Theory Test Pass Rates Plummet Due to Harder Questions | Book Theory Test Today Blog Theory Test Pass Rates Plummet Due to Harder Questions | Book Theory Test Today Blog
Your Driving Journey Starts Here
Find Your Nearest Test Center
Booking Now For All UK Test Centres

Theory Test Pass Rates Plummet Due to Harder Questions

Book Theory Test Today investigates the trend of decreasing pass rates among learner drivers taking the theory test.

Firstly readers don’t panic! Just because theory test pass rates are declining across the UK does not mean that your theory test attempt will result in failure, but it’s our duty here at Book Theory Test Today to give you the facts. The hard truth is, the theory exam is getting harder according to new figures.

Commentators say that the theory test has become harder to pass due to a number of changes gradually introduced since 2007.

Just six years ago seven out of 10 theory test candidates were successful. But, based on figures so far for 2014, just five test candidates out of every 10 have successfully completed the exam.

Over the years changes to the test have included: asking more questions, stopping the publication of real-life questions and ceasing to provide interpreters.

The DVSA, which is responsible for the test, said: “We keep the theory test under constant review.”

During the first six months of 2008, seven out of every ten tests were passed, with the pass rate reaching peak levels during August at 70.6%.

However, a number of changes to the theory test increased its level of difficulty, including:

  • September 2007: The number of multiple choice questions was increased from 35 to 50
  • September 2009: A “case study” was introduced, with five questions relating to a specific scenario
  • January 2012: New theory test questions stopped being published online or in practice papers
  • January 2013: The question bank was refreshed, meaning few real-life questions remained in publication
  • April 2014: Interpreters and foreign language voiceovers were banned

These extensive changes have seen theory test pass rates steadily decline, reaching an all-time low of 49.1% in March 2014.

The most recent data, published on Thursday 11 September, 2014, shows a pass rate of 50.7% between April and June. Although this is up on March’s figures, it’s down by 1.5% compared to the same period in 2013.

An excerpt from a document issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) said: “This fall in pass rates is a continuation of a reduced pass rate following the changes to questions in January 2013. It may also be associated with the withdrawal of voiceovers and translators and foreign language tests from April 2014.”

The recent decline in the theory test pass rate has coincided with a rise in the number of theory tests being taken.

Between April and June of this year, the number of tests taken was 7.7% higher when compared with the same period in 2013, while it was nearly 20% higher than the same period in 2012.

The DfT reports that the increase in the number of tests could be attributed to the number of retests taken.

In a statement from a DfT spokesman, he said: “The theory test requires candidates to demonstrate they have a good knowledge of the rules of the road and the theory behind safe driving. We keep the test under constant review to ensure it remains as effective as possible.”

He added: “In January 2012 we stopped publishing the theory test questions to make sure that candidates understand the theory behind safe driving, rather than simply learning answers by rote.”

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…



*To Qualify For a Free Resit You Need To Achieve Over 39/50 In Your Exam. Read More.