Hey there, friends! Today, I’d like to share a few tips on how I studied for the Registered Dietitian Exam, as well as WHAT materials I used to study. I was told that it was a record – I was the first in my internship class to take & pass the RD Exam so quickly! So hopefully I can pass some good karma on to you as well, especially since I know that there are still a TON of you out there that are getting ready to take the exam soon.
My dietetic internship program required that we purchase the Jean Inman study guide with the CDs, so I obviously used that as one of my main study materials. It can be purchased from Jean’s site, for $385. You may also be lucky if your internship does not require you to purchase it brand new (ours did) – & find a used copy off of eBay.
The Jean Inman study guide
I also heard great things about the “Hess & Hunt” guide, which is another study guide actually called “Review of Dietetics Manual for the Registered Dietitian Exam 2014-2015” by Mary Abbott Hess. I purchased mine used off of eBay, but you can pick up a copy via the company’s website, here. I believe it retails new for about $150.
This book is useful to me because it’s more detailed than the Inman guide in that it describes the WHY and is not simply a study outline. It still has all of the domain breakdowns that the Inman guide has, but has more detail. So, if you’re a detail person or wanting more info than just an outline, check this one out.
The “Hess & Hunt” study guide/outline
Another study material I purchased was access to the MedPreps online RD quizzes. I got a month’s access for $30. I thought this was helpful in practicing questions in an online format, which would give me a better feel for how the actual test would be. I found it fairly helpful, though frustrating at times as some answers were doubled up, some were repetitive, & there were occasional typos. Just keep all that in mind. 😉
I also signed up to get emailed a weekly question (for free) from Dietitian Exam.com.
Okay, so now that I’ve filled you in on the WHAT (materials) I studied, let’s get into the HOW.
Something that my internship tried out this year is that they provided us with a live webinar with Jean Inman!! We actually got TWO separate days with her going through her guide, which was VERY helpful & awesome!! I was able to highlight anything she said to note in the guide, which helps, but it also helped to have that repetition & to hear things again. Mrs. Inman suggested that we schedule & plan time to study, which is exactly what I did! I made a plan in my calendar to study about 10 pages in the Inman guide each night. I read each page twice, & once I got the general concept, I moved on.
All of the item in red, below, are the pages & sections that I was studying. I just moved through from front to back in order of the guide. It took about 2 and a half weeks or so & I started it while I was still in my internship, which is partly why I could sit for the RD exam so soon after finishing.
My calendar & study plan
Once I was through with studying my Inman guide, I focused more on the MedPreps online practice quizzes. I had been doing them sporadically at night during my studying, but I put a bit more emphasis on them at this point.
I also browsed & paged through the Hess & Hunt study guide, but didn’t read it in a detailed manner. I mainly focused on any concepts that were difficult to understand, as well as checking to see if there was any additional information I should put into memory.
Next, I went through & answered all of the study questions included in the back of the Jean Inman study guide (you get a packet of over 1000 questions & answers). If I got a question wrong, I’d go back & do those again.
Lastly, I made several practice tests for myself. I compiled questions from each domain in the question packet, mainly based on the amount/percentage seen from each domain on the exam. I usually made my tests anywhere from 125 – 150 questions or so. I timed myself, then calculated the percentage I got wrong & then went through & compiled all the wrong questions & re-tested myself on those once I had reviewed the correct answer. I made myself about 9 practice exams in total, so I definitely felt pretty ready for the exam, especially when I was only getting a handful wrong & scoring around 90% on them.
Testing Day – On the day of my exam, I exercised to burn off any excess energy/nerves, ate a healthy breakfast, had a little coffee (not too much), & made sure NOT to study at all that day. I focused on relaxing things & watching TV, or listening to music that made me feel happy. I scheduled my exam in the afternoon because it was an hour & 15-minute drive to the site & they ask that you arrive a half hour early. I chose 3pm, which was perfect traffic-wise to get there. I arrived at my site an hour & a half before my test & just made sure I knew where I was going, then left & went down the street a bit to waste some time at Trader Joe’s & Target. I then came back to my site & went in a half hour before my test, which worked out perfectly! They were even able to take me for my exam about 20 mintues early.
Once you’re done – CELEBRATE!!!!
Write RD on everything, you deserve it & have worked HARD for this!! Remember, you’ve got this – you KNOW the info, you just need to pass. 😉
Best of luck!!!