Continuing Certification for Diagnostic Radiology

Continuing Certification Exam

Last verified on February 20, 2024
 
 

 

 

Introduction

The Continuing Certification Exam for diagnostic radiology is a computer-based exam. The 200-question exam includes Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology and clinical practice areas selected by the diplomate. Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology includes basic knowledge every radiologist should know (for example, recognizing child abuse, pneumothorax, shock bowel, and subdural hematoma). The clinical practice areas available are breast, cardiac, gastrointestinal, general radiology, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, neuroradiology, nuclear, pediatric, thoracic, ultrasound, and vascular and interventional radiology.

The Continuing Certification Exam for diagnostic radiology subspecialties is a computer-based exam. The 200-question exam includes Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology (see description above) and clinical content from the area of subspecialty certification (nuclear radiology, neuroradiology, or pediatric radiology).

The Continuing Certification Exam is needed only in limited situations. Anyone who has questions may send an email to information@theabr.org or call 520-790-2900.

Continuing Certification Exam dates are available on the diagnostic radiology exam calendar.

 

 

Registration

Eligible examinees will be able to register for a Continuing Certification Exam in myABR. Examinees will be able to choose their exam date from upcoming exam administrations. The reporting time will be assigned to the examinee once registration is finalized. To ensure they receive all exam-related emails, examinees should confirm that their contact information is up to date.

 

 

Preparing for the DR Continuing Certification Exam

ABR exams are developed by volunteers from a wide range of practice settings and reflect the breadth of information an examinee is expected to know. While we offer study guides on our website, each examinee should decide what type of resources he or she should use for our exams. Examinees who use test preparation materials developed by other organizations or commercial entities should not expect an ABR exam to completely align with these materials regarding the scope or item types on ABR exams. Additionally, the study guides cover basic themes and concepts and may not encompass every specific entity that could potentially be covered in a module.

To understand how exam questions are written and learn more about different types of exam questions, please see the ABR Item Writers’ Guide. For a look at the extensive QA process that each question goes through, please see the Illustrated Life Cycle of an ABR Exam Item.

Required Module: Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology Study Guide 

The Essentials of Diagnostic Radiology module will contain Noninterpretive Skills (NIS) content. The Noninterpretive Skills Study Guide provides detailed content that examinees are expected to know to answer the NIS questions. All material that will be included in the NIS module is included in the syllabus. If changes are made to this exam module, the syllabus will be updated accordingly. The other three modules are in clinical practice areas selected by the individual, based on training, experience, and practice emphasis (one, two, or three different practice areas may be selected).

Clinical Category Study Guides

Breast Imaging

Neuroradiology

Cardiac

Nuclear

Gastrointestinal

Pediatric

General Radiology

Thoracic

Genitourinary

Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal (MSK)

Vascular/Interventional

 

 

Continuing Certification Exam Guide

For important information about exam requirements and the exam day experience, please click on the image to access the Continuing Certification Exam Guide.

 

 

Exam Readiness Check and Sample Questions

The Exam Readiness Check is available only to examinees who are currently registered for an upcoming Continuing Certification Exam. You will be sent an authenticated link to access the Exam Readiness Check 90 days prior to the exam you registered for or 24 hours after registration if it is less than 90 days prior to an exam. It can also be accessed in myABR.

We highly recommend that you complete the Exam Readiness Check in the location and with the computer you plan to use on exam day. Should it be necessary to change your location or computer before exam day, it is highly recommended that you repeat the Exam Readiness Check.

The Exam Readiness Check provides an opportunity for examinees to familiarize themselves with the exam interface and navigation before their exam day. Completing the Exam Readiness Check is important to fully understand the functionality of the exam interface including case navigation, flagging questions, using the image manipulation tools, starting/ending a break, and question content blocking.

When the Exam Readiness Check is launched, a quick technical verification is initiated to ensure that your microphone, camera, internet connection, and computer software are optimized for the exam. In addition, an identification check will be performed. You may need to download an updated version of Google Chrome to complete the technical verification.

After you complete the Exam Readiness Check, you will gain access to a set of Sample Questions. The purpose of these questions is not to test your knowledge of possible exam content, but rather to allow you to become familiar with the variety of possible question types. The Answer Key for the Sample Questions can be found here.

 

 

Scoring and Results

The ABR uses criterion-referenced scoring on all its computer-based exams, meaning that a passing standard is established in advance of the exam. The exam is not graded on a curve, and there is no set percentage of failures. To learn more about this method and how it differs from norm-referenced scoring, please visit our Exam Scoring Model page.

The Continuing Certification Exam is scored as pass or fail, and feedback will be provided to examinees. The one required module and the three elective/assigned modules all must be passed as a group. If the result is “fail,” the entire exam must be retaken.

After the exam has been scored, the Board will post examinees’ results in myABR. Results are posted approximately six weeks after the exam. Examinees will receive an email when results have been posted.

 

 

Exam Scoring Progress

Current Status of DR Continuing Certification Exam Results

Exam results are posted in each candidate’s myABR account approximately six weeks after the exam. Candidates will receive an email when exam results have been posted. After your exam administration, a progress bar will appear here displaying the current phase of the scoring process for that exam. The DR Continuing Certification Exam is not currently being scored.

Overview of Computer-based Exam Scoring Process

All ABR computer-based exam results go through the following six phases before results are posted. For more information about the exam scoring process, please see this video from ABR Executive Director Brent Wagner.

Phase 1: Collect

  • Upload candidate responses to scoring system.
  • Confirm that all candidate responses are in the scoring system.

Phase 2: Initial Scoring

  • Execute initial computerized scoring routine.
  • Psychometric staff manually analyze scoring routine output to ensure and confirm accuracy.

Phase 3: Quality Assurance

  • Psychometric staff identify poor performing questions using industry-standard best practices.
  • Poor performing questions are then sent to ABR volunteer subject matter experts for review.
  • Based on these analyses, some questions may be eliminated from scoring to ensure fairness.

Phase 4: Secondary Scoring

  • After eliminating poor performing questions, re-execute computerized scoring routine to recalculate scores.
  • Psychometric staff manually analyze new scoring routine output to ensure and confirm accuracy of final exam results.

Phase 5: Validation

  • Validate that exam results and feedback are correctly displayed in myABR for each candidate.

Phase 6: Release Results

  • Post results to myABR and notify candidates.

 

 

FAQs

When can I take the CCE?
You can take the CCE during year four or five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

How do I register for the CCE?
Registration for the exam is completed through myABR.

How long is the CCE?
Please see the Exam Breakdown and Timing page for exam details.

What format is the CCE?
The CCE is a computer-based exam.

Where is the CCE administered?
The exam is administered remotely at a location of your choice.

Can I take the CCE instead of answering OLA questions?
Yes, you can take the exam instead of answering OLA questions. 

What are “Noninterpretive Skills/Essentials” modules?
Noninterpretive Skills Study Guide

How do I prepare for the CCE?
Review the study guides. You will also have the opportunity to complete the Exam Readiness Check after you register for the CCE.

Are there sample questions for the CCE?
Yes. After you complete the Exam Readiness Check, you will gain access to a set of sample questions.

What is the Exam Readiness Check?
The Exam Readiness Check provides an opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the exam interface and navigation before exam day.

When do I complete the Exam Readiness Check?
You will be sent an authenticated link to access the Exam Readiness Check 90 days before your exam or 24 hours after registration if it is less than 90 days until your exam.

What is the importance of the Exam Readiness Check?
In addition to familiarizing you with the exam interface and navigation, there is also a technical verification that ensures your microphone, camera, internet connection, and computer software are optimized for the exam.

How many times can I take the CCE?
You may take the exam as many times as the exam is offered in years four and five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

What if I have multiple certificates?
Please see the information in the Introduction. 

What happens if I fail the CCE?
The exam can be taken as many times as it is administered in years four and five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

What happens if I don’t meet the Part 3 requirement?
Not meeting the Part 3 requirement will result in maintenance ending immediately for that certificate. If the certificate is a continuous certificate, the certificate will be publicly reported as “no longer certified.”

If I do not pass the CCE the first time, can I change my exam modules?
Yes, you may change your exam modules for the next exam if you would like to.

How long does it take to receive my CCE results?
CCE results are posted approximately six weeks after the exam.