Theory test information

About the UK theory test

What is the driving theory test?

Theory test is a computer based multiple choice test and is designed to test applicant's knowledge of the Highway code.

Who has to sit the test?

Everybody who wants to drive a vehicle in the UK is required to sit and pass this test to be able to take the final practical driving test. You will need to show your theory test pass certificate before starting your driving test.

Who is exempt from taking the test?

You don’t need to take the test if:

Does the theory test pass certificate have an expiry date?

Upon passing the theory test, you have 2 years to pass the practical driving test. If you don't obtain your full driving licence within 2 years of passing the theory test, you will be required to sit and pass the theory test again.

How difficult is the official test?

The official theory test is tough to pass without correct preparation. The current pass-rate stands at 52%. The pass-mark is even lower for the practical driving test, averaging 43% (some regions in the UK have passmarks in the low 30s).

Test preparation

What do I need to know for the test?

You need to know everything contained in the Highway Code and Know your traffic signs. Every single question in the official test will be based on this learning material.

How can I prepare for the test?

Our theory tests together with the hazard perception tests are part of the essential preparation for the test. It's recommended to read and study the contents of the learning material before attempting our practice tests. Our practice tests are highly realistic, both in terms of difficulty and test layout, making them an ideal preparation material for the test. We also use DVSA licensed practice questions to further familiarise you with the type of questions asked in the real exam. We strongly advise you complete all available theory and hazard perception tests which cover all of the required material. Our revision material will prepare you for your theory test, make you more confident and greatly increase your chances of passing first-time.

What is the difference between different vehicles?

The UK theory test is different depending on the type of vehicle you booked your test for. The multiple choice part contains 50 questions for Cars and Motorcycles (with the pass mark of 43), 100 questions for LGVs and ADI Part 1 (with the pass mark of 85). Note that ADIs must score over 80% for each band as well as get over 85% overall. Hazard perception tests are of the same format for all vehicles. The only difference is the number of clips that you are tested on.

How do we pick the questions?

For car theory tests, we carefully select questions from the Study Materials. We aim to provide only the best and most relevant questions to make your preparation pay off in the end. For other tests, our questions are provided by the DVSA, the very same people who set the official test.

Will these questions appear in my official test?

Yes and No, the official theory test is a selection of randomly selected questions from their own database. Our questions are designed to be similar to those in the official test, they might actually come up. You will be surprised how easy it is to pass your official test after completing our tests.

Tips for the test

Take your time to read and answer the questions. It's important to pay attention to the question and read it as many times as you need to make sure that you understand it correctly. You are allowed 57 minutes to complete the test if you are a Car or Motorcycle driver and 1 hour 45 minutes if you are sitting an ADI/LGV test.

Pay attention to the type of question asked. Some questions will ask you for more than 1 answer. In such cases, make sure that you select as many correct options as the question asks.

Booking the test

How to book the test?

You must use the official booking website to book the test. You will need to select your vehicle, test date and preferred test location from a list of available test centres. There is no difference in test difficulty between the test centres and we advise you to use the closest one.

How much does it cost to book the test?

The fee to take test is different depending on the type of vehicle that you select when booking the test. Test fees per vehicle:

  • Car - £23
  • Motorcycle - £23
  • LGV - £26 (Multiple Choice Theory) + £11 (Hazard Perception) + £23 (Case Studies)
  • ADI Part 1 - £81

What documents do I need to book the test?

You will need your provisional driving licence when booking the test. On your test day, you should bring your provisional licence with you. If you live in Northern Ireland, you will also need to bring the paper counterpart. Furthermore, you should avoid bringing any items which are deemed 'inappropriate' such as mobile phones, bags, watches etc. with you into the test room. You will be provided a locker to keep them safe.

Special circumstances when booking the test

If you need special arrangements (e.g. disability), make sure to state it when booking your theory test. Additionally, you should contact customercare@pearson.com if you wish to make an enquiry.

What to expect at the test centre?

How long will I spend at the test centre?

Make sure to give yourself a two to three hour slot for the test. We advise you to arrive 15 minutes early to be on the safe side. The identity checks should take another 15 minutes and you will be given 57 to 1 hour 45 minutes to complete the test. Additionally, you are required to complete the hazard perception part of the test which can take up-to one hour. The number of hazard clips shown depends on the type of vehicle. The waiting time for the result is usually less than 5 minutes and you will be able to leave the test centre upon receiving your pass (or fail) certificate.

Identity checks

This is a standard procedure operated by every approved test centre. You will be required to show the identification used when booking the test and show the true likeliness of the person displayed on the ID.

Can I bring visitors/guests?

Only authorised visitors are allowed to remain in the test centre. These include:

  • Visitors sent by Pearson or an exam sponsor (including employees, consultants and auditors)
  • Assistive personnel
  • Maintenance vendors, property management, law enforcement and emergency personnel

Other types of visitors are not authorised and are not permitted to remain in the test centre.

What happens if I pass?

Upon passing the theory test, you will receive a pass certificate. This certificate will expire 2 years from now, but can be used for all applications within the 2 year window period.

What happens if I fail?

If you fail the theory test, you will need to wait at least 7 days before booking another test. You can take unlimited attempts for this test, however every single attempt will cost you money. We advise you to read the study materials and complete practice tests to pass first time.

Can I get extra support?

Get in touch with your test centre or call 0300 200 1122 if you require additional support with your theory test.

Common Mistakes and Issues

Bring the required documents to the test centre

It is strongly advised to make sure that you check all your documents before leaving the house to go to the test centre. You will not be allowed to sit the test if you forget your provisional driving licence, make sure to bring it to the test centre. If you live in Northern Ireland, you will also need the paper counterpart licence.

Clicking too much

We all worry if our click has been registered when doing hazard perception tests; What if I 'anticipated' the hazard way too early and I should click again just to be on the safe side? Well, there is no such thing as early anticipation. The hazard clips are designed in a way that you will get maximum points (5) if you click as soon as hazard starts to develop. If you look at our practice clips you will familiarise yourself with the markings that DVSA use in the official tests. If you click too many times, you will score 0 for that given clip and could potentially fail the hazard perception part of the theory test, resulting in a fail. Be on the safe, side, click once every time you see a developing hazard.

Stressing too much

Do you ask the following questions: "I've completed the learning materials, am I ready to pass?","My friends are preparing more than me, should I practice more?". Well, if you are completing our practice tests and consistently passing, you are very likely to pass the official test. Your real test score should be the same as our practice tests, unless you are stressed out. It's much more important to remain calm and think rationally than keep revising the material you already know.

Lost my theory test 'pass' certificate

Use the following form to find your lost pass certificate number.

Using this website

How should I use this website to get ready for the test?

Since the theory test is based on the official study materials, we strongly suggest you read and understand the material before attempting our practice tests. Our mock tests are designed to teach you the material interactively. They cover every single paragraph of the highway code and contain explanations of the correct answer. Completing all practice tests, effectively familiarises you with the type of questions that may come up in your test and covers the whole handbook.

When do I know that I'm ready?

You should be ready after completing all practice tests. If you pass them all, rest assured that you will pass the final exam with flying colors.

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