Transporting hazardous materials can be a lucrative career but to qualify as a hazardous materials driver you must first pass this endorsement test.
Drivers of hazardous materials must have an in-depth understanding of not only the risks associated with driving these materials but also the safe driving principles that will allow them to minimize those risks.
This endorsement test covers everything from what constitutes hazardous materials to how to handle them and much more. We’ll cover exactly what is included on the test a little further down in this guide.
The hazardous materials endorsement test is one of several tests that can be included in the Commercial Driver’s License testing process. What endorsement tests you are required to take depend on two things:
- The class of commercial driver’s license you are seeking (it can be Class A, B or C)
- The type of vehicle that you want to drive
Now let’s go ahead and look closer at the test and testing process so that you feel comfortable and knowledge when you visit your DMV.
The hazardous materials endorsement test features 30 multiple choice questions. To pass this test you need to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. That means you need to get at least 24 of the questions right. Each question will have four possible answers and you will need to carefully read the question and select the answer that correctly answers it.
Before you go to the DMV to take the test there are a few things that you should do:
- First, you should determine that you are eligible to take it. Most states require applicants to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. If you are planning to drive state to state then you will need to be 21 years of age to take the test. You can find exact requirements for your state at your DMV website.
- Next, if you are eligible to take the endorsement test you should then find out what identification materials you will need to present at the DMV. You can also find this information at the DMV website.
- Thirdly, be sure to check both the fees that you will be charged as well as what payment methods are accepted. For example, some DMV sites may only accept cash. Other sites may not accept checks. This information should also be available on the website.
One last thing, if your DMV accepts appointments we recommend that you schedule one to ensure you don’t have to go through the frustration of waiting for an extended amount of time. If you are tired and frustrated that could affect your test performance.
What’s on the Test?
The hazardous materials test is not intended to be a simple test to pass; it is intended to thoroughly check that you have the knowledge to transport hazardous materials safely.
You should expect to see questions on such topics as explosives, flammable and combustible liquids; classes of hazardous materials; labeling or placarding requirements; specialized training requirements and much more.
One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the hazardous materials endorsement test is that you are required to know both federal requirements as well as requirements particular to your state.
Because of the risks involved and the potential consequences these risks impose, all levels of government regulate the handling of hazardous materials – and if you are going to be transporting these materials you must understand all of these requirements.
Here are some examples of the types of questions that are on this endorsement test:
- If you are hauling hazardous materials and have this type of tires you must check them every time you stop?
- If required to stop at railroad crossings what it is the correct procedure for doing so?
- Where can the shipping papers for hazardous materials be found?
- If hazardous materials are classified as “forbidden” what should you do?
- Who is responsible for certifying on a bill of lading that the hazardous materials are prepared properly?
As mentioned earlier, all questions on the hazardous materials endorsement test are in multiple choice format. Each question has four possible answers and you must select the right one.
How to Prepare for the Test
Study, study, study! That means reading your state commercial driver’s license manual again and again. In particular, you must focus on the hazardous materials section which will contain all the information you need to pass this endorsement test.
When studying the CDL handbook, it can be difficult to properly assess your understanding of the material. That’s why we also recommend that you supplement your handbook study by taking practice tests online.
We offer practice tests formatted exactly like the real hazardous materials endorsement exam right here. That means these tests will not just prepare for the content on the test but also for the experience of taking the test as well.
You can also use your results from practice tests to direct your studies. You can identify areas that you are strong in and can study less as well as areas that you are weak in and need to study more.
To get started taking one of our hazardous materials practice tests now, click here.
Test Taking Tips – Improve Your Chances to Pass
To improve your chances of passing the hazardous materials endorsement test be sure to do these things:
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before the test! Don’t stay up all night cramming. Trust that you have prepared adequately and get a good night’s rest. This will help you be at your peak mentally the next day.
- Map out your route to the DMV and be sure to leave early. You don’t want to be stressed and running late to your appointment. You want to feel calm and comfortable when you arrive at the DMV.
- Eat a good meal before the test. Food is fuel and by eating a good meal you will ensure that your brain has the fuel it needs to function at its best.
Transporting hazardous materials is serious business. Being qualified to transport these types of materials can also result in you being eligible for higher-paying driving assignments. But that won’t be possible if you don’t first pass this endorsement exam.
That means you must study. Start well before your test appointment so that you are fully prepared to pass. An approach that involves studying your CDL handbook and taking practice tests has shown to be most effective. Use that approach, give yourself adequate study time and in no time you’ll have your valuable hazardous materials endorsement!