Theory & Practical Driving Tests
To obtain a driving licence you will need to pass two tests:
The theory and hazard perception test and the practical test.
The Theory Test was introduced to test your knowledge of the rules of the road, and the Hazard Perception test which follows, assesses your driving awareness skills.
The theory test comprises of 50 questions with between 4 and 6 possible answers. To pass this section you need to get at least 43 out of 50 correct.
Remember, safe driving for life comes from understanding the rules of the road and it is important that you understand ‘why’ certain rules are there. The best way to prepare for your theory test is to buy some theory books published by the DSA. Paragon Driving School recommends The Highway Code and the complete theory test DVD as shown above.
The hazard perception element comprises of 14 video clips, each 1 minute long. During these clips, you will see a normal road situation, in which a hazardous event will happen and as soon as you see it, you will need to click the mouse. This part of the test is designed to test your ability to react quickly to what you see, so the quicker you spot the hazard, the more points you score. Each clip is programmed to have a window of opportunity to click and so it is worth clicking a couple oftimes per clip as your first click may have fallen outside of the window of opportunity. If you fail to click within the window of opportunity then you will score 0 for that clip. Also if you click too many times on the clip or if the program detects rhythmic clicking then you will also score 0 for that clip. There are 15 hazards to spot in total but only 14 clips, so be careful as one of the clips has 2 hazards for you to find.
You need at least 44 out of a possible 75 to pass this section.
You must pass both elements in order to pass your theory test overall.
Once you have passed your theory and hazard perception test, you’re on the right road to taking the practical test. The test will last approximately 40 minutes and is designed to cover all areas of your driving, including a reversing manoeuvre and possibly an emergency stop. You will also be tested on your ability to drive independently following road signs or sat nav directions for a period of 20 minutes. As part of the practical driving test you will also be asked 2 questions relating to the maintenance of the car. Remember, the driving test is your opportunity to show the driving examiner that you are ready to drive on the roads unaided for the rest of your life. You need to act responsibly, safely, respectfully of others and legally. You need to demonstrate that you have the vehicle under control at all times and that you can plan and be aware of developing situations. Make sure that you are ready to be that person before you consider taking a test. Your driving instructor can help you assess your level of ability by conducting mock driving tests. Listen to the feedback your driving instructor gives you and work with them to improve and develop further.