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Proven CDL 3-step Practice Formula

After our 100.000+ users' success stories, we developed a 3-step strategy to provide you with the most precise and in-depth learning path while minimizing your prep time.

CDL Diagnostic Test

First, take this short test and get your detailed report showing your strong and weak areas. Save your time by concentrating on what is in demand.

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With quick, bite-sized learning techniques and a detailed study guide for each CDL section, you can really strengthen your weakness (on step 1) and boost your scores.

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The last step for your preparation is taking our full CDL practice tests and see how far you've come since the beginning. Repeat the 3-step formula until you satisfy with your results!
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All-in-one platform

A complete CDL Prep Platform, including a diagnostic test, detailed study guides for all topics, practice questions with step-by-step explanations, and various full simulator tests.

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CDL test overview

Operating a commercial motor vehicle requires a higher level of skills and knowledge. Most drivers need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) via their home State to be authorized that they are eligible to drive some type of motor vehicle on public roads.

In order to pass a CDL test, applicants must pass both skills and knowledge testing. Additionally, if you are preparing to pursue a driving career related to some special vehicles such as triple-trailers, tankers, etc, obviously you must meet a higher standard by passing the CDL endorsement test.

Generally, the CDL permit test requirement is based on national regulations, however, each state might add additional restrictions. The requirements mainly focus on the applicant’s age, driving record, and physical and mental health…

What Kinds of CDL Classes Are There?

You must have the required CDL to enter a commercial motor vehicle before you can begin collecting endorsements (CMV.)

The CDL class you require will depend on the kind of CMV you intend to operate. The type and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the CMV you are legally allowed to operate are determined by the three CDL classes.

Since April 1, 1992, truckers have been needed to possess a CDL. To prevent unqualified drivers from operating huge vehicles, this regulation was put in place. Be aware that some states offer additional CDL programs, such as those that grant exemptions for trucks used for first aid or farming.

The three main classes are as follows:

CDL Class A

You are permitted to drive a vehicle with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or greater if you possess a Class A CDL. A towed item or vehicle that has a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. is included in this.

With a Class A CDL, you are allowed to drive the following vehicles:

  • Tractor-trailers and flatbeds
  • Livestock carriers
  • Tank vehicles 
  • Truck and trailer combinations 
  • Tractor-trailer buses
  • Semi-truck with a flatbed trailer

If you have the necessary CDL Class A endorsements, you may even be permitted to drive some Class B and Class C trucks.

The following are typical jobs for CDL Class A holders:

  • Heavy Truck drivers
  • Couriers
  • Bus drivers

The most typical CDL issued is this one.

CDL Class B

You may operate a vehicle with a gross combined weight rating of at least 26,001 once you have obtained a Class B CDL. The gross vehicle rating of a vehicle utilized for towing cannot be greater than 10,000 pounds.

The GVWR of the vehicle you are towing cannot be greater than 10,000 pounds.

With a Class B CDL, you are allowed to drive the following vehicles:

  • Straight trucks
  • City and tourist passenger buses
  • Segmented buses
  • School buses
  • Box trucks (designed for delivery services)
  • Dump trucks with a small trailer
  • Tractor-trailers

With the appropriate Class B endorsement, you can drive select Class C vehicles, much to how Class A CDL endorsements let you drive a variety of cars.

CDL Class C

Operating a single vehicle with a GVWR under 26,001 lbs, towing a vehicle with a GVWR under 10,000 lbs, or a passenger vehicle with 16 or more occupants (including the driver) requires a Class C CDL. In accordance with federal regulations, this type of CDL is also necessary to drive a truck carrying hazardous material (HAZMAT), which is risky cargo.

With the appropriate endorsements and a Class C CDL, you can drive:

  • Small trucks equipped to transport HAZMAT
  • Passenger vans
  • Small truck towing a trailer

How many CDL Endorsements Exist?

As mentioned in the courses above, the CMVs you can operate depends on the CDL endorsements you have. You must apply for the endorsement you want at the same time as your CDL. The relevant CDL endorsement test will be sent to you once you've specified which ones you desire. You can anticipate varied endorsement standards for each state, just as there are various CDL Classes among the various states.

For commercial drivers to operate specific types of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), CDL endorsements are required. The following federal CDL endorsements need further testing in addition to a Class A, B, or C CDL. Note: Depending on the state, there might be more endorsements.

You can pursue variety of endorsements, including:

Endorsement

With an endorsement, CDL holder is allowed to drive vehicle carrying HAZMAT (Hazardous Material)

A CDL written knowledge test must be passed before you may get an endorsement.

P Endorsement

You must first obtain a P endorsement if you want to drive a car or bus that has 16 or more seats, not counting you, the driver. Only individuals who have aced both a CDL written and a driving test are eligible for the passenger P endorsement. Separate paperwork and a federal background check are required for school bus drivers (as school bus drivers require two different endorsements).

S Endorsement

The S endorsement is the second license a school bus driver is required to have. As previously mentioned, you must first pass a CDL written knowledge test, a road skills test, and a background check in order to acquire an S endorsement.

N endorsement

driver who has an CDL endorsement can operate tanker vehicle (vehicles that haul resources in the form of liquid and gasses). 

driver must pass written knowledge test in order to receive the tanker CDL endorsement N.

T Endorsement

You are able to operate either a double or triple trailer with the T endorsement. You must pass a written knowledge test in order to receive a T endorsement.

X Endorsement

You can drive a vehicle that is hauling HAZMAT inside a tank if you have the X endorsement. You must pass a written knowledge test in order to receive this combo endorsement.

Restrictions on CDL license

You can have CDL restrictions, which work similarly to how your CDL endorsements provide you access to certain vehicle types and loads. The vehicles you can operate are restricted by the CDL regulations.

M Restriction

Any Class A CDL that passes their P (passenger) or S (school bus) endorsements with a Class B or C passenger vehicle is subject to an M restriction. The driver is not permitted to operate any Class A passenger cars due to this M limitation.

N Restriction

Class B CDL holders who earned their P (passenger) or S (school bus) endorsement in a Class C passenger vehicle are exempt from the N restriction. A Class B passenger vehicle cannot be operated by a Class B CDL holder.

E Restriction

The E restriction deals with the kind of transmission you are permitted to use with a CMV. Your CDL will be marked with an E limitation if you take your road skills test while driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission. You are not allowed to use a CMV with manual transmission due to this E restriction.

L Restriction

Your CMV can only have a certain kind of braking system due to an L restriction. If your CDL has an L restriction, you are unable to drive a car with a full air brake system. Driving a car without a full air brake system or failing the air brakes knowledge test both result in an L restriction.

O Restriction

Class A CDL holders who passed their road skills test in a car without a fifth-wheel connection or pintle hook are given the O limitation. Only CMVs without a fifth-wheel connection are permitted for the driver under an O restriction.

V Restriction

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration receives a report of a medical variance from the CDL holder, the V limitation is marked on the document (FMCSA). Disabilities brought on by medical conditions might be dangerous on the road. Medical variations can be:

If your CDL has a Z restriction, you are not permitted to drive any CMV equipped with full air brakes. If you took the road skills test while operating a vehicle with air over hydraulic brakes, you were given the Z restriction.

Which CDL sections should you study?

It depends on what type of vehicles you are looking for, the following table will help you to determine the CDL tests you take.

Section Hazmat Double Tanker Passenger School buses
General knowledge  
Passenger        
Air brakes        
Combination      
Double and triple        
Tanker        
Hazardous Materials        
School buses      

CDL written knowledge test

To get your CDL license, you must take and pass one or more written tests, it’s up to the CDL class you are looking for and the endorsements that you are required.

General knowledge

Taken by all applicants, there are 50 multiple-choice questions in the CDL general knowledge test which focus on rules and requirements, safe driving, safe delivery of cargo, and pre-trip vehicle inspections

Combination vehicles

The combination vehicles test has 20 questions, which cover driving safely, air brakes, antilock brake systems, coupling and uncoupling, and inspecting a combination vehicle.

Air brakes

In case you are preparing to operate a truck, bus, or pull a trailer with air brakes, you will need to take the air brake CDL test. This test contains 25 multiple-choice questions, which concentrate on parts of an air brake system, dual air brakes, inspecting air brake systems, and using air brakes.

Tanker endorsement

If you are planning to drive a vehicle over 26000 pounds that are used to transport liquids or gases material (that don’t have to be hazardous), you need to pass the tanker endorsement. In addition, this endorsement is only required in case the vehicle is a class A or B over 119 gallons which are counted permanently, or a portable greater than 1000 gallons.

Double and triple-trailer endorsement

Pulling a double or triple trailer, you must pass the double/triple endorsement test. There are a total of 20 multiple-choice questions that inspect your knowledge about driving safely with double and triple trailers.

Hazardous materials endorsement

Hazardous materials are explosives, flammable and combustible liquids, and any materials that the shipper considers hazardous. You must complete 30 multiple-choice questions covering regulations, communication rules, loading or unloading, bulk packing marking, driving and parking, and emergencies.

School bus endorsement

A school bus endorsement is used to transport students to school or authorized school activities. If the school bus doesn’t transport students, school bus endorsement isn’t required. Note that, before you apply for school bus endorsement, you must obtain passenger endorsement.

This CDL endorsement will access you to the following topics: danger zones, use of mirrors, loading or unloading, emergency exit and evacuation, railroad-highway crossings, students management, and anti-lock braking system.

Passenger endorsement

Passenger endorsement holders are allowed to carry 16 or more people, including the driver. The test has 20 multiple-choice questions on the vehicle inspection, loading and trip start, after-trip vehicle inspection, prohibited activities, and use of brake-door interlocks.

7 Useful tips to Pass Your CDL Exams

When studying for your upcoming CDL test, there is a lot of information to understand. An average state CDL manual has more than 180 pages! If you try to commit every fact in the manual to memory, you will become overwhelmed and frustrated very fast. Studying wisely rather than hard is the greatest strategy for getting ready for the CDL exams! To get you started, consider the following tactics:

  • Understand the content of the test, be aware of the particular topics you will be assessed on, and focus solely on that information. Don't read the material for endorsements you aren't getting.
  • Focus on your weak areas; if not, take some CDL practice tests or review flashcards to assist you to identify them. You probably have a solid sense of the information you struggle with.
  • Study wisely by keeping your schedule flexible and only studying while you are awake. You won't be able to remember as much if you study when you are sleepy.

Examine the CDL requirements set forth by your state

Reviewing the regulations for getting a CDL in your state should be your first step. Physical standards and a minimum age limit will be some of these requirements. To ensure that everything goes smoothly throughout the application process, it is crucial to know whether you satisfy these fundamental conditions before applying.

Obtain the state's CDL manual

Before you take your CDL exam, you need to study from a distinct guidebook for each state. Make sure the one you get for review is the right one. The official manual is available for download here for your state, or you may be able to pick up a printed copy by going to your neighborhood DMV. To acquire a rapid summary of the information you need to understand, start by reading the handbook completely at least once. Finding a strategy to learn through memorizing and taking practice exams is advised because it can be challenging to memorize everything in the manual.

Remember and grasp

Most people can't possibly memorize everything that is contained in the test materials. While memorizing is a useful tool for acquiring definitions and specific information from sources, understanding the topic you are studying is more crucial. The key to passing the test is having a thorough understanding of all the materials required to obtain your CDL license.

It will be simpler for you to respond to any questions on the exam if you have a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Simply remembering information could leave you perplexed if questions are phrased differently.

Practice, practice, practice

The adage "practice makes perfect" is quite old. You cannot wait until the last minute to start studying for your CDL test. Nothing will stick if you try to speed up the learning process. When you have all of your study materials with you, break up your study time into smaller chunks and test your retention of the subject.

Discover study techniques that are simple and effective

It's time to start putting your knowledge to the test after reading the CDL manual. Flashcards, CDL practice tests, songs, original wording, rhymes, and practice quiz can all be used to accomplish this. You might seek some useful CDL apps to aid in your on-the-go learning and studying. Asking friends and relatives to test them on the materials is something that many individuals find to be beneficial.

When taking the exam, remain attentive and concentrated

It's critical to come to test day feeling rested and focused. Never take an exam while you are too sleepy or without any food in your stomach. Go to bed early the night before your exam so that you can receive enough rest to be awake the next day. Eat a hearty meal the morning of your exam to give yourself plenty of energy for the exam.

Use various CDL testing formats to effectively prepare for the exam

To better prepare for test day, CDL Prep provides CDL candidates with a selection of practice exams. Two different exam modes are available for you to complete. Their testing process is intended to enable you to pass the official exam without the need for "regular" preparation methods.

  • Practice Mode: When you're prepared to advance, it's time to give it a shot. The mode provides more thorough exam preparation. When a test taker selects the incorrect response, the right response and a detailed explanation are provided for review. You'll remember it more easily if you have a record of everything you missed. For best results, it is advised to take commercial drivers practice test that corresponds to the chapter in the manual you are studying.
  • Exam Mode: Participants can practice with 1000+ CDL questions in Exam Mode. Every practice test in this format has a time limit, just like the real exam. Each CDL practice test you complete will result in a mark that is comparable to the results of the actual state exams. You'll know what to study more about after you've finished all the practice exams.

Prior to the exam, if you feel confident and optimistic, you will do better. An essential component that you may influence is your attitude. If you studied for the test, you should feel at ease and certain that you will succeed. See more of our CDL articles for additional information about the Commercial Driver's License.

CDL Examination FAQs

CDL Practice Test for all 50 US states

2000+ CDL practice questions for each state are available on this website. Take it now!

How many questions are on the CDL test?

The CDL test includes 50 multiple-choice questions. But you might experience more questions when you are planning to earn some endorsements to operate special vehicles. Take the CDL practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format real test.

How do I get my CDL permit with CDL practice tests?

The best way to obtain a CDL license on the first attempt is by practicing with the CDL prep test. At CDL-prep, we suggest numerous free practice questions which are suitable for your levels and explained clearly after each one.

How much does it cost to take the CDL permit test?

A standard CDL license is expected to pay between $75 and $ 100, which may vary from state to state. In addition, for the endorsement, you are expected to pay from $5 to $10 for each one.

To save money, take free CDL tests online to hone your knowledge and pass all CDL tests.

Start your CDL test study with our best CDL practice test right now!