Studying for the RD Exam? Here’s Some Tips

RD Exam Studying

My study dungeon!

I was determined to take the RD exam ONE time in my life and then move on with my career.  When I googled “RD Exam Study Tips” I got horror stories on forums where certain people had taken the exam multiple times and couldn’t pass.  It was a little unsettling, yet motivating- this is a test you have to take seriously.
Disclaimer: this is just what worked for me! I offer no guarantees! :)

I used Jean Inman’s review - not the seminar, just the CDs and written course - as well as RD-in-a-Flash Flashcards.  I studied passively for a few weeks (just every now and then, scanning over things) then set up a schedule to get through the Inman CDs and the corresponding notes, domain by domain.  The Inman materials were definitely most helpful in reviewing everything that could be on the test.  Having the audio helped keep me focused, although I had to pause and take notes quite frequently.  Plus, there are a TON of practice questions for each domain to go through.  I made up my own outlines, charts, etc, then brought the flashcards with me when I wanted to study on the go.

If you are prepping to take the RD exam I highly suggest you sign up for weekly video tutorialsdaily practice questions, and weekly questions.  You can even sign up for the daily and weekly questions way ahead of time and just save them in your email box and look at them when you’re ready to study. (The videos do expire after the week they are released).

Another good resource is a study guide from the American Dietetic Association (ADA).  It costs $35 but is less money than other sources.  It also has a CD-Rom test that mimics the actual format of the exam.

RDStudy.com seems like a helpful resource as well.  I didn’t end up using it, as I already had the Inman review and this service costs additional money, but their free video tutorials were so helpful I can imagine the rest of their tools are too.  It appears that they have practice exams, in-depth tutorials, and even an RD on staff to answer questions.

The following are more resources I found helpful:

I hope any aspiring dietitians out there find this helpful!  For those of you who recently took the test, what materials worked for you? 
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10 responses to “Studying for the RD Exam? Here’s Some Tips

  1. The RD exam is a long way off for me, but I do have a question. How many weeks/months did you dedicate to studying and how many hours per day/week did you study?

    Thanks for the great info.

    • Hey Carrie, good question. I studied diligently for about a month and a half, just getting through the Inman CDs and Inman study guides, then completing practice exams and writing my own notes to reinforce the information. On average I think I studied maybe an hour or two per day, but it really varied. I just kept a calendar of when I wanted to reach certain study benchmarks and let that dictate how much time I needed to spend- whether I was busy and had no time some days, to if I had a day off and plenty of time to study. In the last week I spent many hours each day doing as many practice questions I could get my hands on, so it was fresh in my mind. Hope that answers your question! Thanks for reading and good luck in the future!

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I am beginning my studying for my RD test and am looking for an Inman’s Review to buy. Is there any way you would be willing to sell your test prep material?

    -Dylan

    • Hey Dylan, I actually gave away my flash cards and am planning to keep my Inman review for reference. But you should know it was the product of a few photocopies and I wrote/highlighted/doodled ALL over it, so it’s in pretty poor condition. Sorry I can’t help you, but I’m sure if you keep checking back on ebay and forums, you can find it. Another tip is if your intern class wanted to pool together to buy a new copy. Good luck studying, and best of luck on your test!

  3. Hi, thanks for the tips! i am extremely nervous about this exam. I am also using the Jean Inman CD’s/review course and the Rd in a Flash. I hope they help. I am finding the questions to be the best review. BUT i ran into a problem! My answer sheet for domain III/IV/V got accidently shredded at work!!!!! I am looking for someone that may have a copy they can scan and send to me. I have all of the questions, just that answer sheet is missing! I am hoping someone can help me out and maybe e-mail a copy??? I am taking the exam soon and need help!

  4. Very informative and helpful blog post. I’m about 3 years away from taking the RD exam but am prepping way in advance =)

    Did you end up passing the test the first time? Likewise, I have also came across MANY people who took the test multiple times in order to pass. I’m a 25 year old stay at home mom just getting into school. I am a lot more mature than I was when I was 18 so classes are coming easy for me. Do you think that most people who take the test multiple times just aren’t prepared enough? I can’t imagine a test being THAT hard when you have been learning about it for years.

    Anyways, thanks in advance and I am curious to check out the rest of your blogging site! =)

    • I passed on my first time. I think the reason a lot of people struggle to pass is because the test format and wording, not just because they simply don’t know enough. Someone can be extremely competent as a potential RD but still struggle with passing the exam. It is a difficult test that covers a LOT of detailed material, not to mention the pressure to pass can be intense (especially if you’ve already been hired as a dietitian and your new job depends on you passing!) My best advice is to get your hands on as many practice questions as you can, prior to your exam, so you’ll get used to HOW they ask things. Unfortunately they don’t make becoming an RD very easy…between competing for an internship and passing the exam…but it’s worth it!

  5. Reblogged this on Mary Rodavich – WVU Dietetic Intern and commented:
    Although the RD exam seems like a far away goal, I thought I’d reblog this for (sooner rather than) later.

  6. Thanks for putting all this information into one spot…I have a year left ’til I’m elligible for the exam, but weekly study questions and videos sound like something I could do now, just to become familiar with the material and style of wording. Thanks!

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