No one is born a truck driver. It takes specific instruction and lots of driving experience to confidently operate a powerful 18-wheeler. Truck driver training is not for those unwilling to go through a challenging program. It takes a winning combination of determination and courage to successfully complete a truck driver-training program and pass the CDL exam.

However, men and women of every age, race, and personality credit their successful truck-driving career to their CDL training program. Some even admit to enjoying the exciting process! Although the final CDL exam can seem overwhelming and stressful, keep in mind that the CDL programs are designed to instruct new drivers with no previous experience to successfully pass the test.

If you’d like details about what to expect from the CDL exam, read below for a brief breakdown of the different sections and expectations.

CDL Skills Test

Driving Expectations: The driving examiner assigned to the test will be looking for correct execution in many different areas including: pre-trip safety check, sharp turns, backing up, maneuvering around traffic, appropriate use of mirrors, and many more. Making mistakes like not checking mirrors before merging, backing into a cone, or turning a corner too sharply will cost points on the driver evaluation. If the driver accumulates a certain number of points, he/she fails the test and will not receive a their CDL.

Format: The skills test is given in the class of vehicle the driver intends on driving in their future career. An instructor will sit in the passenger seat and mark down notes and deductions as the drive performs the instructed directions. The instructor will tell the driver which route to take and give specific maneuverability instructions for the course.

Score Needed to Pass: In order to pass the skills portion, a driver cannot have more than 30 deduction points during their evaluation.  Not sure if this is true for all states

How to Prepare: The best way to get ready for the CDL skills exam is to get behind the wheel as much as possible. A well-rounded CDL program will provide prospective drivers with as much hands-on time as possible. Another great way to prepare for the exam is to go to the state’s CDL Manual for a better understanding of what maneuvers and procedures are expected during the exam.

CDL Knowledge Test

Question Expectations: The CDL Knowledge Test will ask for information regarding specific state trucking regulations and weight limitations.

Format: There are different CDL written tests to take depending on what type of class the driver is testing for. The general knowledge tests have multiple-choice questions and are usually taken on computers.

Score Needed to Pass: At least an 80% is needed to pass the CDL Knowledge Test.

How to Prepare: Taking good notes and asking lots of questions during CDL training will make the information seem less overwhelming. The state’s CDL Manual is an excellent study guide. It is packed with valuable information like truck weight limits, test-taking procedures, description of CDL class types, and much more. The manuals are already conveniently divided into chapters by topic, which makes it easier to study.

Do you still have questions about the CDL Exam or want to hear more about CDL training in the Louisiana area? Fill out the short information form on this page and a Diesel Driving Academy representative will be in contact with you. Let Diesel Driving Academy give you the top-quality, hands-on truck driver training you need to get started on an exciting professional truck driving career!