Well things have been hectic these past few weeks. I recently started my first post-internship position in Pittsburgh working as a clinical dietitian. It’s been a great experience, my coworkers are some of the most easy going and supportive people I’ve met since I started my career and I’m very happy with the way things have been working out (they also have cheerful answers to my many, many questions).
Anyway, so I have exciting news. Last Saturday was a bit more exciting than being Sweetest Day, I took and passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians and can happily say that I can now sign my notes Gina Lesako, RD. I also wanted to thank from the bottom of my heart, one of my fellow UMD grads, Laryessa England, for spending several hours on the phone with me to work through all the math.
So I figured I’d share my strategies studying for the exam on my blog this week.
I thought it would be easier for me to break it down into several steps so you may have a better idea to approach the exam for your self.
Figure out how soon you’ll be working (and when you need to take the exam), if you need your RD ASAP, or if you have some time to obtain it. Some organizations give you up to 6 months after hire to take your exam which can be plenty of time or not enough (if you have several things going on outside of work; family, children, etc., you may want to organize your life to fit in QUALITY studying).
§ In my case, I studied for the exam while interviewing because I knew I wanted to move back to Western Pennsylvania so I had some flexibility.
Get study materials. There are tons to choose from, www.dietitianexam.com has a free exam question that will be sent to your e-mail every Friday-ish, Hess and Hunt have a very detailed program, Jean Inman is well known, and the RD In A Flash cards make quizzing yourself a snap.
§ I used the Jean Inman Course Review and RD In A Flash cards to prepare myself. Different people have different preferences, but I do recommend using some kind of organized material for the exam.
Get the ugly stuff done first. I focused on the Management/Food Service Domains then worked my way onto the Nutrition Care Process (domain II).
§ FYI: Even if you never go into foodservice, know the equations cold. One of my co-workers had 15 questions on it where I only had 3, don’t take the chance of missing these questions.
§ If anything, go over all the sample questions in the areas you have trouble in, this will give you a calmer sense of self when you are taking the exam.
Take everyone’s advice with a grain (or shaker) of salt. I zipped through the exam in 45 minutes and scored a 28 (I really over-studied and probably should’ve taken the exam in September or August).
That’s really it guys. Organization and reviewing practice questions are all it really takes along with quality studying time. The exam went by so quickly that I couldn’t even remember one question from the exam, just remember, after 4 years of undergrad or two years of a master’s program, you’ve taken tests, finals, and other measurements of your knowledge and application in the field of dietetics. Think of this as your last bump in the road to writing RD next to your name.