Tips for Passing A CDL Test

Because there has been such a shortage of drivers the past 10 years, transporters are beginning to offer higher pay and better benefits. The effort appears to be working, carriers say, because a growing number of men and women are inquiring about the process for becoming a professional driver.

Although there are several requirements, the first one is that applicants must pass a commercial drivers license (CDL) test.  The test includes both a written exam and a driving test, and together they will determine whether an applicant’s has the ability to maneuver a heavy duty vehicle and to understand the rules of the road.

Trucks zooming on highway

Tips for Passing A CDL Test

In order to pass these tests, applicants need to take all the necessary measures to prepare. Here are 6 tips for passing the test.


  1. Study


There are important distinctions to be made between the license exams you took for your regular driver’s license and the ones for your CDL. Don’t just think that you can go into the exam cold on the basis of your previous knowledge. For one, you might have forgotten some of the specifics of the rules of the road. Plus, regular vehicles do not follow the exact same rules as commercial ones. The rules might not be drastically different, but they’re dissimilar enough to warrant extensive learning. When it comes time to receive your CDL, you’ll be glad you studied as much as you did.


  1. Take practice tests


If you feel tense about taking written exams, don’t let yourself go in cold. Allow yourself to get into the testing mindset by taking practice tests. These can be offered through places like your state’s DMV or through various online outlets. They might not have the exact same questions as the written exam. However, they will get you better prepared. When you finish, you can look at the results and determine what your strong/weak points are. Even if you do well at first, you should still take it multiple times. You want to keep your mind as fresh as possible.


  1. Practice driving


When doing your daily driving in a non-commercial vehicle, use this as an opportunity for learning and easing yourself into the testing mindset. After studying your exam book, imagine you’re driving a commercial vehicle. In different situations, imagine what you would do if it was a truck you were driving. You shouldn’t necessarily do the exact same things that you would with a truck. However, you should consider what you would do with a commercial vehicle. If you see commercial vehicles on the road while driving, casually observe what they’re doing. Don’t take your focus off the road or your driving, but just watch how those with CDLs are able to work their vehicles. If you have a friend who has a CDL, ask if you can ride with them and observe them.


  1. Relax


If you’re feeling tense in the days leading up to your CDL test, you need to take time to relax and steady yourself. Don’t let yourself just stay up all night obsessing and neglecting food. Instead, you need to be taking the time to unwind as much as possible. Make sure you are eating the right foods and getting enough exercise. You should also be practicing meditation to help you observe any thoughts or anxieties you’re having. If you are feeling particularly tense, you should look into therapy to help you deal with trepidation about the CDL test.


  1. Rest


You need to have enough rest in order to have your mind prepared for your CDL test. If you’re not fully rested at the time of your exam, both written and driving, you’re going to be greatly compromised. Make sure that you’re going to sleep and waking up on a consistent schedule. You should be getting 7-9 hours sleep each night. To help yourself ease into a restful sleep each night, you need a quality bedtime routine. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed. Spend time with relaxing activities like yoga and reading a book. You can read some of your exam book before bed to help keep yourself focused.


  1. Believe in yourself


Confidence is an absolute must in order to pass your CDL test. If you are feeling unsure of yourself, you’re going to make mistakes. You’ll second-guess your decisions and end up doing things out of sheer randomness. This is incredibly dangerous, because even if you pass your exam, you won’t feel sure of yourself when it comes time to put your CDL to use. Studying as much as possible is crucial for confidence. You should also use the power of imagination. Envision yourself behind the wheel of the commercial vehicle, performing each maneuver flawlessly. Then, imagine yourself being given your license and then driving your truck with ease after months of repeat practice.


Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Transport Resources Inc.

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for CDL Consultant.

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for CDL Consultant.

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1 Response

  1. Avatar for Kit Hannigan Kit Hannigan says:

    I really like your tip about getting practice tests that are offered by various online outlets. My cousin is looking to switch up careers, and he’s really considering trucking. One problem though; he doesn’t have a commercial driving license yet. I’ll share this article with him so he can start reaching out to certified truck driving school.

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