The Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Specialty Examination

The Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) examination is administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) to certify the continuing competency of ultrasound professionals.

Exam takers must successfully pass both the OBGYN exam and the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam to earn their RDMS credential. Examinees are given three hours to complete the 170-question, multiple-choice OBGYN exam, which tests applied knowledge of obstetric and gynecologic sonographic evaluation.

The Obstetrics and Gynecology specialty exam questions are divided into percentage-weighted topics based on pelvic and fetal anatomy and physiology, and associated imaging techniques. The specific topics in order of their percentage emphasis are:

  • gynecology: abnormal pelvic anatomy and physiology, pediatric, reproductive, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal (24-28%)
  • gynecology: normal pelvic anatomy and physiology, pediatric, reproductive, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal (21-25%)
  • obstetrics: first trimester (11-14%)
  • obstetrics: complications (12-16%)
  • obstetrics: fetal abnormalities (10-16%)
  • obstetrics: second/third trimester normal anatomy (8-12 %)
  • obstetrics: second/third trimester assessment (4-8%).

In addition, 1-5% weight is also given to knowledge of obstetrics and gynecology: patient care and preparation techniques.

There are a number of online and print resources for preparing to take the Obstetrics and Gynecology specialty exam for the RDMS credential, including practice tests, content outlines, study guides, and sample questions based on the actual test. Many publishers also offer handbooks for learning successful test-taking skills.

To take the OBGYN exam, candidates must first complete the ARDMS application forms and pay exam or renewal fees. To earn a credential, candidates must also pass the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam within five years of passing the specialty exam. The two exams can be taken in any order. Candidates who are not first-time applicants are subject to different rules and requirements.

To apply, examinees must submit documentation, including proof of formal education; verification of clinical experience; transcripts and licenses; and letters from supervising medical professionals. The ARDMS provides helpful, step-by-step guidelines for the process, including checklists to ensure applications are complete.

Once a candidate has taken the Obstetrics and Gynecology specialty exam, he or she will receive test results in the form of a numerical value between 300 and 700. A point score of 555 or higher is a passing value. Candidates who do not pass the exam must wait a minimum of 72 hours before reapplying and 60 days to retest.

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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 9, 2019