Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Betty C. Harrison


The purpose of this study was to determine if relationships exist between student demographic or personal data, academic achievement and student perceptions of factors relative to predicting performance on the Registration Dietetic (R.D.) Exam. Perceptions of factors relative to predicting performance on the R.D. exam was also determined from undergraduate dietetic program directors, to explore the extent of agreement between students and educators. This information was used to develop a predictive model explaining a significant proportion of the variance in R.D. exam scores. A researcher designed questionnaire was administered to a nationwide random sample of first time eligible candidates for the R.D. exam. This questionnaire requested: demographic information, academic achievements, and personal/professional perceptions. A similar questionnaire was administered to all directors of didactic programs in dietetics requesting educator perceptions of selected factors considered essential for students to succeed on the R.D. exam. Students and directors reported their perceptions of certain statements on their influence on the ability to pass the R.D. exam. Factors identified were: good time management skills and organization, effective study skills, use of a study review course or workshop manual for the exam, completion of an internship or an AP4, low test anxiety and paid work experience. A model was developed which explained 26% of the variance in the R.D. score. Variables, in the order they entered the regression model, were: GPA, paid work experience in a non-dietetic field, perceptions dealing with professional experience, ACT scores, attendance at a workshop, seminar or review course for the exam, perceptions dealing with general test taking information and SAT Math scores. Further research is needed. Dietetic programs area considerations include: career selection and satisfaction, styles of learning, methods of remediation, and student preparedness.