The computed tomography (CT) exam tests your knowledge of areas in this specialized medical field. The exam is administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART), and those who pass the exam receive a certification from the group. But there’s a lot to know about this test, and this guide will walk you through some of the more important areas to be aware of.
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What You Need To Do To Take The Exam
Before you can take this exam, you have to take – and pass – what the AART calls a “primary pathway,” the first step before attaining the CT certification. Think of it as course curriculum; you have to take one class before you can move on to another.
Once complete, you can move on to the “post-primary pathway” that includes the CT exam, and there are some additional requirements here as well. There are certification, education, and clinical experience requirements. Applicants must also adhere to the AART’s ethics requirements and answer a host of questions that ask, for example, whether you’ve been convicted of a crime, had your professional license denied, revoked or suspended, or were expelled from an educational program.
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Preparing For The Exam
This is a complicated exam, so it’s important to make sure you consult a study guide, like the excellent one found here. Once you’ve studied and registered, you’re ready to take the test.
Students should arrive 30 minutes prior to the test. Students who are late may forfeit their right to take the exam. You’re not allowed to bring any personal items into the test room. There will be lockers outside of the test area, and that’s where you can store your personal belongings. You’ll have to completely empty your pockets because you’re not allowed to bring in calculators, any electronic device (cell phone included), or study guides. You’re not even allowed to wear heavy coats or other outwear into the center. In short, the only thing you bring into the testing room is yourself.
You’ll also need to bring two forms of identification. Once you’re in the room, you’re there for the duration of the test.
This helpful video provides a look at what to expect on exam day.
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Number Of Questions
The exam contains 185 questions – 165 questions that will be scored and 20 that won’t be. Those 20 questions may be used on a future test, and test takers won’t know which questions will and won’t be scored. The test takes 3.5 hours, but with time for tutorials, a survey and other items, the total exam is 4 hours long.
Before the exam, test takers will receive an 18-minute tutorial so they can become familiar with the types of questions on the exam. There are eight types of question formats, including multiple choice, combined response (questions that have more than one answer), and video.
The test has five topics that make up the 165 scored points of the test. (Remember, 20 of the questions are “pilot” questions that could be used on a future test, and they aren’t scored) The topics are:
- Patient care 22 points
- Safety 20 points
- Imagine production 55 points
- Procedures 68 points
Patient care tests your knowledge and handling of patient assessment, and preparation and contrast administration.
Safety is all about radiation safety and doses.
Image Production tests image formation, and image evaluation and archiving
Procedures focus on questions about the head, spine, and musculoskeletal systems.
The CT test costs $400.
The ARRT has more than 200 test centers around the country, and you can find the one closest one to you on their website.
Who Offers The Test
The test is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Please note that this test is an AART certification. Some states may require additional licensing.