Covid-19 – an ideal time to prepare for the Theory Test!

Because of the coronavirus situation you are not currently able to book a theory test – hopefully this will change soon as theory tests have been suspended until April 20th – although this date could be prolonged.

But this is an ideal time to be preparing for your theory test in readiness for when you can book it! At Training Wheelz we offer FREE access to Theory Test Pro to everyone who books a block of lessons with us.However…..


About the Theory Test

You cannot book your practical driving test until you have passed your theory test. You can apply for this from 3 months before your 17th birthday and you can take the test from your 17th birthday onwards

The theory test comes in two parts:

Multiple Choice questions
Hazard Perception test

You need to pass both parts of the test at the same time, on the same day, so if you fail the
Hazard Perception but pass the Multiple Choice, you have to take both parts of the test again. You can take this test as many times as you need in order to pass – although it would obviously be great to pass it first time!

The Multiple Choice questions

The multiple-choice questions are based on the information contained within these three books:

The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills
The Official Highway Code
Know Your Traffic Signs

The answers to all the questions are contained in these publications. Using an app on your phone or going through questions on something like Theory Test Pro is great but reading the information in the books will help you even more. At the very least you can look up and read about any areas that you’re unsure about.

The questions you’ll be asked are in the following categories:

hazard awareness
motorway rules
other types of vehicle
motorway driving
road and traffic signs
rules of the road
safety margins
safety and your vehicle/motorcycle
vehicle/motorcycle handling
vehicle/motorcycle loading
vulnerable road users

You’re allowed up to 57 minutes to answer the 50 multiple choice questions.

The pass mark is 43 out of 50.

The Hazard Perception Test

A hazard is anything that may cause a driver to take some form of action – i.e. to stop, swerve or slow down.

The Hazard Perception test is all about spotting hazards in good time. You need to show
that you’ve spotted the hazard by clicking a computer mouse – yes, they still use such outdated technology as a computer mouse!

There is a ‘scoring window’ for each clipyou have toclick the mouse within a
certain time during the clip. If you click the mouse too early or too late, you’ll score zero. If
you click the mouse within the scoring window you will score between 5 and 1.

Hazard Perception video clips are all about 1 minute long. There are 13 clips with a single hazard and one with two hazards, making a total of 15 hazards. You’re allowed to click the mouse many times during each clip, but there is an ‘anti-cheat’ built in which automatically scores you zero if a pattern of repeated clicks is detected.
The maximum score achievable for each clip is 5 when the clip has one hazard, or 10 when
the clip has two hazards.

The maximum score for this test is 75. You must score at least 44 to pass.

Booking your theory test

When you book your theory test you will need the following:

UK Driving Licence
Email address (if you don’t have an email address you will need to book by phone)
Debit or credit card to pay (at the time of writing this blog the cost of the theory test
is £23)

When you book the test make sure you book it through the website (see link below).
Using this link will ensure that you don’t get through to a site that makes an additional
charge for booking the test for you. Do NOT pay any more than this – there are scam sites that look very official and will charge you much more to book the test for you!

Preparing for the Theory Test

Preparing for the Multiple Choice

It’s vital to prepare well for the theory test if you want to give yourself the best chance of
passing on your first attempt – you can’t just ‘rock up’ to the test without any preparation and expect to pass!.

Preparing well will make it more likely that you pass your test on your first attempt. To
prepare for the Multiple-Choice questions you can:

Read the three books mentioned earlier
Use an app (like Theory Test Pro) to revise and take mock tests
Have theory lessons with your driving instructor

It is best to go through each topic and answer all of the questions. Many questions are
repeated but written in a slightly different way. This is to help you know what to expect on
the test.

You can use the Information attached to the question for any questions you’re not sure
about. It would then be a good idea to read about the topic in the relevant book.

Once you have correctly answered all the questions it would be good to move on to Mock Tests.
Have a go at several mock tests as each one will be different.

When you’re consistently passing the Mock Tests, you’re ready to take the actual test.

Preparing for the Hazard Perception

During the 1-minute clips you are looking at the film as if you’re a driver. You’re looking for
‘moving hazards’ like:

A person about to step out from behind a car
A vehicle pulling out of a side road in front of you
A horse and rider
A cyclist

You are looking for anything that might cause you, as a driver, to stop, slow or swerve.
Practice scanning the road. Look well ahead, as far as you can in the road, and then scan
your eyes back towards your car. Scan the sides of the roads, the driveways and footpaths.
Notice what is happening all around you. School children, a playground, business people on
lunch breaks; all give a clue that you may be about to have to deal with a hazard.

Once you spot a ‘potential’ hazard you can start to click the mouse. If the hazard doesn’t
develop into an ‘actual’ hazard you can just ignore it. That click of the mouse will not

How to practice

Try to complete several clips every time you practice, build up from about 5 clips one after
the other, to eventually attempting 14 clips one after the other. This way, you’ll be prepared
for completing 14 clips, one after the other, on your test day.

A technique for clicking for a hazard

To pass the Hazard Perception test it helps to have a technique for knowing when to click
the mouse.

You should aim to click at least 4 times for each hazard, without clicking in a pattern.

If you click the mouse for a ‘potential hazard’ that does not develop into an ‘actual hazard’,
you can ignore that click. You will not be penalised for clicking too much unless the
computer detects some kind of regular clicking pattern.

You are less likely to be penalised for clicking in a regular pattern if you follow the example

Example of how to click for a hazard:

As a hazard looks as though it is developing click the mouse (or tap the screen on any practice video), then twice more in quick succession followed by another click about a second later. So, a minimum of 4 clicks but they are not rhythmic. Hopefully this will allow you to score enough points on each hazard to pass this part of the test.

The idea of this part of the test is to make you more aware of what is happening around you while you are driving. It is good to discuss this with your.

The Theory Test itself

We suggest you arrive at the test centre at least 10 minutes before the start of the test. Please make sure you take your photocard licence with you as you will not be allowed to take the test without showing this. You are not allowed to take anything in to the test room with you. Items like bags, earphones, mobile phones and watches are not allowed in the test room.

You take the 50 multiple choice questions first. You can ‘flag’ any questions you’re
not sure of, so you can come back to it later. Remember you have 57 minutes for this section – that is quite a lot of time so don’t rush any answers – and remember you can ‘flag’ any you’re not sure of and go back to them later.

Once you finish the multiplechoice questions, you movestraight on to the
14 Hazard Perception clips. You will be offered to watch a demonstration video first. Please do this as it gives you a bit of breathing space before launching into the video clips.

Stay focussed until every clip is completely finished and remember one clip will have 2
hazards in it.

Once you have finished you can leave – the test centre assistant will give you the result straight away. If you’ve passed the test, this results sheet is your theory passcertificate. You will then be able to book your practical test – but please do consult with your instructor. We strongly advise you let your instructor book the test as he/she will know when they are available – you don‘t want to be booking a test and then find your instructor is not available!

The theory test pass certificate lasts for 2 years, so you must take and pass your practical
test within this time. If you don’t pass your test within this time, you’ll need to re-take your
theory test.

Hopefully this helps you understand what is required to succeed at the theory test. If you need any help your Training Wheelz instructor will be only too happy to help.

Do make sure you let your instructor know when you have passed – we can then discuss with you how and when to book your practical test!

Christie and Kevin

Training Wheelz


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