Whether you are thinking about joining the commercial driver workforce or are required to take the test because of your current job, prepping for the commercial drivers license (CDL) test is a crucial part of applying for your CDL.
What to Expect on the CDL Test
The test consists of two parts:
- A written test assessing your knowledge.
- A road driving test assessing your skill.
NOTE: Depending on your home state, there are a few guidelines regarding age and medical ability that you must meet in order to apply for a CDL drivers license. Check your state’s handbook for details.
How to Prepare for the CDL Written Test
Study the CDL Handbook
Studying your state’s commercial driver handbook is the one of the best ways to prepare for the CDL written exam. All test questions are directly based on information covered in the manual.
Also consider taking a few CDL practice tests. These will give you a feel for the actual questions that will be asked on the actual exam. Depending on your state, you may find a practice test or two in your commercial driver handbook. Otherwise, look for them online for free from third-party providers.
After passing the knowledge test, you’ll earn a permit, allowing you to now practice driving and prepare for the road test.
Get Behind-the-Wheel Training
Enrolling in a commercial driver training program is the best way for obtaining driving experience. You’ll learn backing, turning and all other maneuvers that come with driving a large vehicle.
Your employer will usually offer this type of training, but ask around and do some research on your own to find a local licensed commercial driving school.
Learn to Properly Inspect the Commercial Vehicle
Another part of the CDL test that you must master is how to properly inspect the vehicle before driving and learn the ins and outs of coupling tractors and trailers to the vehicle. This too, is covered in commercial driving schools.
Taking the CDL Written Test
When it comes time to take the test, you’ll need to either make an appointment with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office or with a state-sanctioned third party tester.
Have you taken your CDL test yet? How’d it go?