The Driving Instructor Theory Test (ADI Part One)

ADI Part One is the theory element of the approval process to become an ADI. In order to take an ADI Part One test, the candidate’s application to train as a driving instructor must have been accepted by the DVSA.

Which Topics Are Assessed in ADI Part One?

The questions in the theory test are based on the following publications:

  • The Highway Code 
  • Know Your Traffic Signs
  • The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – The Essential Skills
  • The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

Each of these is included as part of the Surepass driving instructor training courses.

Additionally,candidates require a subscription to The Official DVSA Theory Test and Hazard Perception Kit for Approved Driving Instructors. This online training course is maintained by the DVSA and includes all current requirements and opportunities to practise questions against the clock before the test is taken.

What is the Format of the ADI Part One Test?

The test consists of two parts:

  • 90-minute examination with 100 multiple-choice questions.
  • Hazard perception test.

The multiple-choice exam is taken on a screen and consists of four parts with 25 questions in each part, as follows:

  • Road procedure.
  • Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge.
  • Driving test, disabilities, and the law.
  • Publications and instructional techniques.

The candidate is able to return to any question at any point during the test in order to change an answer before submitting their completed test.

The multiple choice examination is followed immediately by the hazard perception test. A short break of up to three minutes can be taken, on request, after the multiple-choice exam is completed.

The hazard perception test is also taken on a computer and comprises the following:

  • Short, introductory video.
  • 14 clips, each of which contains 1 developing hazard, with one of the clips containing 2 hazards.

A developing hazard is an occurrence that would cause a driver to take action on the road such as changing the speed or direction of the vehicle.

For example, a driver is driving their vehicle along the road and sees a stationary pedestrian on the pavement in the distance. The pedestrian is not a developing hazard. 

However, if that pedestrian steps out into the road as the vehicle approaches, they become a developing hazard because the driver needs to slow down in order to allow the pedestrian sufficient time to cross safely.

Each candidate must identify the developing hazard(s) in every clip they are shown. Up to five points are awarded for each hazard. The number of points scored is determined by the time taken by the candidate to identify the developing hazard, with more points awarded for an accurate and fast response.

A candidate has only one attempt to identify the developing hazard in each clip. It is not possible to change an answer once it has been submitted.

What are the Pass Marks for ADI Part One?

Each candidate receives the results of their ADI Part One at the test centre following completion of the test.

To pass the examination, a candidate must score:

  • A total of at least 85 marks out of 100; AND
  • A minimum of 20 out of 25 marks in each category of questions.

For example, suppose a candidate achieves a total of 90 marks in total. If that candidate has scored 19 marks in one of the four categories then they do not pass the examination.

To pass the hazard perception test, a candidate must score at least 57 out of a total of 75 points.

Upon passing ADI Part One, a candidate is issued with a certificate which they are able to use to book ADI Part Two. The candidate must pass ADI Part Two within two years of the date on the certificate. If the candidate does not book ADI Part Two within this time then must reapply to become an ADI.

Any candidate failing ADI Part One is issued with a letter stating the parts of the test on which they were not able to score a sufficient number of points.

A candidate is able to book another test within three working days of a failed attempt. There is no limit to how many times a candidate is able to retake the test.

How difficult is the ADI Part One Test, what is the pass rate?

The average pass rate for the Part One exam for the period April to June 2022 is 39.5%. This pass rate shows the difficulty of passing the exam. Practice is essential.

Is it possible to retake the test?

Yes, it is possible to retake the test. There is no limit to the number of times the Part One test can be taken. The fee must be paid for each attempt.

How to Book an ADI Part One Test?

A candidate is able to book a test as soon as their application to become an ADI has been accepted.

The cost of the test is £81.

To book the test a candidate needs the following:

  • Their UK driving licence number.
  • Their Personal reference number from DVSA.
  • Their email address (unless booking over the phone).
  • Credit or debit card.

The test is held at a nearby theory test centre, a list of which is available on the government website.

Is Proof of ID Required for the ADI Part One Test?

Yes, on the day of the test, a candidate must take with them their UK photocard driving licence. If the candidate has a paper licence then they must also take their passport.

Forgetting their licence results in the candidate’s test being cancelled without a refund.

Is it Possible to Cancel or Reschedule the ADI Part One Test?

A candidate is able to reschedule or cancel their test up to three working days before their test date (‘working days’ excludes Sundays and public holidays). 

Changes or cancellations requested fewer than three working days in advance result in a candidate forfeiting their fee unless the circumstances are exceptional.