After the theory test you can take a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception test automatically begins.
First you'll be shown a tutorial video featuring sample footage with a commentary that explains how to complete the test. You'll be given the opportunity to watch the tutorial a second time if you need to.
The test is made up of 14 one-minute video clips, which feature various hazards such as vehicles, pedestrians and road conditions. You have to presume you're a driver as these clips are played, and you respond to each scenario by clicking your mouse as soon as you see a hazard developing. The earlier you spot the hazard and click the mouse, the higher your score.
The highest score possible for each developing hazard is five points, but it’s no good just constantly clicking the mouse whenever you feel like it, as the system is designed to detect this. Just sitting there clicking like mad will lead to a message telling you that you’ve scored zero for that particular clip.
After you've finished both parts of the theory test, you'll be given your results. For the theory test, the pass mark is 43 out of 50 and for the hazard perception test, you can score up to five marks for each hazard. With 15 scorable hazards, the pass mark is 44 out of a possible 75.
You need to pass both parts of the test at the same session to pass your theory test. Your test pass is valid for two years, during which you'll need to pass your practical test. If you fail the theory test, you can retake it after waiting at least three working days, and there's no limit to the number of times you can retake it.
The sorts of things you need to watch out for when taking your hazard perception test include:
- Road signs, warning of hazards ahead
- Other road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists
- Emergency vehicles
- Poor visibility because of adverse weather conditions
- Blind bends or brows
- Other vehicles changing lanes
- Vehicles braking ahead (watch for the brake lights)
- Vehicles with their indicators flashing
- Vehicles pulling out from junctions or side roads
- Children playing near the road or cycling on the pavement
- Pedestrians stepping out from behind parked vehicles
- Cars stopping to park
- Oncoming traffic
- Traffic restrictions
- Being forced out to the middle of the road by parking cars
- Children crossing without looking
- Crossing patrols and other forms of pedestrian crossings
- Farm traffic and gateways into fields
- Animals, especially horses and riders, cows and sheep
- Debris in the road
- People walking towards you, on your side of the road
- Broken down vehicles on the hard shoulder
- Vehicles joining or leaving the motorway
- Vehicles changing lanes to overtake
- Vehicles going much faster or slower than you
- Emergency vehicles
- Stationary traffic ahead