Congratulations on making plans to take the Computed Tomography exam. As you prepare for the test, this resource will supply you with the information you’ll need to know, including details on the registration process, testing fees, items to bring (and not to bring) on test day, the content you can expect to be assessed on during the exam, and more.
Exam Purpose and Background
This test is designed to measure your proficiency and command of knowledge needed for an entry-level computed tomography technologist. In fact, the exam was developed with the cooperation of current computed tomography technologists across the country, who contributed in the process of creating the test questions.
You must meet a couple general requirement areas to become eligible to take the Computed Tomography exam. You can find complete details at www.arrt.org.
The first is satisfying the education requirement. To satisfy this, you need to have an associate’s degree or higher, and you must have completed an educational program that has been approved by the ARRT within the computed tomography discipline.
The second requirement involves ethics. Obviously, since your profession will involve your care of patients, it’s important that you demonstrate solid character and morals.
Your primary contact at your educational institution can assist you with more details about registering for the Computed Tomography exam. You can also find more details online at www.arrt.org.
The exam testing fee is $200. See www.arrt.org for complete application details.
When you register, you’ll see complete time and location information.
When to Arrive for Your Test
It’s important that you arrive at your testing location at least 30 minutes prior to your assigned test time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you won’t be allowed to take the test, and you will forfeit your testing fees.
The total anticipated testing time is roughly four hours.
What to Bring:
- A primary form of government-issued ID, including include your name, photo and signature. Examples include a passport, a driver’s license, state/province ID, national ID or military ID). NOTE: Your name on your ID needs to exactly match the way your name appears on your test registration materials.
- A secondary form of ID, including your printed name and your signature. Examples include your U.S. Social Security card, an employer’s ID badge, a credit card, debit card or school ID.
What Not to Bring:
- Any electronic devices, including cell phones and calculators
- Personal items such as bags
- Writing instruments
- Any kind of study materials
- You’ll also be asked to empty your pockets and leave any contents outside the testing center
What to Expect During Your Exam
Format/Number of Questions
You’ll take the test via computer, and will be asked to answer a total of 165 questions.
There are four separate categories of content that you can expect to be covered during the test. Here’s an overview of each of these areas, along with the approximate number of questions each category will represent as part of the total number of test questions.
Category 1: Patient Care (22 Questions)
This portion of the test assesses a wide range of patient management and interaction concepts. Patient assessment and preparation principles include clinical history, screening and scheduling, education, consent, immobilization, monitoring, medical device accessory management, laboratory values and medications and dosage amounts.
In addition, contrast administration elements will also be reviewed, including items such as contrast media, special contrast considerations, dose calculations, administration route, venipuncture, techniques for injections, post-procedure care, and an examination of adverse reactions.
Category 2: Safety (20 Questions)
In this section of the exam, you’ll be asked questions about radiation dosage and safety. Some questions will deal with the physics of radiation, including the way matter reacts to radiation, along with acquisition and other physical principles.
Also, this section looks at elements of radiation protection, including keeping patient exposure to a minimum level, personnel protection, shielding, measuring dosage, and patient optimization and dosage reduction.
Category 3: Image Production (55 Questions)
During this section of the test, you’ll see questions covering image formation principles. These include elements such as CT system considerations, including operation and various components, data acquisition and imaging parameters, and image processing concepts covering reconstruction and post-processing.
This portion also reviews image archiving and evaluation principles, including image display elements, image quality considerations, artifact reduction and recognition and informatics.
Category 4: Procedures (68 Questions)
This portion of the exam will review your knowledge about head, spine and musculoskeletal elements related to anatomy, contrast media or procedures. You can expect questions about the head, spine and various musculoskeletal areas of the body.
Test items addressing anatomy, contrast media and procedures related to the neck and chest will also be included, with questions addressing the larynx, soft tissue areas of the neck, mediastinum, lung, heart, airway and low-dose lung screening.
This section will also review areas of the abdomen and pelvis, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, adrenals, kidneys, GI tract, bladder and reproductive organs.
Getting Your Score
To pass your exam, you’ll need to answer 75% of your scored questions correctly. Once you finish taking your test, you’ll see a preliminary score on your computer. Within three weeks of your test date, you’ll receive your final, official score in the mail.
How Can I Prepare for the Computed Tomography Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!