So, you’ve got your provisional, you’ve swotted up on the Highway Code and maybe you’ve taken a few practice tests for good measure. You’re now ready to take your theory test!
The theory test is divided into two parts. The first part of the theory test consists of a series of multiple-choice questions and the second is the hazard perception test which tests how well you respond to potential hazards on the road. For now we’ll focus on the first part of the test.
You’ll take the theory test on a computer. This may be touch-screen but you’ll still have the option of using a mouse to select your answers if you’re more comfortable doing things the old fashioned way. Before the test starts, you’ll be given on-screen instructions of how it works and what to expect.
After the instructions, you’ll be able to work through a practice test for up to 15 minutes (although you can skip this if you prefer), to get used to the system, before you start the real thing.
The test contains 50 questions which you’ll have to answer in no more than 57 minutes. There’s an on-screen clock which warns you how much time you’ve got left.
All the questions are multiple-choice, and they vary between straight text, text with graphics of road signs and text with photographs of road and driving scenarios. By touching the screen or clicking the mouse, you can choose one or more answers from the options shown. Most will ask you to choose one option from a choice of four, but some will ask for two, three or four correct answers from a choice of up to six options.
You’ll have to answer every question, but if you’re not sure of an answer and want to return to a question later, you can remind yourself by flagging the question — you can go back to any flagged or incomplete questions, or review the whole test, at the end. If there’s time left, it’s always worth going through the whole test again to look for mistakes.
To pass, you’ll have to get at least 43 answers correct out of the 50 that you’ve answered – but you won’t be given your multiple choice score until you’ve also completed the hazard perception part of the test. Once the multiple choice session is out of the way you’ll be offered a three-minute break before you start the hazard perception part of the test – but if you prefer you can skip this and carry on!