Theory test preparation

The first part of the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) instructor test is the theory test.

See GOV.UK for more information about the theory test.

There are two parts to the test

  • the multiple choice part
  • the hazard perception part.

Preparing for the multiple choice test

In the multiple choice test you’ll need to show your knowledge of

The HGV instructor theory test needs a higher standard of knowledge than the learner HGV theory test because you’ll need a more thorough understanding of these topics so you can teach them to your pupils.

You’ll also need to understand what you’re learning in detail because you’ll have to be able to teach it to your pupils.

Preparing for your theory test will help you to understand what your pupils will be going through as they prepare for their test. Think about how you find the process and what you find helpful so you can use this to support your pupils.

Using official publications will help you get the most out of your preparations. You can find these on our online shop.

The multiple choice test covers the following topics in four ‘bands’.

  • road procedure and driving techniques
  • instructional techniques
  • mechanics, vehicle condition, drivers' hours and rest periods, loading, unloading and load security
  • the driving test, environmental issues and accident-handling.

Tips for helping you learn

There are lots of tricks you can use to help you learn what you’ll need to know for your test. Here are a few ideas.

  • Link what you’re learning to your own experiences: for example, think about where you’ve seen an example of a road sign and use this to help you remember what the sign means.
  • Use mnemonics: these are sayings or stories that help you remember something – for example, ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ reminds you of the colours of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).
  • Practise the question formats: as well as knowing all the information, you’ll also need to know how the questions are asked in the test. The practice test for learner HGV drivers will help you familiarise yourself with the test format.
  • Plan your study: set yourself some timelines and targets. This will help you to see your progress and make sure you have not missed anything. Plan to do your studying somewhere you will not be disturbed and at a time when you’re fully awake.
  • Get help: use friends, family, your instructor or your colleagues from work to ask questions and share driving experiences.

It might be a while since you did any studying so allow yourself plenty of time to find out what works the best for you.

Preparing for the hazard perception test

This part of the test checks you can recognise and respond to hazards that could happen while you’re driving. Being out on the road with your instructor will help you prepare for this part. There’s also ‘The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception’, that will help you learn to recognise hazards, know what to do when you see a hazard and practise for the test.

In the test you’ll see 14 film clips, each shown from a driver’s point of view. You’ll need to spot the developing hazard in each film: this is something that might need you, as the driver, to take some action such as changing speed or direction.

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