The D.S.A Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test must be passed before being able to apply for a practical test. The sooner the pupil begins to study for the Theory and Hazard Perception Test the more beneficial it is to the practical lesson.

The Theory Test is based on the Highway Code and “The Official Guide to Driving – The Essential Skills“. Both these publications can be purchased online at The Stationery Office website. The waiting list for the theory test is approximately two weeks but maybe a little longer if the candidate has special needs.

The Theory Test has two parts, the first being the multiple choice part and the way this works is that a question and several possible answers wii appear on a computer screen - you have to select the correct answer, some questions may need more than one answer.You can move between questions and flag questions you may want to come back to later in the test. Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study which will (1)show a short story that 5 questions will be based on and (2) will focus on real life examples and experiences that you could come across when driving. This first part of the test will last for a maximum of 57 minutes,There are 50 questions and the pass mark is 43 out of 50. You will then have a three minute break before starting the Hazard Perception part of the test, where you will be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature everyday road scenes which contain at least one Developing Hazard, but  one clip will feature  two Developing Hazards.A Developing Hazard is one that may result in you having to change either Speed ,Direction or both.Clicking with the mouse records your response to the Developing Hazards. The pass mark is 44 out of 75. You will be informed of the result of the test on leaving the examination room by the Centre staff who are not permitted to discuss any aspect of the result.

Candidates must pass both parts to pass the test. Failure to pass either part will mean that the entire test must be retaken at least three days later. The Theory Test certificate is valid for two years. If a candidates does not pass the practical driving test within that period then the theory test must be retaken.

CD Rom and books are available from good book shops and via the DSA website to help you in your preparation for the test. Theory Test centres locally are in Milton Keynes (Tempus House, 249 Midsummer Boulevard) and Luton (70/78 Collingdon Street). Further information at www.dsa.gov.uk

The DSA have recently introduced an on-line practice theory test which will give you an idea of the sort of questions you will be asked.