Approved Driving Instructor Theory Test

This guide to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 test is the ideal preparation. It will help you revise and practice ahead of the multiple-choice questions and hazard perception test.

We explain what you need to take with you (e.g. UK photocard driving licence), ADI theory test procedures, and how the pass mark and test result works.

Booking and Taking the ADI Test Part 1

The section on becoming an ADI explains how to book your approved driving instructor theory test.

Keep in mind, before you can book it, you need to have your application to start the ADI qualifying process already accepted.

The ADI test part 1 is all about theory. It is the first of three tests you must pass to qualify as an approved driving instructor.

There are two (2) separate parts to the ADI theory test. The first is multiple-choice questions and the second part is the hazard perception (tested by a video).

Despite containing two modules, you should book and take it as one single test. But, you will need to pass both sections to pass the approved driving instructor theory test.

How to Change or Check Test Details

After booking the ADI part 1 test you can use the GOV.UK website to check, change, or cancel your instructor theory test (e.g. if you lose the booking confirmation).

The same link also works for checking, changing, or cancelling the DVSA enhanced rider scheme trainer theory test.

Rebooking the Theory Test

You should use the same process to rebook an ADI part 1 test (e.g. if you failed and want to resit it). The new date must be at least three (3) working days after the previous sitting.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can help you book your theory test (e.g. if you cannot provide them with an email address).

DVSA Booking Support
Telephone: 0300 200 1122
Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm

Note: Some of the procedures for the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 1 Test differ in Northern Ireland.

ADI Part 1 Test Revision and Practice

There are several ways to achieve meaningful theory test revision and practice, such as using government publications, books, and free computer software.

Revising for Multiple Choice Questions

The DVSA driving instructor theory test contains multiple-choice questions based on these resources:

  • The Highway Code (essential reading for all road users)
  • The Official DVSA Theory Test for Approved Driving Instructors pack
  • Know Your Traffic Signs (road traffic signage in Great Britain)
  • The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills book
  • The Driving Instructor’s Handbook 21st Edition

Note: Using these study books will help you revise the driving rules and skills that you will be tested on. You can buy them online or from large book stores.

Revising for Hazard Perception Test

You can buy ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception‘ to help you prepare for this particular test. The guide is also for sale in these two other formats:

  • App for Apple phones and tablets (DVSA Hazard Perception)
  • App for Android phones and tablets (Official DVSA Theory Test Kit)

Note: It is also available as an interactive DVD from most online book shops and reputable high street stores.

What to Take to the ADI Theory Test

Remember to take your UK photocard driving licence with you. Take the photocard and paper counterpart licence if your licence is from Northern Ireland.

Note: Failing to bring the correct things to your theory test can result in a cancellation. In this case, you would not get a refund of the money.

If You Lose Your Driver’s Licence

You can replace a provisional licence online with the DVLA if yours is lost, damaged, or stolen. But, keep in mind that it can take up to two (2) weeks to get a replacement driving licence.

Take a valid passport with you, along with your paper licence, if you do not have the photocard type. But, you would need to get a photocard licence if you do not have a valid passport.

Note: It would be necessary to change your theory test date if the new licence does not arrive in time.

Taking Personal Belongings to the Test

The examiners will not allow you to take personal items into the test room. The personal possessions that you must store in a locker, includes:

  • Bags
  • Earphones
  • Mobile phones
  • Wrist watches

The staff members at the test centre staff will check to see whether you have anything with you that may be used to cheat the result. Not allowing them to check means your test would not go ahead as planned.

Note: Cheating in the ADI theory test is illegal and can result in a prison sentence and a ban from driving.

How Multiple Choice Questions Work

You will get ninety (90) minutes to answer one hundred (100) multiple-choice questions. Before you begin answering any of the questions, you will get:

  • Full instructions on how the driving instructor theory test works.
  • An opportunity to have a go at some practice questions (e.g. to get used to the computer screen).

There will be twenty five (25) questions presented in four (4) categories:

  • Road procedure
  • Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge
  • Driving test, disabilities, and the law
  • Publications and instructional techniques

During the actual exam, a question and several possible answers will appear on a computer screen in front of you. Your task is to use the ‘mouse’ to select the correct answer.

Flagging a Question

You can choose to leave a question if you are unsure about which answer to select. It means you can ‘flag’ the question and return to it later (if you have time).

Changing the Answers

Providing there is enough time, you will have an opportunity to go back to any question. You will then be able to review and change the answer at that point.

After Finishing Multiple-choice Questions

The multiple choice test finishes when you have answered all 25 questions (or the time runs out). There is no need to use all 90 minutes if you finish beforehand.

Note: You can take a short break after finishing the multiple choice questions (up to three minutes) before moving on to the start of the hazard perception test.

ADI Theory Hazard Perception Test

You will get an opportunity to watch a video explaining how the hazard perception test works before you start. Then, you will watch fourteen (14) video clips that:

  • Feature typical road scenes seen on a daily basis.
  • Contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ (one of the video clips features two).

Note: You receive points for identifying developing hazards as soon as they start to happen in the videos.

Example of a ‘Developing Hazard’

Note: The short DVSA video [1:26 seconds] shows an example of a developing hazard (e.g. something that would cause you to take action while driving, such as changing direction or speed).

The Way Scoring Works

Each developing hazard you spot can earn you up to five (5) points. So, you should get a higher score by clicking the mouse as soon as you identify the hazard beginning to develop.

Note: You only get one (1) attempt to spot the hazards on each clip (you cannot review or change responses). You will not lose any points for clicking and getting it wrong. But, you will score nothing for continuous clicks or clicking in a pattern.

The Pass Mark and Result

As soon as you finish the two parts of the theory test at the test centre you will get your result. You need to pass both parts to get a pass mark on the combined tests.

To pass the multiple choice questions you need:

  • An overall score not less than 85 out of 100.
  • Not less than 20 out of 25 in each of the 4 categories of questions.

Note: If you get an overall score of 85 or higher, but you fail to score high enough in each of the 4 categories, you would NOT pass.

To pass the hazard perception part, you need:

  • To score not less than 57 points out of a possible 75.

What Happens If You Pass?

After passing the driving instructor theory exam, the test centre will present you with a pass certificate letter. You need it to book and take the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test.

Note: Pass certificate numbers stay valid for two (2) years. You would need to pass a theory test again if you do not take your ADI driving test in the two year period.

What Happens If You Fail?

After failing the theory exam, the test centre will give you a letter informing you which parts you failed to score enough points on. Thus, you would know which parts to revise and practice for next time.

You would need to book the full theory test again (and pay the fee again) even if you passed one of the parts on this particular occasion. You would need to wait at least three (3) working days before resitting it.

If You Have Reading Difficulties

When you make the booking, you can make a request to hear the test questions through headphones (in English or Welsh). They will allow you to listen to the questions, and the possible answers, as many times as necessary.

Other Support Available

People with reading difficulties can get certain other types of support, such as extra time to take the multiple-choice questions.

You would need to send some proof (e.g. an email, a letter, or a report from a teacher, a doctor, or a medical professional)

DVSA Theory Test Enquiries
Email: [email protected]

PO Box 1286

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 1 Test Guide for United Kingdom