How Hard Is the CDL Driving Test?

Getting your CDL is nothing like getting your typical driver’s license, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for it. In fact, you can pass on the first try if you really apply yourself. If you’re wondering to yourself, ‘how hard is the CDL driving test?’, just remember that no one is born knowing how to drive a truck. Every person has had to go through training and preparation to get their CDL.

How Hard Is the CDL Driving Test?

Just How Hard is the CDL Driving Test?

If you’ve been considering getting your commercial drivers license, you may have found yourself wondering, ‘how hard is the CDL driving test?’ The CDL driving test information certainly looks intimidating at first, and for good reason. The test covers many important truck driving skills you’ll need on the road. 

Make sure to adequately practice for the test as taking the test itself can be expensive. Depending on what state you live in, if you fail more than three times you may have to retake the classroom component of the CDL licensing process as well. 

But the more you know how hard the CDL driving test is, the better prepared you can be for it. This is why we’ve put together some helpful tips and reminders for those getting ready for a CDL driving test at any certification level.

1. Hit the Books

You probably already know that you have to pass the written CDL test to get your permit, which will allow you to start driving trucks in preparation for the CDL driving test. This written exam will contain questions assessing your general knowledge, ranging from road rules to securing cargo. What you may not know is that once you pass the written test, you shouldn’t put your books away too quickly. 

Driving is just a practical application of the written exam. Looking over the information from the written assessment will help you stay focused and really commit it to memory, which will show when you take the CDL driving test. 

2. Know the Vehicle

New drivers deal with all sorts of problems on the road. If you’re not used to driving large trucks, you may need an adjustment period in such a large, new vehicle. 

Issues on the CDL driving test range from double clutching and downshifting, backing maneuvers, right hand turns, starting and stopping on an incline, and of course, the dreaded parallel parking. Getting to really know the truck you will be driving in for the test is essential if you want to be able to perform all these maneuvers and more. 

3. Practice, practice, practice!

Of course, you probably already know that you need to practice, but it’s not enough just to do the same motions over and over again. Your practice should be efficient, with each session making you a slightly better driver every time.

It can help to practice with a goal in mind for each session. This will stop you from viewing practice as a chore. Eventually, you will appreciate the individual sessions because of their impact on your skills incrementally over time. While it can be tempting to just go over what you already know, that won’t prepare you as much as precise goals. 

When test time comes, you’ll need to show you can do everything well, not just a few things amazingly. That’s why the Truck Driving Institute ensures each student spends maximum time in commercial vehicles practicing at our driving range, on the road, or on highways –and never simulators. We specifically allow students to progress at their own pace, which has inevitably led to 80% of TDI students taking a job in the field after graduation. 

4. Keep a Positive Mindset

Several studies have shown that having a positive attitude can actually improve your test scores and help you better cope with stress

 If you find yourself thinking negatively about your abilities or taking the exam, try to distract yourself with mental tricks. Refocus your energy on arranging your space, reciting the steps of a driving maneuver you already know, or just step back and take five minutes before returning to the task at hand. This can help you reset your mind and get you back on track with your practice.

Even if you’re still wondering, ‘but how hard is the CDL driving test?’ believing in yourself and your ability to pass the exam matters. Remember that a test isn’t about tricking you or searching for mistakes, and everyone involved wants you to pass as badly as you want to.

5. Find a Support System

Speaking of everyone wanting you to pass, having a support system is crucial. Surrounding yourself with friends, educators, and loved ones who will help you study, go over the material, and who believe in you can make all the difference. 

It is part of the Truck Driver Institute’s mission to engage our students on every level. This is why all our teachers have experience in the industry, and are there to help you from the moment you sign up to graduation and beyond. TDI works closely with all our students to create an employment plan that fits their skills and needs. Through this support, many of our students are able to accept jobs before graduation.

How Hard is the CDL Driving Test You Ask? Well,It’s Up to You.

Passing your CDL driving test may seem difficult at first, but know that it doesn’t have to be. Like any exam, it can be passed with hard work, determination, and a willingness to learn. Once you do have your commercial drivers license, an entire workforce will open up to you and your life can take on an exciting new path. Truck drivers are in high demand right now and passing your CDL test can help create a life of stability for you and your loved ones. 

Only you can do the work to get there, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Truck Driver Institute has a three week program that will walk you through the whole process, starting with preparing for the written exam and ending with likely employment. If you’re ready to find out the answer to ‘how hard is the CDL driving test,’ give us a call today


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