Are You Going to Fail Your First CDL Test?


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CDL Test Failure & SuccessIf you’re like many students at truck driving school, it’s been a long time since you’ve been in a classroom setting.  It could even be that the last time you took any type of true “test” was way back in high school – isn’t it crazy how time flies?  I don’t need to tell you that the thought of going back to school to prepare for a CDL test may cause some anxiety and fear of failure.  The good news is, it’s not uncommon to be nervous and we’re here to help make sure you don’t fail your first CDL test.

First, let’s get one thing straight – you cannot show up at truck driving school without any preparation thinking you’re going to easily pass the written CDL test. Training doesn’t begin when you step foot in the classroom on the first day, training begins the moment you make the decision you want to become a truck driver. One thing is for sure, you can’t “wing it” at training. You must take the initiative to do some things on your end prior to training.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at 2 very import things that every trucking student should do prior to training.  It’s this simple – doing these 2 things will greatly improve your chances of passing the first CDL permit test and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a truck driver.

So, what are the 2 most important things?  Let’s dive right in…

1. Review Your State CDL Manual

Everyone should pick up a copy of the state’s CDL manual and driver’s license handbook before showing up at trucking school. State CDL manuals are filled with an abundance of information. During the first week school, you’ll be taking the CDL permit tests based on the content of the state CDL manual. If you happen to be attending training out of state, don’t worry. The CDL tests are standardized and very similar from state to state.  If you make sure you’ve studied your state’s manual, there’s a good chance you’ll pass the permit exam on your first try. Grabbing a copy of the driver’s license handbook is also helpful, as many people haven’t studied general driving rules and regulations since they took their driver’s license test many years ago. Traffic signs and basic driving rules are relatively standard nationwide. It never hurts to brush up on this information, especially when your success in this industry is dependent upon your ability to abide by general traffic and driving guidelines. Studying the state CDL manuals gives you a significant advantage when you begin the classroom portion of your training.

2. Use Online CDL Practice Tests

You should consider signing up for online CDL study tools. One program that we strongly recommend our students use prior to arriving at C1 is from eGears. This company provides a suite of online training solutions, complete with CDL practice tests, pre-trip inspection checklists, study guides, and videos. eGears is an excellent study aid because it simulates the test environment that students will interact with when taking their CDL tests. The benefit to online training from eGears is that it was designed around non-traditional students (adult learners) who may not have been in a classroom or studied for exams in quite some time. This is one reason eGears is so beneficial to students – its format is similar to what you’ll experience when taking your tests at the DMV. In fact, students that are able to score a 100% on the eGears CDL practice tests often pass the state CDL permit test on the first try.

It’s easy to see who has taken advantage of these study materials upon arrival at truck driving school. Their comprehension levels are about double of those who didn’t review any state manuals or online CDL practice tests before arriving.  Those who have studied the material before coming to training are clearly more comfortable and confident during school. These students are more familiar with the terms and concepts and able to apply that knowledge quicker than less prepared students. After a student passes the written tests, he can proceed to in-truck training. In every class, it’s easy to spot the students that took the time to prepare for school; they pass the CDL permit tests and move onto the hands-on learning sooner.

Final Thoughts

While it is not required that you have any experience or prior knowledge prior to beginning trucking school, it is highly recommended that you review the material mentioned above. Take the time to become acquainted with state CDL manuals and driver’s license handbooks. Study with online tools, and you’ll arrive at school with a great advantage. It never hurts to be more prepared. If you’ve studied eGears’ CDL practice tests, the classroom training is going to be far easier. By preparing for trucking school with the above methods and tools, you’ll maximize your training experience and be on your way to a new career as quickly as possible.  Remember, you’ll never be kicking yourself saying, “I think I was too prepared.”.

Today’s guest blog post is from Tim Megard.  Tim is a Regional Manager for C1 Truck Driver Training and has extensive experience in operating trucking schools that prepare students CDL tests.


  • Wradimecky

    Absolutely good advice!  Study before you get here.  The CDL Manual is free at many DMV test sites or State Patrol test sites.  You can’t start driving at C1 until you get your CDL Permit.  I started studying the manual and using EGears 3 weeks before starting school. My first shot at the CDL Permit test, I passed with scores of 95, 95 100.  It is definitely to your benefit to study before you get here. You don’t want to fall behind.  Good Luck, see you at C1-Springfield.

  • c1training

    Thanks for your comment.  It sounds like you did a good job preparing and that it’s paying off for you at C1 Springfield.  We wish you the best and be sure to share your story once you graduate!