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The theory test
Everything you need to know about the Theory test.
Before applying for your practical driving test you must pass the Theory & HPT Test.
Your driving instructor will give specific help and advice about theory test preparation and booking plus information about any extra study material that might be useful.
Applying for the Theory Test
Get full details about how to book and manage your theory test appointment from the Government website by clicking here.
Make sure that use use the official booking site.
Other sites offer a booking service but might charge an additional and quite high booking fee.
The official booking site page has a helpline for issues with booking or advice about how to book if you don't have an e-mail address. For information about booking in Northern Ireland click here.
You are exempt from the theory test if you wish to upgrade your licence, for example if you have a full licence for car with automatic transmission and wish to take the test for a manual car - you can find more details at the www.gov.uk web site by clicking here.
There is no limit on the number of attempts you take - but you will have to pay the full fee each time. There are no discounts for block bookings!
Your test appointment
Allow plenty of time. If you are late you might miss your test.
You must take your UK driving licence to your test. Your test will be cancelled if you do not have your licence with you and the test fee will be lost.
After registering at the desk you will then be shown to your test booth where you can choose to do a practise session to get used to the touch screen system.
After the test starts, there is a timer that lets you know how much time you have left. If you finish within the 57 minutes allowed, use the remaining time to go back and check your answers.
Answer all the questions. If you don't know the answer to a question and you are running out of time, just guess!
You must get 43 (out of 50) correct answers to pass. If you are well prepared, the test should be easy.
Case study questions
Some of the questions will be given as a case study. The case study questions show a short story outlining a typical driving situation based on real life examples and experiences that you could come across when driving - this is followed by five questions relating to the situation.
After the multiple choice part of the test you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the Hazard Perception part starts.
At the end of the test you will receive your result. You will also receive information about the areas of the test where you got questions wrong (if any). Your pass certificate enables you to apply for your practical test - keep it in a safe place!
Remember that you will need:
Your appointment letter or booking number (in case of booking errors)
Your UK photo-card driving licence to your test.
If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the photo-card and paper counterpart licence.
Your test will be cancelled and you won’t get your money back if you don’t take the right things with you.
Prepare for your theory test with the Free SmartDriving Theory App - all the features of other apps... But FREE!:
The test subjects
The theory test covers a wide range of subjects with questions covering all aspects of safe driving. You will find information on all the topics in the DriverActive Course.
The lists below shows the subject areas that the questions are taken from. (Full test info on the .gov website)
Safety and your vehicle
Vulnerable road users
Other types of vehicle
Rules of the road
Road and traffic signs
Arrangements can be made to help people with special needs, but you must make enquiries at the time that you book the test.
If you have problems reading, you can listen to the questions but they are only available in English and Welsh.
A video of the test info in British sign language is available on screen for those with hearing difficulties. An interpreter can go with you into the test centre if you don’t use BSL. This needs to be arranged through the theory test customer services section.
Check with the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency) for details of other ways that they can help.
All centres comply with access regulations for people who have physical disabilities.