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If you have obtained your commercial drivers instruction permit CDIP, you are ready to begin practice driving for your Commercial Drivers License (CDL). All drivers must be over the age of 18, and over the age of 21 to work as an interstate driver. Drivers must also possess a valid drivers license. 

The CDL is a two-part exam with a written knowledge portion and a behind the wheel driving test. The CDL exam is not an extremely difficult one and has a low failure rate. However, the driving portion of the test is usually described as the most challenging. According to DMV.org, everything you need to know to take the CDL exam is covered in the CDL Manual. On the test, you will be required to answer questions about: accident procedures, braking, communicating with other drivers, controlling speed and managing space with other vehicles, driving at night, driving in different weather conditions, driving emergencies, how to see or anticipate hazards, railroad crossing, shifting gears and basic control of your vehicle, skid control and recovery, the dangers of distracted driving, the dangers of driving while drinking, the importance of staying alert and fit to drive, and Vehicle inspection. 

Many sources describe the questions as straightforward and easy to understand. On the contrary, others have stated that; tricky language is frequently used, that the questions are worded in confusing ways and that many of the multiple choice answers are suspiciously similar to one another.  The best way to avoid being tripped up by one of these types of questions is to read each of the answers thoroughly and carefully. You might notice, for example, that C is a more complete answer than A,  even though answer A contains some of the correct information, it may not be the full and accurate answer. 

Do plenty of reading and studying. Once you have a good idea of what is contained in the manual you will want to take as many practice tests as possible. Practice tests are perhaps the best way to prepare for the CDL exam because the structure and content of these tests is very similar to what will be on the actual exam. Scoring successfully on the practice tests is a good indication that you are ready to take the exam. There are numerous sites besides the DMV that offer FREE CDL practice tests online.  
Enrollment in a professional training course and taking notes in class is another way of studying for the test and is an excellent way to get prepared. In most cases, all of what’s covered on the test will be discussed in your classroom. Creating flash cards is another helpful way to memorize large amounts of information, as is studying with a partner who can orally drill you on the information. 

An 85% score is needed to pass the exam. Stay focused and make passing the CDL exam your primary goal. Good Luck!

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