The Best CDL Study Guides of 2021

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Are you trying to get your certified driver’s license? Have you taken the first steps towards a career that will show you around the country? Have you started studying for your CDL exam?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we will help give you your first steps towards a fulfilling future. We have prepared the best CDL study guide right here so that you can find the proper study material to ace the different exams associated with getting your CDL.

Driving commercial vehicles can be intimidating; you’d be hauling tons upon tons of good across the country. However, it is an integral part of how our country operates. Driving commercial vehicle, like an eighteen-wheeler, brings food to grocery stores and restaurants. School bus drivers bus children to schools so they can get an education. There are a seemingly endless goods you’d be doing for society by driving commercial vehicles.

As we mentioned, we have compiled a list of different guides to help you navigate what you need to do to become a certified commercial driver.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top pick for CDL study guides here
Our Top Favorite
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
Our Top Value Pick
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed.: Everything You Need to Pass Your CDL Exam (CDL Test Preparation)
Book Title
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed. (CDL Test Preparation)
Prime Eligible?
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Our Top Favorite
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
Book Title
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide
Prime Eligible?
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Our Top Value Pick
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed.: Everything You Need to Pass Your CDL Exam (CDL Test Preparation)
Book Title
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed. (CDL Test Preparation)
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Last update: 2021-07-22

Our Favorites for Best CDL Study Guide

These two entries were suggested by those who worked as commercial drivers. The first entry encompasses a lot but is due to each state’s rules and regulations. The second is more of a comprehensive CDL review and covers much of what you’ll need for your CDL.

State Issued CDL Manuals:

The best place to start when studying for your CDL is to check out your state’s websites for their department of motor vehicles. Google is your best tools, and it will take a little searching on your part, but you will find a .gov site under the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Department of Driver’s Safety (DDS), etc. The best CDL book will come from the institution you’ll take your test from.

What Makes It Unique:

  • These books have precisely what you need to know for general knowledge exams, including information on different airbrakes specifications and what you need to do.
  • The manuals might be a little dry. You might fall asleep or nod off at times, but you got to truck on through! (No pun intended)
  • The information found in these manuals provides hard facts. They don’t typically make flashy CDL flashcards or anything like that.
  • By looking at your specific state’s specific websites, you may stumble upon the information you didn’t know. This is perfect for someone new to the commercial driving world, and you can find more information on the specific CDL classification you want.

Why Chose this CDL Study Guide:

  • The manuals you find on your state’s website, as well as the other resources you’ll encounter there are free! The only investment would be your time.
  • In some states, the information found in their specific CDL manuals carries over to the actual test you’ll be taking. This means the best CDL study guide may be your state’s free resources.

CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam by CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team.

If you’re looking for a CDL comprehensive review, this book is for you! While the contents of CDL Exam Secrets aren’t secrets, their team of experts provides excellent information and study tips on how to take the written test effectively and prepares you to get into the field.

What Makes It Unique:

  • This book is very readable to those who don’t want to get a headache from reading all the technical information you need to know. The concepts and ideas found here were digestible for any reader.
  • The chapters are divided into easy-to-study sections. They go over different vital points that you’ll need to know in your CDL exam.
  • It provides sound advice on how to take better tests, which many students found useful.

Why Chose this CDL Study Guide:

  • This book is useful if you’re not the best test taker. Between the comprehensive review it has, the study tips and testing strategies helped many users pass their exams.
  • The division of course materials in this book makes it easy for newcomers to learn about CDLs. Don’t expect to memorize the material in this book and then expect to ace the exam.
  • This is a study guide and should be used with other materials, like state CDL manuals.
On Sale
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
  • CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 03/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Mometrix Media LLC (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-22


Runner Ups for Best CDL Study Guide

These study guides provided the right materials for students to study. They had a lot of useful information, but sometimes their writing was a bit sloppy and, at times, had trouble breaking down complex concepts. Overall, many users liked these books.

by Commercial Driver’s License Test Prep Team

This book is a CDL comprehensive review! It combines learning and testing material into one huge two-hundred-page volume. If you’re looking for a specific CDL endorsement, such as a class A/B or hazardous material, has got you covered.

What Makes It Unique:

  • This CDL study guide has a CDL test combination pretest. If you’re going pass the CDL exam, you’ll need to know how to drive with an attached trailer to your truck.
  • This book is like a more relaxed version of your state’s CDL manual. It has an excellent general overview of what you need to know for your exams, but reading your state’s manual is a good idea.

Why Chose this CDL Study Guide:

  • This book is very readable if you want an alternative to your state’s manual; however, we don’t advise only using this to study for your exam.
  • This CDL study guide is good supplemental material to help reinforce your general knowledge about commercial driving.
  • Avoid the Kindle/eBook version of this study guide. Users have reported problems with viewing the content of the book.

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CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & All CDL Endorsements Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam by CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team.

The CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team has made this list twice, and for a good reason. They produce many study guides that cover all facets of the CDL exam. This one differs from the above item because this one focuses on the different endorsements you can obtain.

What Makes It Unique:

  • This book covers a lot of material, focusing on CDL endorsements. It’s a good read if you’re trying to earn your permit.
  • This book is an easy read, much more than what you’d find in a generic CDL manual.

Why Chose this CDL Study Guide:

  • This book is useful if you’re already studying for your CDL. It assumes you know something about CDL and glosses over the stuff you’d find in a general knowledge study guide.
  • The information found in this, and others in the series, is highly readable. This text helps you familiarize yourself with the different classifications of CDL.
On Sale
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & All CDL Endorsements Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
  • CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 188 Pages - 03/15/2016 (Publication Date) - Mometrix Media LLC (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-22


Value Picks for Best CDL Study Guide

CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed. (CDL Test Preparation) by Matt Mosher

If you’re looking to learn about commercial driving and not just memorize cookie-cutter answers, this book is for you. This comprehensive review guide for the CDL helps you learn about the written portion of the testing.

What Makes It Unique:

  • This book is thorough in scope, the details it provides in the answer portion to its practice tests let you know how to get the right answer if wrong.
  • This book includes nine practice exams that pair nicely with free online reviews you can find on various websites.
  • It breaks down concepts you’ll need to know on the road and in the exam room. If you’re looking for information on a specific endorsement, this book will provide useful information.

Why Chose this CDL Study Guide:

  • This book’s strong point is its exams. If you’re looking for something like a CDL practice test combination pretest, you’ll find a review for that.
  • The information is well written but draws primarily from the material you could find online.
  • This book isn’t costly, but if you wanted to save cash, you could find information online.
  • This book is cheaper than the others while providing excellent study material.
On Sale
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed.: Everything You Need to Pass Your CDL Exam (CDL Test Preparation)
  • Mosher, Matt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 10/22/2018 (Publication Date) - Research & Education Association (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-22


How to Pick the Best CDL Study Guide

You might be wondering: “What is the best CDL study guide?”

Honestly, there are not enough good CDL books out there for you to purchase. Much of what you’ll hear is the check out this website or that one. Sometimes they won’t be beneficial.

Luckily this guide will help you with your exams. Here are some probing questions to consider when looking for the best CDL study guide.

You might even learn how to pass the CDL road test.

How Are You Learning About CDL? Are You Taking A Class?

If you’re taking a course, many of the study guides on this list will help you immensely. Your instructor is likely going over many of the fundamentals and has you reading some of the state manuals.

If you are self-studying, then you need to get these material sourcebooks. As mentioned in our favorite section, these state CDL manuals are crucial for you to learn the trade. It is far better to understand the materials than just memorize the answers.

How Do You Like to Study?

Take a moment to think about how you learn new things. Do you like to read? Do you want to get your hands dirty?

If you’re looking for an excellent way to study, try making some CDL flashcards. You might find a ton of different websites that have flashcards premade, but the best way to prepare for an exam is to make your own. You can easily make CDL flashcards from any of the study guides listed above.

Every item on our list, except the state CDL manuals, contains CDL practice test combination pretests. They contain answer keys to the questions they ask; some even break the answers down for you.

What Endorsement Are You Trying to Get?

Getting your CDL is a tough process, but you might find narrowing your area of study can be problematic. What do you want to do with your CDL? Do you want to drive school busses? Would you be fine driving hazardous material?

CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team has authored many different exam prep materials not listed here, but they do have useful study guides that show the ins-and-outs of the various endorsements.

Wrapping Up the Best CDL Study Guide

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
Our Top Value Pick
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed.: Everything You Need to Pass Your CDL Exam (CDL Test Preparation)
Book Title
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed. (CDL Test Preparation)
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide: CDL Test Review for the Commercial Driver's License Exam
Book Title
CDL Exam Secrets - CDL Practice Tests & Air Brakes Endorsement Study Guide
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed.: Everything You Need to Pass Your CDL Exam (CDL Test Preparation)
Book Title
CDL - Commercial Driver's License Exam, 6th Ed. (CDL Test Preparation)
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-07-22

As you can see, there are a few contenders for the best CDL book. Many of these study guides offer a comprehensive CDL review by their example test questions.

We found that the books by the CDL Exam Secrets Test Prep Team were the best and included one of their many books in “our favorites” section. However, studying is a personal task which takes hours of reading and engaging in whatever subject is in front of you. State issued CDL manuals are the best CDL book you can get. They might not tell you how to pass the CDL road test word-for-word but studying your state’s manual is a definite must.

If you’re going to take your CDL exam, you need to study! You need to know the fundamentals of commercial driving before you put your foot to the pedal.

These study guides will help you with your studying the general knowledge of commercial driving and will help you get your license.

Did you enjoy this article? Then you might also be interested to read our guide on the best drivers education books here.

Taking another entrance exam? Check out our comprehensive guides on entrance exams here.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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