerned about understanding directions. The interpreter must be over 16 years old. Please note: Driving instructors are not permitted to be an interpreter.

Can I take my test in an automatic?

Yes, you can but your driving licence will only permit you to drive an automatic car. If you want to take a driving test in a manual car at a later date then the automatic licence gives you provisional entitlement until it is exchanged for a full Cat B Licence.

What does the examiner expect from you on your big day?

You will be expected to drive to a very high standard, showing awareness of road safely and competency in a multitude of traffic conditions. The driving examiner will give you clear and timely directions allowing you to plan the hazards and route ahead. You will also be asked to carry out one reversing manoeuvre, possibly the emergence stop and definitely 10 minutes of independent driving.

How long is The practical driving test?

The driving test is about 37 minutes long.
Note: The extended driving test lasts for 70 minutes.