How Do I Prepare for a Dietitian Exam?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

You may have to pass a dietitian exam to become a registered dietitian or pursue a related career. To prepare for a dietitian exam, you will typically have to enroll in courses related to nutrition and health and possibly earn a degree. You might also benefit from using study materials that cover specific content on the exam, such as the diagnosis of nutrition-related illnesses, and enrolling in an exam-preparation class. The organization that administers the exam often provides study materials in each dietitian exam content area, but you can purchase review handbooks and manuals as well.

People studying to become registered dietitians should practice taking sample tests well in advance.
People studying to become registered dietitians should practice taking sample tests well in advance.

Taking college classes can help you pass an exam that tests knowledge of dietetics. You can typically find courses that cover food selection, nutrition, biology, and food service systems through a local college or online. Nutrition science degree programs usually include such courses, but whether you will need a degree depends on the type of exam you are taking. In some jurisdictions, for example, a person has to pass a national examination to become a registered dietitian, and a bachelor’s degree is often mandatory for taking the test.

A dietitian may be responsible for determining the formula and method of tube feeding that is appropriate for a specific patient.
A dietitian may be responsible for determining the formula and method of tube feeding that is appropriate for a specific patient.

Besides taking classes at a college, you can prepare for this type of exam by visiting the website of the testing organization. Often, the organization responsible for testing aspiring dietitians provides helpful hints and tips you can use to prepare as well as an overview of the topics included on the exam. In many cases, these websites provide study guides and practice tests that are unique to the concepts included on the examination. For example, they usually include concepts related to food and nutrition sciences, nutrition screening and assessment, counseling and research, food service systems, and nutritional management. Study materials may be offered for free or you might have to purchase them from the testing organization or from a website to which it refers you.

Often, you can find handbooks and manuals available from organizations that certify dietitians, dietitian education programs, and bookstores. These preparatory books provide in-depth reviews of the content areas typically included on certification exams. For example, books like this usually cover dietary guidelines for people of a particular country, food service management, menu labeling, sustainability, waste management, and world religion and food practices as well as other concepts included on a dietitian exam.

You might also find exam preparation classes helpful as you prepare for a dietitian exam. For example, workshop and seminar courses planned specifically for exam preparation can help you zero in on the topics you’ll be tested on and reinforce your knowledge in those areas. They typically cover principles of nutrition, nutritional care for individuals and adults, management of food programs, and concepts involved in food service. To locate such courses, you can check with local community and four-year colleges or search the website of the organization responsible for the exam for information.

A registered dietitian helps devise eating plans that are tailored to an individual's dietary needs.
A registered dietitian helps devise eating plans that are tailored to an individual's dietary needs.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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