If you've just started looking into revising for your theory test, you might not be aware that it's split into two separate sections: multiple-choice questions and the hazard perception test. Whilst revision for the multiple-choice section can be relatively straightforward, the hazard perception test can be a source of much frustration for learner drivers. One of the best ways to prepare for this section is to take hazard perception mock tests.
In this guide, we'll look at what the hazard perception test is and how you can best prepare for it. We'll also include some top hazard perception mock tests for you to try out, along with some extra tips and advice.
The hazard perception test is the second section of the theory test. It requires you to watch 14 video clips as if you were the driver. During these clips, you'll be expected to indicate when you see a developing hazard by clicking your mouse. This section is designed to test your awareness of potential hazards and how well you predict developing hazards on the road from early warning signs. To reflect real-life conditions, the clips will include varying weather and traffic conditions.
Being able to predict a hazard is a vital skill that all drivers must be able to display. If you can spot a potential hazard, then you can take necessary steps to ensure it doesn't become an actual hazard—keeping other road users safe and potentially saving lives. To become a pro at hazard perception, you need accurate observation skills and good reaction times—things that you need to have to be a good driver anyway. Trust us, it will come naturally to you in time.
Once you've completed the multiple-choice section, you'll be given the option to take a short 3-minute break—handy if you need a few minutes to collect and prepare yourself. Then, before you get stuck into the hazard perception test, you'll be shown a tutorial video that explains exactly how this section works. At the end of the tutorial, you'll have the option to start the hazard perception test or give the video another watch.
There are 14 one-minute clips in total. You'll get a 10 second countdown before each clip starts, ensuring you're not caught unawares. These videos will feature everyday road scenes, framed as though you were the driver. Each clip will contain at least one developing hazard—though one will contain two hazards, so be aware!
When you think you see a developing hazard, you will need to click your mouse. You'll know that the software has registered your click when a red flag appears at the bottom of the screen. You will not get any points for spotting a static hazard, e.g., a roundabout, bend in the road or tricky junction. The software will only give you points if you spot a developing hazard—before it develops into an actual hazard. As such, timing is important. Not entirely sure you know what a developing hazard is? Check out the next section!
The key to passing the hazard perception test is being able to spot a developing hazard. A developing hazard is essentially anything that causes the driver to take action to avoid it, e.g., changing their speed or direction, swerving out of the way or stopping the vehicle entirely. The DVSA on GOV.UK gives the following as an example to make it clearer for candidates:
“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. 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.”
Though you might not think it, you probably come into contact with dozens of developing hazards every day on the roads. You might have even been a potential hazard yourself at some point in the past! Here are some typical hazards that you should keep an eye out for whilst driving (and for the hazard perception test):
You can get a more in-depth look at what hazards are in our guide to passing the hazard perception test.
You can score up to 5 points for each developing hazard that you spot. In order to pass the hazard perception section, you will need to score 44 out of 75 marks. Remember, you will need to pass both sections in order to pass the theory test and get your hands on a theory test pass certificate.
Timing is absolutely vital with the hazard perception test. If you click too early, you're only pointing out a potential hazard, rather than a developing one—meaning you'll get 0 points. The sooner you spot the developing hazard, however, the higher your score will be. If you click a few times during the time at which the potential hazard becomes a developing one, the software will pick the “click” that gives you the highest score.
Don't worry: you won't lose points if you click when a hazard isn't developing. That being said, you shouldn't just click incessantly and hope for the best. If the software thinks you're simply clicking in a pattern, it will assume you're cheating and fail. You should also bear in mind that you only get one attempt per clip—there's no backpedalling here!
As with any other test you'll take in life, practice makes perfect with the hazard perception test. It's not enough to just read about it—you need to have actual experience with spotting developing hazards and clicking quickly enough to get the highest number of points possible. No matter how great you are at the multiple choice section, if you don't pass the hazard perception test then you'll fail the theory test.
There's no better way to practise than to test your mettle with hazard perception mock tests. Fortunately for you, we've compiled all the best hazard perception mock tests on offer, so that you don't have to!
If you don't fancy forking out your money to practise for the hazard perception test, you'll be pleased to hear that these websites offer some of their hazard perception resources for free. Of course, you'll need to pay for some sort of subscription package if you want to unlock more content.
Now, the above websites are for practising for the hazard perception test on desktop—just as you would with the actual theory test. Of course, if you're looking to practise on the go, as we recommend for revision, there are countless theory test apps available to help you revise for both sections of the test. We've narrowed the list down to 5 top revision apps—some are free and others will cost you under £5 for additional features.
|Official DVSA Theory Test Kit||iOS and Android||£4.99|
|Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 Kit||iOS and Android||Free or £4.99 (for full content)|
|Theory Test Pro||iOS and Android (also available on desktop)||Free or £4.99 (for full content)|
|Theory Test 2019||iOS and Android||Free or £1.99 (for full content)|
|Driving Theory Test 2019 (UK)||iOS and Android||Free or £1.99/£2.99 (in-app purchases)|
Now, it's not all about hazard perception with the theory test—you'll need to make sure you're up to speed with the multiple choice section too. If you don't pass one section, you'll fail the overall test. If you're looking to revise both sections, our compilation of top theory test resources will get you up to speed!
Now that you've got all the hazard perception mock tests you could possibly need—and additional theory test resources—we'd like to finish things off with some tips and advice to help you pass with flying colours!
Whilst it's incredibly handy to revise for your theory test on the go with a mobile app, it can be limiting for the hazard perception test. The hazard perception test will require you to click your mouse when you spot a developing hazard. If you've only practised with an app, you'll only be used to using a touchscreen. So, make sure you practise with both!
As we've mentioned, the software used to monitor your progress on the hazard perception test is sensitive to patterns. If you're clicking rapidly in succession, it might assume you're trying to cheat the system—failing you as a result. Of course, this doesn't mean you should be scared of clicking—you won't be marked down for getting a hazard wrong.
It's no good becoming an absolute pro at the hazard perception section—taking dozens of hazard perception mock tests—if you've not taken any time to revise the multiple choice section. Even if you scored 75 out of 75, if you fail the multiple choice section, you'll need to take another theory test until you pass. So, check out our revision resources and make sure you practise!
If you've already started your driving lessons before you take the theory test, it can work in your favour for the hazard perception test. Experience with driving in different conditions will help you to develop your hazard perception skills—you'll start to recognise the signs of a developing hazard in no time. Even if you're not the driver, you can still keep your eye out for hazards as a passenger.
It's important that you know the difference between potential hazards, which won't cause you to take action, and developing hazards, which will cause you to take evasive action. Throughout a hazard perception clip, you're likely to see multiple potential hazards—you'll only see one developing hazard (or two, in one clip). Of course, if you want to play it safe, click if you're not sure.
The theory test is made up of two sections: multiple-choice questions and the hazard perception test. You will have to complete the hazard perception test as soon as you finish the multiple-choice section—though, you will be given the option to take a short break in between. You cannot take the two sections on different days.
It's completely up to you to choose when to take the theory test. Though you can't take your driving test until you've passed the theory test, there's nothing stopping you from taking driving lessons whilst working your way up towards taking your theory test. Do whatever suits you best.
In order to pass the hazard perception section, you need to get at least 44 out of 75. As for the multiple-choice section, you'll need to get at least 43 marks out of 50 to pass. Remember—you need to pass both sections in order to get your hands on a theory test pass certificate and book a practical test.
As long as you're not clicking in a specific pattern, there's no real reason to assume that the software will think you're cheating. Don't worry—you are allowed to click a few times in a row. The best way to get used to it is to just practise—you'll get a knack for it in no time at all.
There will be 15 developing hazards in total. With 14 hazard perception clips overall, there will be one developing hazard in all but one clip, which will contain two. Remember, you'll also see potential hazards (which you won't get any points for).
Nope. You will not get marked down for clicking your mouse for something that doesn't turn out to be a developing hazard. The only way you'll lose points is if the software thinks you're using a pattern and cheating—in which case, you'll score zero.