Theory test cheats

Source: Intelligent Instructor

Theory test cheats

Practical reality of test fraud adding to waiting times

Reports of cheating in driving theory tests have tripled in the last year.

Amid low pass rates and long waits for a practical test booking, it’s another irritation for those genuinely learning to drive.

The findings are a result of investigations by AA Driving School.

Triple score

According to new Freedom of Information data accessed by AA Driving School, 1,652 incidents of cheating were reported from theory test centres in 2022/23 compared to 568 in 2020/21.

Across the whole of 2022 and 2023, 625 people were investigated. From these,  46 prosecutions for theory test fraud were undertaken by the DVSA.



Two halves

The driving theory test consists of two elements. Candidates must pass both the multiple choice (43 out of 50) and hazard perception test (44 out of 75) to be successful.

Questions cover everything from road signs and vehicle maintenance to spotting developing hazards. It is designed as the basic foundation for candidates to develop a thorough understanding of the Highway Code as they learn to drive.

Despite the test being based on general understanding of basic rules of the road, rather than practical driving, the current pass rate for the theory test is just 45.4%.

First things first

Whilst candidates can still learn to drive a car, they are unable to book their practical driving test until they have a theory test pass.

Recent analysis by the AA Driving School showed waiting times to book a practical test were still higher than the pre-pandemic average of 6 weeks at 75% of test centres. Many test centres still show average waiting times in excess of five months.

DVSA has again urged candidates to be fully prepared for the practical driving test before they apply for the test with the ‘Ready To Pass?’ campaign. It is believed that this would help reduce waiting times by freeing up test spots. If a candidate is fully prepared and assessed as ready for test by their driving instructor before applying for a test slot, it would reduce test failures and retests.

Desperation drives

“The jump in reports of theory test fraud is alarming,” says Camilla Benitz, AA Driving School managing director. She believes it ” indicates the lengths people will go to secure that all important pass”.

“The increase in cheating coincides with the waiting times for booking a driving test shooting up massively as well as the pass rate for the theory test remaining stubbornly low at just 45.5%.

“While passing the theory test does require revision and time spent practicing, it shouldn’t have learners turning to illegal fraudsters to pass. There is lots of help out there, including our theory test app, which can help you prepare and take the next step in your driving journey.”

Theory Test apps can be a vital to aid the learning, process, whilst also helping candidates grasp whether they are truly ready for the test before applying.

For example, the AA Driving School Theory Test app contains more than 700 theory questions and extensive hazard perception clips. There’s also a flashcard feature for quick-fire revision sessions, timed mock tests and tracking of their progress toward test ready.

There are many other Theory Test app providers based on similar schemes of learning, allowing learners to use the app tat best suits them.



FOI data on test fraud

Year Reports of impersonations received from test centre (nationally)
2015/16 467
2016/17 414
2017/18 537
2018/19 653
2019/20 848
2020/21 568
2021/22 1151
2022/23 1652


2024-04-06T10:52:04+00:006 April 2024|
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