Getting your motorcycle licence: How to pass the theory test

There are three obstacles between you and your full bike licence: the CBT (compulsory basic training), theory test and practical test.

The theory test is the second element. It is always completed after the CBT, but before the full test. Here MCN explains what to expect from the theory test and how to prepare for it.    

The theory test is made up of two elements – a multiple choice test and a hazard perception test. Both are conducted on a computer, at specialist test centres.

The multiple choice test
The test consists of 50 questions randomly selected from a bank of 900. There are numerous books available listing all of the questions, such as Haynes Learn to Ride manual or The Official DSA Theory Test for Motorcyclists book. Before you buy make sure you have the most up-to-date book available!  You can also practice online at

The test will last 57 minutes, and you need to get 43 of the 50 questions right to pass.  You will be given some practise questions before you get started – use these to get used to the touch screen system and help you relax.

The hazard perception test
The hazard perception test consists of 14 video clips, each about a minute long, showing real riding situations. You have to identify the hazards that appear on the screen as they pop up in front of you. Thirteen of the clips contain one scoreable hazard, while one clip contains two.

You are scored on how quickly you identify the hazards. You can score a maximum of five points per hazard, and need to achieve 44 points out of 75 to pass.

Practicing for this test is a bit more tricky then the multiple choice test. You can test yourself whenever you are on the road - scan the street for potential hazards and see how many you can spot. It is also possible to practise online – there are lots of sites offering practise videos for a small fee. Some books also offer practise CDs or DVDs, so look out for them. 

You will find out if you have passed on the day!

Two things to remember:

  • You won’t be allowed to take the test unless you have the both parts of your driving licence (paper and card) and you booking number or form.
  • You are entitled to a three minute break between the end of the multiple choice test and the start of the hazard perception test.


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