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How to Pass Your Theory Test: What to Expect


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You have had driving lessons and now you are on your way to taking the next step to obtain your driving licence, but you are nervous about taking the theory test. There are mock tests you can take online to help you practise and make you comfortable and confident when the time comes to take the real test. That way, you know what to prepare for. The questions in the mock tests are similar to those in the DSA exam; the scoring system is also the same as the one used by the DSA. But first you need to relax and learn how it works so you will know what to expect.

The theory test is the first part of the driving exam. It is split into two sections, a multiple-choice test and a hazard-perception test. The questions in the multiple-choice section depend on the vehicle category you want a licence for. In the hazard-perception test, the questions are the same, but the pass mark differs according to vehicle category. You have to pass both to pass the theory test. If you fail one part, you will need to take both again.

Topics covered


The questions in the theory test cover the Highway Code (prepare for theory test), traffic signs and essential skills. Almost all of these are taught in driving schools, so do a quick review and apply common sense. You may already have been taught in driving school about identifying potential hazards, such as a pedestrian crossing the road or vehicles emerging from side roads, and you have probably experienced different scenarios, but you must also know how to respond quickly to reduce the chance of an accident. There are interactive examples of video clips for hazard perception online.

Theory Test Part I: Multiple-choice


The DSA theory test centre provides lockers for personal items, which are not allowed in the test room. Once you enter the test room, you are not allowed to talk to other test-takers or use your phone, so it is best to make any urgent calls before you take the exam. You will be given instructions on how the multiple-choice exam works and you can choose to do a practice session to get used to the layout on the computer screen. When the real test starts, you have to select the correct answer from the choices provided. There are some questions that may require two or more answers. You can skip questions and answer them later. You will be given 57 minutes to complete the test, and you need 43 correct answers out of 50 to pass.

Theory Test Part II: Hazard Perception


After the multiple-choice exam, you will be given a three-minute break before starting the hazard-perception test. First, you will be shown a video clip about how this part works. There will be a series of 14 video clips that feature common road scenes and contain at least one developing hazard, which should prompt you to take some action. The earlier you notice this developing hazard and respond, such as by changing lanes or slowing down, the higher your score will be. The pass mark is 44 out of 75 points.

You will receive your test results shortly after you have taken it. If you pass, you will get a pass certificate. Keep the certificate in a safe place, because you will need it when you book your practical test. Now, get a good night’s sleep and remember: common sense is your friend!

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