Theory test changes 14 April 2020

Female candidate sat a computer answering a theory test question

The way the theory test works in England, Scotland and Wales will change from 14 April 2020.

The same changes will apply in Northern Ireland.

The change will make the theory test more accessible, especially to people with a:

  • reading difficulty (like dyslexia)
  • learning disability
  • developmental condition (like autism)

The change only applies to car theory tests to begin with.

How the theory test is changing to use video clips instead of written case studies

Currently, you have to read a case study and then answer 5 questions about it.

This tests your knowledge and understanding of road rules.

This will change if you take your test from 14 April 2020. You’ll watch one video clip instead of reading a case study, and answer 3 questions about it.

How using a video clip will work

You’ll watch a short, silent, video clip and answer 3 multiple-choice questions about it.

You can watch the video clip as many times as you like during the multiple-choice part of the theory test.

Example
You can watch the video, answer a question, and then watch the video again before you answer the next question.

What the video clip will look like

The video clip will show a situation, such as driving through a town centre, or driving on a country road.

The type of questions you’ll answer about the video clip

You’ll answer questions like these:

  1. Why are motorcyclists considered vulnerable road users?
  2. Why should the driver, on the side road, look out for motorcyclists at junctions?
  3. In this clip, who can cross the chevrons to overtake other vehicles, when it’s safe to do so?

For each of the 3 questions, you’ll have to choose the correct answer from 4 possible answers.

What the screen will look like

The left-hand side of the screen will show the video clip, with controls to:

  • play the video
  • pause the video
  • move to a specific part of the video on a progress bar
  • watch the video using the full screen

The right-hand side of the screen will show the question and 4 possible answers.

Screenshot of theory test question showing a van parked on double yellow lines with the question 'What do double yellow lines mean?' and 4 possible answers

Who this change will affect

All car theory tests will use video clips from 14 April 2020.

This includes if:

  • you fail a test before then and retake if from 14 April 2020
  • your test is cancelled or moved for any reason, and your new test date is from 14 April 2020

What’s not changing

You’ll still need to study the same books and software to prepare for your theory test.

You’ll still need to:

  • answer 50 multiple-choice questions within 57 minutes
  • get 43 out of the 50 questions right to pass the multiple-choice part of the test

The hazard perception part of the test is not changing. This is where you watch video clips to spot developing hazards.

Tests that are not changing

The change does not yet apply to these types of theory tests:

  • motorcycle
  • lorry
  • bus or coach
  • approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1

Other support for people with a reading difficulty, disability or health condition

You can have reasonable adjustments made to your theory test if you have a:

  • reading difficulty
  • disability
  • health condition

These include:

  • extra time to take the test
  • someone to read what’s on the screen and record your answers
  • someone to reword the questions for you

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