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Fri, March 01, 2024

How Hard Is the ADR Test in [2024]?

How Hard Is the ADR Test in [2024]?

An ADR license is a prerequisite for drivers who transport dangerous goods (DG) falling under the scope of ADR regulations on public highways. To obtain an ADR license, individuals must successfully complete a series of examinations. In this post, we delve into the ADR exams, outlining their content, the pass mark requirements, and associated costs. 



Understanding the ADR Test Difficulty



Evaluation of the perceived difficulty of the ADR test


Transporting dangerous goods (DG) on the road inherently carries hazards and risks due to the nature of the cargo. Therefore, it's imperative to provide drivers with specialized training and knowledge so they can effectively handle potential emergencies. Part of the ADR examinations aims to ensure that license holders possess a thorough understanding of the dangers associated with transporting DG by road.

Following classroom or online ADR tuition, candidates are required to pass multiple-choice exams based on the course content they have completed. It's important to note that these exams are not intended for lorry drivers to fail, and the vast majority pass all their exams on their first attempt. The exams are set at an NVQ level 2 standard, ensuring that candidates have a comprehensive understanding of the material covered. 



Factors that may influence the level of difficulty for candidates


While ADR exams are generally straightforward, success is not guaranteed. It's essential to remain attentive during the course, review your notes in the evenings, and carefully read the exam questions. The course and exam may contain technical jargon, so if English is not your first language, you may need to pay extra attention to the instructor's explanations. It's important to note that the ADR exams are conducted only in English in the UK.

However, passing the exams is not impossible for non-UK residents, and many succeed with adequate preparation. During the exam, there is no writing involved; instead, if taking the online version, candidates click on the correct answer using the mouse cursor. For individuals with dyslexia, a magic pen can be used to read out the text of the questions and answers, providing the only form of assistance allowed during the ADR exams.



Minimum ADR Requirements



Explaining the minimum requirements for individuals to take the ADR test


Anyone can attend an ADR course, regardless of whether they have a driving license or not. However, since nearly all ADR drivers transport dangerous goods (DG), it's typically assumed that attendees have a UK driving license. There are no restrictions on attending an ADR course, and everyone is welcome, as long as they can pass the required examinations.

The pass mark for each ADR examination is 70%. This means that out of 10 questions answered, you can still get 3 wrong and pass the exam. It's not necessary to achieve a perfect score.


Qualifications and prerequisites needed to sit for the exam


The number of examinations you need to pass will depend on the type of ADR course you undertake. There are individual exams for each section of ADR, including:

  • Core exam
  • Packages Module
  • Tank Module
  • Class 1 Explosives
  • Class 2 Gases
  • Class 3 Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4 Flammable Solids
  • Class 5 Oxidizing Substances
  • Class 6 Toxic Substances
  • Class 7 Radioactives
  • Class 8 Corrosive Substances
  • Class 9 Miscellaneous substances

Each of these modules requires a separate examination, and successful completion of all relevant exams is necessary to obtain the ADR certification for the specific classes of dangerous goods you intend to transport. However, it's unlikely that you will need to sit all of the exams listed above, as it is rare to transport class 1 (explosives) and class 7 (radioactives) goods.

The exams are priced at £20 each, which could add up to a significant amount if sat individually. Therefore, training providers often group some classes together into one exam session. For example, classes 2, 3, 6, and 8 may be sat as one group exam, while classes 4, 5, and 9 can be combined in another session.

If you needed a full ADR licence excluding classes 1 and 7, you would typically sit the following examinations:

  • Core (mandatory examination)
  • Packages exam
  • Tank Exam
  • Common Characteristics (covers all 9 classes except 1 and 7)
  • Group A (classes 2, 3, 6, and 8)
  • Group B (classes 4, 5, and 9)

This means you would need to sit and pass six exams to gain a full ADR certification, excluding classes 1 and 7. Most attendees opt for the 3.5-day packaged goods course, which covers the Core, Packages, Common Characteristics, and Group A and B exams. Passing these elements allows the holder to transport any class of dangerous goods except 1 and 7, in any mode of transport other than a tank or tanker. 

The other typical course and exams cover Core, Packages, Tankers, and all classes except 1 and 7. The exam format is the same as the 3.5-day format, with the exception of the tanker module.

Grouping the exams together saves time and money, as it's more efficient and cost-effective than sitting them individually.

EP Training offers online ADR exams, with results provided immediately. They are one of the few training companies offering this service. Additionally, they provide a free retest if needed, boasting a 98% first-time success rate. If you fail any part of the ADR exams, you can retake that section straight away, with no additional charges.


ADR Test Administration: Online vs. In-Person



Comparison of online and in-person ADR testing processes


Although you can attend ADR sessions online, the exams must be taken at the training center's premises; they cannot be done at home. Opting for the classroom option is recommended for the best results, as it allows for direct interaction with instructors. While online learning is convenient, it may not offer the same level of engagement and explanation as in-person instruction.


Pass Mark for the ADR Exam



Clarification on the pass mark required to successfully pass the ADR exam


With a pass mark of 70%, success in the ADR examinations is achievable with careful reading, understanding of course material, and taking your time to answer questions accurately. Choosing the classroom option and utilizing the knowledge gained from the course can enhance your chances of success.


Pass Rate for ADR



Factors influencing the pass rate and variation among candidates



Selecting the right training provider is crucial for obtaining your ADR license. There is a wide variation in standards among ADR training companies, so thorough research is essential. EP Training has been offering ADR courses since the 1990s and has successfully trained over 15,000 ADR customers. They conduct ADR training sessions every other week at their purpose-built facility in Bookham, Surrey.

Your instructor will provide all the necessary paperwork and study materials to supplement your classroom experience. There's no need to purchase any additional learning materials in advance, as everything will be provided on the first day of your ADR course.


Preparation Tips for ADR Test



Recommended study materials, resources, and courses for ADR test readiness


The ADR examinations are entirely theory-based; there are no practical tests involved. You have the option to complete the exams on paper or online. Online testing offers immediate results and allows for instant retesting if needed. In contrast, paper-based exams must be sent to the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for marking, leading to a delay of 4-6 weeks before receiving results. Therefore, the online option is preferable for quicker results.

Once the exams are passed, the ADR license is sent directly to the candidate's home address by the SQA. It's important to remember that you cannot transport regulated dangerous goods by road without a valid ADR card in your possession. If you opt for online tests, the license typically arrives within 7 days, significantly faster than the paper-based option. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the pass mark for the ADR exam?


The pass mark for ADR is 70%


Can you fail an ADR test?


 Yes, you can fail an ADR test. If you don’t meet the minimum 70% needed, then you will need to do a resit.


What are the pass rates for ADR?


 The pass rate is 70%, and the overwhelming majority of drivers will achieve this on their first attempt.


How do you qualify for ADR?


While many ADR license holders also possess an HGV license due to the nature of their work and the transportation of dangerous goods, there is no requirement to have an HGV license to qualify for ADR.


Can I do ADR online?


You can attend an online ADR training session; however, you cannot take the exams from home. The exams must be completed in a classroom setting.




Please don't worry about passing those ADR exams as they are quite straightforward. The overwhelming majority of candidates pass the ADR examinations on their first attempt. With adequate preparation, studying, and careful consideration of the questions and answers, you should be able to pass easily.

However, selecting a reputable training company is key to achieving the desired result. Once you have passed the ADR exams, there's no need to repeat the process for another 5 years, assuming you decide to renew your ADR license.

We hope this post has provided you with a clearer understanding of the ADR examination process, and we wish you the best of luck in passing your tests.


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