ADI1 theory test

ADI Part one is a theory test of your driving knowledge. Many people overlook this part of becoming a driving instructor and have the attitude of just getting it done as soon as they can so they can get on to the other tests.

If you rush through this test you will already be building very poor foundations for the rest of your career. Let me tell you a story about a driving instructor who I bet wishes he’d spent longer on his part one exam.

An examiner returned from a driving test with the pupil. During the driving test debrief, the examiner mentioned that the pupil had failed because he had been driving at 40mph on a dual carriageway where the limit was 30mph. The instructor said that was wrong because all dual carriageways had to have a minimum speed limit of 40mph.

For years this instructor had been teaching all of his pupils that dual carriageways have a minimum speed limit of 40mph! The examiner explained that wasn’t the case but the instructor refused to accept it. He is no longer working as a driving instructor.

You can see the official DVSA guide to driving instructor exams by clicking here.

Read about ADI part 2 here and ADI part 3 here.


How hard is ADI part one?

ADI part 1 is easier than the other exams because you have an unlimited number of attempts at it. You only have three attempts at part 2 and part 3.

With the right training, which you can do at home, it’s quite easy to pass. It’s the hazard perception that usually catches people out.


How the test works

You have to answer 100 questions about driving and then complete a hazard perception test. If you pass both of those you will have passed part one.

The questions are in 4 bands –

1) Road procedure

2) Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians, mechanical knowledge

3) Driving tests, disabilities, law

4) Publications, instructional techniques

There are over 900 different questions.

You must score 85% (so 85 questions must be answered correctly) but you must also get 80% in at least each band to ensure your knowledge is broad enough. For example, you can get 100% in bands 1, 2 and 3 and 75% in band 4 and you’ll fail because you didn’t reach the minimum 80% level in band 4.

You have 90 minutes to complete this test.


This video of me taking a learners theory test is full of tips that apply to ADI part 1


Hazard perception test


You’ll watch 14 video clips. There are 13 clips that contain one hazard and one clip that contains two hazards. For each hazard you’ll be given a score out of 5. The earlier you see the hazard the more you score.

You must get 57 out of 75 to pass this test. DVD’s are easily available through amazon, eBay etc. to help you practice this and they will explain it in much more detail than I can here.


How my part 1 training works

There is no need to pay anybody for part one training. You can learn everything you need to know for this yourself simply by ordering the books and studying at home.

Click here for all the training resources you need for part one. This list is compiled by the DVSA themselves: the people that do the instructor and learner tests.

Click here to practice the ADI part one test for free. This is a brilliant resource and a great way to get used to the test.

Then it’s on to part 2.

To book lessons just let me know your postcode, the times you're free and your experience. I usually reply within a few hours from Monday to Friday.
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