If you're interested in becoming a trucker but have never been behind the wheel of a vehicle larger than a pickup truck or cargo van, you likely know there's a bit of an obstacle in your way. Being able to train for and pass your CDL exam isn't easy, but it's necessary to getting a job as a trucker and will require some work — and it provides you with a great reward at the end of the process.
If you're wondering about the best ways to make sure you pass that CDL test with flying colors, the following helpful tips will serve you well as you move forward in your potential career:
1) Don't try to cram
It may have been a while since you last studied for a test but you likely remember the cramming sessions you did the night before that trigonometry test in high school — and how that probably didn't help you all that much, according to United States Truck Driving School. The same is even more true for a CDL exam: You need to give yourself plenty of time to really absorb the material that will be on the test, rather than try to memorize it a day or two before.
2) Really study the manual
Your state's CDL manual is going to be your biggest source of information during the preparation stage, so you have to sit down with this document and really dig into it, United States Truck Driving School added. Remember, the rules for CDL truckers and the contents of the manual can vary from each state to the next, so especially if you're looking stuff up online, it's critical to make sure the information is particular to the state in which you're seeking licensure.
3) Go beyond simply remembering the contents
Unlike that aforementioned trigonometry test, the odds are good that you're going to use the stuff you learn while studying for the CDL exam on a daily basis once you start your job, according to Truckstop.com. As such, this shouldn't be the kind of studying you did in high school where you learn the information and then forget it once the test is done. Make sure you know the information, and understand why it's so important.
4) Seek out practice tests
It shouldn't be too hard to find a practice test online or from your CDL training school that will help you prep for the real thing, Truckstop.com said. You shouldn't expect it to be a 1-to-1 thing, but you'll definitely get a rough idea of what the test looks like and how you can increase your odds of passing.
5) Understand the basics of driving safety
Finally, if you are taking the test for real and you get to a question for which you don't immediately know the answer, common sense will go a long way, according to CDL Hunter. Just think about what seems like the safe thing to do, and you're more likely to get the question right.
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