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A Guide to Preparing for the CDL Test

CDL test
Are you wondering how to study for your upcoming CDL exam? Read here for a guide to preparing for the CDL test that will help you get ready.

If you’re looking to embark on a new career, getting behind the wheel of a truck can bring plenty of rewards. 

The United States Bureau of Labor (BOL) projects approximately 260,000 new truck driving jobs per year over the next 10 years. It’s an industry that is rich with opportunity, including competitive pay, plenty of benefits, and the ability to see so much of the country. 

Your first step is to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Becoming a CDL driver starts with passing the exam. 

Here’s what you need to know about preparing for the CDL test. 

Consider the Different Types of Licenses

As you go about the CDL test preparation, start by considering the various license designations. The main types of CDL licenses that you can test for include:

  • Class A CDL – A license for trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 26,001 lbs.
  • Class B CDL – A license for detached cargo trucks with a weight of more than 26,000 
  • Class C CDL – A license for trucks with a GVWR lower than 26,001

Knowing what kind of license you’re looking into will help you map out your career. This means understanding the differences between them and how they can be an asset. 

Choose a Quality Driving School

Find a driving school that can get you up to speed on all the information that you need to know. Starting with a professional, credible driving school provides access to instructors that will prepare you both for the exam and your career. 

Choose an accredited, reputable school, and read through the curriculum to know which points you’ll need to know. You can get your CDL training from an online school that can let you learn on your terms and on your time. 

Develop Your Study Methods

When going to driving school, study for the exam in a way that fits your learning style. Study consistently and small chunk the information rather than trying to cram. 

Get your hands on some practice exams and study materials that will let you go through the CDL test information point by point. Use some digital flashcards and spaced repetition systems (SRS) to revisit the most important subject matter until you commit it to your memory. 

Combine Resources With Other Aspiring Drivers

You will have more motivation and support when you connect with other aspiring drivers on the same path. If you’re taking courses in person, exchange information with some classmates and set up study groups. This can help you keep each other accountable and on task. 

It’s also helpful to build these relationships so that you begin your career with a professional network as soon as you take and pass your exam. 

Run Through Some Practice Exams

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it will help you be comfortable and prepared enough to pass the exam with flying colors. The good part is that several practice exams closely mirror the actual test. 

This means that if you can ace the practice tests, you should reasonably expect to have no trouble with the real thing. Taking these practice exams is the best measuring stick that you can have prior to taking the test. 

Regularly take these practice exams so that you’re familiar with every section and what they entail. 

Start Early and Give Yourself Time

In a survey, 99% of people admitted to cramming for tests that they had to take. The problem is that it’s scientifically proven that cramming doesn’t work. 

Instead of rushing and burning yourself out, give yourself plenty of time to study so that you can develop a strong foundation for the information. Book your test date far out in advance so that you have a target to shoot for. Avoid the temptation to wait until the last minute to get serious about studying. 

Take it slow and steady by studying a little bit every day, so that by the time the test date rolls around you’ll feel seasoned and confident about the information. This will help you reduce your testing anxiety and you’ll be more likely to get a higher score. 

Make sure that you’re also taking care of your health in the meantime by prioritizing sleep and hydration. This self-care will help you to retain the information and have no problem drawing upon your recall when it’s time to take the test. 

Get to Know the Testing Process

Learning about the CDL testing process will also put your mind at ease, and will make sure that you’re taking care of all the prerequisites. If you’re driving intrastate, you only need to be 18 years old, while drivers crossing state lines must be 21 to get their CDL. 

You must also get a physical from a physician and must bring proof of ID and social security number (SSN). After passing the permit test, you must wait at least 2 weeks and have taken ELDT training before you can take your skills test. 

The testing site generally requires test takers to have their own vehicle to use for the exam. Take the ELDT training, pay the fees, pass the test, and you’ll officially be a licensed truck driver. 

Prepare for the CDL Test

Taking and passing the CDL test can help you embark on a new career. Once you’re ready to take this journey, start compiling the information and resources that you’ll need. can help you with your test prep so that you can embark on your new career path. If you have questions, reach out using our online form or call us at 814-755-3100.

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