The Theory Test

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Introduction

It is necessary for all students to pass a theory exam, and be the holder of a suitable theory certificate, before a practical driving test can be arranged. The theory certificate will be valid for two years from the date of passing the test.

The theory test centre in Dundee is located at Unit 2 14/22 Exchange Street, Dundee DD1 3DE.

Study Materials

Previous experience has proven overwhelmingly that, provided you study the advised materials, you should have little or no difficulty passing the theory exam. As you progress I shall monitor your theory and driving capabilities and shall advise you as to when you are ready to apply for the tests. You can book your test online through the links on this site.

The study material I suggest you obtain and read is as follows:

  • The Official Highway Code
  • The Driving Test
  • Driving- The Essential Skills

These are official DVSA publications.

There are also many apps available for iOS and android.

Exam Basics

I would expect you to make a start to studying for your theory exam as soon as you begin your driving lessons. The computer based examination contains 50 questions of which you must get 43 or more correct to pass the exam. You will have a maximum of 57 minutes to complete this part of the test. You are also required to pass a Hazard Perception (HP) element at the same test sitting.

The test will include 45 multiple choice questions and an additional set of five questions concerned with a depicted "Case Study".

Case Study Questions

You will be presented with a set of facts (The Case Study) which will appear on the left hand side of the screen. The set of facts will be set in a text format, and may be accompanied by a supporting picture or diagram.

Throughout the case study the facts and the scenario content does not change. This way the scenario may be re-read as often as you choose. The questions will appear on the right hand side of the screen, and you will be asked to make a response in the usual manner.

An example of a case study and the questions based on it can be viewed online at DSA’s YouTube channel. Visit the DVSA YouTube page to watch the video, ‘Theory test 2019: official DVSA guide’

Hazard Perception

The HP will be taken after the multiple choice question elements of the Theory Test. Candidates will be given the option of a three minute break between the multiple choice element and the HP element. The HP element will begin with a tutorial video, which will use example video footage and a voice-over facility, to explain how to complete the test. The tutorial may be repeated up to twice.

The hazard perception part is delivered on a computer and you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You will be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards. To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score for each developing hazard is five points, making the maximum available score 75 for the 15 hazards. You require a minimum of 44 to pass. If you respond throughout the developing hazard and score different points you will always score the highest number of points i.e. if you react and score five then three then two points you will be awarded five points.

Get It Right First Time

You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard, so you will need to concentrate throughout each clip. If you react inappropriately during the video clip by clicking continuously or in a pattern of responses you will score zero for that clip. At the end of the clip a pop-up box will appear informing you that you have scored zero for that particular clip.

Recognition of available clues and perception of danger are skills that are necessary in all drivers, irrespective of the vehicle used. For this reason, the same version of the hazard perception test is used for all categories of test.