What to expect when you take your real theory test at a DSA test centre
This page contains a general overview of the DSA test centre procedures.
The DSA theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice part and the hazard
perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. Once you have
passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.
Taking your theory test
The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard
perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
For the car, bike and ADI Part 1 tests, if you pass one part and fail the other
you'll fail the whole test, and you'll need to take both parts again. For the PCV
and LGV tests the multiple choice questions part is a separate test from the hazard
perception part, meaning that you only need to retake the part you have failed.
The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle
you're hoping to obtain a licence for, ie a motorcycle theory test will contain
specific questions that don't appear in any other test.
For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles,
each vehicle category takes the same test, however the pass mark is different for
different categories of tests.
Part one - multiple choice
Before the test starts you'll be given instructions on how the test works.
You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions
to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real
test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select
the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require
more than one answer.
You can navigate between questions and 'flag' questions that you want to come back
to later in the test. After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break
of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
Part two - hazard perception
After the break you'll then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard
perception part works.
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 to 19 video clips
depending on which test you are taking 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.