Pediatric Echocardiography (PE)

​​The Pediatric Echocardiography (PE) examination tests basic pediatric echocardiography knowledge and skills essential to Sonography Professionals.

To earn a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential with a PE specialty, you must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the PE examination within five years. After passing the SPI examination, you can earn additional credentials without having to retake the SPI examination, provided you maintain active status.

You must wait until the next administration to retake the PE examination if you do not pass the examination.

Overview

 PE Examination Overview

​The PE examination assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of normal and abnormal cardiac anatomy, physiology, pathology and hemodynamics as appropriate in the pediatric patient.

Applicants may pursue the PE specialty under the RDCS credential. Once the PE examination is passed under the selected credential, it cannot be switched.

 

As a windowed examination, scores for the PE examination will be available approximate 60 days after the close of the administration. For more information, review the “Scoring” tab.

Every three years we conduct a PE Job Task Analysis (JTA) and update the PE examination to reflect the frequency and importance of PE tasks being performed by Sonography Professionals.

 

The latest PE JTA was conducted in 2010. Click to view the 2015 PE JTA Results​​.

 Question Format & Duration

​The PE examination is three hours and contains 150 multiple-choice questions, which include hotspot questions. The hotspot questions are Advanced Item Type questions that assess and measure your practical sonography skills.


To earn a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) credential with an PE specialty, you must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the PE examination within five years.

After passing the SPI examination, you can earn additional credentials without having to retake the SPI examination, provided you maintain active status.


Note: The PE Examination is a windowed examination. Therefore, it is only offered during select periods of the year. Please refer to the “Schedule” tab for upcoming dates.

 Impartiality

​ARDMS functions under policies intended to demonstrate impartiality, high ethical standards and validity of its certification assessments. ARDMS does not restrict Applicants, Candidates or becoming a Registrant based on limiting conditions, such as membership of an association or professional society of any organization. ARDMS will not unfairly impede or inhibit access to its certification to Applicants, Candidates or Registrants who meet our stated policies regarding qualification requirements, renewal requirements and/or passing ARDMS’ psychometrically sound certification assessments.  

 Five-year Rule

​To earn an RDMS, RDCS, RVT or RMSKS credential, you must pass the SPI examination and a corresponding specialty examination within five years, regardless of sequence. This five-year rule does not apply if you are seeking additional specialties under a credential already earned or if you have already earned a credential with the SPI examination. If you do not complete both examinations within the five-year period, you must retake the examination previously passed.


The five-year rule is based on the calendar year (January 1 through December 31). The five-year period begins the day you pass the first examination, and it includes any time that remains in that year plus the next five years. For example, a candidate who passed the first ARDMS examination on June 6, 2010, is required to pass the second examination by December 31, 2015.

 Re-applicant

​To verify whether or not you are a Re-applicant for this examination, please log into MY ARDMS and view your “Current Status." Please follow the key below:

     • Candidate: Re-applicant
     • First-time Applicant: First-time Applicant
     • Non-member: First-time Applicant
     • Registrant: Re-applicant
     • Student: Please contact the ARDMS office to verify your status

 

You will be considered a Re-applicant for the PE examination:
     • If you were previously approved to sit for any specialty examination (excluding MSK and
       PVI)
     • If you were previously approved to sit for the SPI examination under a prerequisite 
       (excludes approval of the SPI examination under the SPI Examination Requirement)

 

To apply as a Re-applicant:
     • If you have a current PE Clinical Verification (CV) Form on file, you will need to submit
       the application and examination fee only. The application will automatically be
       approved.
     • If you do not have a current PE CV Form on file, you will need to submit the application,
       the examination fee and a current PE CV Form. To access your active CV Form, please log
       into MY ARDMS and click on “Clinical Verification Form” under "Application Center."

Prerequisites

 PE Prerequisites

​To sit for the PE examination and earn the RDCS credential, First-Time Applicants must select a prerequisite that best meets your education and clinical experience.

 

Click to view the SPI Requirement and General Prerequisites.

 

If you are a Re-applicant, visit the “Apply” tab and view the Re-applicant information.

 Application Letter Requirements

​When applying for the PE examination, if your prerequisite selection requires documentation of clinical experience, please note that application letter(s) must:


     • Be an original, official letter with the address and telephone number indicated
     • Include the current date (mm/dd/yyyy)
     • State actual dates of employment or program
     • Contain original signatures (stamped and/or computer generated signatures are not
        acceptable); letters cannot be signed by a relative of the applicant
     • Provide a physician’s medical license number or chief sonographer’s/technologist’s
       ARDMS number (hand signed; stamped or computer generated signatures will not be
       accepted)

 

Employment letters must indicate full-time or part-time training/experience AND must include the total number of paid clinical hours.

 

Program completion letters must include the total number of hours in the program and state individually, the number of didactic and clinical hours in the program.

 Sample Letters

​Provided are some sample letters that may correspond with your prerequisite requirements:


     • Prerequisite 2 Sample Letter
     • Student Prerequisite 3B Sample Letter
     • Graduate Prerequisite 3B Sample Letter
     • Employer Sample Letter
     • Program Completion Sample Letter
     • Residency Fellowship Completion Sample Letter

 

Prerequisite 7 Statements:
     • PE Sonography Statement
     • Physician Experience Statement

 

Patient Log:

     • Patient Log

 CV Forms

     • Standard

     • International

Standard Clinical Verification forms are intended for applicants residing in the U.S or Canada. International Clinical Verification forms are intended for applicants residing outside the U.S. or Canada. Please note that the home address on record at the time of application submission is the basis for determining which form to use.

 International Degrees

​Degrees earned internationally must be evaluated prior to selecting a prerequisite. We require a course by course evaluation. Click for a complete list of Evaluation Agencies for International Degrees.

 

Applicants that have passed all three parts of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) certification may submit a copy of the ECFMG® certificate with a copy of an active MD or DO license from the U.S. or Canada in lieu of the evaluation.

 Required Documentation

​Based on your prerequisite or requirement selection, you must submit the necessary supporting documentation within 21 days of submitting your online application.


Please note: We do not retain application documentation received prior to receipt and payment of the online application. Any documentation received prior to the completed online application will be discarded.

Apply

 Application Process

​The PE Examination is a windowed examination. Therefore, it is only offered during select periods of the year. Please refer to the “Schedule” tab for upcoming dates.

Once you are ready to apply for an ARDMS examination, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to MY ARDMS and choose the "Apply Online" option.
  2. Complete the online application form and submit payment. If you are a first-time applicant, you are required to choose a general prerequisite under which to apply.
  3. Gather the required supporting documentation.
  4. Submit your supporting documentation for receipt within 21 days of applying online. Review of your application can take up to five business days from receipt of documentation in the office.

For more details, please visit the ARDMS How to Apply Guide.

 

Once we have reviewed your information, we will email you with either an Examination Confirmation Letter (ECL) or a request for additional documentation. When you receive the ECL, you may contact Pearson VUE to schedule an examination appointment during your eligibility period.

 

If you are found ineligible to take the examination, your application will be partially refunded (less the $100 USD processing fee per examination) and your documentation will be mailed back to you.

 PE Examination Fees

​The PE examination fee is $250 USD, which includes a $100 USD non-refundable processing fee.


If you take an ARDMS examination at an international test center (outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico), you will be charged an additional non-refundable $100 USD fee when you schedule your examination. This fee is subject to change without notice.

 Application Checklist

​The application checklist is a helpful, online tool that lets you track the status of your submitted application. To view it, log into MY ARDMS and select “Application Checklist” from the "Application Center" drop down menu. 

 

Once we have reviewed your documentation, you can find out what documentation we accepted and what additional documentation we may still need by selecting “View Checklist.” If “View Checklist” is not available, it simply means we have not yet reviewed your documentation.

 

You can also use the following checklist to ensure that you are submitting all the required documentation:
     • ARDMS General Application Checklist

 Examination Confirmation Letter

​If you are found eligible to take an examination, we will email you an Examination Confirmation Letter (ECL) within one to two days of application approval and you will be able to schedule your appointment at that time. The ECL will also be posted to your MY ARDMS  account and will include your eligibility period to schedule and take your examination.

 Are you a Re-applicant?

​To verify whether or not you are a Re-applicant for this examination, please log into MY ARDMS and view your “Current Status." Please follow the key below:


     • Candidate: Re-applicant
     • First-time Applicant: First-time Applicant
     • Non-member: First-time Applicant
     • Registrant: Re-applicant
     • Student: Please contact the ARDMS office to verify your status

 

You will be considered a Re-applicant for the PE examination:
     • If you were previously approved to sit for any specialty examination (excluding MSK and
       PVI)
     • If you were previously approved to sit for the SPI examination under a prerequisite 
       (excludes approval of the SPI examination under the SPI Examination Requirement)

 

To apply as a Re-applicant:
     • If you have a current PE Clinical Verification (CV) Form on file, you will need to submit
       the application and examination fee only. The application will automatically be
       approved.
     • If you do not have a current PE CV Form on file, you will need to submit the application,
       the examination fee and a current PE CV Form. To access your active CV Form, please log
       into MY ARDMS and click on “Clinical Verification Form" under "Application Center."

 Americans with Disabilities Act

​If you need special accommodations, please select "Yes” for “Special Accommodations” in the application and submit the following along with your completed application:


     • An original copy of a letter dated within the past five years and typed on official
       letterhead from a qualified physician or health care provider who specializes in the
       disability. This letter must document the disability and its severity, describe the
       applicant's limitation due to the disability and state exactly what accommodations are
       recommended. The letter must contain an original signature and the physician's or
       provider’s credentials.
     • An original copy of a comprehensive medical evaluation/report of the diagnosed
       disability from the physician or health care provider, dated within the past five years.
     • A completed Americans with Disabilities Act ADA Special Accommodations
       Questionnaire
, which must be submitted each time you apply for an examination.


For more information, visit Americans with Disabilities Act.

Schedule

 Schedule an Examination

​The PE examination is only offered during select periods of the year. See schedule below.

 

Application Dates for PE Examination​PE Examination Administration Dates
​July 13, 2016 - September 13, 2016
​October 11, 2016 - November 10, 2016
January 4, 2017-March 7, 2017April 4, 2017-May 4, 2017


Once your PE application has been approved, an Examination Confirmation Letter (ECL) will be emailed to you to schedule an examination with Pearson VUE – ARDMS’ official testing vendor. You will have 90 days to schedule and take your examination.


If you have not done so already, visit Pearson VUE to:
     • Create a Pearson VUE account
     • Search for seat availability
     • Locate a test center
     • Schedule an examination
     • Contact Pearson VUE Customer Service


If you are taking the examination at an international test center (outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico), a $100 USD non-refundable fee and Value Added Tax (VAT) will be charged by Pearson VUE. All international scheduling fees and associated VAT will be charged at the time the examination is scheduled. The fees and associated VAT are subject to change without notice, and they are non-refundable.

 Reschedule an Examination

​To reschedule the date and time of your examination during your eligibility period, you must contact Pearson VUE (1-877-258-9220) at least 96 hours prior to the scheduled examination date and time.

 

Please note: This is a windowed examination and extensions are not available.  You can reschedule your appointment for another time within your stated eligibility period.  However, if you cannot take it within your stated eligibility period, please follow the cancellation procedure.

 Cancel an Examination

​To cancel an examination appointment, you must contact Pearson VUE (1-877-258-9220) and cancel the scheduled appointment no later than 96 hours prior to the scheduled examination appointment time. You will receive a cancellation email from Pearson VUE.


To request a partial refund, you must wait 24 hours after canceling the appointment with Pearson VUE and then submit a cancellation/partial refund request no later than 96 hours prior to the last date of the eligibility period.

 

To submit this request:

  1. Log in to your MY ARDMS account
  2. Visit "My Examination/Application Status" under "Application Center."
  3. Select the examination you wish to cancel.
  4. Complete and submit the form

We will refund your examination fee, less the $100 USD processing fee per examination, unless we receive your request too late, you never schedule your examination or you do not keep your scheduled examination appointment. Then, the entire examination and processing fees are forfeited.

 

Please note: This is a windowed examination and extensions are not available.  You can reschedule your appointment for another time within your stated eligibility period.  However, if you cannot take it within your stated eligibility period, please follow the cancellation procedure.

 Admission to Test Centers

​When you arrive at a test center, be prepared to:

     • Check in with a Test Center Administrator
     • Present one valid photo identification (ID); see Test Center Identification Requirements
     • Provide a digital signature
     • Have your palm vein scanned
     • Take a test-day photograph

 

Note: The only thing that you can bring into the testing room is you. The test centers have lockers you can use to store personal belongings. Study materials as well as food and drink are prohibited in the test center. No visitors, guests, pets or children are allowed.

 

Important: Review ARDMS’ Examination Admission Compliance Policies to ensure you are not refused admission at the test center and do not conduct unauthorized examination behavior.


Test centers will provide white boards for notes during the examination upon request.
If you need special accommodations, please select "Yes” for “Special Accommodations” in the application when you apply.

Prepare

 About the PE Practice Examination

​Taking a practice examination is a great way to prepare for your actual examination. We offer a PE practice examination that simulates the computer interface used in the actual test center environment. The PE exam review is comprised of 30 sample questions and is 30 minutes long. 


After you complete a practice examination, you will be emailed a report that shows the number of questions you answered correctly. While the report is an indication of your knowledge, the practice tests results should not be used to predict how well you will perform on the actual examination at the test center.

For more information, please read our Practice Examination FAQs.

 Register for a Practice Examination

Each practice examination costs $25 USD and requires payment via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, you will be prompted to create one upon check out.
 
Visit Exam Studio’s Exam Store to register for an PE practice examination and view the computer system requirements. For any general questions regarding the practice examinations, please call ARDMS at (800) 541-9754 ext. 3 for assistance.

For technical issues with the practice examination, please contact Exam Studio by sending an e-mail to support@examstudio.com. Be sure to include:

   • Your full name
   • Your email address
   • The examination you are trying to take
   • A full explanation of the problem

If you wish to speak with a representative directly regarding the technical issue, please state that you would like a call back in the email.

You will need to fill out a registration form to get your username and password before you begin your practice examination. Before your session begins, you will be prompted to review the examination tutorial, which you may pause and start at any time. Once your session beings, you have 30 minutes to complete the practice examination.

Register for an PE practice examination.

 Review the PE Content Outline

​The PE examination contains 150 questions that cover the following content areas. All percentages are an approximate distribution of the questions across the content areas.


PE Content Outline (Please click on "PE Content Outline" for the detailed Content Outline in PDF-Printable format).


Anatomy & Physiology [16%]
• Normal anatomy and physiology
• Organ development


Pathology [49%]
• Abnormal pathology (acquired)
• Abnormal physiology  
• Congenital anomalies
• Genetic disorders
• Postoperative (surgically-corrected) anatomy


Protocol [26%]
• Clinical standards and guidelines
• Measurement techniques
• Non-sonographic techniques


Physics & Instrumentation [2%]
• Imaging instruments
• Hemodynamics


Treatment [4%]
• Interventional procedures

 

Other [3%]
• Miscellaneous
• New technologies

 

Please note: All percentages are approximate.

 

SPI Content Outline (Effective Fall 2016)

 

Your score report will display and include performance feedback for these content areas.

 Review Our Tips for Examination Day Success

​After all of your diligent preparation and hours spent studying, here are a few valuable tips to help make your examination day a success:


     • Double check that you know where the test center is before examination day and give
       yourself plenty of time to get there. Remember, you MUST arrive and register at least 30
       minutes before the examination begins.
     • Get a good night's sleep before you take your examination. Being well rested and relaxed
       when you take your examination will help you concentrate.
     • Bring one form of current and valid identification that complies with the 
       test center identification requirements.
     • Travel light. The only thing you can bring into the testing room is you. You can store your
       personal belongings — your car keys, watch, smartphone, purse, backpack, etc. — in
       lockers at the test center. The following items are not allowed in test centers: study
       materials, food, drink, visitors/guests, pets and children.
     • Request a white board if you plan to jot down notes during the examination. Test centers
       are using white boards (rather than paper) in an effort to "go green."


Good luck!

 Use Study Materials

​Even though we offer practice examinations and sample questions, we do not offer study materials for our examinations – but our sister organizations do. You can find materials at:


     • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
     • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
     • Society for Vascular Ultrasound
     • American Society of Echocardiography

 Learn about Advanced Item Type Preparation Questions

​The PE examination features Advanced Item Type questions, which assess and measure your practical sonography skills. They include hotspot questions in which you will receive questions about individual images. You will use the cursor to mark the correct answer directly on the image.


Watch ARDMS Presents: How to Answer a Hotspot Question.

Scoring

 How is the PE Examination Scored?

​The PE examination evaluates the knowledge and skills you must demonstrate as a PE Sonography Professional. The primary test result is a PASS or FAIL decision. In addition, you will receive a scaled score, ranging from 300 to 700. A scaled score of 555 is required to pass all ARDMS examinations.


The scaled score is not a percentage of correct answers, nor is it built on a "curve" where a certain percentage of scores would pass and a certain percentage would fail. To learn more, visit Notification of Results and Scoring.

 How Do I Get My PE Score Report?

​Examination results and a full score report will be available approximately 60 days after the close of the examination administration. At that time, an email will be sent to you with instructions on how to access your score report in MY ARDMS.


Candidates receiving a confirmed passing score on all required examinations and meeting all other requirements will be awarded a certification. For information on the ARDMS' scoring methods, visit Notification of Results and Scoring.


Candidates who do not pass are invited to re-apply.

 School Report

​When submitting your ARDMS application, you consent to us releasing your examination results to your educational program.


Program Directors can receive a School Report for current programs and programs completed in the past three years. To learn more, visit School Reports.

 Score Verification

​You can request a score verification for a $35 USD fee, payable by check, money order or credit card. Score verification ensures that the computer counted the correct and incorrect answers appropriately, but it does not review the questions and answers.


You must submit the completed Exam Score Verification Form within 30 days of having taken the examination in question. The Exam Score Verification Form will be returned if incomplete, unsigned or unpaid.


When deciding whether to have your score verified, please consider that ARDMS examinations are scored electronically with a high degree of accuracy, and it is unlikely that verification will alter your original score.

Statistics

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ARDMS certification examinations are developed to assess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice the specialty safely and competently.

Here you can see the pass rates for the Pediatric Echocardiography (PE) examination for the past three years.

 

2013:
First-time takers: 71%
Overall: 65%

 

2012:
First-time takers: 68%
Overall: 64%

 

2011:
First-time takers: 67%
Overall: 62%