CBT Questions and Answers

Are you ready for CBT? It’s essential that you understand what you need to do to make your CBT successful and enjoyable. Read our Q & A and find out how much you know.

What do you need to take with you for your CBT?

Your current provisional licence, and anything that your instructor may have suggested. Remember – if you don’t take your licence with you, you may not be allowed to complete your CBT. You should bring your spectacles if you need them, and it’s also very important to wear the correct clothing.

What will you do in your CBT?

Your CBT covers both theory and practice. It’s about preparing you and making sure you’re safe to ride on the road. The practical elements will include an introduction to the motorcycle’s controls and how to carry out daily and weekly safety checks on your machine. You’ll also get a chance to practise your new riding skills in a safe, off-road environment. When you reach a satisfactory level of performance, you’ll then move onto public roads to practise under the guidance of your instructor.

How long does the road ride last?

You must be on the road for at least 2 hours. If all is satisfactory and your instructor is happy that you’re safe to ride on your own, you’ll be given your CBT certificate.

How long will your CBT take?

A lot of people try to (and indeed do) complete their training in one day. However, people learn at different rates and in different ways. The important thing is that you’re safe to ride on the road, so be aware that it may take you longer than one day. Your instructor is the expert. Trust them – it’ll be worth it.

What is meant by OSM(PSL)?

Observation – This means looking all around, including the use of your mirrors, so you’re fully aware of the situation around you. You can then make an informed decision about your next move, and interact with other road users safely.
Signal – Is a signal necessary? Will any other road user benefit from a signal informing them of what you intend to do?
Manoeuvre – This is split into
Position – Position your motorcycle appropriately in the road at the correct time, depending on the hazard you’re going to negotiate.
Speed – Make sure your speed is appropriate on approach to the hazard to allow you time to assess your options, ie do you need to stop or can you go?
Look – Assess the hazard as early as possible. Time is precious; the earlier you look, the more time you’ll have to think about the situation.

Why is it important to use your mirrors?

To see what’s behind you.

Why do you need to know what’s happening behind you as well as what’s happening in front?

You need to be aware of the position of vehicles that are following you so you can make safe decisions. For example, if you’re planning to turn right and you see someone starting to overtake you, you can then delay your signal and change of position until that vehicle has safely passed. If you look too late, after you’ve already started to change position, or you don’t look at all, you’re putting yourself and others at high risk.

Why do you need to signal?

To inform other road users of what you intend to do. This should be done in plenty of time so they can react to your signal appropriately.

Why do you need to remember to cancel signals on a motorcycle?

If you’re a car driver, you’ll be used to your signals self-cancelling. However, most motorcycles don’t have this feature, so you must remember to cancel them yourself. A signal that has been left on accidentally could be very misleading to other road users.

What is a ‘lifesaver’?

A ‘lifesaver’ is a direct look into the area that you can’t see in your mirrors. (This area is sometimes called a ‘blind spot’.)

When should a ‘lifesaver’ be used?

You should consider using a ‘lifesaver’ just before any change of direction. The lifesaver is an extra check into the area that isn’t covered by your mirrors – where another road user could potentially be hidden.

What does a ‘give way’ sign (and/or line) mean? Give Way sign

It means give way to all traffic on the major road.

Who should you give way to when emerging from a junction?

All traffic on the major road. A common mistake when turning left, for example, is only to look to the right before emerging. It’s true that this is the most obvious source of danger from traffic. However, you must also give way to any traffic from the left; for example, vehicles on the wrong side of the road that are passing a parked vehicle, or pedestrians who have already started to cross the road you’re emerging into.

Who should you give way to at a roundabout/mini-roundabout?

All traffic coming from the right.

When do you need to signal at a roundabout?

In plenty of time, to inform other road users of what you intend to do – not what you’re already doing, or have done.

What observations do you need to make before leaving a roundabout?

Use your mirrors in good time so you can assess whether it’s safe to leave the roundabout. Consider using a ‘lifesaver’ if there’s an area that another vehicle could possibly be in without you seeing them in your mirrors.

What does an amber light mean at traffic lights?

You must stop unless it’s unsafe to do so (for example, you’re very close to the traffic lights, with other vehicles following very closely).

What does a flashing amber light mean at a pedestrian crossing?

It means you can go, but only if it’s safe to do so and the crossing is clear.

What does this sign mean? 30 sign

You mustn’t exceed 30 mph.

Why should you ride within the speed limit?

Riding within the speed limit is a legal requirement: failing to do so could jeopardise your driving licence. Remember – the faster you travel, the longer it takes to stop. Even travelling at slightly over a 30 mph limit could mean that you’re unable to stop in time to avoid a pedestrian who has stepped into the road, or a vehicle that has pulled out in front of you. Keep in mind that speed limits are a maximum, and not a target.

Want to find out more? 

Head over to the Safe Driving for Life shop and pick up a copy of The Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Ride. It's packed full of essential advice, including detailed information on all five elements of CBT, to the modules you will need to complete to pass your practical test.