Now that the post-exam high has worn off, I thought I’d offer some useful tips for fellow Dietetic students.
Before you get too excited, you should know that by law I’m prohibited from discussing certain aspects of the test. This won’t so much be a step by step as a list of helpful hints.
For those not in the Dietetics world, you can either stay and get a peek into the credentialing process or come back Friday. Your choice.
Without further ado, The Starving RD Study Guide.
1) You don’t need all the study guides, but you need at least one.
It’s not uncommon for Dietetic students to grab 3, 4, or even 5 different study guides. Now far be it for me to discourage the pursuit of knowledge, but there’s something to be said for overstudying before the exam. The test, believe it or not, is far more general and broad then the study guides let on. Hours I spent memorizing the atomic weight of sodium or the amount of nitrogen in a 4 oz piece of chicken, to find out the test is more likely to ask you whether chicken or beef has more protein.
See the difference in those questions? One is asking for precise/specific values, the other for general/broad understanding. The latter is the type of question that makes up the vast majority of the test.
I think over, not understudying, is the reason why so many people fail this exam. Too many miniscule facts blur the lines between memorizing and actual understanding.
2) Studying is about exposure, not absorption.
Without question, It’s nearly impossible to memorize the entirety of Inmans Dietetic Exam Study Guide (the one that I used for my studying). However, it is very possible in a matter of a week or so to pore through all 5 Domains. Yes yes, simply seeing the information isn’t memorization, but it will accomplish most of your goal, exposure. By seeing the words, and their context, and noting key pieces of information your brain should remember some of those details during exam time. It’s not about getting an A+ on the test, it’s about passing. See point 3.
3) Success is a matter of probability.
As I said before, you’re not trying to know it all, you’re trying to know a little bit of everything. Even if you did manage to memorize 100% of your study guide, the truth is this test is about 40% subjective questions. This means that a problem might ask “Which is the best choice”. Well, who’s to say there is a best? As you’ll remember from Technicolor Nutrition, rarely is there an answer that is without a doubt the best solution. Most of the times it’s a stats game for which is most likely to have the best outcome with the least side effects. On the test, its your “best” versus theirs.
To keep things short I’ll finish up next time. Come back Wednesday for Part 2 of the Starving RD Exam Guide.
Be good to each other.
– Joshua Iufer, RD
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