Motorcycle theory test and hazard perception

Last updated by on November 8th, 2022

Taking any test is daunting, especially if you’re not sure about what you’ll be asked. So, we’ve pulled together all you need to know about the motorcycle theory test, along with some top tips to help you prepare – and pass.

When should I take the motorcycle theory test?

In most cases you’ll need to take and pass the theory test before you can take your motorcycle practical.

You’ll have to be at least 16 years old to take the test if you want to go on to ride mopeds, and at least 17 if you want to ride a motorcycle. It’s up to you whether you take the theory test before, or after you’ve been on a compulsory basic training course (CBT).

If you’ve got a car driving licence, you still need to take the motorcycle theory test if you want to take the motorcycle practical test.

You can book your motorcycle theory test online, or by phone.

Are there any exemptions?

You won’t need to take it if you passed a moped test after 1 July 1996 and want to take the practical test on a small motorcycle (category A1).

If you’ve already got a motorcycle licence and just want to upgrade the category of bikes you can ride, then you’re also exempt from taking the test; but you must meet the conditions set out under the ‘progressive access’ rules (typically this means you’ve had a licence for at least two years).

What will I be tested on?

There are two parts to the test – multiple choice and hazard perception – so, what can you expect?

Multiple-choice test: this part is 57 minutes long and you’ll need to get 43 out of 50 questions right within this time, in order to pass. Questions will be based on case studies and real-life scenarios.

Don’t worry if you get stuck on a question, you can ‘flag’ it and come back to it. You can also go back and change your answers at any point during this part of the test. Don’t feel you need to use all the time – you can finish the test earlier.

Motorcycle hazard perception test: you’ll be shown 14 video clips, each one contains a ‘developing hazard’. To pass, you’ll need to get 44 points out of a possible 75 and you can earn up to five points per hazard. It’s handy to know that one of the clips will contain two developing hazards – so watch out.

You won’t be able to go back and change your answers on the hazard perception test and you’ll only get one attempt per clip. There is some good news though – you won’t lose points if you get it wrong. But don’t be tempted to beat the system and click continuously or try to devise any cunning patterns – because you won’t get any points at all if you do.


How do I know if I’ve passed or failed?

You’ll get the results when you’ve finished both of the tests and you’ll need to have passed both sections to pass overall. If you passed (congratulations), your pass certificate is valid for two years and you’ll need it when you book your motorcycle practical test.

It can be pretty discouraging if you don’t get the results you hoped for, especially when you’ve studied hard – but don’t worry. Your results will show which areas you didn’t score too well on, giving you a great starting point for revision.

If you need to retake the test, you’ll need to wait three working days before you can take it again.

How much does a motorcycle theory test cost?

Your bike theory test will cost £23, it’s a fixed price and if you book through the official GOV.UK website, you shouldn’t have to pay any more.

Unfortunately, if you failed the test once, then you’ll still be expected to pay the full cost if you take it again.

Top tips for passing your motorcycle theory test first time

Nobody really wants to resit tests so here are some top tips to help maximise your chances of passing first time – good luck.

1) Book it: you have to book to sit the test, you can’t just turn up, so don’t fail at the very first hurdle.

2) Revise: as basic as this sounds, it’s very easy to forget to study for your theory test, especially if you’re at college or working. If you make the time to revise regularly you’ll increase your chances of passing first time.

3) Use official study guides: there are three books that the theory test is based on: The Highway Code; Know your traffic signs; Driving – the essential skills. Using these, means there shouldn’t be any surprises.

4) Familiarise yourself with the questions: this should be straightforward if you revise enough, but it’s worth looking at how questions are worded so you don’t get caught out.

5) Rope in friends and family: get them to randomly ask you questions when you least expect it, it might sound odd, but it’ll prep you so you’re ready for anything.

6) Don’t panic: when you sit your test, try to stay calm. Remember, you can flag up tough questions in the multiple choice and go back to them at the end, so don’t waste precious time deliberating the answers.

7) Remember the essentials: don’t forget to take your photocard driving licence – you won’t be able to sit your test without it but you’ll still be expected to pay for it.

8) It’s not a chore: it might be a ‘test’ but it’s not there to trick you, it’s genuinely intended to keep you and everyone else on the roads safe.

9) Sleep well: try to get a good night’s sleep before your test, if you feel refreshed you’ll perform at your best.

How can help?

We’re here to help and we know that one of the biggest concerns for moped and motorcycle owners – is finding the right insurance. Start your quote today.

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