The Cirrus Driving Test is an online assessment tool which allows those new to Cirrus to demonstrate that they are sufficiently familiar with Cirrus and HPC to start making use of it.

It is suitable for anyone who has completed an Introduction to HPC Carpentry training course, or similar, or for users of other HPC systems who have familiarised themselves with the specifics of running jobs on Cirrus by reading up the appropriate preparation material resources.

On successful completion of the Driving Test, you will be invited to apply for an account on Cirrus and awarded a small allowance to use to run jobs over a period of up to 12 months. You can select the award option during the test:

This scheme is intended to promote access to HPC to new users and communities who would not otherwise be able to gain initial experience on HPC systems. In particular we hope to give a head start to potential future Cirrus users. Applicants would normally be resident in the UK, perhaps with an existing connection to a research institution such as those listed at However, if you feel you fall outwith this group, please do get in touch with to discuss whether we can help. Only one Driving Test account application per person is permitted as it is intended for new users to gain first-time, hands-on experience.

The Driving Test is intended for academics and non-academic researchers working in UK based research institutions within sectors related to the remits of the Cirrus partner research councils for pre-competitive computational research runs. The final decision on awarding access to Cirrus remains with the service.

Take the Cirrus Driving Test

Two versions of the test are available, one intended for Application Developers, which includes questions on programming and compiling, and one intended for Software Package users who make use of existing software. Please take whichever test is most appropriate for you - they are of equivalent difficulty and the award of time is identical.

Cirrus Driving Test for Application Developers

Cirrus Driving Test for Software Package Users

You should expect to hear back within 5 working days whether you have passed, and if so, be invited to sign up for your account. You can attempt the test(s) as many times as you wish. Only one Driving Test account application per person is permitted.