There’s no two ways about it: learner drivers have their work cut out for them. Not only is there the practical driving test to think about, there’s all that theory test practice, too.
Your theory exam is split into two parts – a multiple choice quiz and a hazard perception test, which is like the least exciting computer game ever invented.
Ok, it’s not strictly a game – but it does involve watching a computer screen and clicking to earn points. But if you go wrong, you don’t get a ‘game over’ screen - you fail the test and need to book another!
Here's all you need to know about acing the hazard perception part of your theory 👇
The hazard perception test involves watching a series of videos showing everyday driving scenes from the driver’s point of view.
It’s designed to see how well you deal with having to react in the moment to unexpected events as you drive. Say, a car suddenly pulling out in front of you, or a child running into the road.
There are 14 video clips to watch through during your hazard perception test. During each one, you need to click every time you see a potential danger emerging.
There are two types of hazard in the videos:
Each video contains at least one ‘developing hazard’. But you should click every time you see a potential or developing hazard (basically, anything that has the potential to become dangerous).
13 of the videos contain one developing hazard. But one video contains two hazards – you won’t be told which one.
When you spot a hazard you just need to click your mouse once. A little red flag will come up at the bottom of the screen so you know it’s registered.
You don’t get any points for potential hazards, but you can get up to five points for each developing hazard. The sooner you click when the developing hazard appears, the more points you get.
You should click for all hazards because you don’t know which one might turn out to be a developing hazard.
There are 75 points up for grabs, and you need to get at least 44 to pass this part of your theory test.
Important tip: don’t just click the mouse loads in the hope you’ll catch all hazards! The DVSA knows some people might be tempted to try this. So if you click too much on a video, you’ll fail that clip. The same applies if you click in a pattern to try and get hits without actually spotting hazards.
Check out the DVSA’s example hazard perception video below. We’ve highlighted a bunch of examples of hazards further down – most of them are just potential hazards, but one of them is a developing hazard👇. (Remember – you click as soon as you see any hazard.)
Here’s some screenshots of hazards that we’ve pulled from the video.
Here are some useful hazard perception tips, to give you the best chance at passing.
Practice with online videos There are lots of example hazard perception test videos online that you can practice with. Honing your hazard-spotting skills pre-test is definitely one of the best ways to improve your chance at passing.
Plus, knowing what to expect could help you feel less nervous on the big day.
Practice in real life Whenever you’re out in the car (as a driver or passenger) keep your eyes peeled for potential hazards as a way of practising for your test IRL.
By the way, if you want to practice driving outside of your lessons – you’ll need to make sure you’re insured on whatever car you use. Our learner driver insurance is fully comprehensive and covers you for the exact time you need, no more – just sayin’ 😌
Don’t go overboard with clicking Remember – the DVSA has measures in place to make sure people can’t cheat or exploit the system. If you click too much, you’ll fail the clip.
Don’t be afraid to click if you’re uncertain You don’t lose points if you click and then it turns out there wasn’t actually a hazard. As long as you’re not trying to cheat the test by clicking loads, getting the occasional one wrong won’t hurt.
Click as soon as you see any potential hazard You never know if a potential hazard might end up being a developing hazard. And remember – the sooner you click, the more points you get. So click as fast as you can whenever you spot a potential hazard.
Take a breath, and remember you can always re-sit Resitting your hazard perception test might be a bit of a pain. But try not to put too much pressure on yourself to pass first time round.
You can always re-sit, and you’ll probably be more likely to pass if you’re not in a state of panic.
(If you’re interested, you can check out the average results for theory tests by age, gender and location here.)
If you fail your hazard perception, you’ll fail your whole theory test – but don’t panic. You can resit it as many times as you need to.
You’ll get a letter from the DVSA telling you which bits you failed on, so you can scrub up on those before you re-sit.
It’s worth noting you’ll need to wait three days before you can take your theory test again.
Once you’ve passed, be sure to check out our driving test checklist for your practical exam – good luck!
(Pss, before you go: get a quick quote for learner driver insurance!)