Initial Certification for Medical Physics


Last verified on May 3, 2018
Candidates have two calculator choices for the Part 1 Exam and the Part 2 Exam (MP General and Clinical, MP Clinical only, MP Nuclear, MP Therapy, and MP Diagnostic Exams). No calculator is needed for the Part 3 Exam (Oral).
Candidates may bring a Texas Instruments TI-30XS calculator with them. The calculator must be that specific model. Although Texas Instruments makes a variety of calculators, only the TI-30XS will be accepted.
If a candidate’s calculator is not accepted or he or she chooses not to bring one, an emulated version of the TI-30XS calculator will be available in the Pearson VUE exam interface. To get familiar with its operation and the Pearson VUE® exam interface, please visit and click the link for the “Pearson VUE testing tutorial and practice exam.” Please note that the calculator provided during the exam is a software program designed to emulate the handheld TI-30XS, not the actual handheld device itself.
Any notes, including manually programmed formulas, will not be allowed in the testing area. If the calculator has notes and/or formulas printed on it, or includes any other information, it must be removed or covered by solid colored tape. Calculators are subject to inspection by test center staff.
As has always been the case, absolutely no other personal electronic, computing, or calculator devices are permitted in the exam areas. Although the calculator provided will be a software program, it may be helpful to obtain the actual device prior to the test and practice with it, as the calculator used in the exam will look and function very similarly to the handheld model.

Exercises for use with the TI-30XS calculator

The following exercises are not indicative of actual questions on the ABR exam. They are intended to help candidates practice with the calculator. Candidates are encouraged to try other examples of calculations that would arise as a routine part of their daily work.
  •   Use of ln function:
Calculate the decay constant of 99mTc from its half-life of 6.02 hr.
  •   Use of Sin function:
What is the value of the first spherical Bessel function (sin(x)/x) at 0.25 radians? This is also sometimes called the sinc function.
  •   Use of Hyperbolic functions:
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is famous as an inverted catenary that is given by y=693.9 – 68.8 cosh (0.01x). When x=100 ft., what is the value of y?
  •   Finding cube roots:
The sensitivity of a photomultiplier tube is often approximated as a cos3 θ function. If the relative sensitivity of the tube is 0.90, what is the effective angle θ in radians?
  •   Exponential function:
An 86-MBq source of 99mTc is allowed to decay for 14.6 hrs.  At the end of that period, what will its activity be?
  •   Exponential function and use of memory:
A 99Mo/ 99mTc generator is eluted at time zero. This reduces the activity of 99mTc in the generator to zero. If the activity of 99Mo in the generator at time zero is 861 MBq, what will the activity of 99mTc be at 4 hrs? (The half-life of 99Mo is 67 hrs. Use the Bateman equations.)