Overseas educated dietitians – Examination stage

Due to a system upgrade across the DA database we will be unable to process any online payments via the website application system from Friday 22 May 2020.
If you are planning on sitting the September 2020 MCQ examination please contact DSR Administrator for a manual exam application form. Due to the inconveniences experienced at this time we will be extending the application period and accepting hard copy application forms up until Friday 24 July 2020.
Although we are still working towards the 3 September examination date, with continued uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 we cannot guarantee examinations will be conducted, we recommend you monitor the Exam section of the DA Website for updates in the lead up to the exam date.

POSTPONEMENT OF MAY 2020 DSR ORAL EXAMINATIONS 

The Dietitians Australia (DAA) is continuing to monitor the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is guided by publicly available information from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Given the evolving Coronavirus situation in Australia, the DA has determined that the DSR Oral examinations currently scheduled for May 2020 will be postponed and combined with the scheduled November 2020 sitting. Those that have already applied to sit the May examination will be automatically moved to the November 2020 sitting and contacted directly.

As the situation continues to evolve, our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our candidates, examiners and staff.

The DA understands that these postponements will be disruptive for candidates. Given the current uncertainty, we ask for your patience whilst we work through the challenges this presents to both candidates and staff. Updates in relation to all examinations will be made via the DA website.

To assist with our response to you, candidates are asked to please avoid telephoning the DA office and email any urgent enquiries to the DSR Administrator.

The DA would like to thank candidates for their continued understanding during this time.

DSR Examinations

The purpose of the examinations is to assess the competence of overseas qualified dietitians to practise dietetics in Australia. The examinations are based on the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Dietitians in Australia (NCS) (2015). Dietitians who pass both the written MCQ and oral examinations will be eligible to join the APD program. Both the MCQ exam and Oral exam can only be sat a total of 3 times by any one candidate.

Once an applicant has completed all 3 stages of the DSR process they are eligible to apply for membership of the DA and the APD program. A DSR assessment is valid for 3 years, failure to join the APD program within this period will result in the applicant having to re-complete the DSR process.

Applications for the 2 September 2020 MCQ will close 24 July 2020. To be eligible to sit the exam your stage 1, application for assessment, must be submitted to the DA by 15 May 2020. Applications for the March 2021 MCQ are now open.

2020 Oral examinations have been scheduled November 2020. A full list of the dates and venues can be found under the Examination venue and dates tab below.

Ad hoc Oral exams can be arranged outside the scheduled dates by contacting the DSR Administrator.

Please see sections:

Written Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Examination

Once you are assessed as eligible to sit the examination you will be able to apply online from the Examination Application Form and Mentoring section of this page.

The written MCQ Examination in Dietetics will be offered in most major Australian cities and at selected overseas locations via an Exam Clearing House (see location list below). The MCQ exams are offered twice a year in March and September.

Applications for the 3 September 2020 MCQ exam will close 24 July 2020. To be eligible to sit the exam your stage 1 applicaton, desktop assessment, must be submitted to the DA by 15 May 2020. The MCQ exam will also be offered in March 2021.

The MCQ examination sittings are organised by an Exam Clearing House, therefore late applications cannot be accepted and a cancellation fee will be applied if candidates withdraw from an exam.

MCQ candidates will receive specific information concerning times, venues and contacts for their examination directly from the Exam clearing house. This is usually one month before the exam date. It is essential that you notify DA of any change of address to prevent any delay with communication in relation to examinations.

A full list of venues can be found at the bottom of this page.

Oral Counselling Interview Examination

On successful completion of the written MCQ examination you will be eligible to sit the next available sitting of the oral examination. Oral Exam sittings will be available in most Australian capital cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong), as well as Canada and the UK. All sittings will be determined according to demand.

Candidates wishing to sit the Oral examination in Canada are required to contact the DSR Administrator for more information.

2020 Oral examination have been scheduled for the following dates;

POSTPONEMENT OF MAY 2020 DSR ORAL EXAMINATIONS 

The Dietitians Australia (DAA) is continuing to monitor the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is guided by publicly available information from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Given the evolving Coronavirus situation in Australia, the DA has determined that the DSR Oral examinations currently scheduled for May 2020 will be postponed and combined with the scheduled November 2020 sitting. Those that have already applied to sit the May examination will be automatically moved to the November 2020 sitting.

As the situation continues to evolve, our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our candidates, examiners and staff.

The DA understands that these postponements will be disruptive for candidates. Given the current uncertainty, we ask for your patience whilst we work through the challenges this presents to both candidates and staff. Updates in relation to all examinations will be made via the DA website.

To assist with our response to you, candidates are asked to please avoid telephoning the DA office and email any urgent enquiries to  DSR Administrator.

The DA would like to thank candidates for their continued understanding during this time.

November 2020
Adelaide – Thursday 5 November 2020
Brisbane – Thursday 5 November 2020
Canberra – Thursday 5 November 2020
Melbourne – Thursday 5 November 2020
Perth – Thursday 5 November 2020
Sydney – Thursday 5 November 2020
Surrey – Thursday 5 November 2020 (tbc)
Wollongong – Wednesday 4 November or Thursday 5 November 2020 (tbc)

Additional days may be added if needed. You will be contacted directly if an alternate date is required.

Please note: Sitting dates may change during the year due to University scheduling, please keep an eye on these dates leading up to the exams. You will be notified directly if there are any changes to dates or venues if you have already applied to sit an exam.

Ad hoc Oral examinations can be arranged outside the scheduled dates by contacting the DSR Administrator.

Venues  –  Written MCQ Examination

 REGION TOWN COUNTRY
Adelaide Australia
Brisbane
Canberra
Oceania Darwin
Hobart
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
Pacific Wellington New Zealand*
Europe Athens Greece
London England
Middle East Dubai United Arab Emirates
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Sub Continent New Delhi India
Africa Johannesburg South Africa
Asia Hong Kong China
Manila Philippines
Singapore Singapore

This list is a guide only as venues are determined by the Exam Clearing House.
*As of March 2018 New Zealand will only be conducting the exam in Wellington.

There are two separate dietetic examinations.

  • 150 minute written Multiple-Choice Question examination; and
  • 60 minute oral examination.

You must pass the written examination to be eligible to sit the oral examination at a later date. Both the written and oral examinations must be passed within a three year period or before the expiry of your assessment.

Copies of examination papers are NOT available for study. However, the following sample questions and answers are available, they will provide an example of the examination style and format and indicate the depth of knowledge required.  They do not necessarily represent the degree of difficulty of the examination or the issues to be covered.

 

Format of exam
The Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) Examination in Dietetics is a 150 minute written examination consisting of 120 questions.

  • The examination question paper is printed on both sides.
  • The computer answer sheet is printed on both sides.
  • All 120 questions are to be answered.
  • All questions are of equal value.
  • All answers must be on the computer answer sheet provided.
  • There is only once correct answer for each question.

The examination is a closed book examination and candidates are not permitted to take reading or reference materials in the examination room.

In order to pass the MCQ stage of the dietetics skills recognition process you must achieve a pass across the domains of practice. Once candidates have passed the MCQ stage they can then progress to the Oral examination stage.

Scope of exam
The multiple choice questions within the exam may be drawn from all areas of dietetic practice and cover all aspects of the NCS for Entry Level Dietitians. The examination is designed to assess the minimum level of competency required to practise dietetics in Australia. The questions have been validated against entry-level practitioner standards. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate competency across a range of practice settings.

Assessment of exam
The questions are validated against the performance of entry-level practitioners in Australia. Candidates must demonstrate sufficient competency in all areas of practice and in all aspects of the dietetic process to pass the examination. The pass mark is based on the difficulty of the questions on a particular examination, and therefore can vary between exams, in order to represent the same standard of competency.

Reading multiple choice questions
Candidates should read all questions carefully. There are no trick questions. Incorrect answers (known as distracters) are designed to reveal lack of knowledge, incorrect knowledge or incorrect application and a lack of critical thinking. There is only one correct answer for each question based on the information provided.

Types of multiple choice questions
There are different types of multiple choice questions used in the exam.
i) Stand-alone MCQs – each question covers a specific topic
ii) Case-based MCQs – case-based questions provide a more detailed scenario and require the candidate to consider all aspects of the case to make a judgement based on the information which is provided.
iii) Extended matching questions – involving several questions based on a common list of options.

Frequently asked questions – MCQ

An MCQ asks a single question (the stem) and provides multiple options for an answer. Candidates must choose the correct answer. There is only one correct answer in the options provided.

Questions are designed to test competency across a range of settings including individual case management, community and public health nutrition and food service management. Questions will cover all aspects of the dietetic process in Australia from assessment and planning through to implementation and evaluation.  Some questions test a single concept or item of knowledge while others will test the application of this knowledge.

Properly constructed and carefully validated MCQs are better able to cover a wide range of competency areas and practice settings. Validated MCQ questions also ensure that there is no subjectivity in the marking of correct answers. This means that the questions have been developed and reviewed by a team of experts, and extensive marking is subsequently not required.

You will only need to be familiar with and interpret those ranges which an entry-level dietitian would be expected to understand (e.g. blood glucose levels, lipids etc). You will be provided with specific reference ranges for less common tests.

Candidates are requested to bring a silent, battery operated non-programmable calculator without an alphabet keyboard.

Questions are designed to determine competence across practice domains and across the DA National Competency Standards for Entry Level Dietitians. There may be fewer areas of practice for an entry-level practitioner and this limits the complexity of practice areas which can be assessed.

The timing for the exam is determined on the performance of entry-level practitioners with similar question types and numbers. Allowance has also been made for adaptation to an Australian language system used in the exam which may contain minor references requiring more careful reading by candidates not familiar with the Australian food supply or the Australian health care system.

No, each question has only one correct answer. The exam questions are based on the ‘single best answer’ format widely used in health professional education. This means that an expert panel has determined that each question has a single correct answer, or in some cases, an answer which is clearly ‘most correct’. Of course, the remaining options are designed to sound ‘plausible’ if the incorrect interpretation of the facts presented is made. If you are worried that a question has more than one correct answer, carefully re-read the question and select what you consider to be the best answer.