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Theory Test

Preparing for the theory test

The driving theory test is broken up into two parts:

  • multiple-choice questions

  • hazard perception

Tools and information are available to help you practise and prepare for both parts of the theory test. 


The multiple-choice part

To prepare for the multiple-choice part of the theory test you should use three books known as the ‘source material’. They are:

  • The Highway Code

  • know your traffic signs

  • the relevant book from the ‘essential skills’ range

The Highway Code

The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone.

Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison.

Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could significantly reduce road casualties.

Know your traffic signs

Traffic signs play a vital role in directing, informing and controlling road users’ behaviour. This is to make the roads as safe as possible for everyone. It makes a knowledge of traffic signs vital.

There are three basic types of traffic sign - signs that give orders, signs that warn and signs that give information. Each type has a different shape. A further guide to the function of a sign is its colour.

The essential skills

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) produces books in the essential skills range. The books give you everything you need to learn about and maintain safe driving or riding skills for life.

You can buy them from most high street book shops. They are also available to order online or over the phone from The Stationery Office.

Practise multiple-choice questions online

You can take a practice theory test online to test your knowledge and understanding of the source material. It only contains multiple-choice questions. It does not allow you to practise the hazard perception part online.

If you repeatedly score a pass on the practice tests, it does not guarantee a pass when you take the real theory test.

The hazard perception part

DSA has developed a training DVD for the hazard perception test called 'The official guide to hazard perception'.

You can buy the DVD from most high street book shops. It is also available to order online or over the phone from The Stationery Office.

Watch examples of hazard perception clips

The DVD has information about:

  • defining hazards

  • looking for clues

  • the 'mirror - signal - manoeuvre' routine

  • scanning and planning

  • prioritising hazards

  • cutting down the risks

  • responding to hazards

The DVD also has a number of interactive examples of hazard perception video clips.


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