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5 things to know about the CDL test

Trucking is a serious field, which is why a lot of training and a lot of practice is required. There is also a serious test that the prospective truck driver has to pass, and it consists of the knowledge test and the skills test. These are both very important. It’s best to be prepared before you go to take the tests. Here are five things you need to know about the CDL test.

5 things to know about the CDL knowledge and skills test

1. States write their knowledge and skills test.

One thing that it’s important to know is that the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is not the entity responsible for giving CDLs. The State gives CDLs. And that means that the State is responsible for creating its own knowledge and skills tests. But it’s not like the States can just go nuts when they create their tests. They have to adhere to minimum federal standards, and these are outlined in Subparts G and H of 49 CFR Part 383. (And the states have been given sample driver and examiner manuals and tests.)

2. The basic knowledge test contains at least 30 questions.

The knowledge test has at least 30 items. The test covers 20 general areas that are laid out in 49 CFR 383.111 (a). (Yes, there’s a lot of material to cover. But that’s because there are a lot of things to know about driving a truck when it comes to safety.) And if the driver wants to operate a CMV with air brakes, they also have to cover the seven topics found in 49 CFR 383.111(b). So yeah, it’ll require some study, but it’s do-able.

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3. A pass means 80%.

To pass the knowledge test, you need to get at least 80%. (That means for the general and the endorsement section.) So, yes, that’s a pretty high score. But with study and review, you’ll be well-prepared. The test is do-able.

4. You’ve also got to pass the skills test.

The CDL test also involves passing the skills test. And to pass the skills test, you need to be able to do all the relevant skills. (And those are outlined in 49 CFR 383.113 through 49 CFR 383.123.) Brush up on the skills you’ll need to know and complete easily when the test day comes around. You’ve also got to take your skills test in a vehicle that’s representative of the vehicle you intend to drive. That makes sense right?

5. You can use your State’s CDL manual to prepare for the CDL test.

As we mentioned before, the state is the entity that gives the CDLs, not the FMCSA. Therefore, the State is where you need to go for resources to help you prep for the test. You can use your State’s manual to prepare for your knowledge test and the skills test. A lot of states have their manuals online, so you can use that to study and prepare. The State’s CDL manual can help you understand what you should know for the big day.

So, there you have it. Five things you should know about the CDL skills and knowledge tests. Remember, the State is responsible for overseeing CDLs, not the FMCSA. That’s where you need to go to get the resources and information you need to get ready for the test. Preparation is key, and you’ll soon be on your way.

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There’s another important thing to consider in the whole truck-driving thing. And that’s truck insurance. Our team would be happy to help you get the truck insurance you need to protect yourself. You can fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us. We like to make insurance easy, and we like to help people save money on their truck insurance.