Why You Should Make a Study Schedule:
- If you are studying during the summer, it's easy to get distracted
- If you have already started a job, you need to stay on track with the limited time you have for studying
- There is a lot of information, which can be overwhelming - having a schedule can remind you that you've already prepared and calm you down
- A study schedule breaks the material down into manageable parts
- You can account for big events, like weddings and graduations, and give yourself time-off from studying
The RD Exam has a lot of material on it, and unfortunately it's not all the practical things we learned in our dietetic internship. The food science, food service, and management domains can seem daunting, but if you plan when you're going to study what, you'll have something to fall back on when you feel overwhelmed.
Below is my study checklist where I can see the full outline of what I need to get through. It's broken down into manageable sections such as topics and even subtopics like for Domain II - Topic C - Planning and Intervention. Then I have a visual calendar where I can see my deadlines in that format.
The study checklist has been updated for the 2017 version!
Scroll to download each file in editable Microsoft Word doc format.
When filling in your calendar, keep in mind any big events you have going on, and make sure you account for that in your study schedule. Also, have your study materials side-by-side with your calendar so you can see how much material is in each, and how many days you think you'll need. That's indicated by arrows on my calendar.
If you've taken the exam a few times, and therefore have gone through content several times, it's time to make a different kind of study schedule. You'll be splitting up practice questions into 5 question sets, and including some flex study sessions. During flex times, you can make-up study sessions you miss, create and review topic sheets, record your study sessions to listen to on commutes, create and review flashcards, and more!
Good news is that my "Semester Weekly Planner" resource works really well for organizing your day, especially if you work part-time. Keep track of your shifts, errands, other activities, and fit in your study sessions. The example below is pretty generic - yours might have a vacation or wedding (or 2!), and your study sessions should be more specific like "Lab Values table" or "Kidney Disease Topic Sheet" with the times. This schedule will help you stay accountable!
Remember that even if you're reviewing content or on to critical thinking, its important to study various topics (instead of entire domains at a time). Jumping around while you review content, and doing randomized practice questions, mimics the way your brain is expected to perform on the exam.
Questions? Feel free to leave a comment. I'm happy to help.
PS. Please leave a comment if you download!