What's Your Pass Rate?

When interested in purchasing the Visual Veggies Software study guide programs, students and college faculty regularly ask us one common question:  What is your pass rate?  This may appear to be a very easy question to answer, but in reality, it’s a lot more complex.  There are many variables necessary to account for, which I will discuss below.

But first, to save you some time reading through the article, when you really only want to know our pass rate, here you go.

Our First-Time Pass Rate

As of July 1, 2024

The above percentage is our first-time pass rate, meaning students took the exam one time and passed.  Our overall pass rate is


Overall National Pass-Rates

RD Exam*
DTR Exam*

* First-time pass rates according to the 1/1/23 to 6/30/23 data of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and Person Vue.

The links below will take you to the CDR website to review the current statistics.  The percentages above are the cumulative first-time pass rates.  You can drill down further within the documents to see rates per student pathway and number of attempts.

Pass Rate Explained

First-Time Pass Rate vs. Overall Pass Rate

If you ask a company what their pass rate is, and you are not specific in your request, they might only give you their overall pass rate (or all-time pass rate), which tends to be higher than a first-time pass rate.  This section will discuss both of these pass rates in hopes you become more informed as to what to ask a company.

First-Time Pass Rate:  This pass rate means a student took the exam only one time and passed it.

Overall Pass Rate:  This pass rate means a student has taken the exam any number of times and has passed at some point.  A student’s pass record fits into this category if they’ve taken the exam one time, two times, ten times, etc.  The pass record also counts towards this category if the student used another study guide first and failed the exam and then used a new company’s study guide and then passed.  This technically is the student’s first attempt with the second company’s study guide, but it would not count as a first-time pass rate since this student took the exam more than once.  Overall pass rates tend to be higher than first-time pass rates because of this point, and unfortunately, this is the rate many companies will boast because it just sounds better.


As mentioned earlier, there are many variable which affect a study guide’s pass rate.  Below is a discussion of some top of mind variables.

Variables affecting a study guide's actual pass rate

  • Did all students report their pass/fail statistics?  While this one is very important for a true pass rate, it simply isn’t feasible.  It would be next to impossible to hear back from each and every student.  Think about any time you used a product and the manufacturer requested your opinion.  How many times do you actually partake in providing feedback?  Response rates are close to 10% or lower.
  • Did the student use multiple study guides?  Quite often, the answer is “yes”.  The majority students taking the RD Exam or DTR Exam will use at least two study guides.  So which one was most helpful?
  • Did the student take their exam once with another study guide, failed the exam, then used another study guide and passed?  If so, does this count as a first-time pass for the second company?  Yes, but it’s not the student’s overall first-time pass on the exam, so this should not be counted in the pass rate.
  • How long did the student use the study guide?  Ideally, we recommend students prepare for their registration exams for about 2 to 3 months to be sure all the content has been covered, and there is adequate time to absorb the material.  This recommended amount of time is not always the case with some students.

For a true pass rate, this needs to be obtained in a controlled setting where only the one study guide is being utilized for preparation, the company needs to hear back from each and every user, and ample amount of time is necessary for studying.  See how difficult it is to get a true pass rate?

What to ask study guide companies who boast a pass rate

When shopping around for the right study guide for you, and you see the company is listing their pass rate, ask them the following questions:

  • Is this based on students’ first test attempts, or have they taken the test more than once?
  • Do students only use your study guide when reporting your pass rate, or do they use a combination of study guides?
  • How many total users do you have, and how many of them do you hear back from after taking their exams?
  • How did you come up with your pass rate?

Have you taken your exam and used our software to help you prepare?  If so, please take a moment to complete the short Post-Exam survey.  Your responses will help us greatly.