Theory test Information

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June 7 2013.
New 2013 editions of official Driving Standards Agency (DSA) theory test for motorcyclist software now include more help than ever before.
The motorcycle theory test is an essential part of the learning to ride process. It allows learner riders to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the rules of the road and that they recognise their responsibility as a road user. To really benefit from taking the test, candidates need to develop a deep understanding of riding theory – especially since the live test questions are no longer published.
DSA’s official publishing partner, TSO (The Stationery Office), has been working with educational specialists and subject matter experts to enhance the theory test products and develop them into valuable learning tools for motorcycle and car test candidates. Following the success of the revamped theory test books which published earlier this year, the best-selling software range has also been updated. The new 2013 edition of The Official DSA Theory Test for Motorcyclists DVD-ROM makes passing the test simpler. The material is delivered in clear, bite-sized chunks to help learners really understand the theory, whatever their learning style. It includes hundreds of official theory test revision questions, covering the same topics as the actual test.
The DVD-ROM encourages candidates to follow a three-step learning process: study, practise, test yourself. Recognising that people learn in different ways, the study section caters for different learning styles. Each section includes lots of photos and diagrams to illustrate key points, definitions to describe tricky words and top tips to highlight important information. The learning experience is multi-dimensional, with links to online videos and interactive activities where candidates can learn more and a voiceover option to help those who learn best by listening. There are also tips on how to study aimed at providing learners with all the support they need to prepare for their test.
Self-assessment is made easy with clear progress tracking throughout each section. Feedback is also provided on which topics need more revision to bring the learner up to test standard and make them safe on the road. Once the learner is confident on each topic, they can take mock tests. They are just like the real thing and will give candidates an idea of whether they have the right level of knowledge and understanding for the actual test.
The DVD-ROM is available as a stand-alone product, compatible with both PC and Mac (ISBN 9780115532610) and is also available as part of The Official DSA Biker Pack (ISBN 9780115532634). The Official DSA Theory Tests for Motorcyclists Pack (2013 edition) (ISBN 9780115532696) is available exclusively from TSO and includes help for the hazard perception test. An interactive downloadable version will also soon be available (ISBN 9780115531989).
To find out more visit or call 0870 850 6553.


When do I have to take the theory test?

You do not need to take the theory test to ride a moped or motorcycle on L plates, but you must take it and pass it before the practical test. If you wish to train with B3 Rider Training, you must pass before the start of training, even if you hold a full licence in another group.

The theory test pass certificate has a life of 2 years, after which it will be necessary to take the test again before taking a practical driving test.

How can I find out about the theory test?

The theory test can be taken at over 145 centres throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Sessions are available on weekdays, evenings and on Saturdays. You can find out where your local centre is from: Your Approved Driving Instructor A DSA or DVTA driving test centre The telephone information line 0300 2001122 The test paper is available in 20 languages including the following:

English , Welsh (in Wales) , Hindi , Urdu , Gujerati , Punjabi , Bengali , Chinese

How can I book and pay for the theory test?

The easiest way is to book it through us as part of your motorcycle course. The quickest way to make a test appointment is to ring DSA’s national telephone number on 0870 010 1372 and pay by credit or debit card. Application forms are also accepted by post with cheque or postal order payment. Application forms are available from theory test and practical test centres, Approved Driving Instructors or on request from DSA’s national number 0300 2001122 .

The cost of the theory test is £31.   To book a motorcycle theory test on line click on this link  Booking a motorcycle theory test

Application forms for the theory test should be sent to the address shown on the form i.e.

DSA PO Box 148 Salford M5 3SY

How can I revise for the theory test?

The DSA recommend that you study the books from which the questions are taken:

Link to purchase any of the publications show below The Highway Code Know Your Traffic Signs Official Motorcycle Manual The DSA also publish CD-ROMs containing the official question bank and using screen layouts which look similar to those used in the actual test.

The books and CD-ROMs are titled as ‘The Official Theory Test’ for the appropriate vehicle category.

The CD-ROM is available by mail order – telephone 0300 2001122

What material can I revise from?

To prepare properly for the theory test, DSA strongly recommend that you study the books from which the questions are taken.These books, known as the source material, consist of The Highway Code, Know Your Traffic Signs and the appropriate Official Driving Manual for the vehicle category in which you are taking your test. Click here for more information about buying these books.

To help you practise for your theory test DSA also publish CD-ROMs. The CD-ROMs contains the official question bank and uses screen layouts which look similar to those used in the actual test.

The books and CD-ROMs are titled as ‘The Official Theory Test’ for the appropriate vehicle category. These will help you to familiarise yourself with the format and content of the test and the CD-ROM enables you to practise mock tests.

The CD-ROM is available by mail order – you can telephone: 0870 243 0123 or email for orders or enquiries

Additional Information

More Information about the theory test (from the DSA website)

The Theory Test for Car Drivers and Motorcyclists was introduced in July 1996. It is designed to improve the safety of newly qualified riders by making them think carefully about the right attitudes needed to ride safely on today’s busy roads.

Areas of assessment include

driver attitude traffic signs and regulations effects of alcohol, drugs and fatigue on driver behaviour safety and environmental aspects of vehicles. To pass the exam you must answer at least 30 out of 35 multiple -choice questions correctly. To help you study and prepare for your theory test the Driving Standards Agency produce the Official Theory Test for Motorcyclists containing the questions and answers. This is updated annually.

The theory test also includes a Hazard Perception test. You will be shown a video clip with various hazards appearing. The sooner you spot the hazard and respond by touching the screen to identify it, the more points you will score. Clicking the screen at random will penalise your score.

A CD-Rom containing all the questions in the question bank is also available.

The core material for the theory test questions are taken from the following DSA publications

The Highway Code The Motorcycle Manual Know Your Traffic Signs It is important that you study – not only to pass the test – but also to become a safe rider. More information is available on the DSA site by visiting our Publications section.

When you take the theory test, you’ll be asked some specific questions regarding the category of vehicle being tested, as well as questions that apply to all road users.

Weekday, evening and Saturday test sessions are available. Arrangements can be made for candidates with special needs. You must tell Booking Section Staff about your special needs when you book your test.

The touch screen theory test has been specially designed to make the test more accessible to the general public. It is particularly helpful to people with special needs. All that you need to do is touch the screen to indicate which answer(s) you think are correct.

DSA THEORY TEST – Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I sit my theory test?

Since January 2000, theory tests have been delivered using a touch screen computer. Candidates sit at individual booths. Questions appear on a computer screen and candidates select their answers simply by touching the screen. Hazard perception videos will also be shown and the candidate should identify the hazard by touching the screen.

How much does the test cost?

The cost is £31.

How long does it take to get my result?

Candidates receive their test results, and feedback information, within 30 minutes of finishing the test.

Do I get feedback on what I got wrong?

Yes. Candidates are given feedback about any topic areas in which they answered questions incorrectly, and the number of questions they got wrong.

Can I take a paper-based test?

No, however, if you have special needs that mean that you have particular difficulties in using a touch screen, tell the booking office when you book your test as special arrangements may be made in some cases.

Do I need to be able to use computers?

No. The touch screen system has been carefully designed to make sure it is easy to use. Candidates can also work through a practice session for up to 15 minutes to get used to the system before actually starting their test. If anybody has any difficulties in using the new system, staff at the test centre will be on hand to help.

How long do I get to take the test?

Candidates have 57 minutes to answer 50 test questions. However, people with special needs can apply for additional time, (up to 80 minutes)when they are booking their test. An extra 20 mins will be allowed for completion of the Hazard Perception Test.

How many questions are there?

There are 50 questions

What is the pass mark?

Candidates have to answer 43 questions correctly out of 50 to pass. The Hazard Perception Test minimum pass mark based on a timed reaction to spot the hazard is 44.

The Hazard Perception Part of the Theory test

The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You’ll be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there’ll be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.

To achieve a high score you’ll need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five.

You won’t be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you’ll only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.


What is the pass mark for the Hazard Perception Part?

The pass mark for the car and motorcycle hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.

How long is my theory test Pass certificate valid for?

The Theory Test Pass certificate is only valid for two years, if you haven’t passed your practical test within two years you’ll have to retake your theory test.

How do I answer questions?

One question at a time is shown on screen. Underneath the question the answer options are set out. To select an answer you touch the button on the screen beside the answer you want.

Can I change an answer after I have selected one?

Yes. This is simple to do by touching the screen again. You are given the chance to practise this before starting the test

Can I skip questions I am not sure about, and go back to them later?

Yes. You can mark questions with a flag to help you go back to them quickly. The system also prompts you to go back to questions that you have not answered fully.

Can other candidates see my results on the screen?

No. Candidates sit in a private booth. In any case, there are so many different forms of the test that candidates in adjacent booths are probably sitting different tests.

What happens if the computer system breaks down?

If there is a short interruption to the test, candidates are usually able to continue with the test. The answers that have been given up to that point will not normally be lost. If there is a longer interruption, candidates are offered a new test free of charge.

Does everyone have to take the theory test?

UK licence holders

Most candidates in the UK who are learning to drive or ride will have to sit a theory test for that category. However, there are some exceptions: – upgrading within the same category i.e. B to B+E – if you hold a full B1 entitlement because you have a full motorcycle licence issued before 1 February 2001 you are exempt from the car (B) theory test – if you passed a theory test and then a practical moped test, then you won’t have to take the theory test again to upgrade to a motorcycle licence.

Can I take my practical test first? No. You have to take and pass your theory test before a booking for the practical test is accepted.


Can I take the test in a language other than English? Yes. At no extra cost, car and motorcycle candidates can listen through a headset to the test being read out in one of 20 languages other than English. These are: Welsh, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi, Gujerati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Mirpuri, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushto, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu.

The test is not available in my language. Can I bring a translator with me to translate the test? Yes. Translators are permitted if the voiceover service is not offered in the language in which you want to take the test. The translator must be approved by DSA and arrangements for using translators must be made at the time of booking your test. You must arrange for their services yourself, and are responsible for paying the fee. Tests with translators can only be accommodated at the following theory test centres: Aldershot, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ipswich, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Palmers Green and Preston.

Can people with special needs use the system? The system provides facilities for candidates with special needs. These include being able to listen to the test read in English or 20 other languages through a headset or, for deaf candidates, being able to watch the test being signed in British Sign language.

I am colour blind. Can I still use the system? Yes. The system has been carefully designed so that candidates who are colour blind can use it.

I am dyslexic. Can I use the system? The system has the option for dyslexic candidates to listen to the test being read in English through a headset. People with dyslexia can also apply to have up to double the standard time of 40 minutes.

I have hearing difficulties. Can I use the system? A video of the test in British Sign Language is available on screen for candidates who are deaf or have other hearing difficulties.

I have light-sensitive epilepsy. How can I take a theory test? Special arrangements can be made through the booking office to enable you to take your theory test. The actual arrangements will depend on your exact needs, but may involve using a flicker-free screen like those used in a laptop.

Some tips on passing the Hazard Perception test from Kevin, our BTEC qualified instructor

This has got to be the biggest insult to common sense I have seen in many, many years.” Unfortunately, that’s a typical response from someone who didn’t prepare for the Hazard Perception test properly.

In case you didn’t already know, the Hazard Perception test is the second part of the Theory test that all drivers and riders have to take when adding a new category onto their licence. Like it or lump it, it’s here to stay, so what is it and how do you pass it?

The Hazard Perception test takes the form of a series of video clips of footage shot on real roads in which you will have to look for and identify the hazard. You click your mouse button every time you see a new hazard developing that may cause you to take some form of action.

The earlier you spot the hazard, the higher your score.

Remember that word “developing”. You also need to understand the DSA definition of a hazard – it’s something that requires a change of course or speed from you. Remember that too.

The problem with the Hazard Perception test is that it’s not always as simple as it looks, particularly if you are an experienced driver. The “window” in which you have to click the mouse to show you have spotted the hazard is quite small and if you don’t click at the right time, you don’t score, even though you correctly spotted the hazard.

So why the problem?

It seems the test is aimed at brand new road users and so experienced drivers doing the bike test are reacting to potential hazards, not developing hazards, and so clicking too early.

So, our advice. Pay close attention to the introduction and the example at the start of the test. Remember each clip will have one, or possibly two, ‘real’, tested, hazards. Just remember… what you are looking for is the moment a POTENTIAL (ie possible) hazard turns into a DEVELOPING (ie a real) one.

For instance… a child on a bicycle cycling along the pavement… that’s a potential hazard… what they want you to spot is the moment he looks over his right shoulder and starts to turn to ride into or cross the road.

That’s the moment the situtation starts to develop and you may have to swerve or brake to avoid the child. But when that possible hazard starts to develop is the moment you have to do something about it. The earlier you click when there’s a developing hazard, the better you score.

Good luck!