Like any test, the Commercial Driving License (CDL) exam requires study and preparation because you will be tested on a lot of information. However, simply trying to memorize the entire CDL manual, which is typically around 180 pages long, is not the best way to prepare for the exam. Instead of wasting countless hours becoming tired and frustrated, study smart. Here are six study steps to help you prepare for and pass your CDL exam.
Cramming a day or two before your CDL exam will not yield the best exam results. Besides causing sleep deprivation and trouble focusing, you won’t retain important material that you need to understand as a responsible, safe driver. Pick a day to take your exam and start studying ahead of time so that you are fully prepared. If you are new to the exam, consider taking a training course online or in-person, which some states require. There are a number of programs you can choose from, so shop around for a course that works best for you. For example, at Advanced Career Institute, we offer Class A and Class B CDL training courses as well as CDL refresher courses for experienced drivers in California.
Find Out What to Study
Are you wondering what exactly is on the CDL exam? Take a look at the DMV CDL study guide, which breaks down the test section by section in terms of the CDL manual. For a detailed, free, comprehensive guide, check out Study Guide Zone’s CDL Test Study Guide. No matter what kind of CDL you are studying for, you’ll have to know General Knowledge. Based on the type of CDL you wish to receive, you’ll have to study specific topics, such as School Buses and Hazardous Materials.
Take a Diagnostic Exam
It doesn’t make sense to study what you already know. To find out what you do know and what you don’t know, take a diagnostic exam. Driving-tests.org allows you to select your state and take a free, full-length general knowledge practice exam. Taking a diagnostic test will also help you get a feel for the exam so you’ll be better prepared on exam day.
Collect Your Study Materials
Make sure that you have everything you need to help you study. The most important tool will be the CDL manual, which you can download on your state’s DMV website. You can also pick up a hard copy from your local DMV. The DMV endorses DMVCheatSheets.com, which provides a number of cheat sheets with a money-back guarantee if you do not pass your CDL exam after using the service. Consider purchasing a CDL test prep book, downloading an app from the Apple App or Google Play stores, and saving helpful websites with study guides and other prep tools.
Study What You Don’t Know in an Effective Environment
Using the results from your diagnostic exam, review the material that you don’t know in the CDL manual. If you have purchased a test prep book, you can find the sections that you need to review using the table of contents. When studying, make sure you have a distraction-free space. Remember to take breaks and have some snacks nearby to refuel.
Test Your Knowledge
After reviewing what you need to from the CDL manual, test your knowledge through flashcards and additional practice questions. Union Test Prep offers free CDL flashcards and practice tests based on specific subjects. There are a number of apps that can also help you study on the go. You can also ask your family and friends to help quiz you on the sections that you have trouble with.
Using these tips and tricks can help you pass your CDL exam. Of course with your training at Advanced Career Insitute, we will help prepare you for this exam by going over every little detail. The goal is, by the time you go in for the test, all questions should be second nature to you. For more information about passing your California CDL exam and our training options, contact us today!