The Registration Examination for Dietitians is offered by The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
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Those who complete either an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Coordinated Program, Dietetic Internship Program, or the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway will be eligible to take the exam.
Registering for the Registration Examination for Dietitians must be completed on the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As soon as the CDR certifies that an applicant is eligible to take the exam, an email will be sent from ACT, which is the testing service for the exam.
The examination must be taken within one year of the date a test taker was deemed eligible to take the test.
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The exam includes four domains:
- Principles of Dietetics
- Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups
- Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services
- Foodservice Systems
Registered Dietitian Exam Overview
The Nutrition Care domain by far is the longest section of the exam (40%), and the Foodservice Systems section is the shortest (14%). Not all test takers will have an exam of the same length. All test takers will be asked a minimum of 125 questions. One hundred of those questions are scored and 25 of them are pretest questions which are not scored.
No test taker will be asked more than 145 questions, and all test takers will receive exactly 25 pretest questions. However, test takers will not know which questions are pretest questions. All questions are in a multiple choice format. Test takers who are doing well on the exam will have to answer fewer questions; those who are not doing as well will need to answer more questions in order to answer enough correctly to receive a passing score.
In order to receive a passing score, all test takers must answer a minimum of 125 questions, which means time management is extremely important while taking the exam.
The entire testing appointment will take three hours, with a half hour given for a tutorial and two-and-a-half hours (150 minutes) given to answer as many questions as possible. On average, test takers must answer a little more than one question per minute to ensure answering just the minimum number of questions to receive a score. However, skipping questions to answer at a later time during the exam is not allowed, as test takers must answer each question in order before moving to the next.
If the minimum number of questions is not answered, the exam will not be scored at all. Once an answer is submitted for a question, the test taker will not be given the chance to review it. Questions from the four content domains are spread throughout the entire exam, as there is no order given to the domains within the exam.
Registered Dietitian Exam Prep
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The exam is based on a scale of 1 to 50. The scaled score required to pass the exam is always 25. However, the actual number of questions required in order to achieve a scaled score of 25 can change from one exam to another. The exams are offered in a computer adaptive test format, which means that the computer monitors the test taker’s performance throughout the exam.
The registration fee to take the exam is $200 for dietitians and must be paid at the time of registration. Fees will never be refunded for any reason. Test takers may change the appointment time or location online or via the telephone a minimum of two business days (and in some instances more) before the exam date. Those who arrive late will not be allowed to take the examination and will be required to complete a brand new application.
Test takers will be given their score report when they leave the testing center and scores will also be available on the website.
Those who do not receive a passing score are allowed to retest 46 days after the exam. However, to qualify to retake the exam, test takers must again contact the Commission on Dietetic Registration to be reauthorized as eligible and again pay the examination fee.