Theory & Practical tests

THEORY TEST

Before you can take the practical driving test, it is essential that you pass the theory / hazard perception tests.
(Most major book retailers like WHSmith is where you can purchase these reference materials. Or see our useful links page.

To book your theory test call 0300 200 1122 or use the DSA Online Booking Service  (The fee is £23.00)

Allow enough time to learn before booking, as there are over 40,000 failures each year, likewise your instructor will know when you are ready. Also we will assist you in the learning (visit learner login) and preparation for the test during your lessons as shown below:

  • Alertness
  • Attitude
  • Safety & Your Vehicle
  • Safety Margins
  • Hazard Awareness
  • Vulnerable Road Users
  • Other Types Of Vehicles
  • Vehicle Handling
  • Motorway Rules
  • Rules Of The Road
  • Road & Traffic Signs
  • Documents
  • Accidents
  • Vehicle Loading

You have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions of multiple choices.
You must get 43 out of 50 questions asked to pass.

HAZARD PERCEPTION

You are tested on the following;

  • Looking For Clues
  • Mirror Signal Manoeuvre (MSM) Routine
  • Scanning & Planning
  • Prioritising
  • Cutting Down The Risks
  • Responding

There will also be 14 video clips to test your hazard perception skills.
There will be 15 hazards to identify. One clip will contain two hazards.
You can score up to 5 points on each one, depending when you identify the hazard or a developing hazard.
You will need to score at least 44 out of 75 to pass this test.
The hazard perception part is delivered on a computer and you respond by clicking a button on the mouse.

Preparing for your theory test

To prepare for the multiple-choice part of the theory test, we strongly recommend that you study the books from which the questions are sourced as well as the questions themselves. These books are:

  • The Highway Code
  • Know Your Traffic Signs
  • Driving – the essential skills
Other study aids

The Official Theory Test CD-ROM for Car Drivers

This is an alternative way of preparing for the multiple-choice part of the theory test. It contains all the questions and answers and also allows you to take mock tests.

The Official Guide to Hazard Perception (DVD)

We strongly recommend that you use this, preferably with your trainer, to prepare for the hazard perception part of the theory test. This is available as a DVD and booklet pack.

See our useful links page to find mock test and relevant information.

Visit the DSA’s Theory Test website for on-line practice materials

PRACTICAL TEST

You will have 40 minutes to demonstrate your skills and abilities, and show you can drive competently and safely in all kinds of driving situations.

You will also have to carry out 1 manoeuvre, and possibly the emergency stop. You may have to drive with SatNav or may do independent driving, which will last 20 minutes.

At the beginning of the test you will have to do a “show me” “tell me” on how you would carry out safely and maintenance checks on your vehicle. You will have to answer 2 questions, the 1st “tell me” question at the beginning of the test and the 2nd “show me ” question as you are driving.

You can find it in the Learner Login section. If you do not have the password, ask your Driving Instructor.

At the end of your test the examiner will tell you if you have passed or failed. 

If you commit anything serious or dangerous during the test or more than 15 minor errors during the test you will then fail.

Once you have passed your test you are on a probationary period for 2 years, if you collect 6 penalty points you can be disqualified from driving and have to retake your theory/practical tests again.

To book your practical test call 0300 200 1122 or use the  DSA Online Booking Service .

The weekday fee: £62.00
For evenings (after 16:30) & weekends: £75.00

Extended Test Fees
(for disqualified drivers)

Weekdays : £124.00
Saturdays : £150.00

Show Me, Tell Me Questions

About the questions

The examiner will ask you one:

  • ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving

‘Tell me’ questions

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

‘show me’ questions

1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?

2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?

3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?

4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?

5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?

6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?

7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

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