The Theory Test

The theory test is made up of two parts; which have to be taken together and both parts passed to be successful.

Part 1, the Theory test, consists of 50 multiple choice questions on all aspects of the highway code. These are answered by using a touch screen computer and mouse. To pass you must get at least 43 of the 50 questions correct.

Part 2, the Hazard Perception test, consists of 14 video clips, each lasting about one minute, which put you in the position of driver and present you with various hazards. These may be road conditions, vehicles, pedestrians or obstacles which cause you to alter speed. You respond by pressing a mouse button as soon as you see a hazard developing. The earlier you spot the developing hazard, the higher you score.

There is one hazard each on 13 clips, 2 hazards on the other clip, which could be in any order. Each hazard carries 5 points. To pass, you must score at least 44 points out of 75.

You can book your theory test by obtaining an application form from a test centre, your driving instructor, or by calling 0870 0101372. Forms need to be sent in with a cheque, postal order or Credit / Debit card details. I will discuss with you the best time to take your theory test.

The Practical Test

Pupils are usually ready to take the practical test after 30 or 40 hours of tuition, preferably with plenty of private practice once the basic skills have been mastered. The secret of a first-time pass is to be well prepared and to have plenty of practice.

To have the best chance of passing, wait until you are ready. I have the experience to be able to tell you when that is, and when the time comes you can book online, at www.dsa.gov.uk, or by calling 0300 2001122, as for the theory test.

The practical test will last approximately 40 minutes from start to finish, actual driving time being 30 to 35 minutes, around various road conditions with speeds of up to 70mph.

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 rest will not continue
* your examiner will ask you two questions about carrying out vehicle safety checks

You will be asked to carry out one of the following manoeuvres:

* reverse around a corner
* turn in the road
* reverse park, either into a parking bay or behind a parked car

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.

Your practical driving test will include approximately ten minutes of independent driving. This is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.

You may also be asked to do a controlled stop, but this does not happen in every test.

You will need to be able to read a number plate at 20.5 metres (67 feet), or 20 metres (66 feet) for number plates from 2001 onwards.

Theory Test Pro in partnership with Lisa's driving tuition

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