Study before the class even begins
If you’re reading this, you’re probably preparing to take the CDL test. Congratulations! You’re one test away from earning the education needed to start your transportation career.
Like any major test, the CDL can be difficult. Don’t sweat it, you will do just fine as long as you put in the effort. Follow these tips to make your study time more efficient.
Take a practice test
Almost every important, major standardized test has practice tests available for test takers looking to prepare and to improve their scores. The SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and CDL tests all have free online resources available to help test takers increase their test scores.
https://www.cdlcareernow.com/ offers CDL practice tests based on every state’s test.
Focus on topics you are weak on
It’s all about balance. Sure, you can crush the combination vehicles portion of the test, but that overall score will still be weighed down by a poor score on the general knowledge portion. Make sure you build up your weak points to avoid weighing down your overall score. If it helps, take breaks from studying your weak points and spend time doing what build your confidence when studying gets rough. Maybe this is a hobby you’re good at, or even studying your strong test sections to build confidence before studying your weak areas.
Skip over questions you’re stuck on
CDL tests are timed, based on which state a soon-to-be truck driver takes the test in. If your test is timed, you should aim to correctly answer as many questions as possible.
If you find yourself stuck on a question, move on to the next one and go back to answer it after you’ve finished those you were confident about. This allows test takers to finish as many questions correctly as possible before time expires. Plus, answering all the questions you know will build confidence and get the critical thinking juices flowing.
Studying is a very individual thing—what works for some people will not work for others. Find ways that help YOU memorize, comprehend and absorb the material. Maybe it’s with flash cards, applying it to real-life scenarios, or even finding how it all connects. Understanding your learning style is key to maximizing your study time and efficiency.
Change your answers if necessary
It’s always a good idea to go back and look over your answers if you have the time, but do not overthink it. Check for any obvious mistakes where you marked the wrong answer down or read the question wrong. If you are stuck between two answers, go with the one you chose first. When it comes to multiple choice, your first answer is not always the correct one.
You may have heard the phrase concerning multiple choice test, “Always go with your first choice.” The logic behind this old adage is that test takers may overthink their initial answer and change it from right to wrong.
This is false, and studies back it up.
This myth likely stems from the frustration that occurs when a test-taker receives their graded test and finds answers they changed were actually correct the first time. But did they take into account the answers they changed correctly?
Studies show that test takers who change their answers, even on multiple choice tests, often receive higher scores, meaning they change their answers from wrong to correct.
With any multiple choice test, you will have to guess at some point. The best way to guess correctly is to guess smartly. You can do this based on your current knowledge of the question that allows you to eliminate the obviously incorrect answers. Narrow down the answers, hopefully to one or two answers, and guess between them. If it helps, try to think about how the question and answer would apply to your truck driving career—think like a truck driver.
You will be fine. If you have taken the time to prepare and did everything in your power to pass the test, you will. Make sure to get adequate rest, eat a healthy diet and find ways to study before the test to refresh your mind and practice your weak points. You will be starting your truck driving career before you know it.