Anyone who has yet to take their practical driving test will first have to negotiate a classroom or theory element, which since 2002 has included both a multiple choice test and a hazard perception test.
The first part of the test consists of 50 multiple choice questions, all based on the contents of the Highway Code.
The pass mark is 43 out of 50, so it’s important to make sure you’ve studied well beforehand.
There are numerous online resources that allow you to practice including official practice tests here.
Before the test itself you can choose to answer some practice questions – this is a sensible idea so you can get used to the format of the test and maybe calm your nerves.
The computer touchscreen format has been designed to be as unintimidating as possible –and you can ‘flag’ questions and come back to them later – but remember you have 57 minutes to complete it, giving you the option of a three-minute break before moving onto the hazard perception test.
You’ll be shown a series of 14 video clips and will need to identify a developing hazard – a car pulling out of a side street or a child walking into the road, for example – sooner rather than later.
You can score a maximum of five points for each developing hazard, although it’s important to remember that if you just click repeatedly or too early you’ll score zero for the whole clip.
The government has produced an official guide to the hazard perception test, and there are practice tests available elsewhere such as this one provided by the AA.
You need to bring your photocard and your paper counterpart with you to the test centre, and the cost is £31 for both car and motorcycle tests.
You must leave all personal belongings in the lockers provided before entering the test room – if you attempt to sneak something in - even if it’s something innocuous - you may be asked to leave the test and fail as a result. The same applies if you try to communicate with any of the other candidates.
If you pass you’ll be told immediately, and once you have your pass certificate you have two years to do the easy bit – passing your practical driving test…