The Best Way To Learn To Drive

Theory Test

Information taken from the official NI Direct Government website.

The theory test for car and motorcycle drivers is made up of two parts which are taken at the same time; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. You must pass both parts of the test to obtain a test certificate. Once you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test. The fee for the car and motorcycle theory test is £30.00

Taking your theory test

The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer monitor 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.

When you take the theory test, you’ll be asked some specific questions relating to the category of test being taken, as well as questions that apply to all road users. To book your theory test online, simply click here to go directly to the theory test booking page.

Practice tests

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) provides two free online tests for each of the following categories:

  • Cars;
  • Motorcycles;
  • Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs); and
  • Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCVs).

This link will take you to practice questions from the DSA that look similar to the theory test you will take at the official theory test centre.

Each test for cars and motorcycles contains 50 multiple choice questions. There are no hazard perception clips within these tests.

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.

You will be asked 50 questions and the pass mark is 43 out of 50. You will have just under an hour to answer the questions. If you have reading difficulties, you can apply for additional time, and have just less than two hours to answer the questions.

Some of the multiple choice questions will be presented to you in the form of a case study. A case study shows a scenario on which five questions will be based. The subject of the scenario will focus on real life examples and experiences that you might encounter when driving. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) publications The Official Theory Test for Motorcyclists and The Official Theory Test for Car Drivers have been updated to show an example case study.

Part two: hazard perception

After the break you’ll then be shown a short tutorial 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 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards. Each clip will last approximately one minute.

To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum points 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.

The pass mark for the car and motorcycle hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.

This link will take you to the offical DSA explanation about the Hazard Perception Test.