ADI Part 1 Theory Test

The ADI Test : Part 1

ADI Part 1 theory test: Need to know

Becoming an approved driving instructor (ADI) is a wonderful profession, but you need to demonstrate expert ability and knowledge to qualify. There are three tests to pass:

● ADI Part 1: theory test

● ADI Part 2: driving ability

● ADI Part 3: instructional ability

You need to pass each test to progress to the next. Here, we’re going to look at the ADI Part 1 theory test in more detail.

What is the ADI Part 1 theory test?

The theory test is similar in format to the theory test you’re likely to have taken to get your driving licence. There’s a multiple choice test of your driving knowledge, and a hazard perception part. It’s a lot tougher though. You need to demonstrate expert ability to pass. You need to show you’re capable of giving driving lessons, after all.

What are the application criteria for taking the ADI tests?

You must be at least 21, and have held a clean driving licence for at least three years.

Before you can apply, you need to have a DBS check to ensure your criminal record is clean. You also need permission from the ADI registrar.

How do I book the theory test?

The test is set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in England, Wales and Scotland; and by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.

You can book your ADI theory test online on the DVSA website. You’ll need to have these to hand:

● Your email address. You can book by phone if you don’t have one.

● Your driving licence number

● DVSA personal reference number

● A credit or debit card to pay the £81 booking fee

It’s slightly different to book the ADI part 1 theory test in Northern Ireland.

Please let the DVSA or DVA know in advance if you have reading difficulties, and they’ll organise additional assistance. Also use the links above if you need to cancel your test, or change the date or location of your test. You can also find the latest COVID-19 guidance on the DVSA site.

What’s in the ADI multiple-choice test?

First off, you’ve got the multiple-choice test, which is divided into four categories. You’ll need expert knowledge of the rules of the road and Highway Code to pass. The first two categories are road procedure, and traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge. You’ll also be quizzed on instructional techniques, as well as your knowledge of the law, disabilities and the driving test.

There are 100 questions to answer over 90 minutes. You’ll have a 15-minute practice first to get used to the format of the test. It’s computer-based, and you’ll use a mouse or touch-screen to select your answers. Some questions have more than one answer. Don’t panic if you’re unsure of anything or your mind goes blank – you can flag questions to return to later.

You need to score 85 out of 100 to pass. In each of the four categories, you need to score at least 20 points.

What’s in the ADI hazard perception test?

Again, this is similar to the driving test hazard perception section – but harder. It’s about 20 minutes’ long, and comprises 14 videos, with 15 developing hazards to spot. A hazard is anything that would cause you to take action, such as change direction or speed. You identify these with the mouse or touch-screen.

You’ll score a mark out of 5 per hazard. The longer it takes you to spot, the fewer points you’ll score. Don’t try to game this by going too early though, as it’s possible to score nothing and be moved on to the next video. And, to keep you on your toes, you won’t know in advance which video has two hazards to spot.

To pass, you need to score 57 points out of a possible 75.

How do I know if I’ve passed the ADI theory test?

You’ll find out immediately after finishing both tests whether you’ve passed or failed.

If you’ve passed – congratulations! You progress to the ADI Part 2, which is the practical driving ability test.

If you’ve failed – don’t fret! OK, it costs money to retake the test, but you get unlimited attempts at the ADI Part 1. Make a note of the areas you didn’t perform as well in, so you can work on those for the next test. You can reapply straight away, but you might want to take a bit of time to get more swotting done. And good luck for next time!