You Can’t Fail The CBT In The UK

No, you can’t fail your CBT – but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard. There are two common reasons you may ‘fail’ a motorcycle CBT which are below. 

The CBT is not a test, so you can’t pass or fail it. It’s meant to determine if you’re safe to ride unaccompanied on the road or if you need more training before you can receive a CBT test certificate.

This is determined by the instructor who will be training you on the day of your CBT test. CBT tests cannot be failed, but you may be asked to return for additional training until the instructor feels that you are ready to ride.

“I smashed the bike through a fence and passed my cbt man don’t worry 😂 “ CBT Test taker

Two common pitfalls why learner rider may ‘fail’ CBT test training

A lack of demonstrable knowledge of machine controls

This will prevent you from proceeding to the ‘on the road’ riding section of your CBT test. Your instructor will give you as much time as possible to prepare. 

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the final element, which takes a minimum of 2 hours to complete, there is a limit to the amount of practice time you can have. 

Eventually, the test course would have to proceed with other riders on the same session.

Lack of knowledge of the highway code

In this case, you would be moving on to the final part of your CBT test session, which is ‘on the road’ training. If you lack demonstrated competency in machine control or understand highway control, you might have to go through another day of training prior to passing a CBT. 

Other reasons you may be asked to return for an extra day of training are:

Being late to the cbt test

In the event you arrive past the start time indicated on your booking, you will not be able to complete the training on the same day. In the first 15 minutes of your test session, you are provided with information which you are expected to know throughout your entire test session.

To fix this make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time. This will also help you relax and get composed before your CBT test starts.


Prior to attending a CBT test, you are expected to have a solid understanding of balance. If this is not done, you may be asked to return for your CBT test on another day. The best way to know if you can balance on a motorcycle is to practice on a push bike or bicycle beforehand. Balance is a skill that cannot be learned from scratch in a day.

Not listening to instructions

When taking a CBT test, it is critical that you follow the instructions. Although you may be an experienced rider, if you do not follow your instructor’s instructions, you may put yourself and other road users at risk, and therefore may be asked to return for more training. 

Prior to your CBT test training, make sure you’re well rested, hydrated and well fed so you can excel!

Showing poor road traffic procedure

CBT assesses your ability to ride independently on UK roads as a learner motorcyclist. In the same way you will not be awarded a certificate at the end of the course if you are unable to demonstrate a good theoretical knowledge of the Highway Code and Road traffic procedure described above.

“I almost ran over my instructor and still passed” CBT Test taker


Don’t worry about your CBT, avoid the reasons people fail it above and you’ll be fine. Let us know how you get on in the comments below.