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Multiple Choice Theory Test FAQ

The driving theory test at time of writing, late 2013, comprises two elements. These are the multiple choice part of the test and the hazard perception test. There is a comprehensive guide to the second element in our hazard perception test FAQ page - here we concentrate on the multiple choice part of the test.

How long does the multiple choice test last?

This part of the test lasts for 57 minutes. Many people finish it more quickly, and you can choose to end this part of the test early when you are done answering the questions, you don't need to wait for the whole time. The test will present you with various multiple choice questions and you must pick the correct answer or answers from a list provided with each question.

What is the structure of the multiple choice test?

The structure is simple: there are 50 questions. The first 45 of these are self-contained. The final five are in the form of a single case study, where you are given a short scenario to read and then asked five questions based on the scenario. For instance, there could be a short narrative about a journey Bill takes, and then you will be asked questions on things he encounters during the journey or hazards he faces: it might tell you it is raining when Bill sets out on his journey, then ask you in one of the multiple-choice questions how much longer the stopping distance is in rain compared to in dry conditions, for instance.

How can I practice for the multiple choice test?

There are a large number of books, websites and apps that can help you. The best way is to read the highway code and know your road signs. Digest what they tell you: they are essential reading to keep you safe on the road, far and above being useful resources when it comes to passing the theory test.

Then to prepare for the theory test questions, the best way is to go through all the revision questions the DSA provides, of which there are nearly 1,000. You can access each and every one of them for car drivers on this site, complete with the answers and the official DSA explanatory information that is provided alongside each of the questions to help explain it.

Are the revision questions the same as on the test?

Not any more. It used to be the case that all the questions you could be asked were published in advance. However this was changed, because there was a worry people were just learning the answers to the questions and not developing understanding. Therefore now there are the official DSA revision questions which you can use to practice on, but none of the actual test questions are released, you only see them on the official test itself. However a lot of the questions are extremely similar to the revision questions, and therefore this remains the best form of preparation. Depending which questions you get shown, there might be a small number that are unfamiliar to you on the test; this is why it is important to study the highway code and develop your knowledge of driving theory outside of the revision questions.

Also be sure to use common sense during the test itself - this can often take you to the right answer even when you don't know it for sure or you encounter a question that is unfamiliar to you. For instance if there is a question about a technology you've never heard of that can make cars safer, then without knowing anything else if one of the options for the question you get asked about this technology is "even with this feature enabled, it is still possible to crash" then common sense would tell you that's the answer - no technology is infallible and sadly it's always possible to be involved in a crash, no matter what aids the car has.

Does explanatory text appear alongside the test questions?

No, these just appear alongside the revision questions. In the test you won't have this text, just the question and the multiple choice answers to pick one or more options from, as directed.

What mark do I need to pass?

You currently need to score 43 out of 50 or more to pass this part of the test. If you revise thoroughly and do all the practice questions, then this should be no problem. Many of the questions are common sense. But there are also a reasonable number where you will need to learn facts such as stopping distances, how long certain documents like a Statutory Off-road Notification last, the maximum fine for driving without insurance and many other things that you won't know off the top of your head or probably be able to work out on the spot. Those are the questions that you should pay special attention to when revising and try to remember the answers as you go along.

This site is ideal for preparing yourself for the test. You can sit lots of mock tests (all with different questions in), view ALL of the official DSA revision questions for car drivers, and for every question you answer we monitor how you perform. You should aim to test yourself against every question before the test. We keep track of this too. Let's say that leads to you getting about 850 questions correct, but on about 100 or so questions you get them wrong at least once. That's all recorded by the site automatically, and you can see these then on one page and the night before your test rather than wade through all 960+ questions again, you can simply focus on the 100 you got wrong and keep the answers to those in mind.

We hope that you find the above information useful. If you study the highway code carefully and work through all the revision questions on this site, you'll give yourself a great chance of passing this element of the test first time. You should go into this element of the test confident that you'll pass it if you've prepared well. Good luck!

If there's anything else you need to know about the multiple choice element, then you can contact us and we can add the answer to your question to this page to make it an even more useful resource for those taking their theory tests in the future. Also feel free to recommend this page to any friend's who you think would find it useful.