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Motorcycle Theory Test Guide

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Table of Contents

What Is The Motorcycle Theory Test?  

Your motorcycle theory test is a computer based test, devised by the government, and offered at various locations throughout the UK.  Anyone wanting a full bike licence must have a motorcycle theory test pass – regardless of any other tests they have taken.

Your theory test will consist of two elements:

  1. Multiple-choice questions
  2. Hazard perception – a video test about spotting hazards on the road

You will need to book and take them as a single test and you have to pass both parts in order to pass.

When Can I Take My Motorcycle Theory Test?

If you have already received your provisional licence, you can look into taking your Theory Test for your first full moped or motorcycle licence.  You can apply for your theory test before or after you have completed your motorcycle CBT.

You can apply to take your theory test anytime from your 16th birthday onwards, if you are learning to ride a moped of no more than 50cc or from your 17th birthday onwards if you are a learning to ride a motorcycle.

How Much Does It Cost To Take The Motorcycle Theory Test?

The fees for both the theory and later practical tests are set by the Government so they should be the same throughout the UK.  Currently, the set price for a motorcycle theory test is £23.00.  The cost of both the multiple-choice and the hazard perception parts are included in this one fee, and if you fail you will need to pay the same again when you re-take the test.

Where are the Motorcycle Theory Test Centres?

The easiest way to find your nearest test centre is to use the form on the Government website here. You enter your postcode and it will show you the motorcycle theory test centres near you.

The Multiple-Choice Question Test

Most people are familiar with this style of test, as they are used in many areas of modern day life.  There are plenty of opportunities online to work your way through practise tests to gauge your knowledge and improve your confidence before you embark on the test for real.

During the first part of the test, you will have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions.  

Before the test starts you’ll get:

  • instructions on how the test works, as well as
  • the chance to do some practice questions to get used to the screens

A question and several possible answers will appear on the screen. You have to select what you believe is the right answer. Some questions are given as a case study.

The case study will:

  • show a short story that 5 questions will be based on, and
  • be about a real life situation you could come across when riding on the roads

If you are unsure of your answers at any time, you can ‘flag’ a question that you want to come back to later, or review and change your answers at any point.

You can use the full 57 minutes to answer the questions if you need to, or you can finish sooner.  You can have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception test starts.

Example Motorcycle Theory Test questions

The test is made up of multiple-choice questions, which give you four options to choose the correct answer in each scenario.  You can find plenty of practise tests online, but here are a few example questions:

What does the law say about carrying luggage on a motorcycle?

A – It must be covered with a protective sheet.

B – It must be visible to other road users.

C – It should be carried only when absolutely necessary.

D – It must be securely fastened at all times.

You have a faulty oil seal on a shock absorber. Why is this a serious problem?

A – It will cause excessive chain wear

B – Dripping oil could reduce the grip of your tyre

C – Your motorcycle will be harder to ride uphill

D – Your motorcycle will not accelerate so quickly

You should ONLY flash your headlights to other road users

A – to show that you are giving way

B – to show that you are about to turn

C – to tell them that you have right of way

D – to let them know that you are there

The Hazard Perception Test

Before you start the hazard perception test, you’ll be shown a video about how it works.

You will then be shown 14 video clips that include:

  • everyday road scenes and
  • at least one ‘developing hazard’ – in other words, you are looking to spot something that would cause you to need to take action.

You get points for spotting the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen.

An example of a developing hazard in the test could be:

Scenario: A car is parked at the side of the road and isn’t doing anything. It wouldn’t cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.

Developing Hazard: When you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicator starts to flash and it starts to move away. You’d need to slow down, so it’s now a developing hazard.

You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard.

To get a high score, click the mouse as soon as you see the hazard starting to develop. This test is designed to measure how quickly and safely you are able to react to changing conditions and hazards on the road, which is an important element of being a good rider.

Revision and Practice

You can revise for your theory test before the day by simply undertaking practise test questions online and making sure you know your Highway Code.

There are loads of different resources for learner riders online, and the more knowledge and practise you have, the more confident you will feel on the day.  Take time to do some home study and practise tests before your hit the test centre, to ensure that you pass the first time.


Common Motorcycle Theory Test FAQs

Where can I book a motorcycle theory test?
You can book your test online via the DVSA website.  Tests are always undertaken at government-run Test Centres throughout the UK.  There is a full list of them online, or you can check with your local authority as to where your nearest test centre is.

How much is a motorcycle theory test?
Your theory test currently costs £23. Unlike your CBT, motorbike theory tests are held in test centres around the UK, and not private driving schools, and have a set fee of £23.00.

If I fail my theory test do I have to pay again?
Yes, you’ll need to pay again. If you fail and want to re-take the test at a later date, you will need to pay the same fee again.

What Is The Theory Test Pass Mark?
For the two tests, you will need to achieve the following to pass.  If you do not, you will need to sit the test again at a later date.

  • For the multiple-choice questions, you will need to achieve a minimum of 43 correct answers out of a possible 50
  • For the hazard perception test you will need to correctly identify at least 44 hazards from a possible 75.

Once you have passed, you will receive a certificate that you will need to take with you when you undertake your practical test.

Do I need a bike test if I have a car theory test
As a UK licence holder, you will need to take a theory test if you want a licence for a new category of vehicle.  Therefore if you have a car licence and you want a motorcycle licence you will need to take a theory test. You should already be very familiar with the rules of the road and your legal obligations, but you may need to learn about new rules and considerations that you will face as motorcyclist.

As a legal road user, it is your responsibility to make sure you have the correct licence for the vehicle you are driving.

Do I need a theory test if I’m just doing a CBT?
You do NOT need to take a theory test for your CBT.  But, most people will sit a theory test for the next level accreditation either just before or during their CBT.

Where’s My Nearest Theory Test Centre?
You can find a full list of theory test centres on the DVSA website. Click here and insert your postcode to find a centre near to you.

Can I do a practice Motorcycle Theory Test?
Yes, one of the easiest ways to sit a mock theory test is to buy this motorcycle theory test DVD from Amazon. You can use it on your Windows PC and practice the motorcycle theory test.

Is there a Motorcycle Theory Test book?
Yes, you can grab a copy from Amazon here.

How long does a motorcycle theory test last?
Your motorcycle theory test certificate is valid for 2 years from the date you passed. If you want to know the duration of the actual test, it should take you no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

Is the motorcycle theory test different from the car one?
Yes, the two tests contain different questions.

How to pass the hazard perception test
The hazard perception text shows you various videos as if you are riding on the road. It is the same test whether you are learning to drive a car or motorcycle. You need to click the mouse when you feel there is a hazard. To pass this part of the test, you need to score 44 or more. If you are struggling, you can find plenty of test videos online to practice.

Questions or Comments?

If you’ve got a question about this article and you need a bit more guidance, drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

Likewise, if you’ve got something to add to this article or an experience you’d like to share, let’s hear it!

We love reading your comments and helping our readers.

  • Don Driver says:

    Hi, in the paragraph ‘Where’s my nearest theory test centre’ you mention that the information can found on the DVLA website. That’s not correct, DVLA in Swansea are only concerned with the issuing of licences and car tax. At lot of people confuse the two organisations but it should be DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency).

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