Initial Certification for Interventional Radiology


Last verified on May 5, 2021

What categories are included in the Core Exam?

The 18 categories are breast, cardiac, gastrointestinal, interventional, musculoskeletal, neuroradiology, nuclear, pediatric, reproductive/endocrinology, thoracic, urinary, vascular, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, radiography/fluoroscopy, ultrasound, physics, and safety. In addition, the Radioisotope Safety Exam (RISE), one of the requirements for Authorized User (AU) eligibility status, is included within the Core Exam.

How can I know what to study to prepare for this exam?

Several resources can be found here on the ABR website.

How do I request Exam or Nursing Accommodations?

The ABR complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and makes reasonable accommodations in exam procedures for individuals with documented disabilities. Additionally, the ABR supports nursing and expectant mothers and makes accommodations in exam procedures for individuals making a request. For more details, visit

What is the cancellation policy?

If you register and cancel 30 days or more prior to the exam date, any exam fees paid will be applied to your next eligible exam. If you register for an exam and cancel fewer than 30 days prior to the exam or do not show for the exam appointment, you forfeit any fees paid.

How is physics tested on this exam?

No separate physics module is included in this exam. Relevant physics questions are included in each category, and many are image based.

How is the Core Exam scored?

All ABR exam scoring is criterion referenced, 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. If a candidate meets or exceeds the passing standard when all categories are scored together, then the candidate will have passed the exam. If a candidate does not meet or exceed the passing standard when all categories are scored together, the candidate will have failed the exam and must repeat the entire exam.

How and when will I receive my results?

Results for the Core Exam are posted in your password-protected myABR account approximately four weeks after the last day of the exam administration. You will receive an email when your exam results have been posted.

What happens if I fail the Core Exam? When can I retake it?

Opportunities to retake the exam are available twice a year.

How long do I have to pass the Core Exam?

You will have six years from the end of your training to successfully complete the initial certification process (pass both the Core and Certifying exams). This is the "board eligible" period. After that, you must take an additional year of training in a department with ACGME or RCPSC (Canadian) accreditation before re-entering the certification process.