THE THEORY TEST
See below for the Hazard
Perception Test and Practical Tests (Modules
1 and 2)
Before taking your practical tests, you will
have to take and pass the theory and hazard perception tests.
You can take your theory test before your CBT but most people
wait until after.
The theory test will gauge your knowledge and
understanding of riding theory. A sound knowledge of the theory
is essential to a better understanding of practical riding skills.
To help you learn the theory there are quite
a few good books and DVDs available.
All provisional driving licence-holders will
have to pass the theory test before a booking for a practical
test will be accepted.
Theory test sessions are available during weekdays,
evenings and on Saturdays. A test appointment will normally be
available for you within about two weeks. Your training school
will tell you where your nearest test centre is.
When you attend your theory test you'll have
to show photographic evidence of your identity as well as your
driving licence. The photographic evidence of your identity must
show both your photograph and your signature. The only acceptable
documents for this purpose are
||Both parts (photo and paper counterpart)
of a new-style photocard driving licence
||Old-style paper driving licence and current
The 57 minute test, taken under exam conditions, consists
of multiple choice questions. Most questions ask you to identify
the correct answer from a choice of four or five possible options.
There will also be some multiple response questions that will
ask you to select several answers from five or more options. Some
questions will contain pictures of road signs or road situations.
To pass the test you will need to answer at least 43 out of
50 questions correctly. You will take the test using a computer
screen. You will select your answers by simply touching the area
of the screen that shows the answer of your choice.
No previous computer experience is required. You will have
up to 15 minutes to get used to the system before starting your
test. There will be staff available to help if required.
The screens are easy to read and only one question will appear
on the screen at the time. You will be able to move forwards or
backwards through the questions at any time to look at the questions
again to complete or to alter your answer. The new system will
inform you if you have not completed your answer fully.
At the end of the test your answers will be calculated and
you will be given your test result.
It is recommended that you buy a book
or DVD which contains all the questions and answers, which
are in the same format as in the actual test. There are now over
1000 questions that the test centre has in its question bank.
Candidates with special needs will have additional time and
assistance - e.g. hearing the written text through a headset.
The test is also written or spoken in 15 other languages.
If you fail on your first attempt, don't worry - about 50%
of candidates fail their first theory test. There will be no limit
on the number of times the theory test can be taken and there
is no minimum time period imposed between attempts at the test,
other than booking dates being full.
The quickest way to book your theory test is to book
For examples of some typical questions click HERE.
For a free online example of a Theory Test click HERE
And some more HERE
For information on the procedure for the Theory Test watch
the DSA video How
to Pass the Theory Test.
Our thanks to Dexterity
Motorcycle Training for their contribution to this
HAZARD PERCEPTION TEST
Research has shown that the more experienced
riders and drivers scan the road better and recognise much earlier
the clues that show a hazardous situation is developing and therefore
start to take action before the danger occurs.
The DSA have now extended the Theory Test by
adding a Hazard Perception Test. It's taken at the same time as
the Theory Test and takes about an extra 15 minutes.
During the test candidates are shown a number
of moving video clips filmed from the motorcyclist's point of
view. Each clip contains one or more developing hazards.
The candidate will be asked to indicate as soon
as they see a hazard developing which may result in the motorcyclist
taking some action, such as changing speed or direction. The sooner
a response is made the higher the score.
The pass mark is 44 out of a possible 75.
Hazard perception is the ability of a rider or
driver to make an early identification of situations where some
form of avoidance action might be necessary, such as changing
speed or direction. It involves techniques such as
||selecting a safe separation distance
||using an appropriate speed
||planning well ahead
||having good anticipation
If you'd like to practice the Hazard Perception Test (and
the Theory Test) in the comfort of your own home then take a look
Hazard Perception Challenge
For more on the Hazard Perception Test visit 2pass.co.uk
The motorcycle practical test is divided into
two parts called Module 1 and Module 2.
You must pass Module 1 before you can take
Your instructor will probably train you first
for Mod 1 followed by the Mod 1 test and then, if you pass it,
train you for Mod 2 followed by the Mod 2 test.
Module 1 (off-road manoeuvres)
Module 1 takes place at a safe, off-road, Multi
Purpose Test Centre (MPTC).
You must take with you your CBT certificate
(DL196), your Theory and Hazard Perception Test pass certificate
(less than 2 years old) and a valid licence. You must also be
wearing suitable clothing.
You will first be given a briefing and then
start these manoeuvres between coloured cones
||Manual handling - taking the bike off its
stand and reversing it from one cone 'parking bay' into
||Slow control steering (slalom and figure
||Slow ride: this will be observed as you
ride to the next exercise
||Circuit bend and controlled stop carried
out between 30 km/h and 50 km/h (about 20 mph to 30 mph)
followed by a controlled stop in the area marked by blue
cones - speed not measured
||Cornering and emergency stop - speed measured
(min speed 50kph - about 32mph)
||Cornering, avoidance exercise and controlled
stop - speed measured (min speed 50kph - about 32mph)
In the two high speed exercises if you don't
reach the minimum speed of 50kph you'll be given a second chance
to do those exercises again.
And that's the end of Module 1. It takes, on
average, about 22 minutes.
If you've reached the required standard your
examiner will issue you with a pass certificate.
If you fail Module 1 you must wait three full
working days before being eligible to retake it.
To read more (from an instructor's point of
view) about Module 1, with diagrams, click HERE.
Module 2 (on-road riding)
As with Module 1 you must take with you all
the necessary documents including yout Module 1 pass certificate.
You must be using the same category and size
of bike in both modules.
You'll be fitted with a radio receiver and
then you'll be taken outside for the eyesight test which consists
of reading a number plate from a distance of about 20 metres.
If you fail this (after a third attempt) the test will not continue.
If you pass the eyesight test you will be asked
two motorcycle safety check questions,
one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’. One or both questions answered
incorrectly will result in one driving fault being recorded.
After a briefing and radio test you will then
go out onto the road with the examiner following you and giving
You'll be riding through various road and traffic
conditions and performing a number of manoeuvres in various
situations such as
||Pulling up on the left behind a parked
vehicle and moving off again when it's safe to do so
||Left and right turns onto and off main
||Hill start (if possible)
There is now (since the 4th of October 2010)
a section of the test called "Independent Riding"
in which you will be asked to follow the traffic signs to somewhere
or a series of directions or a combination of both. You can
read about this in detail and see a video HERE.
Throughout the test your examiner will watch
you and will be looking to see if you
||Make appropriate progress
along the road
||Keep up with the traffic while
keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front
||Show confidence and good judgement
||Choose the correct speed for
the type of road, density of traffic and weather
||React correctly to road signs
and speed limits
||Be aware and react correctly
to what other road users are doing, including pedestrians,
cyclists and animals
You will pass if you show that you can
||Comply with correct road procedure
||Obey traffic signs
||Carry out the set exercises
You should not be over-cautious. For example,
you must not ride too slowly as you could be holding up other
traffic and you must not stop and wait when it's safe and normal
After about 40 minutes of road riding you will
be back at the test centre where the examiner will tell you
if you have passed or failed. You instructor can be present
at this point. Your driving test report will identify areas
where any mistakes were made
If you fail your module two test, you must
wait 10 full working days before being able to retake the module.
You can see a series of DSA videos of Modules
1 and 2 HERE
REASONS FOR FAILING
On the fail sheet, given out by DSA, the examiner
can check 47 different boxes as a fault.
You can fail on 1 serious fault, 1 dangerous
fault or a combination of driving faults of which you are allowed
up to 15 (up to 5 in Mod 1 or up to 10 in Mod 2). However, four
driving faults in the same box will result in a serious fault,
and therefore a fail.
Some examples of serious and dangerous errors
||Dangerous or illegal manoeuvres
or actions such as turning right or changing lanes without
looking over your shoulder
|| Failure to obey traffic signs
such as No Entry signs, speed limits, or traffic lights
||Failure to cancel an indicator
leading to a potentially dangerous situation
||Failure to observe lane markings
||Riding too slowly where it was
safe to ride more quickly
||Pulling out in front of another
vehicle at a junction
You can read a full description of "how to fail your motorcycle
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Our thanks to Survival
Skills Rider Training for their contribution to this page