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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Taking a bus and lorry driver theory test

The theory test is made up of two parts - the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. You can take either of the tests first but you’ll need to pass both to get your test certificate. Once you’ve passed the tests you have two years to pass your practical test.

Taking your driving theory test

The two parts can be taken at different times but both parts must be passed within a 24 month period to obtain a valid theory test pass.

Part one - multiple choice

Before starting the multiple choice test you'll be given instructions on what to do. You'll also have a practice session to see how the questions are laid out, and how to use the touch screen computer.

When the test begins a question and several possible answers will appear on screen. You will have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen or using the mouse. Some questions may have more than one correct answer.

You will be asked 100 questions in 115 minutes. You can navigate between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.

The pass mark for the multiple choice part of the theory test is 85 out of 100.

Part two - hazard perception

In the hazard perception test you'll be shown a short tutorial video on how the test will work. You will be presented with a series of 19 video clips which feature everyday road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.

To get a high score in the test you'll need to respond to the developing hazards early. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five. You will not be able to review your answers to the test because, as when you are driving on the road, you'll only have one chance to react.

The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 67 out of 100.

At the end of the test

At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you will be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions. There will also be sample questions to answer that may be included in future tests. You do not have to answer the questions if you do not want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions do not affect your test results.

When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you will not be allowed to enter it again.

After passing the theory tests

You will receive a pass letter detailing the results for the part of the theory test you have completed.

When you have passed both parts, you’ll receive by post your theory test certificate which has your theory test number on. You’ll need this number when you book your practical test.

Your theory test certificate is valid for two years from the date you passed the first part of the test. This could be either the hazard perception or the multiple choice test.

If you don’t take your practical test within two years of passing the first element, you will have to retake the relevant part again.

There are no exceptions to these rules.

If you fail the theory tests

The result letter you'll receive tells you if you passed or failed, and gives you feedback on your test. It includes the topic areas where you've answered questions incorrectly, so you know which areas to look at again. It also tells you the breakdown of points you have scored in the hazard perception test by identifying how many five’s, four’s and three’s you scored.

If you have scored mainly zero’s, one’s and two’s you are reacting too slowly to the hazard that is developing on screen. If you score mainly five’s and four’s you are identifying the developing hazards in good time.

If you fail the feedback on the letter will tell you why.

If you want to book another theory test you can book one straight away, but you cannot take the test for another three full working days. So, if you failed your first test on Monday afternoon, you'll have to wait until Friday morning before you can take your next theory test.

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