Alertness Theory Test 2021

The Alertness Theory Test consists of 28 questions.
You need 24 out of 28 (86%) to pass. There is no time limit for this test.
Click here to read our Alertness Theory Test revision notes.

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A Glance over your shoulder to check for any oncoming vehicles
B Select a higher gear than you normally would
C Select a lower gear than you normally would
D Signal by using or arms or indicators
Correct Answer: A Glance over your shoulder to check for any oncoming vehicles
Explanation: Before you perform a U-turn, slow down and have a look to see if the road is clear in both directions. Ensure there is enough space in the road to safely perform the manoeuvre.
A Maintain a speed of 30 mph
B Move to the right
C Reduce your speed
D Select a lower gear
Correct Answer: C Reduce your speed
Explanation: Slow down and exercise caution. The bridge is narrow, so passing an oncoming vehicle may not be possible. There is also no footpath, so keep an eye out for pedestrians in the road.
A In a one-way street
B On a 40 mph road
C On a dual carriageway
D When approaching a dip in the road
Correct Answer: D When approaching a dip in the road
Explanation: Prior to overtaking, consider if it’s really needed. If you can’t see far enough, keep back and wait for a better place to pull out.
A It is now safe to overtake
B Overtaking vehicles should move back to the left
C There is a sharp left bend in the road up ahead
D Vehicles must take the next road on the left
Correct Answer: B Overtaking vehicles should move back to the left
Explanation: The road marking displayed in this image indicates that overtaking drivers or riders need to shift to the left before they reach the hatch markings. Hatch markings are used to separate traffic lanes. For example, when approaching some junctions or dual carriageways.
A Check to see who's calling you
B Ignore your phone
C Pull up at the nearest kerb
D Stop the car immediately
Correct Answer: B Ignore your phone
Explanation: Using a mobile phone or a similar device while driving or riding is against the law, except in the case of an emergency. For your safety, you should switch off your mobile phone before leaving and set it to voice mail. If your phone rings because you forgot to turn it off, ignore it. When you've come to a safe stop, you can check your phone and, if necessary, return the call.
A To guide you to the correct lane
B To help you keep the correct distance from the vehicle in front of you
C To inform you of the distance to the next exit
D To make you aware of how fast you're going
Correct Answer: D To make you aware of how fast you're going
Explanation: These lines are a form of traffic calming measure. They are often present just before roundabouts and dangerous junctions. They prompt you to reduce your speed. You should look ahead and do this in good time.
A Accelerate towards the lights
B Anticipate they might change
C Brake sharply
D Maintain a steady speed
Correct Answer: B Anticipate they might change
Explanation: Always consider when approaching traffic lights on green that they could change to red. Be prepared in case they change and you have to stop, especially if the lights have been green for a while.
A Check your mirrors
B Flash your headlights
C Shift up a gear
D Sound your horn
Correct Answer: A Check your mirrors
Explanation: Before pulling over or coming to a stop, always check your mirrors to see who is behind you. Don't forget to use your indicators if pulling off or stopping by the road.
A So you can take corners quicker
B The LGV driver will see you in their mirrors
C To leave space for other cars
D To slow down traffic
Correct Answer: B The LGV driver will see you in their mirrors
Explanation: LGV and van drivers don't have rear view mirrors. Remember to stay well back from them, because if you can't see their side mirrors, they can't see you. This will also help you see more of the road.
A To assess the situation around you and react accordingly
B To check to see if you can do an emergency stop
C To check whether you can accelerate
D To see what's ahead of you
Correct Answer: A To assess the situation around you and react accordingly
Explanation: You should be checking your mirrors regularly, ensuring you always know what's ahead, beside, and behind you. Doing this will help you anticipate what might happen next, helping avoid and prevent hazards. It's especially important to check your mirrors when you spot a hazard.
A Get out and have a look at what's approaching
B Move forward quickly to get a clear view
C Reverse away from the junction and find another route
D Stop at the junction, then creep forward until you have a clear view
Correct Answer: D Stop at the junction, then creep forward until you have a clear view
Explanation: Buildings, parked cars, and trees often restrict visibility at junctions. To ensure emerging is safe, creep forward slowly to look past obstructions. Ensure you don't cause other drivers to change speed when you pull out.
A You could be distracted or have your view blocked
B Your mirror might fall off
C Your radio might not work
D Your windscreen might fog up
Correct Answer: A You could be distracted or have your view blocked
Explanation: Anything dangling from your rear view mirror or stuck to your windscreen could distract you from driving properly. Make sure you can see through your windscreen clearly.
A Drink an energy drink to get you through
B Leave at the first opportunity and find a safe place to stop
C Stop for a rest on the hard shoulder
D Turn up the radio
Correct Answer: B Leave at the first opportunity and find a safe place to stop
Explanation: Fresh air can help keep you alert when you begin to feel tired, but your first priority should always be using the next service area or motorway exit to find a safe place to rest.
A Because everyone else is doing it
B Because the street lights are on
C To make your dials light up
D To see and be seen more easily
Correct Answer: D To see and be seen more easily
Explanation: When visibility is poor during the day, it may be necessary to turn on your headlights and tail lights to help other drivers spot you. This is especially true in early morning or in late afternoon, when the operation of streetlamps might not be timed optimally to help drivers see clearly.
A Adjusting the air conditioning
B Looking in your rear view mirror
C Turning on the windscreen wipers
D Using a mobile phone
Correct Answer: D Using a mobile phone
Explanation: Tuning your radio stations to local radio, planning your route, and taking regular breaks are just a few ways you should prepare for a long journey. Avoid distractions as much as possible. Handheld mobile phone use is illegal except in emergencies, but even hands-free use can be distracting.
A Only when safely parked
B Whenever someone calls you
C While travelling at under 30 mph
D While using cruise control
Correct Answer: A Only when safely parked
Explanation: Except in genuine emergencies, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone. Hands-free kits make phone use possible, but are still distracting. The safest approach is to stop in a safe place before making or receiving a call. Your hands will also be free to take notes if needed.
A Brake sharply and apply the handbrake
B Keep your hands securely on the steering wheel
C Put your vehicle into reverse
D Wave your arm out of the window to warn other drivers
Correct Answer: B Keep your hands securely on the steering wheel
Explanation: Paying attention to your surroundings makes it more likely you'll spot hazards early. This means you'll react earlier too, and can keep better control of the vehicle in emergencies. Ensure you keep both hands on the steering wheel to maximise control.
A Check your rear view and side mirrors to see what's around
B Check your side mirrors only
C Pull out and then look around
D Pull out and then signal
Correct Answer: A Check your rear view and side mirrors to see what's around
Explanation: You should check your exterior and interior mirrors to make sure the road is clear before moving off. Check your blind spots too, and be prepared to use arm signals if you feel other drivers might not understand your intentions.
A Accelerate past as quickly as possible
B Only pass if it is safe, leaving plenty of room
C Pass as close to them as possible
D Sound your horn as you pass them
Correct Answer: B Only pass if it is safe, leaving plenty of room
Explanation: Cyclists often need to weave around potholes, and sometimes need to adjust their course to correct their balance. Allow them plenty of room when you overtake, and pay close attention to the road ahead, looking for farm entrances or driveways where vehicles might pull out.
A Only at low speeds
B Only if you can steer well one-handed
C Only on a well lit road
D Only when safely parked
Correct Answer: D Only when safely parked
Explanation: Except in genuine emergencies, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone. Doing so will distract you from the road, and increase risk of an accident.
A Keep moving and open a map on your phone
B Shout to other cars for advice
C Stop in the road and ask a pedestrian
D Stop somewhere safe and check a map
Correct Answer: D Stop somewhere safe and check a map
Explanation: You should always find a safe place to stop before checking a map or asking for directions.
A Approaching bends or junctions
B On a dual carriageway
C On a motorway
D On a one-way street
Correct Answer: A Approaching bends or junctions
Explanation: Smaller vehicles and road users - pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists - can be hidden by your windscreen pillars. Be sure to move your head to look past them to check the road at bends and junctions.
A Ask someone for help
B Lean out of the window and look behind
C Look only in the nearside mirror
D Open the door to see behind you
Correct Answer: A Ask someone for help
Explanation: Ensure you can see all around your vehicle before attempting to turn your car around. Get someone to guide you if you're unable to get a good look around.
24. What is a 'blind spot'? Mark one answer
A An area not visible in your mirrors
B An area that isn't covered by your headlights
C The area covered by your right-hand mirror
D The space right behind the driver's seat
Correct Answer: A An area not visible in your mirrors
Explanation: Even modern vehicles have blind spots, areas of the vehicle's surroundings not visible through its mirrors. It's therefore essential that you look around to check these areas are clear when necessary.
A It will allow you to drive more carefully
B It will distract you
C It will improve your concentration
D You won't be able to see as well
Correct Answer: B It will distract you
Explanation: Even using a hands-free kit can leave you distracted. The person speaking on the other end of the phone can't see the road you're driving and won't know when you need to concentrate, or when a hazard presents itself. The best course of action is to stop in a safe place before making or taking a call.
A Come to a complete stop and select a low gear
B Ensure the central reservation is wide enough for your vehicle
C Ensure there is enough room behind you for a second vehicle
D Prepare to accelerate hard
Correct Answer: B Ensure the central reservation is wide enough for your vehicle
Explanation: You should ensure the central reservation is deep enough to protect your vehicle before emerging right onto a dual carriageway. If it's not, treat the dual carriageway as a single road, and ensure you check both directions before emerging. Not doing this could cause a collision by placing some or all of your vehicle in the path of approaching traffic.
Correct Answer: D Motorcyclists
Explanation: Approaching motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists can be entirely obscured by windscreen pillars. Take extra time to look for these road users. Don't assume a quick glance is enough.
A Only when driving in the countryside
B Programme the device before beginning your journey
C When you become lost
D With voice instructions turned on
Correct Answer: B Programme the device before beginning your journey
Explanation: Satellite navigation systems (sat nav) are very useful for unfamiliar journeys, but they can also be distracting. Looking at them could cause you to lose control or miss a hazard ahead. Ensure you're stopped in a safe place before attempting to input information or adjust them.