Since its inception in 1996, the U.K. theory test has seen thousands of learner drivers take the challenge. At first, it was seen as a worrying challenge by many learner drivers, as previously theoretical knowledge had only been examined at the end of a practical driving test, and consisted of little more than identifying half a dozen traffic signs and answering a few questions. This radical change in driver testing had been brought about in part as the result of an E.C.directive.
The theory test examines driver knowledge on such topics as attitude, traffic signs and regulations. In addition, a “Hazard Perception” test is conducted via film clips. The candidate must quickly respond to developing hazards as they see them. The sooner they respond to the hazard, the more points they score. The theory test is conducted at a computer station in special centres throughout the U.K. The pass mark for the multiple choice question part of the theory test is 43, and the pass mark for hazard perception is 44. Currently the national pass rate for the test is around 65%.
Theory tests can be booked online or by phone and payments can be made by debit/credit cards.
No one is allowed to sit a practical driving test until they have a theory test certificate, which is valid for two years.
How to Pass The Theory Test?
Study! It sounds simple, but as with any test, preparation is vital – yet often neglected. A vast amount of the knowledge required to pass a theory test is contained within the “Highway Code.” Please be advised to gain a thorough knowledge of the Highway Code, as without it theory questions will prove impossible to answer. A candidate may be able to answer some questions just through their own general knowledge, but questions requiring specific knowledge – such as braking distances or alcohol levels – will be impossible to answer accurately.
Many C.D. roms and Apps. exist to help practice for hazard perception and most tend to be of reasonable quality. Candidates must identify moving hazards by clicking on a mouse at the earliest sign of hazard development. There can be more than one hazard per film clip, and no way of knowing which is the “scoreable” hazard. You must therefore, click every time a hazard develops. On one film clip there will be two scoreable hazards. Avoid random clicking as it will result in points not being earned through perceived cheating.
Finally, candidates must bring their licence counterpart (the paper bit) along with their photo card for the theory test, or unfortunately their test will not go ahead and they will forfeit the current fee.