Before you attempt your full motorbike licence, you’ll need to complete a Compulsory Basic Training course (CBT).
The theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice questions and hazard perception. The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and the hazard perception records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. If you pass one part and fail the other you will fail the whole test, and you will need to take both parts again.
The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you are hoping to obtain a licence for, i.e. a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that do not appear in any other test.
For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, each vehicle category takes the same test, however the pass mark is different for different categories of tests.
Part one – multiple choice.
Before the test starts you will be given instructions on how the test works.
You can also choose to go through a practice session of the multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen. Some questions may require more than one answer.
You will be asked 50 questions in 57 minutes. You can navigate between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
The pass mark for the multiple choice part of the theory test is 43 out of 50.
After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
Part two – hazard perception.
After the break you will then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.
The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You will be presented with a series of 14 video clips which feature everyday road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five.
You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.
The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 44 out of 75.
When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you will not be allowed to enter it again. You will then be given your result by the test centre staff.
Module 1 is an arena based test that normally takes about 20 minutes. It includes:
- Pushing the bike and using the stand
Riding a slalom and figure of 8
A slow ride and U-turn
Cornering and controlled stop
Cornering and the emergency stop
Cornering and hazard avoidance.
There is a minimum speed for the hazard avoidance and emergency stop exercises:
- for mopeds this is around 19mph
- for motorcycles this is around 31mph
Module 1 takes place in a safe off-road area called a motorcycle manoeuvring area. The layout of the area depends on where you take your test.
Module 2 is the on-road module and normally takes about 40 minutes.
You must bring your module 1 pass certificate to module 2, plus all the documents you had to bring to the module 1 test.
Module 2 includes:
- Eyesight test
- Safety questions
- Road riding
- Independent riding
The eyesight test – You’ll have to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle. The vehicle will be at least 20 metres away if it has a new-style number plate, and 20.5 metres away if it has an old-style number plate. New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, for example AB51 ABC. If you can’t pass the eyesight test you’ll fail your test and the test won’t continue. If you can’t speak English or have difficulty reading, you can write down what you see.
Vehicle safety questions – You can download a list of all the safety questions you could be asked by the examiner. You can download ‘Vehicle safety questions for motorcycle tests’ (PDF, 15KB) from
Road Riding – You’ll ride in a variety of road and traffic conditions. You’ll be asked to carry out:
- normal stops
- an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle)
- a hill start (where possible)
The examiner will give you directions using a radio. They will normally follow you on a motorcycle.
Independent riding – You’ll have about 10 minutes of independent riding. This is designed to assess your ability to ride safely while making your own decisions.
At the end of each module the examiner will tell you if you have passed or not and give you feedback on your riding. When you pass module 1, you’ll get your module 1 pass certificate which you’ll need when you take module 2. When you pass module 2, you’ll be told how to claim your test pass and get your full licence.
Module 2 pass mark
- a dangerous fault – involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
- a serious fault – could potentially be dangerous
- a rider fault – not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault. You cannot make more than 10 rider faults
You’ll automatically fail if you make 1 serious or dangerous fault.