The theory test
The theory test costs £31.00
The driving theory test has two parts, part one is a multiple choice test of 50 questions and part two is a hazard perception test of 14 video clips in which you will have to identify 15 developing hazards.
To prepare for both parts of the theory test we recommend that all candidates, regardless of driving experience, use the resource material available.
With your First theory test booking confirmation letter, DSA send you a CD ROM which you should watch. This explains the process of taking the theory test.
To prepare for the multiple choice part of the theory test, there are three books known as the source material, these include The Highway Code, Know Your Traffic Signs, and the relevant vehicle Driving Skills series.
The complete set of theory test questions and answers is also available in book and CD ROM format.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has developed a modular, multi-media training resource for the hazard perception test. The resource is available in DVD and VHS video format and is called ‘The official guide to hazard perception’; this was formerly known as ‘Roadsense’.
This training resource adopts a structured approach to defining hazards, looking for clues, the ‘mirror- signal- manoeuvre’ routine, scanning and planning, prioritising, cutting down the risks and responding to hazards. The DVD also has a number of interactive, example hazard perception video clips.
The hazard perception training material has been developed, not as a ‘teach yourself’ product, but as one where guidance from a professional trainer is essential.
Integrating theoretical hazard perception training into the practical training sessions will ensure that as competence is achieved in each of the necessary skills, they can be strengthened and applied while you are on the road to increase the road safety benefits.
The practical test
The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:
- Can drive safely
- Know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving
What will the test include?
The test will include an eyesight test (if you fail this, your test will not continue).
After the eyesight test you will be examined on your general driving a 10 minute independant drive and on one reverse exercise. The reversing exercise will be chosen from:
- reversing around a corner
- turning in the road
- reverse bay parking
- reverse parallel park
- You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.
A standard driving test takes about 40 minutes
What happens during the DRIVING test?
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.
INDEPENDANT DRIVING EXPLAINED From 4 October 2010 your practical driving test will include a section of ‘independent driving’. In the independent driving section of your test, you will drive for about 10 minutes without step-by-step direction from your examiner.
At present, examiners give candidates step-by-step instructions during the test. For other parts of the test, this will still be true. But during the independent driving section of the test, the examiner will ask you to drive by either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.
To help you understand where you’re going, the examiner may show you a diagram. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way – that can happen to the most experienced drivers. Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.
The independent driving route
If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you.
If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault. If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving.
If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign – you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test, this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.
Driving test standards All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not have pass or fail quotas. So as long as you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your driving test.
Weather conditions/ mechanical problems etc
DSA do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. We will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. Candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead.