forklift training test

Two of the important components of an effective forklift training program are written and practical tests. Passing these tests is crucial to becoming a certified forklift operator.

The purpose of the testing is to gauge the understandings and skills of the students gained from the classroom discussion and practical training.

The written exam is administered prior to taking the practical test and passing it will qualify the student to advance to taking the practical test.

If you are intending to get certified on several types of forklifts, the training course tends to be lengthier, do expect the written and practical tests as well.

It is important to prepare for it as you would for any other test to avoid getting a failed mark.

To avoid failing the tests, here, we provide the questions and topics that could come up. Make sure to read this guide until the end.

Before you go on, there are topics you need to know first as mentioned below, READ these:



Understanding the Forklift Training Test

A. Explanation of the different components of the forklift training test

The forklift training test generally comprises two main parts: a written examination and a practical skills evaluation.

Written Examination:

The written examination typically covers a variety of topics pertaining to forklift operations. It is designed to test your understanding of the theoretical aspects of operating a forklift. The number of questions may vary, but the test usually involves multiple-choice questions related to safety procedures, equipment operation, maintenance, and relevant laws and regulations.

Practical Skills Evaluation:

The practical skills evaluation is the hands-on part of the test where you demonstrate your ability to operate a forklift. This test generally includes pre-operation inspection, maneuvering and handling of the forklift, loading and unloading materials, stacking and de-stacking, and proper execution of safety procedures.

B. Discussion of the topics covered in the training test

The forklift training test aims to ensure you possess a comprehensive understanding of both the theory and practical application of forklift operation. Therefore, it covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • General safety regulations and guidelines: This involves understanding safety protocols, hazard identification, and accident prevention measures.
  • Operation and control of the forklift: Questions about the forklift's controls, operational procedures, maneuvering, and handling in various scenarios are included.
  • Inspection and maintenance: Topics covered include pre-operation inspection, routine maintenance procedures, and recognizing and reporting any faults or damages.
  • Understanding load handling: This includes questions about the correct methods of handling, loading, and unloading materials, as well as weight distribution and stability.
  • Emergency protocols: Knowledge about what to do in case of an emergency or malfunction is also tested.

C. The scoring system and what constitutes passing

The scoring system can vary depending on the specific certification program or agency, but it generally involves a percentage score for both the written and practical tests. To pass, you typically need to score a certain percentage correct on the written exam (often around 70% or 80%) and demonstrate competent and safe operation of the forklift during the practical test.

Specific scoring criteria for the practical test may include your ability to follow safety procedures, correct operation of the forklift, and efficient completion of tasks. Some programs may require a pass in both components for certification, emphasizing the importance of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in forklift operation.

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Preparation for the Forklift Training Test

A. Importance of Adequate Preparation

Proper preparation is essential to pass the forklift training test. A thorough understanding of the relevant materials and good command of practical skills are crucial for your success. Adequate preparation not only helps you to pass the test but also ensures that you can operate a forklift safely and efficiently in a real-world setting. Moreover, it provides you with the knowledge and skills to handle unexpected situations or emergencies.

B. Different Methods of Preparation

  • Self-Study:

    Self-study can be an effective way to prepare for the written part of the test. It allows you to study at your own pace and spend more time on areas you find challenging. Some good resources for self-study include forklift operation manuals, safety guidelines, and study guides. It's crucial to ensure the materials you use for self-study are up-to-date and in line with the standards of the certification you're aiming for.

  • Enrolling in Training Courses:

    Training courses are generally the best way to prepare for the practical part of the test. These courses provide hands-on training under the supervision of experienced instructors. They also cover the theoretical part of the test and often provide resources and materials for study. Training courses can be found at vocational schools, community colleges, or private training institutions.

  • Online Resources and Mock Tests:

    Numerous online resources can assist you in your preparation. These include video tutorials, online forums, study guides, and mock tests. Online mock tests can be particularly useful, as they can help you get a feel for the format of the test and the types of questions asked. They can also help you gauge your understanding and identify areas where you need to focus your study.

C. Tips for Efficient and Effective Study

  • Plan Your Study Time: Organize your study time to ensure you cover all the necessary material. This may include creating a study schedule and sticking to it.

  • Active Learning: Try to engage in active learning. Rather than passively reading, engage with the material by taking notes, creating flashcards, or summarizing the content in your own words.

  • Practical Practice: While studying the theory is essential, it's also crucial to practice your practical skills as much as possible. If you have access to a forklift, try to practice the maneuvers that you'll be tested on.

  • Regular Breaks: Taking regular breaks during your study sessions can help maintain your focus and prevent fatigue.

  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can significantly impact your ability to absorb and retain information.

  • Seek Help: If there are topics or skills you find challenging, don't hesitate to seek help. This can be from your instructor if you're enrolled in a training course, or online forums and resources if you're studying independently.



Mastering the Written Test

A. Understanding the structure and content of the written test

The written test is an important part of the forklift training test that primarily focuses on your theoretical understanding of forklift operation. It commonly includes multiple-choice questions, though some tests may also include true/false or fill-in-the-blank questions. The questions are designed to test your knowledge on a variety of topics, including operation and control of the forklift, safety regulations, inspection and maintenance, load handling, and emergency procedures. Understanding the structure of the test can help you anticipate the types of questions that will be asked and prepare effectively.

B. Tips and Strategies for Mastering the Written Test

  • Time Management:

    It's essential to manage your time effectively during the test. Familiarize yourself with the duration of the test and the number of questions so you can allocate your time accordingly. Try not to spend too much time on any one question. If you come across a difficult question, it can be better to move on and return to it later if time allows.

  • Handling Different Question Types:

    Different types of questions require different strategies. For multiple-choice questions, read all the options before choosing an answer. Sometimes, one option can be partially correct, but another option may be more comprehensive. For true/false questions, pay close attention to qualifiers such as "always," "never," "may," or "sometimes."

C. The Importance of Safety Knowledge and Regulations

Safety is a critical aspect of forklift operation. Therefore, a significant portion of the written test focuses on safety knowledge and regulations. It's crucial to have a thorough understanding of these topics to pass the test. This includes knowing the proper procedures for operating a forklift safely, understanding how to identify and avoid hazards, familiarity with emergency procedures, and awareness of the relevant laws and regulations. Not only will this knowledge help you pass the test, but it will also ensure that you can operate a forklift safely in your workplace, protecting yourself and those around you.



Forklift Training Test Questions

Here’ the list of general questions that can be asked when you are taking your forklift training test:

  • When traveling with the forks touching the floor, is it safe to drive the machine? No
  • When moving loads to other places, forks should be lifted not more than six inches off the ground? Yes
  • Is it safe to talk on the mobile phone while at work driving the truck? No
  • Honk your horn when passing the intersection? Yes
  • When parking the truck, always lower the forks until it touches the floor? Yes
  • When lifting heavy loads at a considerable height, is forklift stability suffers? Yes
  • Is it safe for a colleague to ride on the pallet while you are traveling? No
  • Always switch off the forklift when filling up gas, charging or refueling? Yes
  • A daily inspection is required by OSHA before commencing work. True
  • When your shift is done, is it a good parking practice lowering the mast and forks until it reaches the floor, switching off the engine and putting the brake on. True
  • Maintain speed limit and slow down to keep balance when turning. True
  • Are forklifts can be driven forward at 10 degrees slope? True
  • Only one passenger may ride a forklift. False
  • Employers can carry out performance evaluation of forklift operators at least once every three years. True
  • The forklift training course should specific to the type of truck the operator will be operating. True
  • Forklift training must also be workplace specific? True
  • The training is at most effective when done in the actual workplace. True
  • A safety trainer must be someone who is experienced and capable to deliver the training? Yes
  • Does a forklift need to have an alarm when moving backward? Yes
  • If the sight of the forklift driver is blocked by the load being moved, could he just sound the horn when reversing instead of activating the backing alarm? No
  • Are the rear view mirrors necessary? Yes
  • Are headlights needed when operating a forklift? No
  • Are backing alarm and horn required? Yes
  • Does the operator need to know the information indicated on the capacity/data plate? Yes
  • Is tilting the mast makes the load secure? Yes
  • When loads obstruct the view of the operator, can he travel in reverse? Yes
  • When parking the forklift, the forks must be lifted above the ground? No

Study these questions, many of the above questions can come out of the forklift training written test.

I would like to remind you that these are general questions, you can study them, familiarize with them. Passing the test will solely depend on your skill and understanding. So be prepared!



Some Tips To Succeed in the Forklift Training Written Test

  • Other questions will be specific to the type of forklift truck you will be operating, so make sure you know the technical details of that kind forklift truck.
  • Some questions can be tricky, so ensure you thoroughly understand the question before making your answer.
  • Some trainers or training schools are more safety-focused, many safety-related questions can also come out, make sure you have thoroughly learned from the classroom discussions.
  • Understand the important points the trainer will highlight during the classroom lectures, it can come out during the written test.
  • Comprehensively read the handouts the trainer will give you, you can find many answers from there.
  • During the video presentation, make sure to watch it because some questions can be taken from there.
  • When the multiple choice type of questionnaire is the style of the trainer, don’t worry because the answer can only be limited to 3 or 4.



Practical Training 

Hands-on or practical training is the second stage of the certification course. This test is conducted by a competent person who has the knowledge and skills to deliver the training. It is consist of actual operation of the forklift performed by the trainer and practice exercise performed by the trainee. The trainer must supervise the performance of the trainee. Just like the written test, this training must be specific to the type of forklift truck the worker is planning to operate.

The subjects covered in the practical training are the truck and workplace-specific. Here are the topics:


  • The forklift manufacturer’s recommended operation instructions
  • Load capacity and limitation
  • Characteristics of forklift that differ from automobiles
  • Characteristic of the forklift that varies from other types of forklift trucks
  • The forklift’s operational controls and instrumentation – it varies from type to type
  • Preventive maintenance of the truck
  • Refueling or recharging of the truck
  • The radius of maneuvering and steering
  • Center of gravity of the truck
  • Use of extension and its safe operation
  • Daily inspection that needs to be performed before and after the forklift operation.
  • Operating stability and limitation


  • The condition of the roads where the forklift will be operated in
  • Driving in ramps and slopes that affects the stability triangle of the truck during transport
  • The behavior of pedestrian of the workplace
  • Operation in tight spaces and narrow aisle location
  • Hazardous location especially when the operation involves loading of chemicals
  • Operation in confined spaces or indoors where fumes and exhaust could create poisonous carbon monoxide
  • Operation of the truck outdoors where the operator is exposed to environmental hazards and weather condition (heat and cold)
  • Parking in designated places
  • Other matters and topics distinct only to the type of workplace the forklift will be operated in

The trainer evaluation is the last stage of the course. If you succeeded in passing the written test and had a satisfactory rating during a practical test, the trainer will issue your operator card or license that you can show to your supervisor or prospective employer.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A. Listing Common Mistakes Made During the Test

  • Not Reading Questions Carefully:  Sometimes, test takers lose points simply because they didn't read the question and the options thoroughly.
  • Poor Time Management:  Some candidates spend too much time on difficult questions, leaving inadequate time to answer the remaining ones.
  • Neglecting Safety Procedures: In the practical test, candidates sometimes overlook basic safety procedures in an attempt to complete tasks more quickly.
  • Insufficient Practice:  Some test takers fail because they did not get enough hands-on practice operating a forklift before the practical skills evaluation.
  • Overconfidence:  Overconfidence can lead to both theoretical and practical mistakes, as candidates may not review materials thoroughly or may neglect important steps during the practical test.

B. Advice on How to Avoid These Mistakes

  • Read Carefully: Always read each question and all the given options thoroughly before making a selection.
  • Time Management:  Practice time management by taking mock tests and simulating the test environment. This will help you to allocate your time effectively during the actual test.
  • Prioritize Safety:  Always remember that safety is crucial in forklift operations. During the practical test, ensure you adhere to all safety procedures, even if it takes a bit more time.
  • Practice: Make sure to get ample hands-on practice before the practical test. This should include performing a variety of tasks you might be tested on.
  • Adequate Preparation: Regardless of your confidence level, make sure to thoroughly review all test materials and perform a comprehensive practical review.

C. Importance of Learning from Mistakes

Making mistakes is a part of the learning process. If you fail the test or perform poorly in certain areas, use this as an opportunity to identify your weaknesses and improve. Pay special attention to any feedback given, and focus your future studies on areas that need improvement. Remember, the goal of the test is not just to pass, but to become a safe and competent forklift operator. Learning from your mistakes is an essential part of achieving that goal. 



Tips for Test Day

A. Pre-test Preparations and Rituals

  • Review: Spend some time on the day before the test reviewing key materials and concepts. This will help reinforce your knowledge and boost your confidence.
  • Pack Your Essentials:  Ensure you have all the necessary items for the test, such as your identification, test confirmation, and any allowed materials. Packing these items the night before can help avoid last-minute stress.
  • Get a Good Night's Sleep:  Sleep is crucial for memory and concentration. Make sure you get a good night's sleep before the test.
  • Eat a Healthy Meal:  Before the test, eat a balanced meal. Foods high in protein can help maintain your energy levels throughout the test.
  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the test center early. This will give you time to relax and get used to the environment before the test starts.

B. Importance of Mental and Physical Well-being

  • Physical Exercise:  Regular physical exercise can reduce stress and increase your energy levels. Try to incorporate some form of exercise into your routine in the days leading up to the test.
  • Meditation and Breathing Exercises: These can be effective in managing stress and improving concentration. Even a few minutes of deep breathing before the test can help calm your nerves.
  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can impact cognitive function. Make sure to drink enough water before and during the test (if permitted).
  • Breaks:  During the test, if permitted, take short breaks to stretch or take a few deep breaths. This can help reset your focus and prevent fatigue.

C. Navigating Test Anxiety and Maintaining Composure

  • Positive Mindset:  Remind yourself of the preparation you've put in and believe in your abilities. Maintain a positive mindset throughout the test.
  • Manage Your Time: Keep an eye on the time, but don't rush. If you come across a challenging question, don't panic. Move on to the next question and come back to it if you have time.
  • Stay Focused:  Concentrate on the question in front of you, rather than worrying about the overall outcome of the test.
  • Deep Breathing: If you start to feel anxious during the test, take a moment for some deep breathing. This can help calm your nerves and regain your focus.

Remember, it's normal to feel nervous before a test. But with proper preparation and a positive mindset, you can navigate test anxiety and perform to the best of your abilities.



To Make a Conclusion

Passing the forklift training test is a significant step toward becoming a certified forklift operator. This achievement not only opens up new job opportunities but also equips you with the necessary skills to operate heavy machinery safely and efficiently. While the journey towards achieving this goal may seem daunting, it's important to remember that it is entirely manageable with proper preparation, dedication, and the right mindset.

To successfully navigate the forklift training test, understanding the structure of the test and the topics covered is crucial. This will allow you to devise an effective study plan, focusing on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Multiple resources are available for preparation, including self-study materials, training courses, and online resources and mock tests. Each candidate should choose the method that suits their learning style the best.

It's essential to note that the forklift test is not merely about memorizing facts and procedures; it requires a comprehensive understanding of safety regulations, forklift operation, maintenance, and handling of loads. Thus, hands-on practice is as crucial as theoretical knowledge.

Common mistakes like not reading questions carefully, poor time management, or neglecting safety procedures can be avoided with practice and a conscious effort. Remember, making mistakes is a part of the learning process. Use these as opportunities to learn and improve.

Finally, taking care of your mental and physical well-being and maintaining composure on the test day can significantly influence your performance. A good night's sleep, a healthy meal, staying hydrated, and techniques for managing anxiety can all contribute to a successful test experience.

Remember, the ultimate goal of the forklift training test is to ensure that you can operate a forklift safely and competently. So, focus on mastering the skills and knowledge you'll need to achieve that goal, and passing the test will come naturally. Good luck on your journey to becoming a certified forklift operator!

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