If you are a learner driver you must take and pass your theory test before you book your practical test. If you already have a driving licence you might not have to take another theory test if you want to start driving a different vehicle.
The local theory test centres are located in Truro and Penzance and currently costs £23.00
DSA booking support
Telephone: 0300 200 11 22
Textphone: 0300 200 11 66
Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Book a driving theory test online (Opens new window)
Theory Test explained
The 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.
If you pass one part and fail the other you'll fail the whole test, and you'll need to take both parts again.
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.
Some car and motorcycle multiple choice questions will be given as a case study. The case study will show a scenario that five questions will be based on. The subject of the scenario focuses on real life examples and experiences that drivers could come across when driving.
You'll be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.
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 video clips 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.
The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.
At the end of the test
At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you'll be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions.
You don't have to answer the questions if you don't want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions don't affect the result of the test.
When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you'll not be allowed to enter it again. You'll then be given your result by the test centre staff.
More useful links
Much of the above information has been referenced from the government information website (www.direct.gov.uk): The link below provides this and more detailed information about the practical driving test.
theory test information (Opens new window)