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Theory Test Pass Marks and Rates

Preparing for your first theory test? Find out how much you need to score, the pass mark, and how many people achieve it the first time round:


What is the pass mark for the theory test?

The pass mark for the Theory Test is 86%, so you'll need to answer 43/50 multiple choice questions correctly to pass. And for the hazard perception section of the test, you need to score 44/75. 

Theory Test Pass Mark
Theory Test Multiple Choice Questions 43/50 Questions answered correctly
Theory Test Pass Mark 86%
Hazard Perception  44/75 Hazards 
Hazard Perception Pass Mark 58%

You must score a pass in both sections of the theory test to pass the overall test.


What is the current pass rate for the theory test?

The 2015/16 pass rate for the theory test is 49.3%*, which means just over half of all people who sit their theory test fail it.

Theory Test Pass Rate
2013/14  51.6%
2014/15 51.0%
2015/16 YTD* 49.2%

 *March 2016

And, of those who passed their theory test, how many passed first time?

In 2015*, 28% of all tests resulted in a first time pass - that’s 481,000 first time passes out of 1.6 million tests sat.

That's probably much less than you thought, right?

We all know someone who claims to have passed their theory test the first time round, with no revision at all, or very limited last minute revision attempts. Whilst they may have fallen lucky (or told a little white lie) we really don't recommend this approach.

The cost of a resit is £23, plus the cost of the original fail; bringing the booking fee up to £46, without taking into consideration the cost to get to the test centre, and your time wasted.


Our top 5 tips to pass your theory test fist time:

  1. Revise as much as possible for the months and weeks leading up to your theory test, but don’t cram hours in at a time – instead try to split your revision into more manageable chunks.
  2. Attempt a minimum of 10 full theory test exams; which include both the multiple choice and hazard perception sections of the test.
  3. Don't book your test until you can are consecutively and confidently passing each full mock test.s with a high score.
  4. Don't book your Ensure that you test until you have seen (and correctly answered!) 100% of the official DVSA revision questions.
  5. Understand WHY you're sitting the theory test. It is not just a hurdle in the way of you booking your practical test; it is vital information which will make you a safer, more informed driver. Everything you learn will be needed once you hit the road, so take your time and see the true value in your revision.
  6. Find the right revision tool for you. Focus on content and how it will fit into your revision schedule more than simply looking for the cheapest option you can find. Look for a product with all of the official revision questions, a large amount of hazard perception clips, and a progress monitor. This will help you see when you're consecutively passing and which areas need more work.

Looking for that perfect revision tool? Join the millions who have prepared with the help of Driving Test Success by signing up for our Online Training.

* Car theory test data by test centre. From: Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
* Freedom of information report. 11 January 2016