UK Government

Driving Standards Agency: DSA to stop publishing questions used in theory tests

Press Release   •   Nov 01, 2010 11:32 GMT

* Candidates need to understand theory
* End to memorising answers 
* Unpublished questions used from 1 January 2012

The Driving Standards Agency is to stop publishing the multiple choice questions and answers used in theory tests, Road Safety Minister Mike Penning announced today.

This will help to ensure that new drivers learn the principles behind driving theory rather than just learning answers.

The move follows the introduction of independent driving into the driving test and the DSA's decision to stop publishing test routes in October 2010, to make sure the test assesses a learner's ability to drive and not their capacity to memorise routes.

Mike Penning said:

"The driving theory test should help to prepare drivers for real life on the road - good driving is not just about vehicle-handling skills, but also about having the knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory.

"No longer publishing these questions and answers will mean that successful candidates will have to understand the theory rather than simply memorising answers.

"I believe that this - along with the other changes we are making to the driving test regime - will lead to better drivers and safer roads."

In September 2011 DSA will change the format of books and other learning materials available to help people prepare for theory tests. This will take place at the same time as more challenging case studies are introduced to car and motorcycle theory tests.

Then, from 1 January 2012, DSA will create theory tests using questions which will not be published.

Practice questions and answers, not used in theory tests, will still be available to help candidates with revision.

Other companies which publish products containing DSA theory test questions will also no longer have access to the questions used in the tests.

For more information, please contact press officer Chris Lee on 0115 936 6135 or

Notes to Editors:

1. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is one of the Executive Agencies that forms the Motoring and Freight Services (MFS) group, within the Department for Transport. 

2. Information on road casualties is available from

3. DSA promotes road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; `Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources. 

4. DSA is a trading fund with planned turnover of £201.4 million in 2010/11, largely funded through fees and revenue from other road safety initiatives. It delivers tests from over 400 practical driving test centres and 158 theory test centres.

5. DSA employs nearly 2,700 staff, of which almost 1,900 are driving examiners. In 2009/10 DSA conducted 1.5 million practical car tests, over 55,000 vocational tests. Over 8,500 motorcycle tests were delivered from 1 April 2009 to 26 April 2009. On 27 April 2009 the new, two part motorcycle test was introduced. 50,778 module one tests and 37,866 module two motorcycle tests were delivered between that date and 31 March 2009. A total of 1.5 million theory tests were carried out throughout the whole financial year. At the end of 2009/2010 there were around 44,768 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors. 

6. DSA was one of the first Government agencies to introduce an online booking service


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