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Demystifying the Motorcycle Theory Test

Updated: Oct 4, 2023



So, you've successfully completed your Compulsory Basic Training and have your sights set on obtaining your full UK motorcycle licence. But before you can hit the open road with the wind in your hair, you must conquer the motorcycle theory test. Without a valid motorcycle theory test certificate, you'll be stuck with a 125cc bike for two years (or until your CBT certificate expires).


The good news is that the motorcycle theory test isn't an insurmountable challenge. Still, it does require some preparation if you aim to pass it on your first attempt. The test costs £23.00, and you'll need your provisional driving licence to book a slot. Fortunately, DVLA test centers are widespread, so you won't have to travel far to find one.


The test consists of two parts: a multiple-choice question section and a hazard perception test. There are 14 key areas the theory test will evaluate you on, which fall into the following categories:


  1. Alertness

  2. Attitude

  3. Safety and your vehicle

  4. Safety margins

  5. Hazard awareness

  6. Vulnerable road users

  7. Other types of vehicles

  8. Vehicle handling

  9. Motorway rules

  10. Rules of the road

  11. Road and traffic signs

  12. Documents

  13. Accidents

  14. Vehicle loading


While this may seem like a lot to absorb, many questions rely on common sense, and the rest can be mastered with some light reading. You'll need to answer 43 out of the 50 multiple-choice questions correctly within a 57-minute timeframe. You can flag questions you're unsure about and return to them later.


The hazard perception segment of the test presents 14 video clips, taking about 30 minutes to complete. These clips depict typical road scenarios, each with at least one developing hazard. One of the clips features two developing hazards, so be on the lookout.


To score in the hazard perception part, you must click the mouse when you spot a developing hazard. The maximum score per clip is 5 points (except for the clip with two hazards, which offers a potential 10 points). Your score decreases the longer it takes you to identify hazards. You need to score 44 out of 75 points to pass, and no, continuous clicking won't help - that's considered cheating!


So, how can you ensure you pass the motorcycle theory test? Practice, practice, and more practice! There's a wealth of resources available, including books, websites, and apps. A great starting point is getting a copy of the highway code, which covers everything in the multiple-choice section of the test and is an affordable resource.


Personally, I struggled with reading books, so I turned to apps and websites for mock tests. Be sure to schedule your test with ample time for preparation. Rushing into it a few days from now won't do you any favors.


I came across an exceptional motorcycle theory test app during my preparations. It had over 900 questions, 80 HD hazard perception videos, and various features to focus on your weak areas. Over six weeks, I practiced with a daily mock test and some hazard perception clips. Initially, I failed a few tests by a narrow margin, but consistent practice led to improvement.

The hazard perception section can be challenging due to the scoring system, but the app I found helped me immensely. I could review the videos to identify the exact moment to tap the screen. With time and practice, I consistently passed the mock tests, and I felt fully prepared on test day - where I succeeded!


The test itself is relatively comfortable; you sit alone at a computer, primarily focusing on managing your time. Most test-takers complete the multiple-choice section well within the 57-minute limit. Remember to stay calm, read questions carefully, and flag any uncertainties for review after completing the others. An hour and a half later, you should walk out with your theory test certificate!


If you don't succeed on your first attempt, don't be discouraged. The test center provides a breakdown of your scores, highlighting areas for improvement. Pick yourself up, resume studying, and book another test when you feel ready.


That wraps up today's post, but stay tuned for more blogs covering the Mod 1 and Mod 2 tests. Best of luck with your theory tests - you've got this!


As always, I welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions, so please feel free to share them below. Stay safe and enjoy your rides!


Jennie x

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