How to Prepare and Study for your CDL

Make the most of your review time

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At Swift Academy, we know how important it is to prepare for your commercial driver's license exams. And although our knowledgeable team of instructors will provide you with all the information you'll need to pass them – and help you learn to drive safely and competently, only you can commit the information to memory. Which is why we encourage you to use our online course, which also includes links to CDL manuals for every state. (Note: Your Swift recruiter will provide you with a username and password.).  This way, you can talk through information in class and continue your CDL prep outside of class – on your own or with your peers.  

We encourage students to use the online course provided by their recruiter as a study guide for the CDL permit exam. Your permit test will cover general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles. In order to earn your license, you'll need to pass your pre-trip inspection, backing, and road skills tests.  



  • Use the online course provided by your Swift recruiter as much as needed. This course is full of valuable information, and has practice tests to get you well-prepared.
  • Get a study buddy. CDL students get to know each other pretty well during our academy, so recruit a friend (or a few) to study with you. Share your knowledge and quiz each other on the topics that will be covered in the exam. 
  • Invest in CDL flashcards: With flashcards, you can quiz yourself even when your study buddy isn't around. 
  • Take practice tests. When you take practice tests, you'll become more comfortable seeing the questions in a test format and are less likely to get test anxiety on the day of your exam. Plus, because you'll see exactly what questions and answers tripped you up, you can be sure to allow extra study time for those topics.
  • Use your commercial driver's license study guide. The guide was developed to help you not only understand the test subjects clearly, but will offer study and testing strategies – and can help you learn what to expect on exam day.   
  • Plan ahead. Before ever completing our Academy or taking any test, your CDL study guide can help you prepare for what's to come. By reviewing the guide before and during the Academy, as well as in the days right before your test, you can familiarize yourself with subjects – and really commit the information to memory. This way, you won't have to cram for an exam and try to remember everything the day before your test.



At Swift Academy, our instructors are here for you every step of the way. So, if you're finding it difficult to grasp a subject and need a little extra help, talk to your instructor. They can explain things in different ways, pair you with another student who can help you see things differently or help you join a study group or find a resource that will help you grasp the information so you can keep moving ahead.

Find a Swift Academy near you – and start your journey with us.