Best CDL Study Guide

By big-rig-admin | Trucker Gear Review

Best CDL study guide for passing the permit test

Reviews and Top Picks for 2017

So you want to pass the CDL permit test with the least stress possible? Well you have come to the right place as we review the 3 best CDL study guides for passing the permit test with ease.

Quick Comparison of 2017's Best CDL Study Guides

Get a jump start – Get your permit first

Prior to learning how to maneuver that 18 wheel beast that you are oh so eager to tame, you need your Class A CDL permit. In order to obtain it you first need to get your CDL Class A permit. This license transitions you from 4 wheeler to Trucker in training. If you have paid attention to our advice then we recommend that you take the time to obtain this permit prior to starting school, regardless of if you choose a technical school, private school, or company sponsored training.

This action keeps your stress level to a minimum and is one more thing that you can check off on your road to your new driving career. There will be many new things to learn and hurdles to jump through, lets cross this one off pronto.

Use a combination of study material sources

Many local DMV’s have some practice tests for you to utilize and you will even find some paid and free sources for you to use when studying. We recommend utilizing a variety of sources to complete your studying. Look at it as a sort of insurance policy in that you gain proficiency from a variety of sources. The better prepared you are to actually take the test, the lower your stress level. The more sources you use to prepare the more confident you will feel.

Stand out amongst your peers

Look at this from a potential school or employers perspective. If you show up eager and ready to learn, permit in hand and other tasks already taken care of, don’t you think that has a positive impact and puts you head and shoulders above your peers. Obtain your CDL permit, have your DOT physical done, get a copy of your driving record and have it available. These things will impress the school administrators and potential employers and shows you as a squared away candidate. Who do you think that will get the best recommendation for the top jobs offered?

Best way to use the study guides

Even if you want to wait and take the permit test with your peers in class, you can utilize these study guides to help you know the material prior to testing. Actually obtaining your permit in advance is even better. Regardless, you will be steps ahead by getting this accomplished.

We recommend the following as the best way to use the guides:

First obtain a copy of your State’s CDL manual if you have not already done so. You may obtain your copy free of charge by going to our page here.

Second, after you have reviewed this manual – utilize the study guide of your choosing to re-iterate the points necessary to pass the permit exam. Compare your state’s curriculum with the study guide and the test that you are wanting to pass. Are you going to take the Hazmat, or double-triple trailers endorsements at the time of your initial testing, or take them another time? Do you need the passenger bus endorsement or can you skip that section of the study guides? These are questions that you need to answer. We recommend getting your endorsement in all areas that you think may be necessary. Again, having these puts you above the crowd of your peers who don’t.

Third, review the study guide material and take their practice tests. This will allow you to gauge your level of understanding an possibly identify what areas that you may be weak on and need remedial review.

Use the study guides as a warm up for the permit test

After accomplishing the above, and having taken the practice tests go to your local DMV and take the permit tests. You should feel confident and ready, having already taken the practice tests and warmed up for your DMV exam. Test with confidence knowing that you have put in the time and work needed to accomplish this necessary step on your road to being a professional truck driver.

A review of the guides:

CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam (CDL Test Preparation) 5th Edition

Updated Fifth Edition

Latest testing information for all 50 States

8 Practice tests​

  • Practice tests helped a lot
  • Thoroughly covered topics
  • Helpful study guide
  • Easy to read - organized
  • Practice tests had detailed answers
  • Compliments state manual
  • Needs potential refreshing
  • Missing some state info

Comprehensive Review

Practice questions with detailed answers

Latest test taking strategies

  • Test questions with answer keys
  • Detailed pictures of parts
  • Covers all topics on test
  • Easy to understand
  • Detailed
  • Multiple practice tests
  • Material can at first appear complex
  • You still need to review your State's CDL manual

In depth review for the test

Help elevate CDL test score

Avoid pitfalls of test anxiety

  • Lots of practice questions on each endorsement
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Explains each endorsement clearly
  • Good practice tests
  • Clear illustrations
  • Well organized - Easy to follow
  • Could use more pictures and diagrams
  • Helps to have other materials to supplement

My Recommendation

All three of these CDL study guides will assist you in passing your permit test on the first time. You can never go wrong with using additional guides as supplements so that you ensure the best chance of success while taking the test. That being said my favorite of the three guides is:

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Trucking career enthusiast…all around nice guy!

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