Driving test

Theory Test FAQs

The DVSA Theory Test Consists of: 50 multiple-choice questions that are taken from a bank of over 1000 questions, which are all based on the Highway Code, the environment and road safety matters. The questions will include a case study - a scenario on which five questions will be based. The case study will involve a real life situation that a driver could face while driving, and aims to assess your understanding of road safety issues and not simply your knowledge of it. To view a case study example.

How To Book The Theory Test

You can book online or by phone - call 0300 2001122. Have your credit/debit card and provisional driving licence number with you. You will be given the date and time of your test immediately.

By Post: obtain a booking form from your ADI, any theory or driving test centre, or by calling 0300 2001122.

Waiting Times

Average wait times are currently 3 to 4 days, although this will depend on the test centre you are booking your test at. At busier test centres you may have to wait longer. If you are in a hurry, or need to take a test on a specific day or time, then be prepared to travel to a test centre that is beyond the one that is closest to you, as this will give you more booking options.

How You Take The Test

You take the test using a touch screen computer. You will have a fifteen-minute practice session before the test begins, which will give you all the information you need to take the test correctly, and to familiarize yourself with the touch screen controls. If you do have any problems, a member of staff will be on hand to assist you.

Only one question will appear on screen at a time, and you will be able to navigate backwards/forwards through the questions assessing answers and changing them if necessary. If you miss a question, or fail to offer an answer, the computer will alert you to this on the Review screen, which will appear at the end of the test, or if you press the Review button.

To select or deselect an answer, simply press the box next to the answer. In the top right-hand corner of the test screen you will see a read-out of the time you have left to complete the questions. As some questions require more than one answer, the system will warn you if you try to move to the next question without giving the correct amount of answers.

If you complete the test before the allotted time, you can press the Review Button, and then the End button. The images below show a screen shot of a question followed by an image of the Review Screen, which will appear once you have answered question fifty, or if you press the Review button on the question screen.

Theory Test Touch Screen Computer
Theory Review Screen

The Pass Mark

You will need to answer 43 questions correctly from a exam consisting of 50 questions.

Test Duration

57 minutes. The computer will indicate throughout how much time remains.

The Cost

It will cost you £23. This price includes the hazard perception test. Make sure you book your test directly with the DVSA. Do not use a third party booking service, as these will charge you more than the £25 the DVSA charge. Don't me fooled by offers such as 'Free Re-tests', as there are usual terms and conditions in place that make getting a free re-test difficult, i.e. you must have previously failed the test with a score of 42.

Documents You Must Bring

Take to the test centre both parts of your provisional licence - the photo card and the paper counterpart. If you have an old-style licence without a photo you must also bring a valid passport. Failure to present these documents will result in your test being cancelled without a refund being given. You should also take your appointment card or booking number.

Speak A foreign Language?

The DVSA no longer allow the theory test to be taken while listening to a foreign language voice over. So, you must be able to read the questions, which will be written in English.

Hearing and Reading Difficulties

If you have trouble reading the questions, you can can apply to have the test extended for up to twice the normal time, and you can listen to the questions via an English language voice-over. You will need to provide a letter from a suitable person, such as a doctor, who can confirm your reading difficulty. This can be arranged when you book your test.

If you are deaf or have other hearing difficulties, the multiple choice part and the introduction to the hazard test can be delivered in British Sign Language by an on-screen signer. A BSL interpreter, signer or lip speaker can be provided. You will need to request this when booking.

The Location

There are over 163 test centres throughout the UK. For a list of them ask your instructor, call the DVSA info line on 0300 2001122.

Practice and Preparation

Practice by reading the DVSA Highway Code, free web version is available here, and revise using our free training guides and test questions

The Pass rate

The theory test pass rate is 62.9%.

The Results

You will receive your results before you leave the theory test centre.

If You Fail the Test

You will have to wait a minimum of three working days before you can take the test again. You can, however, apply to take it the day after your initial failure.

Change Your Test Date and Time

If, after booking your test, you decide you want to change the date of the test, you can do so free of charge. However, you must give at least three working days notice, which includes Saturdays.

Cancel Your Test

You can cancel your theory test appointment, and receive a full refund, if you give three working (Sundays or public holidays not included) days notice from the day of the test. So, on a normal week, if your test was on a Friday, you would need to cancel your test by the Tuesday at the latest. If public holidays and weekends were involved you may need to give up to seven days notice. You can do this online or over the phone.