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Theory Test

​Motorcycle Theory and Hazard Perception Tests | RideTo


Matt D · April 11, 2017

If you’re on this page it’s probably because you’re thinking of starting your motorcycling career and progressing towards a full motorcycle licence. Whether it’s just to commute to work in style or to go on a motorcycle world tour, you’ve come to the right place. It can be daunting when you first start looking into what you need to do. So we’ve broken down the theory and hazard perception test for you so you can understand what’s expected and how to prepare!

Please note, the theory and hazard perception tests are only required if you are progressing to any full licence past Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). If you are just planning to ride a scooter up to 125cc on L plates and not carry passengers, you don't worry about the below. Give our guide to motorcycle licences a read if you aren't sure.

Do you need to take a motorcycle theory test?

According to the government’s official page, you don’t need to take a theory test before you book a driving or motorcycle test if it’s:

  • To upgrade a car licence, for example, from automatic to manual, or to tow a trailer
  • To upgrade a motorcycle licence you’ve had for at least 2 years, for example, from category A1 (small motorcycle) to category A2 (medium motorcycle)
  • To upgrade a lorry or bus licence, for example, from category C1 (medium) to category C (large), or to tow a trailer

Unless this is the case, you will have to take and pass the motorcycle theory and motorcycle hazard perception tests before you can take your practical tests, know as Module 1 and Module 2. You will only be able to book your practical tests once this has been completed.

Theory Test Guide Prep 1.7

How do I book my motorcycle theory?

The best place to start when booking is here.

The government website has a section dedicated to getting you going with booking a theory test. They also have a useful tool for finding local test centres in your area and never charge a premium for this service.

How much does it cost?

Luckily you won’t have to negotiate with any dodgy wheeler dealers over the phone for this. There’s set prices for each type of motorcycle test. Below is a list of the costs for every test you can book through the government:

Test type


Evenings, weekends

and bank holidays

Theory test



Module 1 motorcycle test (off-road)



Module 2 motorcycle test (on-road)



Extended test for disqualified riders (on-road)



Motorcycle theory test:

For this test you have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple-choice questions. It might not seem it but this is plenty of time so don’t rush, take a breath and flag any questions you’re not sure about. You can also flick back to any previous question at any point.

How the motorcycle test works

The test takes place on a computer and you will be using a touch screen or mouse. You will be given the opportunity to do some practice questions if you need some time to get used to the way it works.

A question will appear on the screen with several possible answers. You have to select the right answer out of the possible choices.

Some questions are given as a case study to add context. The Gov.uk website states that the case study will:

  • show a short story that 5 questions will be based on
  • be about a real life situation you could come across when driving

Here is an example of something you’re likely to see in the test:

You are riding in wet weather. You see diesel fuel on the road. What should you do?

  1. Swerve to avoid the area
  2. Brake sharply to stop
  3. Accelerate through quickly
  4. Slow down in good time

What did you go for? The correct answer is to slow down in good time.

A lot of the questions will be common sense; drinking alcohol doesn’t improve your reflexes, driving blindfolded is not a good idea, adding heat seeking missiles to your motorcycle is frowned upon etc..

Pass mark

The pass mark for this test is 43 out of 50. (You will be given this result at the test centre)

This will lead straight onto the hazard perception test. (You’re allowed a short 3 minute break in between the two tests).

Hazard Perception Test:

This section of the test will only take 15 minutes and involves watching videos and spotting hazards as soon as they develop (just like for the driving test, but specifically designed and therefore different for motorcycles).

How the test works:

You will have to watch 14 clips and click as soon as you see a hazard developing. You will be scored depending on how quickly and accurately you spot the developing hazard. The system is simpler than it sounds, here’s a video by the DVSA explaining how the process works:

The Hazard perception test scoring:

You can score a maximum of 5 points for each developing hazard.

To hit 5 points, click as soon as you see the hazard developing.

It’s worth noting during the test:

You can’t lose points if you click and get it wrong. However, you won’t score if you click continuously or in a repetitive pattern.

You also only get one attempt at each clip which shows. Once you’ve seen it run, that’s your lot. You can’t go back and change your clicks.

This is something you can practice as a passenger on the road and over time motorcyclists do improve drastically. This skill is something which makes motorcyclists such good drivers, we’ve written an article about that here if you’re interested in the facts!

Hazard perception pass mark

To pass you need to score 44 out of 75.

The full licence theory and hazard perception pass mark

You need to pass both the theory and hazard perception to pass the test in full.

If you pass the theory and hazard perception:

You’ll get a letter with a pass certificate number at the test centre. Don’t lose this number! You’ll need it when you get round to booking your motorcycle practical tests.

This pass certificate number will last 2 years. So once you have it, you have 2 years to pass both modules of the motorcycle test. If you don’t, you’ll have to take the theory test again.

If you fail the hazard perception and theory:

So this is obviously the worst-case scenario. You’ll still get a letter at the test centre but it won’t be as good news. But fear not! It’ll tell you which parts you didn’t score enough points on so you can go away and prepare for another one. There’s also no limit to how many attempts you can make so it doesn’t matter. The only rule is that you have to wait at least 3 working days before taking your test again.

Do you want to get going? You can book your CBT through the website with our quick and easy engine here!

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.