The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers assessments and credentialing for medical sonographers, and the Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation Examination is one of the assessments offered. This criterion-referenced test lasts two hours, and includes around 120 questions in multiple-choice format. Around 15% of the test questions are not counted as part of the total grade, but are used as pre-trial questions for future exams.
The student will not know which questions count towards the final score and which do not. The final score will be within the 300-700 range. Candidates must receive a minimum score of 555 to be successful. A candidate may re-take the test if unsuccessful, but must wait 60 days to retake the test. Before taking this assessment, a candidate must have fulfilled the academic requirements of classes, clinical work and mandated paperwork, which must be finished and accepted prior to the exam. If the test is being retaken and the candidate’s clinical verification was completed in the same year, the candidate does not have to go through the approval process again. If it has been more than a year, the candidate will need an updated clinical verification.
The subject areas of the Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation Examination include:
- Elementary Principles – 8%-12%
- Propagation of Ultrasound Through Tissues – 10%-14%
- Ultrasound Transducers – 17%-25%
- Pulse Echo Instruments – 6%-10%
- Principles of Pulse Echo Imaging – 6%-10%
- Images, Storage, and Display – 10%-14%
- Hemodynamic, Doppler, Color Flow, and Color Power Imaging – 10%-14%
- Artifacts – 6%-10%
- Quality Assurance of Ultrasound Instruments – 4%-8%
- Bioeffects and Safety – 6%-10%