When you have reached the appropriate standard, we will recommend that you apply to take your practical driving test. There are a number of ways in which you can apply, but the easiest method is on-line. It is important to use the official website when making the booking (see our Links page), as some unofficial sites will charge you a booking fee. There are some rules governing the car you wish to use for the test; these are set out in detail on the official website.
The Theory Test is made up of two parts. The first part is a multiple choice series of questions and answers and the second part of the theory test is called Hazard Perception.
Both these parts must be passed in order to pass the Theory Test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test and will have to take both parts again.
The Multiple Choice Part
Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how it works. You can choose to do a practice session of 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 possible answers will appear on a computer screen – you have to select the correct answer by touching the screen. Some questions may need more than one answer. You can move between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
The car multiple-choice part lasts for 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.
After the multiple-choice part you can choose to have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
The Hazard Perception Part
Before you start the hazard perception part, you’ll be shown a short video clip about how it works. You’ll then be shown a series of 14 video clips on a computer screen. These video clips feature everyday road scenes and contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ – but one of the clips will feature 2 ‘developing hazards’.
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction. The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher you will score.
The most you can score for each developing hazard is 5 points.
To get a high score you need to respond to the developing hazard as soon as you see it starting.
If you click continuously or in a pattern during a clip a message will appear at the end. It will tell you that you have scored zero for that particular clip. You won’t be able to review your answers.
The pass mark for cars is 44 out of a possible 75.
During the practical test, an examiner will assess whether you can drive your vehicle safely on the road. As well as an ability to manoeuvre the car, you will need to display responsibility and consideration for other road users.
Before the test begins, the examiner will want to see both parts of your provisional licence and ask you to sign a declaration regarding insurance of the car and residency. You will also be given the option to take your accompanying driver with you in the car if you wish. This can be your instructor or anyone over the age of 16, but they must not take any part in the test.
After an eyesight test, (reading a vehicle number plate at a distance of 20 metres), you will be asked 2 questions to show that you can carry out safety checks on the car you have brought for the test. You will then drive for 35-40 minutes on a variety of road types, following directions given by the examiner. During this time, you will also be asked to carry out a manoeuvre involving reversing (turn in the road, reverse around a corner or parking), drive independently for approximately 10 minutes, and possibly carry out an emergency stop.
At the end of the test, you will be told immediately whether you have passed or failed, and be given a debrief on the drive.