CDM Practice Test

If you need help studying for the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) test or just want some more information about what the test is like, you’ve come to the right place.

Click below to take a free CDM practice test!

CDM Test Eligibility

Before you can register to take the CDM test, you’ll have to meet the eligibility requirements via ONE of the following pathways:

Pathway I:
You need to have completed a food service manager training program approved by the ANFP.

Pathway II:
You need to have earned a two-year degree or longer in fields like food service management, hotel-restaurant management, culinary arts, or nutrition.

Pathway IIIa:
You must finish a detailed food service course of at least 90 hours and have at least two years of full-time experience in managing non-commercial food services.

Pathway IIIb:
You must complete a food service manager training program approved by the ANFP and have at least two years of full-time experience in managing non-commercial food services.

Pathway IV:
You must be a current or past member of the US military and have completed a training program in dietary management, food service management, or culinary arts that lasted at least 90 hours.

Pathway V:
You need to have a different two-year degree and at least five years of full-time experience in managing non-commercial food services.

If you meet the requirements of one of these pathways, you’re set to begin the registration process!

What’s on the CDM Test?

Questions: 160
Time limit: 3 hours

First, let’s talk about the questions on the exam. There are 160 multiple-choice questions total, but only 140 question will count toward your score. Why is that?

Unscored Questions
The unscored questions on the CDM test are called “pretest” questions. These are added to the exam to determine if they’re good enough questions to add to future versions of the test.

The trick is that you won’t have any way of knowing which questions are scored and which ones are pretest. They will appear just like the scored questions throughout the test.

The time limit for the exam is 3 hours. You can take a break any time you want, but the timer will not be stopped.

Let’s take a closer look at the different sections of the CDM test.

20% of the exam

  • Gather nutrition data
  • Apply nutrition data
  • Provide nutrition education

21% of the exam

  • Ensure effectiveness of standardized recipes
  • Specify standards and procedures for preparing food
  • Supervise the production and distribution of food
  • Monitor meal service
  • Implement continuous quality improvement procedures for foodservice department
  • Modify standardized menus

19% of the exam

  • Define personnel needs and job functions
  • Interview, select, and orient employees
  • Provide ongoing education
  • Develop and maintain employee time schedules and assignments
  • Manage goals and priorities for department
  • Manage department personnel
  • Manage professional interactions
  • Implement departmental changes

24% of the exam

  • Manage personnel to ensure compliance with safety and sanitation regulations
  • Manage food and supplies following establish sanitation and quality standards
  • Protect food in all phases of preparation using HACCP guidelines
  • Manage physical facilities to ensure compliance with safety and sanitation guidelines

16% of the exam

  • Manage a budget
  • Prepare specifications for capital purchases
  • Plan and budget for improvements in the department design and layout
  • Asist in the purchasing process
  • Manage revenue generating services
  • Implement cost-effective procedures

How to Register

To get started with the registration process, you’ll need to create an ANFP account on their website. You can submit an application for the exam, along with the $399 testing fee.

If your application is approved, you can continue on to the registration process via your ANFP account.

CDM Study Guide and Flashcards

Get practice questions, detailed study lessons, and complex subjects broken down into easily understandable concepts.

CDMStudy Guide

CDM Test Scores

The CDM test is scored using a scaled scoring method. This means that for every question you answer correctly, you get one point added to your raw score. At the end of the test, your final raw score will be converted to a scaled score.

The reason your raw score is converted to a scaled score is because everyone who takes the CDM exam is given a slightly different set of questions. Since everyone has a different arrangement of questions, and because some questions are harder than others, converting your raw score to a scaled score ensures a more even playing field.

According to the CBDM, answering at least 70% of the questions correctly should get you a passing score.

Retaking the Test

If you didn’t get the score you wanted on the first try, that’s okay! You can retake the exam as many times as you’d like. Just know that there is a mandatory 90-day waiting period between attempts.



How many questions are on the CDM test?


There are 160 multiple-choice questions, but only 140 count toward your score.


How long is the CDM test?


The test is timed at 3 hours.


What is a passing score for the CDM test?


To pass, you should aim to answer at least 70% of the questions correctly.