4 Ways to Pass the CDL Test

Commercial truck driving can make for a great career. All you have to do is get the necessary training for the job and pass the CDL exam. Easy, right? No. Not quite.

Passing the CDL exam is easier said than done. You may not need a college degree to become a qualified trucker, but that does not undermine the level of skill required for the job. Don’t worry too much, though. There are several things that can help decrease your chances of failure. Here’s what you can do to ace your CDL exam in the first try:


This is a given. The CDL exam involves several written tests that you need to pass before proceeding to the next level. These tests aren’t very hard, but they do require some amount of studying. You will have to enroll in a CDL training school and go through all the study material they provide. You can also work with your classmates to improve your knowledge of commercial truck driving. This will increase your chances of success during the written tests.

Practice for the Road Skills Test

The skills test is usually a lot harder than written tests. You will have to practice for each aspect of the test at your training school. Enrolling in a good CDL training school will give you the opportunity to practice for each part several times before you have to give your CDL exam. Getting hands-on training will also allow you to keep your cool during the actual test. A lot of people tend to lose their nerve during the skills test. After all, managing to drive a massive truck is not that easy. However, getting an appropriate amount of practice can help you feel more confident about your skills. Another reason that you might fail the test is bad backing skills. Make sure you practice every backing maneuver as much as you can before taking the road tests.

Remember What Can Get You Disqualified

A lot of people attempting a CDL exam tend to get disqualified due to some common mistakes. These include:

  • Forgetting to wear their seatbelt
  • Taking dangerous actions such as stopping on a railroad track
  • Driving on a curb
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Braking hard at stop signs and red lights

These actions can result in an automatic disqualification. They are easy to avoid, of course, but most students may still end up making these mistakes because they are too nervous during the test.

Try Visualization Exercises

Managing your stress is very important for passing the CDL exam. You can try some visualization exercises to reduce your stress before getting on the road. These involve:

  • Sitting quietly in the sleeper berth of the truck and breathing slowly through your nose
  • Closing your eyes and imagining that you are at the beach or any other place that you prefer
  • Imagining the sounds, smells, and sights from that place

A typical visualization exercise lasts for 15 minutes. You will find yourself to be a lot more relaxed after you try this.

To Sum It Up

Passing the CDL exam has a lot to do with how confident you feel on the road and the amount of effort you put in to prepare for the exam. If you are interested in commercial truck driving, then we suggest you join the CDL Center. It is one of the best CDL training schools out there and can help you ace your CDL exam!

5 Practical Tips For Passing the CDL Test

So you’ve made the decision to be a truck driver. Congratulations, you’ve made a wise decision for your career, one you will not regret! Obviously, your first step to your goal is to take CDL testing. Reputable trucking companies will only hire the truck drivers that have passed the CDL examination. It’s only after passing this exam that you’ll be able to get a prominent and lucrative job as a truck driver.

Like any exam, there are certain things every aspiring truck driver should pay attention to while preparing. Here are 5 practical tips on passing your CDL Test. We will get into more detailed tips in later articles.

1. Pay Attention to the Curriculum

The examination curriculum is vital. Throughout the training, you need to be alert and take good notes. This includes paying close attention to various rules of road safety and understanding vehicle inspections.

2. Study the Manual

Before the examination, it is necessary to read the manual(s) so that you will attain a complete understanding of what you’ll see on the exam. This is the only way you’ll get a full understanding of the examination.

3. Take Practice Tests

Practice tests can help you overcome the anxiety and help gain confidence of the exam structure. Free practice CDL tests are available online.

4. Take Your Time

Your written examination might contain a tricky question or two – you’ll want to take your time. If you are not sure about the correct answer to a question, then give the best possible answer using the knowledge you’ve attained through practice exams and contextual references from study materials.

Even as you simply practice for the exam, it is always recommended to spend more time focusing on the exam topics that give you more trouble. For example, you might fully understand topics related to passenger transport, but struggle to grasp information involving air brakes. To lessen the anxiety of the test, spend more time focusing on trouble areas. This may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t put this simple strategy into action while practicing for an exam.

5. Visualize Getting Your License

Don’t dismiss this step as being silly or unnecessary. Visualization is KEY to getting whatever goals you want in life, and getting your CDL is no different. Before you even get to the examination, see yourself passing the exam with flying colors and holding that license in your hand. Everything comes down to having self-confidence and faith in what you’ve set out to do. You don’t have to be a genius, but you do need the proper mindset. As you study, your confidence will build and it’ll become easier to visualize yourself obtaining your goal.

It’s also worth mentioning that time is a factor, so you’ll need to be very cautious regarding the time you are spend on each question. Because of this, you need focus on practicing beforehand, so the information is easily recalled to memory. Take these tips into consideration, and before you know it you’ll be on the road in no time.

CVTC is approved by the state of Colorado to administer CDL Skills Tests.

PreTrip/PostTrip, lets go under the hood!!


The hood is held down by a latch on each side of the truck. They are located between the wheel well and the bottom corner of the door. Place your fingers under the latch and lift up. This will cause the latch to pop out of place. Pop both latches before lifting the hood.

Lift the Hood: Dos and Don’ts

When accessing the engine, lift the hood from the side. Never open the hood while standing in front of the truck. Opening the hood from the front is much more difficult and dangerous.

Opening the hood from the front means pulling all the hood’s weight toward you from its base. This makes the hood heavier, placing unnecessary strain on your back. To counterbalance the extra weight, drivers often put one or both feet on the front bumper while pulling on the hood. The bumper is not meant to hold weight. Standing or pushing on it can cause preventable damage to your bumper which means more time in the shop and less time on the road. Another reason to avoid pulling from the front is the hood connectors.  If you stand in front of the truck and the hood connectors break, the hood will fall on you. This may cause serious injuries.

Be safe. Stand to the side. To lift the hood from the side, put your hand under the wheel well and gently lift upward. The hood will do most of the work for you and smoothly fall into place.

Safety Inspection

Once the hood is open be-aware of any smells inside the engine compartment. Do you smell anything unusual: antifreeze, fuel, etc? Look for any fluid leaks. If you recently turned off the engine, do not touch anything inside the engine compartment. If you discover any weird smells, leaks, or if the hood connectors are broken, make a note of it on your pre-/post-trip inspection and continue with your inspection. Do not drive the truck if there is an issue with the engine compartment.

Closing Up

When the hood is open, the safety release locks into place. This prevents the wind from blowing the hood closed again. The safety release is in the engine compartment near the front of the cab. When your inspection is complete, push the release toward the engine to unlock it. This will allow you to close the hood again.

Pull the hood down the same way you put it up. From the side. It is not necessary to guide the hood all the way down. The hood is designed to smoothly fall back into place. Do not slam the hood. Once the hood is closed, walk around the truck to push the latches back down. Secure the hood before moving the truck.

Safety is important. After your pre-/post-trip inspection, if there is anything wrong with the truck, do one of the following.

  • Over the Road – Contact Road Assist. They will instruct you on what to do next.

  • In the Yard – Contact the Shop. They will instruct you on what to do next.

If your equipment needs repairs, do not move the truck until the repairs are completed.