American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Test
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) test is a certification for sonographers. Although not always required, certification is always recommended because it proves that you have the most current knowledge of sonography and the highest level of ethics and professionalism. It is an honor sought after by many companies.
The ARDMS test consists of a sonography principles and instrumentation (SPI) exam that must be passed, as well as a corresponding specialty test that must also be passed within five years. The SPI exam tests students on basic knowledge and principles that they should be aware of in order to perform well in the sonography field. The test consists of 120 multiple-choice questions and takes two hours to complete.
The application process for the ARDMS test is done primarily online, but the supporting documents must be mailed. The ARDMS test requires several prerequisites:
- 1) successful completion of a general, medical, or sonographic physics course. This must be supported by a transcript showing that a grade of “C” or above was obtained or a Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificate, earned in the past two years, certifying that 12 credits were obtained in sonography and/or physics;
- 2) photocopies of two forms of valid ID. One must contain both a photo and a signature, such as a driver’s license.
Payment for the ARDMS test may also be mailed as well, but this does delay the application process. Therefore, it is recommended that the applicant pay online with a credit card in order to expedite the process. Applicants are informed of their eligibility to take the test within 2-4 weeks. If the applicant is eligible, they have 90 days to schedule and take the test. The ARDMS test can be scheduled online or by telephone.
The ARDMS test must be taken via computer at an approved testing site. Once the test is completed, applicants are immediately informed of their test score. The ARDMS test is scored on a scale of 300 to 700. A score of 555 is required to pass. If a student passes, he will receive certification, along with an ID card, within six weeks. He is also listed in an online directory. If you fail the ARDMS test, you can apply to retake the test after 72 hours have passed. However, another application and fee are required.
Once you pass the primary ARDMS test, you must then take and pass a corresponding specialty exam specializing in abdomen, breast, fetal echocardiography, neurosonography, or obstetrics/gynecology. Another option, muscoskeletal sonography, will be available in 2012. All specialty exams, with the exception of the fetal echocardiography exam, consist of 170 multiple-choice questions and take three hours to complete. The fetal echocardiography exam also takes three hours to complete, but contains only 150 questions.
Practice tests, sample questions, and content outlines for the ARDMS test are all available online. The sample questions show the types of questions you can expect to see on the test. The content outline shows the topics you should be knowledgeable of in order to pass the test. These topics include patient care, interaction, dealing with emergencies, bioeffects, physics, properties of ultrasound waves, ultrasound transducers, pulse-echo instrumentation, Doppler instrumentation, and quality assurance.
Last Updated: 04/24/2012