Initial Certification for Diagnostic Radiology

Core Exam

Last verified on November 6, 2017
The Core Exam is taken over two days. Candidates need to plan for approximately 7.5 hours for Day One and 6 hours for Day Two. Candidates will receive 30 minutes of break time for each exam.
The exam tests knowledge and comprehension of anatomy, pathophysiology, all aspects of diagnostic radiology, and physics concepts important for diagnostic radiology.

Exam Categories

Eighteen categories are included on the exam:
Breast Imaging Thoracic
Cardiac Imaging Urinary
Gastrointestinal Imaging Vascular
Interventional Radiology Computed Tomography
Musculoskeletal Magnetic Resonance
Neuroradiology Radiography/Fluoroscopy
Nuclear Radiology Ultrasound
Pediatric Radiology Physics
Reproductive/Endocrinology Noninterpretive Skills
Study guides for these categories may be found here.

More Information

In addition, a portion of the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE), one of the requirements for Authorized User (AU) eligibility status, is included within the Core Exam. Physics questions are integrated into each category, so no separate physics exam will be administered. However, performance on the entire set of physics items will be evaluated as a component in scoring the exam. For more information, please refer to the Scoring and Results page.
Core Exams are administered twice yearly, typically in June and November. Please refer to the Exam Dates and Locations page for upcoming exam dates. A candidate is eligible to take the Core Exam in the 36th month of diagnostic radiology training and must take the exam at the first administration offered after eligibility is attained. If a candidate does not take the Core Exam at the first required opportunity and has not been granted a waiver by the ABR, the candidate must delay taking the Certifying Exam until at least 27 months after the date he or she first took the Core Exam.

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