Congratulations on your decision to become a truck driver! Driving a big rig is a challenging but rewarding job, and it’s a great way to see the country. But before you hit the open road, you need to pass your CDL exam. Don’t worry – with these simple tips for passing a CDL exam Warrior Logistics, you’ll breeze right through the test and be on your way to becoming a professional truck driver. Good luck!
1. Be Sure You Meet Your State’s CDL Exam Minimums
Know and understand what you’re up against before you get started. Look over the requirements in your state for earning your CDL or Commercial Driver’s License. Make sure you meet all of the age and physical ability minimums to be sure you’re off on the right foot for your professional truck driver career!
2. Get A Copy of Your State’s CDL Manual
You particular state may have different rules and particulars for you to learn and pass your exam than another state, so verify you have the right learner’s manual for your state to study from. Most are available for download from each state’s DMV site, but if you prefer a physical copy, swing by your local DMV to pick up a copy that way. Read it once all the way through to start for a full overview, then hone in on the spots you need to spend extra time studying.
3. Time to Study
You can’t memorize it all in one go, so focus on understanding the overall concepts. You’ll be more likely to actually retain the important parts of the information, and also, you’ll be better able to answer questions should they be phrased in a different way from your learning materials.
4. Practice Makes You Aware – Not Perfect
The physical part is easier said than done considering commercial vehicles used by professional truck drivers aren’t exactly easy to come by, but the studying is definitely doable, especially if you plan far enough ahead. Give yourself plenty of time to review and re-review the content before your exam. Not feeling like you’re in a pressured rush will be so helpful to your ability to recall the info on which you’ll be tested.
5. Try Some Different Approaches to Studying ‘Till You Find Your Best One(s)
Some study methods work better for some than for others, so play around to find what works best for you (if you don’t already know, that is). It may be flashcards or practice tests or mnemonic devices like acronyms or rhyming strategies. Recruit your friends or family members to help quiz you on a few practice runs after some studying!
6. Don’t Forget to be Mentally and Physically Ready, Too
This one might not be such a hot tip, but we at Warrior Logistics think it still should be said – get plenty of rest the night before and be sure to have some breakfast that morning. It’s so hard to focus when you’ve got the yawns draining your energy while the sounds of your stomach rumble on.
7. Keep in Mind the Automatic Fails
There’s a pretty hefty list of what are considered to be automatic failures, but if you’ve gotten your non-commercial driver’s license, there is a lot of overlap of what’s considered poor driving for both.
- Rolling through stops
- Not noticing road signs such as lane endings, highway exits, etc.
- Using a cell phone while driving
- Stopping while crossing a railroad track
- Taking hands off the wheel while in motion
- Forgetting your turn signals
- Speeding more than 5 miles over the posted limit
- Causing another driver to drive evasively
- Not checking mirrors before switching lanes
Pretty basic, right? One potential catch we want to mention, though, is that practicing at a CDL test site is entirely forbidden!
8. Know That They Don’t Expect Perfection
You want to do well on your exam – which is good! – and that can end up feeling like a lot of pressure for perfection. Remember that they know you’re human. The test administrator is looking for clear safety risks, not a single missed shift when changing gears. Give yourself a little grace, and odds are so will the admin.
9. Show Confidence (Even If You Don’t Really Feel Confident)
Fake it ‘till you make it, right? Like we said earlier, test admins know you’re relatively new to this set of skills and that you’ll continue learning and improving even after you’ve started running your first routes. Stay cool and calm. Put your mind in the mode of familiarity as much as sharpness. It’s perfectly okay to make a little conversation where you’re comfortable and then turn it off when you need to focus on the task at hand. If something goes wrong, it’ll count that you’re able to keep your composure – even if you don’t necessarily pass this go-around. No matter what, you got this!
So, there you have it – our top tips for passing your CDL exam with ease. Of course, every person is different, and some people may find some techniques more helpful than others, but we hope that at least a few of these ideas will be useful to you. If you’re looking for help getting started on your truck driving career, reach out to us at Warrior Logistics. We’re here to get you through those tough exam tricks and onto finding a fulfilling job in the industry. Best of luck on your upcoming exam!