CDL Practice Test General Knowledge Essentials - Everything You Need To Know

All commercial drivers are required to pass the general knowledge test to obtain the commercial driver’s license (CDL). You will need to prove your knowledge of commercial vehicles before your state authorizes you to drive one. Similar to any test, the CDL general knowledge requires studying and proper preparation as you will be tested on diverse topics. To that effect, this article aims to elaborate on everything you need to know about the CDL practice test general knowledge essentials.

Why Undertaking a General Knowledge Practice Test Is Important

CDL Practice Test General KnowledgeThe CDL general knowledge is a closed book exam. That means you need to take some time studying for your test and brush up on your testing skills. The general knowledge practice test will ensure that you:

Understand how the test is structured

The general knowledge practice test has multiple-choice queries structured in a similar format you will find on your CDL permit test. Even so, it will have an explanation for every question to help you familiarize yourself with the topic of the question. That will enable you to answer your test correctly even if it is worded a bit differently.

Learn at your own pace

Instead of cramming and trying to learn everything you need to know all at once, set a steady pace for your study. Taking the practice tests while still in the studying and learning phase can help you monitor your progress and identify areas that need re-studying.

Take surprise out of the equation

For most states, the general knowledge CDL test is a certain amount of questions, pulled from a database of hundreds of questions. By taking the multiple general knowledge practice tests, you are less likely to encounter any surprises or unexpected questions during the actual test.

Test your nerves and boost your confidence

The general knowledge test can bring a lot of pressure for many people. The pressure can consequently cause nervousness that can hinder you from doing well in the test. Taking the practice tests will not only brush up your knowledge but will also show you how well you can handle your nerves and boost your confidence when you take the real test.

What Does The CDL General Knowledge Test Involve?

The CDL general knowledge test has 50 multiple-choice questions. You are required to score at least 80 percent or answer correctly 40 questions in order to pass the test. Moreover, the exam comes from different topics, including:

Essential vehicle control– that entails understanding how to back and turn safely as well as handle the commercial vehicle in various driving situations.

Vehicle inspections– these are test questions that cover the fundamental pre-trip, during the trip, and post-trip motor vehicle inspection.

Vision– this topic covers how you scan the road ahead while driving the truck. It also entails the proper use of mirrors.

The gears– the general knowledge test will also assess your understanding of when and how to shift gears properly in all driving scenarios while using automatic and manual transmissions.

Following distance– space management covers the importance of keeping a safe distance around you at all times.

Communication– the topic tests your communicating skills with other drivers. You should understand when to communicate your intentions using turn signals, headlights, brake-lights, 4-way flashers, and the horn.

Distractions– the test assesses your knowledge of how you can identify distracted drivers as well as the ways you can avoid becoming distracted yourself. You should also know how to deal with aggressive drivers and road rage.

Necessary hazardous materials– all commercial drivers need to understand the hazardous materials irrespective of your CDL classification. Hence, you will be tested on hazards identification, hazmat basics, and the procedures you follow to respond when these hazards become emergencies.

Speed control– the general knowledge test will cover the posted speed limits on highway gradients and how you should control the vehicle speed in curves, slopes, and climbing lanes.

Railroad crossings– you have to recognize the different rail crossing types, when the rules require you to stop, and how to drive across the rails safely.

ABS– the test gauges your understanding of how antilock brake systems can impact your driving and ways of ensuring the ABS is functioning correctly.

Night and fog driving– this ensures you can deal with low visibility condition and procedures for safe night driving.

Driving in hot or winter weather– you should be able to define black ice and understand how to drive in snow. You also need to recognize slippery pavement, remove the cap or radiator and drive with hot tires.

Fires– understand how you should respond to vehicle fires appropriately and learn the type of fire extinguishers required for commercial vehicles.

Accident procedures– the test will cover ways to can respond to accidents whether you are stopping to assist other drivers or you are the one involved.

Skid control and recovery– you should learn the different types of skids, how to prevent and recover from them properly.

Who Can Take the CDL Knowledge Test?

The commercial motor vehicle safety act, 1986 stipulates the minimum requirements that have to be met before one is issued with a CDL in the United States. It also specifies who should take the CDL general knowledge test. That includes:

Class A drivers– that entail drivers who would wish to drive vehicles with the gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds and over. These are vehicles like tractor-trailers, tanker vehicles, flatbeds, and track and trailer combinations.

Class B drivers– this CDL license is required to operate any vehicle that isn’t hitched to a trailer. The drivers can drive in furniture delivery, auto-transport driving, and cement production sectors. That will typically include buses and dump, tow, distributing, or garbage trucks.

Class C drivers– that entails single or combination of vehicles that don’t meet the definition of class A or B but is designed to transport over 16 passengers.

Visit the for Free General Knowledge Test Practice

Taking time to study and practice the CDL general knowledge test is essential in ensuring you are better prepared for the real test. At, we strive to place you in the right direction to start your exciting trucking career. We offer you free; real-exam replicas CDL test practice to prepare you for your commercial driver’s license program. With practice, you will develop this essential skill, pass the CDL test, and drive competently for years to come.