The first step in becoming a truck driver is passing the test to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL). The CDL test is broken up into two parts: a written general knowledge exam and a skills test. Like any test, the written exam requires you to study and prepare for the variety of information it will cover. Rather than trying to memorize the 180-page manual the night before, study smart during the weeks leading up to the test.
Here are five CDL school study tips to help you pass the written exam with flying colors:
1. Pay Attention in Class
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success on your CDL exam is to take advantage of your time in class. Make an effort to pay attention and ask your instructor questions if you are unsure about a certain topic. Your instructor is typically a former truck driver that can share their real-world experience with you. They are one of your most valuable tools while you’re in CDL school, so talk with them whenever you can.
Another effective way to study is to take good notes in class. Instead of just listening or reading the material, writing it down yourself will help you retain the information better. While typing your notes on your laptop can also be helpful, using a pen and paper is the best way to ensure that you will remember what you learned.
2. Plan Ahead
Trying to cram all of the information from the CDL manual a day or two before the exam will not yield the best results. Not only will this cause sleep deprivation and trouble focusing, but you also won’t retain the important information you need to be a safe, responsible driver. Studying a little bit every day will help you be fully prepared for the day of the test. Be sure to take breaks while you study as well to give your brain the rest it needs.
3. Use Study Materials
The CDL exam should not be taken lightly, so to prepare for it, you need to hit the books – especially your state’s commercial driver’s license manual. Many of the topics covered on the test are pulled from this manual, so make sure to read up on all the procedures and laws. To make this information more digestible, use study strategies like flashcards and other memorization techniques.
4. Test Your Knowledge
Another great way to study for your CDL exam is to do a general knowledge practice test. This will help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will be on the actual exam. It will also pinpoint the areas that you need to work on. You can work your way up to the real thing by starting with open book practice tests, then setting time limits for yourself that align with the real timeframe. With enough practice, you should be prepared to take the test, closed-book, in the allotted time.
5. Attend a High-Quality Truck Driving School
Attending an accredited truck driving school puts you at a considerable advantage for the CDL exam. The combination of in-class instruction and training behind the wheel will better prepare you than if you teach yourself the material. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, our instructors are drivers with real-world experience that can share their knowledge and expertise with you. We offer day, evening, and weekend classes to make it as easy as possible to earn your license.
High-Quality CDL School in Albuquerque
At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we offer a high-quality CDL program with skilled instructors, flexible class schedules, and placement assistance. Our Albuquerque location is the only truck driving school in the area with a trucking company at the facility. This allows our students to get more real-world exposure. The program is also accelerated and can be completed in as little as four weeks.