Before you can get to grips with your practical driving test, you’ll have to pass your theory test, proving you know your stuff when it comes to the rules of the road. You can take your theory test as soon as you turn 17 (providing you have your provisional licence), so it’s a good idea to get prepared for it as early as possible.
The theory test
The UK theory test is made up of two parts: the 50 question multiple choice section and the hazard perception section. You’ll need to revise for each part differently, as the multiple choice part tests for knowledge of the highway code, whilst hazard perception looks at your ability to spot hazards in real life scenarios.
Multiple choice questions in the theory test
The first part of your theory test will be the 50 part multiple choice section, and you will need to score 43 out of 50 to pass.The DVSA state that the multiple choice questions cover the following topics:
- Safety and your vehicle
- Safety margins
- Hazard awareness
- Vulnerable road users
- Other types of vehicle
- Road conditions and vehicle handling
- Motorway driving
- Rules of the road
- Road and traffic signs
- Essential documents
- Incidents, accidents and emergencies
- Vehicle loading
This may seem like a daunting list, but don’t panic. All of the questions will relate to things you’ll get to grips with as you start driving.
How to revise for hazard perception
Once you’ve completed the 50 multiple choice questions, it will be time to move on to the hazard perception section of the theory test. During the hazard perception section, you will be presented with a series of short clips of real-life scenarios in which you will have to spot potential hazards.
As soon as you spot a hazard, you should click the mouse to signal that you’ve spotted it. The sooner you see the hazard, the better the mark (between 0 and 5) you will score. The hazard perception test is scored out of 75 and you will need to get 44 in order to pass.
Preparing for the hazard perception test
Having a few driving lessons will really help when it comes to the hazard perception test. Draw upon your own experiences whilst driving and look out for anything which could be a potential hazard.
A hazard could be anything from a car waiting at a junction, a cyclist ahead or a cow in the middle of the road. The type of road condition in the clip will give you an idea of what kind of hazard to look out for. If the scene is in an urban environment, for example, you’ll need to look out for hazards like buses, cars and cyclists, but if the scene is in a rural environment the hazard is more likely to be animals, walkers or slow moving vehicles ahead.
Practice makes perfect
Although you won’t be able to practise from official DVSA hazard perception clips, there are many resources which can help you practise using similar clips to the ones you’ll face in the theory test.
Download our free theory app to test your theory knowledge and practise your hazard perception.
Images courtesy of dsagovuk @ Flickr via Crown Copyright.