Motorcycle theory test: preparation

Motorcycle theory test: preparation

When you’ve completed compulsory basic training and before you can take your practical riding test, you need to pass your theory test. It’s a really important part of learning to ride a motorbike: when you do your practical tests, you’ll need to show that you can use what you learn for this test when you’re riding on the road. This test is specifically for motorcyclists, so you’ll have to pass it even if you’ve already passed your car theory test.

The motorcycle theory test costs £23 Visit GOV.UK to find out more about the theory test.

Read more about booking your theory test here

It’s vital to prepare for your theory test: there’s a lot to learn about the rules of the road. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to pass first time, which will save you the time and money that retaking the test will cost.

The theory test has two parts:

  • the multiple choice part
  • the hazard perception part.

The questions in the multiple choice test are taken from three books:

The Official Highway Code
The Official DVSA Guide to Riding - the essential skills
Know your traffic signs

The Official Highway Code The Official DVSA Guide to Riding the essential skills Know Your Traffic Signs


You’ll need to use all of these when you’re preparing. There are lots of products available that contain practice questions, but it's really important you don't just learn the answers without understanding fully the reason it's correct because the questions on the actual test aren’t exactly the same as the practice ones.

Using official publications such as The Official DVSA Biker Pack (DVD-ROM and DVD): will help you get the most out of your preparations. You can find these on our online shop.

To help you get used to how the multiple choice test looks on-screen, you can practise doing the test online.

The multiple choice test covers the following topics.

  • Alertness
  • Attitude
  • Safety and your motorbike
  • Safety margins
  • Hazard awareness
  • Vulnerable road users
  • Other types of vehicle
  • Road conditions and motorbike handling
  • Motorway riding
  • Rules of the road
  • Road and traffic signs
  • Essential documents
  • Incidents, accidents and emergencies
  • Motorbike loading

There are various methods 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. Use the practice test (see above) and the self-assessment questions in ‘The Official DVSA Theory Test for Motorcyclists’.
  • Plan your study: set yourself some timelines and targets. This will help you to see your progress and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Plan to do your studying somewhere you won’t be disturbed and at a time when you’re fully awake.
  • Get help: use friends, family, your trainer or your colleagues from work to ask questions and share riding experiences.

Use the stopping distances game and road sign quiz in the Knowledge Centre to help you practise too.

The hazard perception test checks your ability to recognise and respond to hazards, making sure you’re a safe motorbike rider. Being out on the road will help you prepare for this test. There’s also The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception, an interactive DVD 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 motorcyclist’s point of view. You’ll need to spot the developing hazard in each film: this is something that might need you, as the rider, to take some action such as changing speed or direction.