Taking your driving theory test can be daunting. But as with any exam, preparation is key. The problem is that there are hundreds of mock tests and practice questions online, and not all of them are genuine.
The best resources come from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) that sets the test. It gives regulated providers guidelines and practice questions that are similar to those used in the test. Since the test was updated in May 2018 with changes being made to the wording, and again in September 2020 with changes to the format, ensuring you use the most up to date practice material is pivotal.
Read on to find out how the theory test works. Then discover our list of the 8 best driving theory test resources, including practice exams and mobile apps, to help you pass first time.
The theory test is designed to test your knowledge of driving skills and rules. You must pass it before you can take your practical test.
The exam is split into two parts. The first is a set of multiple-choice questions covering rules and regulations for driving. The second is hazard perception that tests your ability to spot and respond to dangers in the road.
The DVSA suggests you should complete at least 20 hours of study and revision before taking the theory test.
Multiple Choice Test
This theory test contains 50 multiple-choice questions chosen at random from a bank of more than 1,000. Three of the questions are about a short video, which shows a normal driving situation such as driving through a town centre or a country road. The video is silent, and you can watch it as many times as you like during the test. Overall, you must get at least 43 correct to pass.
You will have 57 minutes to answer the questions, which should leave time at the end to check your answers. You may also flag questions to come back to them later.
Hazard Perception Test
The hazard perception test contains 14 one-minute video clips filmed from the driver’s point of view. In each video is a hazard that you must recognise, and one video will contain two hazards.
This exam tests your ability to spot a developing hazard that will cause the driver to react. This could be a pedestrian stepping out in the road or a car pulling across your lane. You click when you first spot the hazard developing and the earlier you click, the more points you will get, to a maximum of five points per hazard.
But you cannot just click randomly – the software is designed to give you no points if you click too much or repeatedly click throughout the video. There are 75 points available, and you need at least 44 to pass. You get one practice clip before the test starts, and a ten-second countdown before each clip.
When you think you're ready to take your test, use the official theory test mock exam to test your knowledge.
Now you know how the theory test works, it’s time to get learning! Here are the best resources to help you pass first time.
This is the rule book for the roads, containing all the regulations and laws you need to follow. It’s the source of many of the theory test questions.
This handy book contains all the traffic signs you’re likely to see on the roads and what they mean.
Bonus resource: test your sign knowledge with this free traffic signs quiz.
#3 – Official DVSA Car Theory Test Revision Material
This is the ultimate driving theory online revision kit. It gives you all the learning material in clear, bite-size chunks and tracks your progress as you go. It also gives you access to all the latest DVSA theory test revision questions and answers.
There are three sections to the kit: Study, Practice and Test Yourself. Work through each study section, practice with test questions and then take the mock test to check how much you’ve learned. It also includes over 100 high-quality hazard perception clips and 9 new practice multiple choice video clips, as well as a ton of interactive exercises to help you learn the key information.
This resource works across different devices, from your laptop to your phone. It is available on a subscription basis, from £15 for 1 month to £20 for 3 months.
Available from the DVSA Learning Zone.
#4– Multiple choice practice tests
The DVSA has also provided two free practice tests for the multiple choice section. You can take them here.
#5 – Hazard perception practice test
It’s important to practice taking the hazard perception test, so you understand how it works. The DVSA sells a DVD for £15.99 with practice clips that lets you click at the hazards, then check your scores.
There is also the Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception Online, which follows the same format as the above Theory Test Kit but offers guidance on the hazard perception section of the test only. It provides you with over 100 high quality, interactive video clips exploring a variety of environments and road conditions. It works on a range of devices and is available from the DVSA Learning Zone.
#6 – DVSA Complete Theory Test Kit mobile app
If you prefer to study on the go, download the Complete Theory Test Kit smartphone app. It contains DVSA-approved theory material, practice questions and mock tests. It also includes 10 official hazard perception video clips.
#7 – Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App by Focus Multimedia
This smartphone app contains all Theory Test questions, has won multiple awards, and is licensed by the DVSA. You can sit unlimited mock tests and review where you went wrong, and test yourself with the braking distance simulator.
#8 – Theory Test Pro website and mobile app by Well Informed
Theory Test Pro is a smartphone app and website that covers multiple-choice questions, hazard perception clips and the Highway Code. All its questions are licensed by the DVSA and it features official hazard perception videos as well as over 30 other exclusive clips. The multiple-choice questions are divided up by topic and it offers hints and explanations to provide feedback as you go along.
Your driving instructor may also have a subscription to the advanced features.
With these resources, you should be ready and prepared to pass your theory test first time. Book in advance on the DVSA website – it costs £23.
You must have a provisional driver’s licence, and remember to take this with you on the day or you will not be permitted to sit the test.
You sit both parts on the same day, with a three-minute break between the tests. The whole thing should take about one and a half hours. For more information on what you need to book and take your theory test, head to the Government website.
Good luck! Once you've passed (hopefully first time too!) our handy 10 useful tips for learning to drive blog is the next step in passing your practical driving test.
Visit our YouTube channel, where you can find more tips from our fantastic experts.