About The Driving Theory Test

The driving theory test is the first examination you must take and pass prior to taking the practical driving test. You won’t be able to sit the practical and obtain your driving license without first passing your theory test. Generally, it is a good idea to prepare for your theory test in conjunction with developing your practical driving skills in the form of driving lessons. By preparing for both your theory test and driving test, you will improve your understanding of the various theoretical and practical aspects of driving, thereby improving your chances of passing both tests at the first time of asking.

Read more or take a practice test below:

Free Theory Test


You have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice theory test questions. You need to answer at least 43 out of 50 questions correctly to pass. You can review your answer after each question or you can review all of your answers at the end of the test. Best of luck!

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The Driving Theory Test Explained

The theory test consists of two parts, both of which differ in format:

In order to pass the theory test, you must pass both parts. You’ll have to repeat both parts of the theory test if you only pass one part and fail the other. After passing the test, you will have two years to sit and pass your practical driving test. If you don’t successfully obtain your driving license within this two year period, you will have to resit your theory test.

Both parts of the test must be carried out on a computer at a designated test centre. The first part of the test is designed to examine your knowledge of the rules of the road via 50 multiple choice questions which are selected from a bank of around 900 questions, spanning a number of topics. For candidates taking their driving theory test, these topics are:

Each question will have four possible answers, one of which is correct. You have will have 57 minutes to complete the test. In order to pass, you must get a score of 86%, which is 43 correct answers out of 50.

Taking the Driving Theory Test

Prior to starting the test, you will be shown a short video tutorial, which teaches you how to complete the test correctly. You will also have the chance to take some practice questions, to ensure you are comfortable and familiar with how the test works. There are plenty of practice tests available on this website, so you should be comfortable with this before you set foot in the theory test centre.

The tests are usually carried out on a touch screen computer; you simply tap the answer you think is correct. You will know you have successfully done this, as the answer you tapped should be highlighted in blue. For each question you will have to pick one of four possible answers. If you think you have made a mistake and wish to change your selection, simply tap the highlighted answer again and it will remove the blue area.

The final five questions of the test will be based on a case study. The case study will be an example of a real-life situation you may find yourself facing whilst driving and questions will be asked about the scenario to determine how you would react. The case study question will be presented to you on the left-hand side of the test screen and the multiple choice question will be shown on the right-hand side. The same scenario is shown for all five questions.

As you progress through the test, if you find you’re unsure about any questions, you can flag these and come back to them later at a later stage. To do this, simply press the button labelled ‘flag’. The flag button will change colour to red to indicate the question has been marked as flagged. You can double check this by pressing the ‘review’ button. On the review screen, you can check all of your previous answers, and see how many questions you have answered, how many you have left, and how many questions you have flagged. You can also end the test from this screen if you’re sure you have completed all the questions.

After completing the multiple choice part of the test, you are offered a three-minute break before the hazard perception section of the test begins. Read about the hazard perception test here.

After the Driving Theory Test

You will be given your results within ten minutes of completing the theory test. You will receive a score for the multiple-choice section of the test and a score for the hazard perception test. As previously mentioned, you need to pass both sections of the test in order to obtain an overall pass. If you are unfortunate enough to fail the theory test, you must wait at least three working days before retaking it. If you prepared sufficiently and pass the test, you will be given a theory test pass certificate. You must keep this safe as you will need it to sit your practical driving test – well done!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare for the driving theory test?

The best way to prepare is to:

  • Practice answering the theory test questions provided by the DVSA. The official DVSA driving theory test revision bank consists of about 900 questions broken down into 14 categories. We have provided all the questions you need to cover to successfully pass your test.
  • Read The Highway Code. The Highway Code is essential reading if you’re learning to drive and the driving theory test questions are based on the information in this manual. Read it here.
  • Ask for advice from your driving instructor.
  • Take lots of practice exams. We have provided a number of practice exams which cover the entire library of questions provided by the DVSA.
  • Do your best to understand the logic behind each question and the correct answer.

Are there any trick questions?

No! There aren’t any trick questions, although you must ensure you read the questions very carefully, some more so than others. In general, each question will test your theory test knowledge and understanding in a straightforward manner. If you’re struggling to answer a particular question, you can increase your chances of selecting the correct answer by using the process of elimination through discounting any ‘impossible’ answers before taking an educated guess from the remaining options. You will normally find that at least one of the four available options is clearly incorrect.

Although there aren’t any trick questions, some candidates misread questions and perceive them as being ‘trick’ questions. For example, the question ‘What is the braking distance at 50 mph on a good, dry road surface’ is not the same as ‘What is the stopping distance at 50 mph on a good dry, road surface.’ The two are often confused or thought of the same thing but in reality, the two are different. Braking distance is the distance your car travels after the brakes are applied until the vehicle comes to a halt, whereas the stopping distance also factors in your reaction time before the brakes are applied.

Is it a knowledge test or an understanding test?

Both; the question bank consists of both understanding questions and knowledge questions. Most knowledge questions can be answered by applying some common sense and application of knowledge. You will come across a few questions where you will have no option other than to memorise information (stopping distances being one example) although these are fairly uncommon. This is perhaps a good thing, since information that is understood and absorbed is normally retained for a longer period than information that has been learned by rote.

How can I possibly learn all of the questions and the answers?

In a nutshell, you probably can’t, as the question bank is huge. However, the good news is you don’t really need to learn the entire question bank. You will find that you can deduce the answers to most of the questions after learning and understanding a few guiding principles.

How do I apply for the driving theory test?

To book your theory test, you will need:

  • a valid UK driving licence
  • a valid debit or credit card for payment

You can book your test online or by phone.

Online

You can book your driving theory test online by visiting the gov.uk website and completing their online application form.

By phone

You can book a theory test over the phone by calling one of the numbers below. Phone lines are open between 8.00 am and 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

  • Telephone (English) – 0300 200 1122
  • Telephone (Welsh) – 0300 200 1133

At the time of writing, a driving theory test costs £23.00.