How to Pass a Hazard Perception Test

Before you can take your practical driving test in the UK, you need to pass your theory test which is made up of two sections: a multiple-choice exam and the hazard perception test. For many learner drivers, the multiple-choice assessment is a lot easier than the hazard perception section. That’s why we’ve put together some expert tips to help you feel confident and pass your exam first time with GoGoGo’s Peterborough driving school!

1. Make sure you know what to expect

The trick to passing any exam with flying colours, is knowing your way around the test and what is expected of you. The hazard perception test consists of 14 video clips, with each clip lasting 1 minute. The videos are shot as if you were the driver and are designed to present various real-life potential hazards that you may encounter every day when driving.

There will be 15 hazards to identify in total and you will need to use the mouse to click every time you see a developing hazard occurring. 13 clips will contain 1 hazard, however, 1 clip will contain 2 developing hazards. In order to pass the test, you will need to score at least 44 points out of a maximum of 75. Each hazard is worth a maximum of 5 points, therefore the sooner you identify one, the more points you’ll score.

For more information, read our guide on what is a hazard perception test.

2. Click when you see a developing hazard

Knowing the difference between a developing hazard and a potential hazard is key so that you know what to look out for. We cannot stress enough that you will receive points for every time you respond to a developing hazard only.

Developing hazards: Will cause a driver to take action by altering their speed, direction or position. If you spot a hazard that continues to develop, make sure you click your mouse to show that you have recognised and responded to this.

Potential hazards: May cause a driver to take action if the situation develops. Some potential hazards won’t develop and therefore you will not receive any points for responding to these.

Examples of developing hazards

  • Pedestrians or animals crossing the road
  • People getting into or out of a car in an unexpected place
  • Cyclists swerving in front of you
  • Large vehicles obstructing your view
  • Cars forcing you to brake suddenly
  • Children playing in the road
  • Roadworks ahead forcing you to slow down or change lanes

3. Avoid clicking in a pattern

Constantly clicking the mouse can go against you and result in you failing your theory test. It’s vital to remember that you should only click when you spot a potential hazard, and again when it turns into a developing hazard.

To make this crystal clear, please see an example below from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

Example

“A car is parked at the side of the road and is not doing anything. It would not cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.

When you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicator starts to flash and it starts to move away. You’d need to slow down, so it’s now a developing hazard.”

​4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect – so make sure you revise a lot! Be sure to take full advantage of online mock tests and resources so you know what to expect on the day. You can also begin revising the highway code and familiarise yourself with road signs and warnings to help you feel more confident. If you’re out in the car with family and friends, why not get into the habit of studying the road from the front seat? 

It’s important to remember that you have to pass both sections of the theory test before you can take your driving test. Both parts are equally important, so we’d suggest you begin studying as soon as possible. The hazard perception test is designed to give you road sense before you venture out onto the road. This knowledge will not only help you pass your driving test, but should enable you to enjoy many years of accident-free driving!