How to prepare for your theory test

If you’ve decided to take driving lessons, you will be aware that you have to sit what’s known as a theory test. This theory test is a way of testing your knowledge of the Highway Code and there’ll also be a hazard perception test. The cost for sitting this test is around £34 which you can pay online.


It’s a good idea to do some revision beforehand and you can buy books and find articles online which will aid your study. You’ll be given 50 questions on multiple choice and you’ll need to answer at least 43 correctly to pass.

Around 20 to 25 hours should be adequate study and preparation time, and if you can, get someone you know to test you on it. It’s important to put the time in because if you don’t, you may fail the test and lose money. 

There’s a handbook you can buy from the Driving Standards Agency, DVSA, which is a theory test handbook, you should find this useful. You’ll find some sample questions and some great tips on what to look out for, and it will prepare the way for you before you sit the test.

As we mentioned earlier there will be a hazard perception test and it’s important therefore to prepare well for this. When you sit the test, you’ll be given some video clips where there are driving hazards for you to spot. You’ll find lots of information about this both online and in your theory test handbook.

Also, online you’ll find some hazard tests you can run through to help yourself which will help you to identify which distractions could lead to a potential hazard.

For the hazard perception test, you’ll need to get 44 out of 75 to pass, so that’s something else that’s worth spending time on.

We mentioned earlier about taking tests online, these are known as mock tests and they’ll give you a real feel for what you’re up against once you sit the test itself. It’ll give you time to practice what you know and to get a feel for what it’s like to sit the test. By testing yourself in this way, you’ll be helping yourself to feel better prepared and more confident about what you know.

On The Day

Always leave in plenty of time because you don’t want to arrive feeling hot and flustered, that’s not a great start. You’ll need proof of identity, and this can be in the form of a provisional license, or if you have the old-style driving license and you’re an older driver, then you’ll need a passport with a recent photo of yourself.

Before you start you’ll have around 15 minutes to get yourself ready, adjusting yourself to the layout and to play around the touch screen. You’ll have just under an hour to answer 50 questions, if you’re stuck on one then touch the flag button and it’ll mark it so you can go back to it later.

You’re allowed a 3-minute break during both tests. This should help you to take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself mentally for the rest. Take your time and don’t rush through the questions.

With the hazard perception test you’ll need to press the mouse button every time you see a potential hazard developing. The earlier you respond, the higher the score. If you click too many times you will get zero for that particular clip.

You’ll find out whether or not you’ve passed as soon as you leave the exam room. Someone in reception will let you know what your marks were and whether or not you’ve scored enough to pass. We wish you luck with your theory test and if you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, please get in touch, one of our team will be able to help you. Here at Compass ProDrive, we have some of the most successful driving instructors in Edinburgh, we pride ourselves on our pass rate and the standard of our teaching. Give us a call today.