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PRACTICAL AND THEORY:

– TESTS – – – – – – – –

Practical and Theory tests

Practical Test for Cars Explained

The driving test for a car is designed for you to show you understand and can demonstrate your knowledge of the Highway Code and the theory of driving safely.

Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving, including when you are carrying out the set exercises.


The car practical driving test

The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:

  • can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions
  • know The Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving

After meeting your examiner, the next two stages are:

  • an eyesight check – if you fail this, your test will not continue
  • your examiner will ask you two questions about carrying out vehicle safety checks

Driving ability

The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes during which you will be examined on your general driving and ability to reverse your vehicle safely. Currently two exercises will be chosen from:

  • reversing around a corner
  • turning in the road
  • reverse parking

From 4 October 2010 you will only be asked to complete one reverse exercise.

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it as it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. However, if at any time your examiner considers your driving to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

From 4 October 2010, your practical driving test will include approximately ten minutes of independent driving. This is designed to test your ability to drive unsupervised, and make safe decisions without guidance.

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Theory Test Explained

The theory test is made up of a multiple choice part and a hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass it. Once you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.


Taking your theory test

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.

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— 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 begins.

MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST TYPES
CATEGORY TIME ALLOWED PASS MARK
Car and motorcycle 57 minutes 43 out of 50
Lorry and bus 115 minutes 85 out of 100
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— 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.

HAZARD PERCEPTION TEST DETAILS
CATEGORY VIDEO CLIPS DEVELOPING HAZARDS PASS MARK
Car and motorcycle 14 clips 15 44 out of 75
Lorry and bus 19 clips 19 67 out of 100
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— 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. For lorry and bus candidates once you have passed both tests you will also receive a pass certificate letter by post.

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