When to take the HPT

You should attempt the HPT when you have sufficient driving experience (minimum of 12 months on your red Ps), read the handbook, and applied all the information to your driving. You will be charged the test fee each time you sit, so be prepared.

What happens when you get there?

When you go to a registry, your licence and eligibility will be checked. You will then be assigned to a test kiosk (special desk with a touch-screen computer). In some regional or remote areas, you may take the HPT on a portable or laptop computer.

Interacting with the HPT computer

All interaction with the HPT computer is via the touch screen.

The structure of the test is:

  • Welcome screen
  • Test instructions
  • 2 practice items (to help you become familiar with how the HPT operates)
  • 15 test items
  • Feedback screen

Audio/sound option

You can read the test instructions or have them read to you. If you choose to listen, advise the RMS customer service officer and you will be given a set of headphones.

The test instructions

The HPT is made up of 15 film clips of real traffic situations to which you will be asked to respond. These situations are based on the 5 most common crash types. In the film clips you see what the driver sees and are told what the driver wants to do. At the beginning of each HPT film clip you will be told about the situation. For example, you might be shown the following text:

You are driving along a 2-way street in a 60km/h speed zone. You wish to keep driving straight ahead. Touch the screen when you would slow down.

To help you understand the situation, the clip will be paused for 3 seconds before it starts playing. The dashboard will show the speed and if indicators are operating.

During the film clip you will need to touch the screen if and when you think an action is required. Actions include slowing down, overtaking or crossing an intersection. Just like when you are driving on a real road, the HPT may show you situations where it would be unsafe to take an action such as turning or overtaking. If you think it would be unsafe to act you should not touch the screen.

If you touch the screen during a clip you will hear a sound and the picture will flash – indicating the computer has recorded your response. The film clip may run for another few seconds, but there is no need to touch the screen again. If you did not touch the screen the clip will continue to play to the end without a sound or flash.

The confirmation screen buttons

You must confirm whether you did or did not touch the screen after each film clip.

The practice questions

The practice questions are just like the actual questions but you get feedback on whether your response was good, could have been better or was unsafe. You get the chance to repeat the clip if your response was unsafe or needed improvement.

The real HPT questions

The HPT presents 15 clips randomly selected from a large pool of questions. Just like real driving where you only get one chance to respond to a situation, you will only be allowed to see each item once and cannot change your response once submitted. You do not receive feedback after each clip as in the practice.

The results and feedback screen

When complete, a results screen will tell you if you have passed or failed without providing a score. Pass or fail, you receive feedback on areas for improvement. A printout of the results and feedback can be obtained from the registry.

Aiding and cheating during the HPT

The HPT assesses individual drivers to see if they are good enough for green Ps. Penalties, including prosecution, may be imposed on anyone involved in cheating. At the very least you will not be allowed to resit the HPT for 6 weeks.


Continue reading the Hazard Perception Handbook Summary:

1. What is the HPT?

2. Crash Patterns of Provisional Drivers

3. How the HPT works

4. Keeping Space From Other Vehicles

5. Selecting Safe Gaps

6. Scanning for Hazards

7. Important Situations

8. Expecting the Unexpected

Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Hazard Perception Test so you can take the Practical Driving Test:


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