About the Theory Test


This part of the DSA theory test for car drivers consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Associated with each question is a list of potential answers. You need to select the correct answer, or answers, by touching the appropriate area of the computer screen. Please see below for details. You will be given 57 minutes to complete the test. To pass you need to correctly answer 43 out of the 50 questions (i.e. 86%).

Multiple Choice Theory Test
The examination process

Before you start the actual test a short video tutorial will explain how the test should be undertaken. You will be given the opportunity to complete some practice questions to make sure you are familiar with the computer screens.

As you can see from the layout of the theory test computer screens above, you move from one question to the next by touching the arrowed buttons at the bottom. To select any particular answer press the button on the screen next to the answer you wish to select. The answer will then be highlighted with a blue background. To deselect an answer simply touch the answer button on the screen again. This will cause the highlighted blue background to disappear.

The red text in the top left hand corner will tell you how many answers to mark (i.e. to select). This text will flash if you have not selected sufficient answers and try to move onto another screen. If you press again it will let you move on even if you still haven’t supplied sufficient answers. In this case the question will be recorded as incomplete.

If you wish to flag a question so that you can review it later you will need to press the flag button at the bottom of the screen. This will cause the flag button to turn red.

Theory Test review Screen

At any point you can call up the review screen by pressing the review button (see above). This screen enables you to check all the questions and your answers from the start. Alternatively you can just review those questions flagged or those questions incomplete (i.e. not fully answered or not attempted). You will also need to press the review button so that you can end the test. To end the test you press the end test button on the review screen.

The test will automatically end if you run out of time. The time you have left to finish answering the questions is shown at the top right hand side of the question and answer screen.

Hints and tips
Before you press on the end test button in the review screen make sure that the number of complete questions equals 50, the same as the total number of test questions.

If this is not the case review those questions not fully answered or not attempted (i.e. incomplete questions), and any that you have flagged. Incomplete questions require you to select one or more answers until you have marked the required number as indicated by the red text in the top left hand corner of the question and answer screen.

Even if you have completed all the questions, and provided you have the time, it is worth the effort of reviewing all your answers again before pressing the end test button. You can do this by pressing the “Review All” button on the review screen.

Once you have completed the test you will be given the option of a 3 minute break before you move on to the next part of the test, hazard perception.

Analysing the results
At the end of the theory test (i.e. after completing both parts you will be given your result for this part of the test and a list of those DSA categories where you answered a question incorrectly. Unfortunately, the DSA will not tell you which questions were wrongly answered only the category they relate to.

Booking the test
You can obtain a theory test application form from any driving or theory test centre or by telephoning the theory test enquiry line on 0870 0101 372 or 0845 600 6700 in Northern Ireland, between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Welsh speakers can also book on 0870 0100 372. If you are deaf and need a minicom machine telephone 0870 0106 372. Upon booking you will be given a booking number and sent an appointment card as confirmation within 4 days. Please note you can apply for you car provisional driving licence up to three months before your seventeenth birthday. This would enable you to book your theory test on your seventeenth birthday or shortly thereafter.

Cancelling the test
You are required to give a minimum of three clear working days notice of your decision to cancel or postpone your test, otherwise you will lose your test fee.

Arranging a re-test
If you fail the test you will have to wait a minimum of three clear working days before you can take the test again.

Other languages supported
The test is not only available in English, the following languages are also supported:

Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kurdish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Welsh.

Through a headset you will be able to listen to the test being read in any of the above languages. In Northern Ireland other language tests are only available in Cantonese, Bengali and Urdu.

Other special requirements
The DSA are required to make every effort to ensure that the theory test can be taken by all candidates. However, it is important that you discuss your needs with them when booking the test.

To help candidates with dyslexia or other reading problems a headset can be provided with an English language voice-over. You can also ask for up to double the normal time to complete the test. If you have any queries please ring the number stated earlier and ask for the Special Needs section.

If you cannot read or write in any of the languages provided, you are allowed to bring a translator with you. However, it must be a DSA approved translator.