Free CDM Practice Test

The Certified Dietary Management (CDM) examination is designed to augment the qualifications of dietary managers who work with registered dietitians to provide high-quality nutritional care in nursing homes, schools, and similar institutional environments. The testing is conducted by the American College Testing Corporation, but the certifying entity is the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers. Candidates who wish to obtain the certification must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Graduation from an approved dietary training program or school.
  • A two- or four-year community college degree in food services or nutrition, culinary arts, or hotel and restaurant management.
  • Graduation from a state-certified foodservice curriculum combined with two years of institutional foodservice management experience.
  • Current or former military personnel who have graduated from a military dietary training program and achieved the rank of at least E-5.

There are 200 multiple-choice questions on the Dietary Management Certification exam. It is best to answer all questions, since only correct answers count toward your score. The CDM test will be scored on a pass-fail basis, and those who fail can take the CDM test repeatedly until they pass. The test is administered through on paper and scored on a computer, with the results sent approximately 6 weeks after the CDM test date.

The successful candidate for DMA certification will understand the processes of gathering and applying nutritional data from all sources and implementing a sustained and well-organized program to provide food safety and nutrition. The consideration of each of these tasks comprises 8.5% of the CDM exam. The practical issues related to cooking and preparing foods in large-scale institutional settings comprises 10% of the CDM exam. 6.5% of the CDM exam is devoted to nutrition education.

The latter part of the CDM exam focuses on maintaining, operating, and staffing the facility. For instance, the hiring and supervision of personnel comprises 9% of the CDM exam. Effective communication with colleagues and staff makes up 8.3% of the CDM exam, and professional relationships and interaction accounts for 6.3%. The management of supplies, equipment, and safety provisions makes up the largest content area (24% of the CDM exam). Management production (10.5%) and management of business operations (8.4%) make up the rest of the CDM examination.

Practice Questions

1. A resident is admitted to a long-term care facility. The initial nutrition assessment is completed on day 8 and is charted in the progress note section of the medical record. A week later, an error is noticed in the nutrition assessment, involving the height and weight of the resident. Correction fluid (White Out) is used to correct the error, and a follow-up note is placed in the chart. What is wrong in this situation?

a. The nutrition assessment should be placed in the dietary section
b. The nutrition assessment should be documented on day 14
c. Correction fluid (White Out) should never be used in a medical record
d. The accuracy of height and weight is not important

2. A diet history is needed for a client who is admitted to a nursing home. Generally accepted methods for obtaining this information include all of the following EXCEPT a:

a. 24-hour recall
b. 7-day food diary
c. Food frequency questionnaire
d. 3-day food record

3. The main purpose of nutrition screening is to identify individuals who may:

a. Be at risk for malnutrition
b. Need to lose weight
c. Not be getting enough calcium
d. Not be drinking enough fluids

4. Which of the following laboratory values indicates dehydration?

a. Serum sodium of 155 mEq/L
b. Serum sodium of 130 mEq/L
c. Serum albumin of 3.6 g/dL
d. Serum potassium of 4 mEq/L

5. The physician has ordered a low-fiber diet for a resident who is experiencing a flare-up of diverticulitis. How would the following breakfast menu be modified to meet the changes ordered by the physician?

  • ½ cup all-bran cereal
  • 1 toasted English muffin
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • a. Eliminate the orange juice
    b. Eliminate the English muffin
    c. Change the banana to prunes
    d. Change the cereal to corn flakes

    Answer Key

    1. C: A medical record is a legal document. Any communication within this document must adhere to accepted standards and meet certain requirements. This includes month, day, year, and time of entry. Back dating and dating the entry ahead of time are illegal and unethical. If an error does occur, a single line is drawn in pen through the error accompanied by a note explaining the reason for the correction. The initials of the person making the correction and the date are also noted. The corrected information is then added to the record. The same procedure should be followed for electronic medical records except that all notations are done electronically. Care should be taken to make sure that hard copies of the record are also corrected. Correction fluid (White Out) and labels to cover the error are never used.

    2. B: Generally accepted methods for obtaining a diet history include a 24-hour recall, a food frequency questionnaire, or a 3-day food record. Longer food records such as a 7-day food diary is helpful in certain situations but is not typically used with new nursing home residents. A food diary and food records record exactly what a person eats and drinks; however, the person must be capable of keeping this information, which is often a difficult task for a resident entering a nursing home. A food frequency questionnaire determines how often a person eats various types of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or protein sources, to look for potential nutrient deficiencies. A 24-hour recall determines what the person has consumed within the previous 24 hours. Often a family member is needed to obtain appropriate information.

    3. A: The main purpose of nutrition screening is to identify individuals at risk for malnutrition. The screening tool used should be simple, fast, and effective in determining if risk factors are present. Parts of the screening process include obtaining anthropometric measurements, such as height, weight, and body mass index. Determining if any unintentional weight loss has occurred is also important. Other important information includes changes in the ability to chew, activity levels, appetite, and financial resources. Nutrition screening identifies individuals who require a nutritional assessment by a registered dietitian.

    4. A: An elevated serum sodium level is the laboratory value that would most likely indicate dehydration. The normal range for serum sodium is 135-145 mEq/L. The serum potassium and albumin levels listed in the question are both within normal range and are unlikely to indicate dehydration. Other signs of dehydration include excessive thirst, a dry mouth, and decreased urine output. The appearance of urine would also be very concentrated, yellow, and malodorous. Other symptoms of dehydration include eyes that appear to be sunken, reduced tear output, decreased blood pressure, and increased heart rate. A rule of thumb for calculating fluid requirements for older adults is 30 mL/kg. This would mean the fluid requirements for a person weighing 50 kg (or 110 pounds) is 1500 mL/day or approximately 50 ounces.

    5. D: When a person has diverticular disease, a high-fiber diet is recommended; however, if an inflammation occurs, such as diverticulitis, a low-fiber diet is indicated until the inflammation is resolved. A low-fiber diet removes foods that contain large amounts of fiber. Foods that should be avoided are whole-grain breads, cereals, pastas, and rice; popcorn; raw vegetables; dried fruits; baked beans; dried beans; and nuts. Foods allowed on a low-fiber diet include white bread, pasta, and rice. Cereals should contain less than 1 gram of fiber for each serving. In this menu, the all-bran cereal would contain approximately 10 grams of fiber. Canned fruits and vegetables would be appropriate as well as fruits and vegetables without skins, seeds, or membranes. Dairy products are allowed as well as most protein sources.

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