Since its introduction in 1996, the driving theory test has divided opinion. Some say it’s pointless, some say it has improved driver safety, while others are undecided. Whatever your opinion, the theory test has been around for more than 20 years. As a tribute, here’s a theory test timeline highlighting how it has evolved…
Why was the Theory Test Introduced?
The year was 1996, the Spice Girls track ‘Wannabe’ was the music hit of the year, England reached the Euro ’96 semi-finals and the driving theory test was introduced to replace answering questions from the Highway Code during the practical driving exam.
Originally made up of 35 multiple-choice questions, the introduction of the driving theory test represented the biggest shakeup of driver testing for decades. Over time, the theory test has evolved.
1996: In July, the theory test was introduced as a written examination.
2000: The theory test is upgraded from a written exam to a computerised test.
2002: The hazard perception test was introduced as an observational exam to assess the ability of learner drivers to spot developing hazards.
2007: The number of questions in the multiple-choice part of the theory test is increased from 35 to 50.
2009: Case study questions are introduced to the multiple choice part of the test.
2014: The fee to take a theory test is reduced from £31 to £25.
2015: CGI clips replace the real-life video clips used in the hazard perception test.
2015: The theory test fee is reduced again. This time from £25 to £23.
More than a million driving theory tests are taken every year in the UK, with candidates required to pass the exam before they can take their practical driving test. Candidates must pass the multiple-choice section and the hazard perception exam to pass the theory test overall.
The current pass scores are:
* Multiple-Choice – 43 out of 50
* Hazard Perception – 44 out of 75
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Tags: learning how to drive