From 1st January 2012, the Driving Standards Agency made changes to the UK driving Theory Test. From this date, the DSA added new multiple-choice Theory Test questions to the test. The DSA will not let anyone publish these new Theory Test questions, so they will not appear in any product or on any website.

The official DSA Theory Test for Car Drivers publication includes the full explanation for every revision question, helping candidates fully understand the answer. Each question has extra help for candidates to improve their knowledge of the theory by including references to the official source materials where they can read the background information and learn more.

TSO (The Stationery Office) – DSA’s official publishing partner – has moved the answers for each question to the back of the book for these new editions, enabling learners to test themselves more efficiently to see how much they have learnt and to help them gauge when they are ready to take their tests.

How to prepare for your theory test

To prepare for the theory test the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) recommend that all candidates study the Highway Code, Official Theory Test for Car Drivers, Know Your Traffic Signs and the relevant book from DSA's Driving Skills series. Regardless of driving experience, candidates should make full use of the available study material to prepare for the multiple choice and hazard perception elements of the theory test.  There are also various CD-Roms available which will allow you to practice both the multiple choice element and the hazard perception.

Preparing for the theory test

The driving theory test has two parts, part one is a multiple choice test and part two is a hazard perception test.

To prepare for both parts of the theory test we recommend that all candidates, regardless of driving experience, use the resource material available. The resource material is available from most high street book shops and from the
DSA official online bookstore.

With your first theory test booking confirmation letter, DSA send you a DVD called "Are you ready?" which you should watch as this explains the process of taking the theory test.

The theory test explained

The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.

If you pass one part and fail the other you'll fail the whole test, and you'll need to take both parts again.

The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you're hoping to obtain a licence for eg a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that don't appear in any other test.

For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, the items are drawn from the same pool, and each vehicle category takes the same test.  However the pass mark is different for different categories of tests.

Lorry and bus multiple choice and hazard perception tests are booked and taken separately.

Part one - multiple choice

Before the test starts you'll be given instructions on how the test works.

You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.

A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.

Some car and motorcycle multiple choice questions will be given as a case study. The case study will show a scenario that five questions will be based on. The subject of the scenario focuses on real life examples and experiences that drivers could come across when driving.

You can navigate between questions and 'flag' questions that you want to come back to later in the test. After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
 multiple choice test types

Category                    Time allowed        Passmark
 Car and motorcycle      57 minutes          43 out of  50

Part two - hazard perception

After the break you'll then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.

The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You'll be presented with a series of video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there'll be at least one developing hazard, but one of the car/motorcycle clips will feature two developing hazards.

To achieve a high score you'll need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five.

You won't be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you'll only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.

Category                   Video clips     Developing hazards      Pass mark

Car and motorcycle     14 clips         15                              44 out of 75

At the end of the test

At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you'll be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions.

You don't have to answer the questions if you don't want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don't affect the result of the test.

When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you'll not be allowed to enter it again. You'll then be given your result by the test centre staff.