Stage 1 Theory Test

Stage 1 Theory Test

The theory test is made up of two stages; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part. The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse and the hazard perception part records your responses through your mouse click. You must pass both parts to pass the theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test, and subsequently will have to take both parts again.

The hazard perception test is the same for each vehicle category, however the pass mark will be different depending on which vehicle category test you are doing.

Multiple Choice

In this part of the test you will be asked 100 questions split into four bands. For every question there will be four possible answers. You answer the questions by touching the computer screen to select the answer from the selection shown. To pass the test you must answer at least 85 questions correctly with a minimum of 20 correct answers in each band. This part of the test will last one and a half hours. You will have the option to work through a practice session lasting 15 minutes to help you get used to the system before you start the actual test.

After the Test

You must pass both parts of the test at the same time. You will be given your result once you have completed both parts and have returned to the waiting room. RSA will be advised of the result of your test and you may apply either for your Stage 1 again (if you have not been successful) or your Stage 2 (if you have been successful). You will be given the appropriate form when you receive your result at the theory test centre. Only 3 attempts at the Stage 1 are permitted within a two year period from the date of the first test.


The theory test calls for a higher standard of knowledge than for a learner driver. The questions are based on all or any of the following:

  • Principles of road safety generally and their application in particular circumstances.
  • Techniques of driving a car correctly, courteously and safely including control of the vehicle, road procedure, recognising hazards and taking proper action, dealing properly with pedestrians and other road users, the use of safety equipment.
  • The theory and practice of learning, teaching and assessment.
  • Tuition required to instruct a pupil in driving a car, including the items set out above, the correction of pupils errors, the manner of the instructor, the relationship between instructor and pupil, and simple vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers.
  • The HMSO booklet “The Highway Code” which you can get from most bookshops.
  • The DSA publication “The Official Driving Test”.
  • Interpretation of reasons for failure given in Form DL9A Driving Test Report.
  • Knowledge, adequate for the needs of driving instruction, of the mechanism and design of a car.
  • The official DSA publication “Driving the essential skills” published by HMSO, which you can get or order from most bookshops.

ISM will provide you with all the above publications and more to enable you to complete your home study properly.

Test Overview

The practical test of driving ability consists of tests of both eyesight and driving technique. The test lasts for about 1 hour. You must pass both parts of the test at the same time.

Driver Eyesight Testing

You must be able to read in good daylight with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn, a motor vehicle registration mark containing letters and figures:
79 millimetres in height and 50 millimetres wide at a distance of 26.5 metres OR 79 millimetres in height and 57 millimetres wide at a distance of 27.5 metres.


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