Learn to drive Northamptonshire, The Theory Driving Test

What Happens? How is the Test Conducted? When will I know the result?

At the test centre, after registration, you will be allocated a booth containing a computer.

In the booth, you'll find instructions on how to use the computer. If you want to, you can work through a practice test for up to 15 minutes to get used to the system before you start the actual test. There will be 50 questions for you to answer. You'll have a maximum of 57 minutes to complete the test. An on-screen clock is displayed so that you'll always know how much time you have left.

All the questions are multiple-choice and they vary between straight text, text with graphics of road signs and text with photographs of road and driving scenarios. By touching the screen, you can choose one or more answers from the options shown. Most will ask you to choose one option from a choice of four, but some will ask for two, three or four correct answers from a choice of up to six options.

You'll have to answer every question to complete the test. If you're not sure of the answer and want to return to the question later, you can remind yourself by using the 'flag' system. When you've got to the end of the questions, you'll get the chance to revisit your flagged and incomplete questions, or to review the whole test if you want to. If you've got time, it's always a good idea to check through your answers carefully.

The Driving Theory Test; The Hazard Perception Test

After you've done the multiple-choice part of the test, you can take a break of up to three minutes and then the hazard perception section of the test will begin automatically. You'll be shown a tutorial video first featuring sample footage with a commentary sound track that explains how to complete the test. You'll be given the opportunity to watch the tutorial a second time if you need to.

The test itself is comprised of 14 one minute long video clips. The clips feature various types of hazard, such as vehicles, pedestrians and road conditions. You have to presume that you are the driver of a car as these clips are played out. You need to respond to each different scenario by clicking your mouse as soon as you see a hazard developing that could result in having to take some evasive action, like changing speed or direction. The earlier you spot the hazard and click the mouse, the higher your score.

The Driving Theory Test; Getting Your Results

When you've finished both parts of the test, you'll return to the waiting room where you'll be given your results. For the multiple-choice test, the pass mark is 43 correct answers from 50 questions. For the hazard perception section, you can score up to a maximum of 5 marks on each hazard. The test contains 15 scorable hazards and the pass mark is 44 out of a possible 75 for car drivers.

You need to pass both parts of the test at the same session to pass your Theory Test. Your test pass then stays valid for two years, during which you'll need to pass your Practical Test. If you fail the Theory Test, you can retake it after waiting at least three working days, and there's no limit to the number of times you can retake it.