The theory test - an overview

Before you can take your practical driving test you'll need to take your theory test.

This consists of two sections; a series of multiple choice questions and a hazard perception session, on a computer. More than a third of the candidates who take their theory test fail to pass first time. You need to make sure you're not one of them - and if you are, you need to ensure that you get through second time round. 

You'll need to pass both parts of the test at the same session to pass your theory test.

Your pass is valid for two years, during which time you'll need to pass your practical test. If you fail the theory test, you can book another slot from the next day, but you'll have to wait at least three working days before you can actually take the test.

There's no limit to the number of times you can retake your theory test, but if you don't pass your practical test within two years of passing your theory, you'll have to take your theory all over again.

That's not the end of the world; you've passed it once already. But each time you take a test your bank account will be that little bit lighter, and there are no discounts for taking multiple tests - which should provide some incentive for getting your full licence within that 24-month period.

To prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible for your test, you'll need to stock up on some theory test aids.