State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination

Completing the ACEND-accredited educational program and dietetic internship renders you eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination required to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). Passing this examination is mandatory in states in which you must become certified or licensed in order to practice as a RD. When you are eligible, you will receive an email from the CDR’s testing service, ACT, Inc., with instructions and links for registering to take the exam. You have one year from receiving the eligibility to test email to actually take the test.  The CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates explains the application and registration process in detail.

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Once you submit payment for the exam online, you will receive an email from PSI Exams Online and must schedule the date and location of your test. A listing of all PSI test centers in every state may be accessed here. You will be required to bring a copy of your eligibility to test email and a driver’s license or state photo identification card with you to the testing center on the day of the exam.

The CDR provides a Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians that is helpful in preparing for the exam. The computerized exam is from 125 to 145 multiple-choice questions long, and you are allotted 180 minutes to complete it. You will be tested on your knowledge of the information you have learned in your CP or DPD/DI. This is the structure of the CDR Examination for RDs:

  • 12 percent of the exam = Food and Nutrition Sciences
  • 50 percent of the exam = Nutrition Care for Groups and Individuals
  • 21 percent of the exam = Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services
  • 17 percent of the exam = Foodservice Systems

At the completion of the exam, your score will be instantly visible by clicking on a link on-screen. The PSI Test Center proctor will also provide you with a hard copy of your score report before you leave the center. A scaled score of 25 or more is required in order to pass the exam. Those who pass will receive a confirmation email from the CDR.

If you fail the exam, or if your test eligibility expires, contact the CDR at (800) 877-1600, ext. 5500 to reschedule the exam. You must wait 45 days before retaking the exam.

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