How I Studied from my RD Exam


I should have posted this about a month ago when studying was fresh in my mind, but I’ll do my best now. I’ve gone kind of MIA this week I realized because I’ve been really busy working and helping with sorority recruitment. I spent 9 hours at work yesterday…on a Saturday. Luckily I have today off but then I go back to a 5 day work week tomorrow.

Being an adult is exhausting!

Anyways, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t passed my RD exam, so I think my experience might be worth sharing.

Before my internship even ended I purchase the Inman’s review with the study notes and the lecture CDs. Yes, it cost me $385 but it was worth it. I chose to purchase Inman’s because it was the review I had heard the most positive reviews about and I felt like if I didn’t purchase it I would be worried the whole time I was studying about not having the best review out there. So I took the plunge and purchased it.

After I finished my internship, I took a two week break, went home, relaxed, and let my brain rest. I was starting my new job in the middle of July so when I got the email at the beginning of July telling me I could schedule my test, I took a while to think about when I could be ready to take it. I decided to schedule it for the end of August, 6 weeks after I started my job.

My advice would be if you are working full time right after your internship to make sure you are being realistic and giving yourself enough time to study. Yes, you will do better if you take it sooner rather than later, but you also need to give yourself adequate time to prepare. There were so many nights during the week where I was only able to dedicate 1-2 hours to studying because I was so worn out from work and my brain would just shut off at that point.

Once I returned from my vacation and started my job, I started studying. Inman’s has 4 domains and because I am OCD I started with domain I and went in order. I know other people who started with the subjects they were least familiar with. I would listen to the lecture and take notes on the note sheets at the same time. I paused the lecture quite often to write or relisten to sections.

I am a flashcard person, so after making it through a chunk of material that I didn’t know well at all, I would make myself flash cards.

I think I made it through all the lectures and domains in around 4 1/2 weeks. It took me a while!

The last week I mainly focused on flashcards and practice test questions. I had a breakdown of % of the test coming from each domain so I also tailored my studying that last week around that. I didn’t focus as much on food science because it was the smallest portion of the test. I focused more on management because I couldn’t get my brain to remember any of it.

I took my test at 8AM on a Monday morning, so by 7PM Sunday night I stopped studying. I think this was an excellent idea because it gave my brain time to rest.

I think the keys to success for studying for this exam are purchasing a review that you personally feel comfortable with and having a concrete study plan. Had I not been working full time I probably would have only needed 3 weeks to study.

Bottom line, take studying seriously, prepare yourself adequately, and you will be successful on your RD exam!


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