How to Pass ARRT Radiography Exam

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The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, otherwise known as the ARRT, requires anyone who wishes to enter the Radiologic Technologist field to prove their education, ethics, and competency. 

You can do this by passing an exam. The ARRT uses examinations to ensure you have the basic skills and knowledge required for employment in the radiography field. A certificate is awarded upon passing. 

The ARRT Radiography exam is highly prestigious in the healthcare industry and opens the door to a world of opportunities. 

Due to the importance of taking the exam and its unfamiliar format, we understand if you are feeling stressed.

Our advice will help you pass the exam with confidence.

4 Ways to Pass the ARRT exam

  1. Create a study schedule

You have already passed your undergraduate degree, and while it may now seem tempting to take a more relaxed approach to the exam, remember that passing the ARRT exam requires the same amount of studying as any exam you took in college. 

The exam will feel overwhelming and stressful if you don’t have an effective studying schedule in place, not to mention that a lack of consistent studying will almost certainly result in failing. 

Rearrange your schedule to fit in an adequate amount of study time. Ask friends who have passed the exam for their advice on how to prepare. Our study guide has many resources dedicated to helping you pass the exam. 

We recommend that you complete an ARRT practice test to get a rough idea of how you will perform in the real exam. Your result will tell you which areas you need to work on.  

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2. Change the way you study 

Adhering to a study schedule may prove futile if you don’t have an effective studying method. 

Rather than trying to cram information into your brain, focus on understanding topics before creating additional materials like flashcards. 

If you understand a topic well, you are more likely to remember it. Identify which topics you are struggling with and prioritize them. 

Once you’ve understood the topics fully, you can start answering practice questions and taking mock exams. 

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3. Understand the exam format, structure, and specifications

Your ARRT exam will be taken on a computer. There is a tutorial at the start and a few practice questions. You can expect a range of multiple-choice and video-based questions. Our study guide has 500+ practice questions ready for you to try. 

The duration of the exam differs each year and is decided by the ARRT Practice Analysis Advisory committee. Your allocated time is determined by factors such as the number of categories in the specifications and the skills needed for each discipline. 

Certain candidates may be allowed extra time or special considerations if they have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You’ll need to inform the exam board before the exam to be considered. 

You will need to view the content specifications to help you prepare for the exam. The specifications cover everything that will be on the exam. 

Questions will cover core principles such as: 

Patient care – 33 questions

Topics: Patient Interaction and Management

Safety – 53 questions

Topics: Radiation Physics, Radiobiology, and Radiation Protection

Image production – 50 questions

Topics: Image Acquisition, Technical Evaluation, Equipment Operation, and Quality Assurance

Procedures – 64 questions

Topics: Head, Spine, Pelvis, Thorax, Abdomen Procedures, and Extremity Procedures

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4. Arrive at the exam prepared

Arriving on time is vital. If you turn up late on the day of the exam, you won’t be given extra time, and may even be refused entry. 

Plan your route ahead of time with a smartphone or GPS. Note how long it takes you to arrive, so you can plan to arrive 30 minutes early on the day of the exam. Arriving 30 minutes early will give you time to park, find the exam room, show your ID, and go over your notes one last time.  

You will be required to show two forms of government-issued ID. Double check you have them before you leave the house. 

Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before, and eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein-rich foods and slow-release carbohydrates. Examples include eggs, nuts, oatmeal, and whole grains. Avoid sugary cereals and white bread. 

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How is the ARRT exam scored? 

The ARRT Radiography exam uses a scaled scoring system ranging from 1 to 99. If you want to pass, you’ll need to achieve 75 or higher.

How many people pass the ARRT Radiography exam? 

In 2021, 83.6% of candidates passed the first time. 

Candidates who used our study guide had a passing rate of 99%. 

When will I know my score? 

After taking the exam, you will be shown a preliminary score that gives you a rough idea of how well you performed. This is not your final score and does not confirm whether you passed or failed. 

You’ll receive your final score in two weeks in an official score report which will be sent to your home address or college. 

What if I fail the ARRT Radiography exam? 

You have three chances to pass the ARRT exam. If you fail the first time, you can retake the exam twice. However, you won’t automatically get re-entered into the next exam – you’ll need to reapply, and it costs $225. Read more on application fees

If you are retaking, ensure you are up to date with the specifications as they change each year. 

Who qualifies for taking an ARRT Radiography exam?

You need to have either: 

  • Graduated with an associates degree
  • Taken an ARRT-approved course in Radiography

We hope by reading this, you now feel more confident about taking the exam. If you are still unsure about anything, you can consult the ARRT handbook

Good luck with the exam!