CDS Tractor Trailer Training > Trucking News > Preparing for the CDL Exam

Preparing for the CDL Exam

What to Expect and How to Pass the CDL Exam

Preparing for the CDL written exam can be daunting, but if you prepare correctly, you can earn your Commercial Driver’s License with confidence. The test will cover 50 general knowledge questions from a range of topics. Questions to expect have been listed below to give you a basic guide in preparing for the CDL test. The CDL manual is typically around 180 pages long, so reading it cover to cover is not always the ideal way to study. Here are some essential tips for studying, taking, and succeeding on your upcoming CDL written exam.

What to Expect

So, what can you expect to see on the exam? The exam will cover a range of topics you have been exposed to throughout your CDL training. Studying to be as knowledgable and well-rounded as possible will yield much better results than cramming in the day before your exam. Here are a few things you can expect to see when you sit down for your test:

Air Brakes

Be sure you have a good understanding of your brake systems before testing. Knowing the following ins and outs of your brakes will have you breezing through this portion of your test.

  • Parking, emergency, and service brake systems
  • Inspecting brake systems
  • Inspections while on the road

Combination Vehicles

Showing an understanding of tractor units with one or more trailers not only helps you score high on your exam but is imperative for your career on the road:

  • Identifying and preventing rollover risk
  • Effective braking and reversing with one or more trailers
  • Railroad protocols and other safety measures

General Knowledge

To avoid studying the entire CDL manual, these general knowledge topics will give you a great spot to get ahead studying:

  • Vehicle Inspection (Engine bay, pre-trip routine, on the road, etc.)
  • Communicating on the road
  • Safe maneuvering
  • Handling uncertain road conditions
  • Transporting hazardous material

Failing Your First Attempt

Studying these areas will give you a head start in studying and passing your CDL exam. However, failing your first test isn’t the end of the road for your trucking career. If you fail your first attempt, you will be able to take the test again after three days have passed.

If you fail the test 6 times in one year, you must wait until 12 months after your first test and may take it again on that day.

Using this as a guide, we have confidence you will be ready to ace your CDL exam. Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance. CDS Tractor Trailer Training wishes you luck and happy studying!