"I can honestly say my experience of learning to drive was brilliant! Martin my instructor was excellent and put me at ease straight away."

Olivia, Colchester

The Theory Tests

You need to pass the theory test before you can apply for the practical driving test. You cannot take the theory test until you are 17 years of age. The theory test is divided into two parts - the hazard perception element and the multiple choice element. Both parts of the test are taken on the same day at the same test centre.

To book a theory test telephone 0300 200 1122 and remember to have your driving licence number and credit card details handy. Alternatively, you can book your test on-line at gov.uk. The cost of the combined theory test is £23.00. Good luck!

The Multiple Choice Test

The multiple choice test is taken first - you select answers by simply touching a computer screen. This 'touch screen' system has been carefully designed to make sure it is easy to use.

Castle Driving School vehicle

You have an opportunity to work through a practice session lasting up to 15 minutes to get used to the system before starting the actual test. Staff at the test centres are on hand to help you if you have any difficulties in using the system. The screens are easy to read. Only one question appears on the screen at a time and you can move backwards and forwards through the questions.

You have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions and you need to answer 43 questions correctly to pass this element of the theory test.

The multiple choice test covers the following...

• Alertness • Attitude
• Safety and Your vehicle • Safety Margins
• Hazard Awareness • Vulnerable Road Users
• Other Types of Vehicle • Vehicle Handling
• Motorway Rules • Rules of the Road
• Road and Traffic Signs • Documents
• Accidents • Vehicle Loading


The Hazard Perception Test

The hazard perception test is taken immediately after the multiple choice test and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Hazard Perception covers the following...

  • Constantly scanning the area around you
  • Choosing a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles
  • Using an appropriate speed for your current situation
  • Planning ahead
  • Anticipating developing situations

What does hazard perception mean?

Hazard perception means the ability and skill to identify hazardous situations as they arise, and take appropriate action as and when necessary.

The hazard perception test consists of 14 one minute video clips, filmed from a car. Each clip contains one or more developing hazards which the candidate has to identify. Candidates are asked to indicate (by clicking the mouse) as soon as they see a hazard which may require them to take action e.g changing speed or direction. Marks are based on the candidate's responses to the hazards (mouse clicks). The sooner a hazard is detected the higher the score.

Only developing hazards are scored - responses made to other hazards will not lose points.

You will be given your results for both the multiple choice test and the hazard perception test before you leave the test centre. You need to have passed BOTH the hazard perception test and the multiple choice test in the same session to obtain your theory pass certificate.

If you fail the theory test (either parts) then you have to wait three clear working days before you can take it again.

What to take with you when attending a theory test

You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes before the test starts.

  • A confirmation letter (or at least the reference number you were given over the phone, if it was a short notice test).
  • Your signed driving licence.
  • An acceptable signed document containing a photo of yourself e.g. passport.
    Not applicable if you have the new style photo card licence

The venues for the theory test are shown on the reverse side of the application form which is available from your Castle driving instructor or a Driving Standards Agency Test Centre.

Our nearest theory test centre is in Colchester, you can also find your nearest theory test centres by entering your postcode here. You can also book your theory test on the gov.uk website.

For the latest information on driving; provisional and full driving licences and taking the driving tests check out the Learning to Drive section of the gov.uk website.

:: If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us :: Telephone: 01206 728939 :: e-Mail: [email protected] ::