Passing the RD Exam: Study Tips and Strategies

Written by Olivia Farrow, RD, MHSc

Reviewed by Maria Dellanina, RDN

Are you an aspiring dietitian preparing to ace the challenge of passing the RD exam? Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone in your career journey! We understand that preparing for the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam can be a challenging and daunting task – we’ve been through it ourselves! 

To help you tackle this hurdle with confidence, we’ve gathered valuable insights and study strategies from experienced dietitians who have successfully passed their dietitian exam. Here are their tried-and-tested RD exam tips to guide you through your preparation process:


Passing the RD Exam Tips For Success

Set Yourself Up for Success

Depending on the rules of the dietitian exam in your area, you might be able to schedule your exam based on your own unique needs:

  • If you are able to take your exam at a later session to give yourself a few months to study that could be ideal. There is a lot of information to go over and having extra time can be helpful. 
  • If you can choose the time of day for your exam, try to choose the time that you know works best for you. For example, If you’re not a morning person, it might be best to choose a later time slot. 

Explore the available accommodations tailored to your needs. Whether you struggle with prolonged sitting, face hypoglycemia, or require other specific adjustments, take the initiative to investigate the accommodations that can be arranged. Don’t hesitate to inquire – it’s always worth asking!


Manage Your Time Effectively

Plan your study time in chunks, dedicating each week to specific topics. This organizational approach keeps your studies structured and less overwhelming. 

Remember to take regular breaks during study sessions to stay fresh and focused. Check out study methods like the Pomodoro method, where you work for 25-minute chunks followed by 5-minute breaks. 

And of course, don’t forget to reward yourself for all your hard work! Like asking a friend to go to dinner, going to a yoga class, or getting a coffee. 

Studying with friends can also be incredibly beneficial. Sharing resources and quizzing each other can make studying more enjoyable and enhance your understanding of the material. 


Use a Variety of Study Materials

Explore a wide range of resources to enrich your knowledge like textbooks, video courses, and school and internship notes. Try to practice with real-life examples and cases to apply your theoretical knowledge to practical situations. Creating study aids like flashcards and mind maps can serve as valuable cheat sheets during the exam.

Dietitian Success Center (DSC) is the optimal starting point, offering video courses, evidence summaries, practitioner guides, visual handouts, and blog articles covering a wide array of nutrition topics so you can brush up your knowledge in many areas in less time. 


Try Different Learning Methods

How do you learn best? You can experiment with different methods like listening, reading, writing, and interactive activities to find the method that works best for your unique learning style. 

  • Hands-on learner? Try out different apps and online platforms that offer self-quizzes, study games, and flashcards. 
  • Prefer to listen? Listen to podcasts and audiobooks to reinforce your understanding.
  • Prefer to apply what you’re learning? Discuss what you’ve learned with friends or write out your notes as you read.
  • Is reading best? Compile your study materials and find a calm environment to sit and review your notes.


Practice with Timed Exams

Simulate exam conditions by using online platforms that offer timed practice exams, like Quizlet, or create your own practice exam with your study notes. These tools help you manage your time and stress level effectively once you’re passing the RD exam in real life.

After taking practice tests, carefully review the results, paying close attention to the questions you answered incorrectly. Understanding your mistakes can lead to a better grasp of the underlying concepts. 

Remember to stay relaxed during practice. Techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness exercises can help you remain calm and think clearly during the actual exam.


Incorporating these study tips, diverse learning methods, and the resources offered by Dietitian Success Center will significantly enhance your readiness for passing the RD exam! Embrace the learning process, stay persistent, and trust in your abilities. The journey to becoming a registered dietitian is both challenging and rewarding. Best of luck on your path to becoming a successful registered dietitian.

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