Taking your commercial driver’s license (CDL) test can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what to expect. Taking time to research and prepare for your CDL test can help you feel more confident and prepared on test day.
The CDL Test Timeline
Preparing for the CDL Test
Taking the time to prepare can help you feel more confident when the day comes to take the CDL test. This includes studying for the written test or practicing your driving skills. You can also find CDL practice tests online that can help you prepare for the exam.
Before the Test
Before the test date, you’ll need to get all of your paperwork in order. This should include your driver’s license, CDL learner’s permit (for the skills test), medical card, and any other paperwork required by your state. You’ll also want to have a valid form of payment for the test fee.
On the Day of the Test
On the day of your CDL test, you should allow plenty of time to get to the testing facility. Arriving late will put you at risk of rescheduling the test. Once you arrive at the testing facility, you are required to check in and present your paperwork.
The Test Itself
The CDL test is split into two parts: a written test and a driving test. You’ll take these on separate days, as the written test grants you your commercial CDL learner’s permit and allows you to start practicing for the skills test. You’ll be able to come back and take this second exam after you’ve met proficiency on the skills required by all entry level drivers and been certified on the FMCSA’s Training Providers’ Registry (TPR).
The Written Test
The written test is a multiple-choice exam covering topics from the state CDL manual, such as traffic laws, vehicle operation and safety, and road signs. You will be expected to answer 80% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.
The Driving Test
The driving test is the second part of the CDL test and lasts around two hours. This part of the exam puts you behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle on a state-approved route in the general area of the testing facility. During the road test, you will be expected to demonstrate your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely and efficiently. This includes performing basic maneuvers such as backing, turning, and parking.
After the Test
After you have completed your CDL test, you will be given the results. If you pass the test, you will be issued a CDL permit or license, depending on if you took the written or skills test on that day. If you did not pass the test, you will have the opportunity to retake the exam. Depending on the state you are testing in, there may be a minimum waiting period and a limited number of retakes allowed.
Prepare For the CDL Exam at a High-Quality Truck Driving School
Attending truck driving school is the best way to ensure you are prepared on CDL test day. At Phoenix Truck Driving School in Albuquerque, our experienced instructors, flexible schedules, and the use of real trucks during training are just a few of the factors that help set our students up for success. Our program offers the resources and tools necessary to begin your journey as a professional truck driver.