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You’ve completed your degree and final clinicals and are ready to become a radiologic technologist. Your final step toward becoming a certified radiologic technologist is passing the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiography certification exam. The radiography exam assesses your knowledge and cognitive abilities required to perform job duties within the radiographic field.

Job Duties

A radiologic technologist performs medical diagnostic imaging procedures on patients to diagnose diseases and create patient treatment plans. Some radiologic technologists have specialized training in cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography, or sonography.

Radiologic technologists perform several tasks, including:

  • Preparing and positioning patients for imaging procedures
  • Adjusting and maintaining equipment to achieve the highest quality image
  • Administering patient radiation, under the direction of their medical team
  • Establishing patient safety and comfort during the imaging procedure
  • Informing patients thoroughly of their imaging procedure
  • Completing physician orders on what areas of the body to image
  • Recording and updating the patient’s medical data and detailed medical records
  • Collaborating with the medical team regarding patient diagnosis and treatment plans

Most radiologic technologists work in a hospital, physician’s office, outpatient care center, or laboratory, splitting their time between completing technological tasks and patient interactions. 

Education Requirements

The minimum education level required and most commonly-used route to becoming a radiologic technologist is through a two-year associate degree in radiology. Obtaining an associate degree prepares aspiring radiologic technologists for performing diagnostic imaging exams, including x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, and mammography.

While acquiring a bachelor’s degree is not essential to become an entry-level radiology tech, it will provide you with opportunities to reach areas of specialization and advancement in fields related to radiation technicians. Bachelor’s degree holders are also eligible for advanced positions in the radiology field that include promotions into management and administrative roles. These positions may include supervisor, chief radiology technologist, and director or department administrator.

About the Exam

The ARRT Radiography exam assesses your knowledge required by entry-level radiologic technologists needed to perform their jobs. 

You will have three and a half hours to complete 220 questions (200 of which are graded) on the radiography exam. The four main topics you can expect on the exam include:

Content Category Content Number of Scored Questions
Patient Care Patient Interactions and Management 33
Safety Radiation Physics and Radiobiology; Radiation Protection 50
Image Protection Image Acquisition and Evaluation; Equipment Operation and Quality Assurance 51
Procedures Head, Spine and Pelvis Procedures; Thorax and Abdomen Procedures; Extremity Procedures 66

Here are some other details about what you can expect on exam day:

  • You should arrive 30 minutes before your exam appointment. If you are 15 or more minutes late, your appointment will be forfeited.
  • Make sure to bring two forms of identification to the test center. You will need to provide a digital signature, be photographed, and have your palms scanned for authentication.
  • The ARRT exam is computer-based and made up of mostly multiple choice questions.
  • You cannot skip a question on the exam; however, you can select your best guess, flag the question for later review, and continue on to the next question. Once you’ve completed the exam, review the questions you have flagged. 
  • You will receive a preliminary score on the computer after you’ve completed the exam. This is not your final score. Your final scores will be mailed to you within three weeks of your exam date. 

Preparing for the Exam

Peterson’s Radiologic Technologist exam prep includes three full-length practice tests, a study guide, and more to help you prepare for the ARRT exam. Practice tests measure your proficiency in the content areas included on the exam: patient care, safety, image protection, and procedures. Each timed practice test gives you two hours to complete each section and provides detailed answer explanations to every question. 

RELATED: Educational Outlook for Becoming a Radiologist

Job Outlook

The job outlook for radiologic technologists is positive, with an annual growth rate of nine percent from 2020 to 2030 and an annual median salary of $63,710, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Learn more about how Peterson’s can help you prepare for the ARRT Radiologic Technologist exam. Get started today!