SPI Exam Ultrasound Certification: The Ultimate Guide


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Is being a diagnostic medical sonographer your dream career? In that case, you’ll need to complete the SPI exam for Ultrasound Certification.

With ultrasound as their ultimate diagnosis tool, sonographers obtain and analyze sonographic images to diagnose various medical conditions. Being a sonographer is one of the most in-demand jobs; with an associate’s degree, you can earn more than $55,000 a year.

Preparing for the SPI exam can be an intimidating experience, however – so in this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you prepare for your upcoming SPI exam Ultrasound Certification!

What is the SPI Exam?

The Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) Exam is a comprehensive test required by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) that covers all aspects of ultrasound.

According to the ARDMS exam guide, you will be assessed on your knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of clinical safety, physical principles, pulsed echo instrumentation, and quality assurance. Physical regulations and instrumentation requirements for RDMS, RDCS, RVT, and RMSKS are also covered in this exam.

This two-hour examination includes a three-minute survey with an estimated 110 multiple-choice questions. It must be taken within five years of passing the corresponding specialty examination.

Remember that the five-year rule does not apply if you seek additional specialties within the credential you already hold. You will have to retake the previous exam if you cannot complete both exams within five years.

SPI Exam: Step-by-Step Process

How do you go about getting certified? Let’s cover the steps to achieving your SPI exam Ultrasound Certification.


If you are applying for the SPI examination for the first time, all you will need is a transcript reflecting your successful completion of a general, medical, or sonographic education course. Ensure you have a valid government-issued photo ID with your signature ready.

You may also apply under a prerequisite pathway for RDMS, RDCS, RVT, and RMSKS credentials. Depending on your chosen specialty, you may be required to complete medical work experience, additional education, and documentation.


Go to the MyARDMS website to apply and pay for your SPI exam. You will be required to create an account and have 21 days to submit your application.

There is a $225 examination fee, which includes a $100 processing charge that is non-refundable. If you plan on taking an ARDMS exam at an international testing center outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, there is an additional non-refundable $50 USD fee when you schedule your examination.

Within four weeks of receiving a completed application, the ARDMS will send a letter of confirmation to take the examination, including details about eligibility and scheduling. In this case, the SPI exam is available year-round.


With your documentation already approved, you will only need to bring a valid government-issued photo ID with your signature. The name you registered on your application must exactly match the name on your ID.


Primary test results for the SPI exam are a PASS or FAIL rating and a scaled score from 300 to 700. To pass all ARDMS examinations, you must score at least 555.

Upon completing the examination, you will receive a score report at the test center. Within the next week, you will receive your results through your MyARDMS account.

The passing rate among first-time applicants varies, with 68% passing in 2021.

4 Proven Tips to Pass the SPI Exam


A mock test is a tried-and-true method of avoiding “shock” when taking a major exam. For instance, our SPI Practice Test gives you an idea of how the test will be laid out and the kinds of questions that may be asked.

Mocks cannot guarantee how well you will do on the actual examination, but they indicate how well you know the material and allow you to identify areas for improvement.

A study guide can also be handy for guiding you on key points to study, and some have their own mock tests for you to practice.

SPI Hero Free Practice Test


Students can use many study styles to maximize their preparation for an exam. It may be easier for some students to learn through visual means, such as watching videos or reading texts, while others may prefer listening to audio recordings, such as lectures or reading aloud, to facilitate their learning.

While there is no definitive study method, knowing what works for you can significantly enhance your learning efficiency.


When it comes to exams, stress is a common enemy. For some people, it can be crippling and cause them to perform poorly on the test. For others, it can simply be an annoyance that gets in the way of their focus. No matter the level, managing stress can help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

Various methods exist for coping with stress, including physical activities such as exercise and yoga, or even simple breathing exercises to alleviate anxiety. It is also helpful to talk about your stress with your friends and family.

Stress management is challenging while preparing for an exam, but it is not impossible!


If you have done all you can to prepare for your exam, all that remains is to proceed with confidence – and if you haven’t passed your mock test, don’t stop trying. Practice makes perfect.

Exam preparation is never easy, so having the right mindset, preparation, and support can help. With time and practice, you’ll have what it takes to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.

An Enhanced Learning Experience With Medical Hero

Taking exams multiple times due to inefficient study habits can cost time and money, so why not invest in tried-and-true study packages to guarantee success?

With Medical Hero, you can pass your SPI exam on your first attempt. Featuring mobile-friendly and results-tracking simulated exams, as well as detailed answer explanations and hundreds of realistic practice questions, our e-learning SPI Hero exam package is designed to ease your exam preparation worries.

Get in touch with us today for more information.