Preparing for the big test.

The commercial driver retest, yes it is that time of year or should I say five years. As a holder of a commercial licence I have to rewrite my licence every five years by conducting a written test. Now I have driven trucks for over 25 years and now teach courses in the transportation industry and still I feel the need to prepare when conducting a rewrite. The fact is in the industry we use a lot of slang for truck components and reviewing the basic book helps get the terminology back into my working brain.supervisor cartoon

Preparation for any test is important and one of the things I wasn’t very good at in my years in school. Now as an instructor I see many students that underestimate the importance of a test. They often don’t take notes, are checking phones and other media, and don’t take seriously the importance of recapping and doing homework. If they fail the test they blame the school or the system. I recently had two students, one did the suggested reading and home work, took notes during class and aced most of the tests given during class. Another student missed classes, didn’t read the book suggested, checked his phone in class and of course ended up doing poorly on the tests. The important note is that the first student that did well knew nothing about transportation going into the course, where the second student had previous experience with equipment and transportation.

Never trust that because you have been in an industry for a long time that you automatically know what may be asked on a test. You may know the procedures, but often it is the terminology that throws you off. If you are used to calling something by its slang name and you don’t recognize the proper name you may answer the question incorrectly. No matter how well you know a subject, review is always important and if you are taking an important test it is important to take notes and realize the importance of taking a test. You want to get the maximum correct, not the minimum.

About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a trainer and consultant with over 30 years of experience and author of the books Driven to Drive and Running by the Mile. For more information on Bruce and his work please visit his website at

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