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How to prepare for the theory test

How to prepare for the theory test

The purpose of the theory test is to ensure that the candidate for a driving licence has the sufficient knowledge and competence required for responsible driving.

Preparing for a theory test

The theory test gauges the candidate’s knowledge of traffic rules and capacity to observe traffic risks and dangerous situations. You can prepare for the theory test by following the instructions given by your driving school or instructor with a driving instruction permit or by studying the driving examination skills requirements.

There is a lot of study material online as well as different kinds of practice courses and programmes for practising for the theory test. The tasks in the practice materials are not however the same as the tasks in the official theory test, so try to read and study in such a way that you understand the things needed for the theory test.

Conditions for taking the theory test

The earliest you can take the theory test is one month before reaching the minimum age. Candidates with an age exemption permit may take the category B theory test once they have turned 17. If you are studying on a professional driver training course, you may take the B or BE theory test one month prior to turning 17. The minimum age for taking the category T theory test is 15.

The theory test is always to be completed before the driving test.

Booking a time for the theory test

Book a time for the theory test at an Ajovarma service point or arrange the booking with your driving school.

 

What to take to the theory test?

Take the following documents to the theory test:

  • a photo ID
  • the certificate of instruction and examination (Traficom E100) with the theory instructions section filled out
  • a certificate of the training for candidates for first driving licences (EAS), if you are applying for your first driving licence
  • a consent form from your official guardian, if the minimum age for the licence you are applying for is below 18 and you are a minor. Your guardian’s details will be checked from the Population Information System.
  • a statement of consent from your educational institution, if you are under 17 years and 11 months and you are applying for a category B driving licence.
  • a statement of consent from your educational institution if you are under 21 and have no professional competence (for Group 2 categories).

Mobile phones, earphones and other communication devices cannot be taken into the theory test.

Theory test location and equipment

The theory test is always carried out at one of the service points of Traficom’s service provider Ajovarma. You can book a time for a theory test directly at the Ajovarma online booking service or if you are planning on booking an oral theory test you must book your test by phone. There is a charge for the theory test which can be paid either when booking the test or when arriving to the test. You can check theory test prices here.

Course of the theory test

Before starting the test, a program on the tablet will guide you through the test process. These instructions will not take up any of the time afforded to taking the test.

You have 30 minutes for the questions and picture tasks. A longer period of time can also be given for the theory test (60 minutes) if certain criteria are met (see details under the section on oral theory tests).

On the table below you can see how the theory test is constructed. The questions are divided into three different sections: category specific multiple-choice questions, picture tasks on traffic situations, and risk identification questions. The minimum score must be achieved for each section. In the table you can see the number of questions asked for each section, and in brackets the minimum score for each section is shown.

Right to drive category Multiple-choice questions Picture tasks

Risk identification
questions

A1, A2, A 20 (14) 50 (43) 5 (4)
AM/120, AM/121, T, B 15 (11) 50 (43) 5 (4)
BE, C1, C1E, D1, D1E 10 (7) 30 (26) 5 (4)
C, CE, D, DE 20 (14) 30 (26) 5 (4)

 

Results

You will see the results of your test on the tablet screen immediately after the test. Section-specific feedback is also visible immediately on the tablet after the test. The number of correct answers by theme is the deciding factor in the theory test.

The tablet software will send the decision and feedback to the applicant by email. If you do not have an email address, the service point staff may print out the test feedback for you.

A passed theory test is valid for one year.

 

Oral theory test

Candidates may take the theory test with extended response time (60 minutes) when one of the following requirements are met:

  1. The candidate's mother tongue is other than Finnish, Swedish or English and the person does not have good command of any of these languages.
  2. The candidate is illiterate.
  3. The candidate is at least 75 years old and has failed their theory test at least once after turning 75.
  4. The candidate is entitled for extended testing time on health grounds:

  • the candidate is deaf and their first language is sign language.
  • the candidate has dyslexia or difficulty with reading and writing. In this event, the candidate must present a certificate of their condition signed by a qualified professional (e.g. special needs teacher, school social worker or similar).
  • The candidate is entitled for extended response time on other health grounds. The service point staff may also approve some other health reason with consent from Traficom. In this event, the candidate must present a statement or certificate from a healthcare professional containing the ICD-10 diagnosis of the concern or disability or the health grounds making them eligible for extending the theory test response time.
 

Using an interpreter in the test

If the theory test candidate’s mother tongue is not Finnish, Swedish or English and they do not have sufficient skills in any of these languages, or if they are deaf with sign language as their first language, an interpreter may be used when taking the theory test.

The interpreter must be a qualified professional. A certificate (issued by a university, university of applied sciences or vocational institution) proving the qualification is required at the latest upon arrival to the theory test. Other certificates, such as work references, are not accepted forms of proving qualifications. Alternatively, the interpreter must be listed in an official register, such as the search service maintained by the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL) or the Finnish Register of Court Interpreters maintained by the Finnish National Agency for Education (oikeustulkkirekisteri). If you are unsure whether your interpreter is qualified, please ensure their qualifications well in advance. If you cannot ensure the qualifications of your interpreter, the test cannot be completed. The customer is responsible for the costs of acquiring an interpreter.
If you need an interpreter for the theory test, book an appointment by calling the Ajovarma customer service.

Permission to serve as a remote interpreter – applying for a permit

The availability of qualified interpreters may vary regionally, which is why remote interpreting (e.g. by phone from another location) may be allowed in the theory test in exceptional situations. Only qualified interpreters may serve as remote interpreters. Remote interpreters may also be used if no interpreter is available at a cost deemed reasonable.
The person serving as a remote interpreter must apply for permission from Traficom in advance. The applications are processed as soon as possible and at least within one month of the application arriving at Traficom. An exception for remote interpreting can be granted for one interpreting session at a time.


The person applying for the permit to serve as a remote interpreter must provide a free-form account of the following:

  1. name and date of birth of the interpreter
  2. language being interpreted
  3. name and date of birth of the customer who needs the interpreter
  4. time and place of the interpreting session
  5. a declaration of not being disqualified or biased to serve as the interpreter

A copy of an educational certificate must be attached to the application (university, university of applied sciences or vocational education).

The application must be submitted to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s registry via e-mail at kirjaamo(at)traficom.fi or by letter to the address Liikenne- ja viestintävirasto Traficom, Kumpulantie 9, 00520 Helsinki.

The permit or rejection letter will be mailed to the applicant (interpreter).

 

Exceptions to the requirements regarding interpreters' qualifications – applying for permission

Finding a qualified interpreter for people who speak a small minority language may be difficult. Interpreters for languages in these small language groups with no available qualified interpreters (even remotely) may apply for an exception to the qualification requirements. Regional difficulties in the availability of interpreters are not, however, an automatic justification for granting an exceptional permit to an unqualified interpreter.

The person serving as an interpreter must be suitable for the task. They may not be challengeable, for example. Being a friend of or related to the candidate or having a financial relationship with the candidate are grounds for disqualification. The suitability of the interpreter is investigated by Traficom prior to granting the permit.

Please note that you must have booked your test before submitting an application for an exceptional permit.

The person applying for the permit must provide a free-form account of the following:

  1. name and date of birth of the interpreter
  2. language being interpreted
  3. name and date of birth of the customer who needs the interpreter
  4. time and place of the interpreting session (the time should be booked approximately one month in advance at the time of submitting the application)
  5. a declaration of not being disqualified or biased to serve as the interpreter

The application must be submitted to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency’s registry via e-mail at kirjaamo(at)traficom.fi or by letter to the address Liikenne- ja viestintävirasto Traficom, Kumpulantie 9, 00520 Helsinki.

The applications are processed in the order they are received and at least within one month of the application arriving at Traficom.
An exception in the interpreter qualifications can be granted for one interpreting session at a time.
The permit or rejection letter will be mailed to the applicant (interpreter).

 

Serving as an interpreter in the theory test

The examiner reads the questions out loud and the interpreter translates the examiner’s speech for the test candidate. It is the examiner’s responsibility to ensure that the interpreter is not able to influence the test candidate’s answers.
During the test, both the candidate and the interpreter are responsible for ensuring that the tools and connections required for interpretation function properly. The candidate may select the device and software used for the connection and they are responsible for the operation of the connection during the test. The examiner must check the identity of the interpreter before starting the test.
In an oral test, both the customer and the interpreter have the option of using a printed dictionary. The dictionary may be in the form of a printed file drafted by the interpreter themselves. You must not, however, write anything onto the material during the test, meaning that you may not have a pen or pencil with you. The material may be examined before starting the test.
If there is justified cause to suspect that the interpreting service has been misused, the examiner shall remove the interpreter from the session. In this event, the candidate may finish the test without their interpreter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page updated 10/06/2020

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