Musculoskeletal Sonographer (MSKS)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Thank you for your interest in the Musculoskeletal sonographer (MSKS) examination. ​ Please read below for the current and upcoming MSKS application dates:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Application Dates for MSKS ExaminationMSKS Examination Administration Dates
July 19, 2017-September 19, 2017
October 17, 2017-November 16, 2017​
January 17, 2018-March 20, 2018
April 17, 2018-May 17, 2018​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The MSKS examination assesses basic ultrasound-related musculoskeletal knowledge and skills. By earning the RMSKS credential, healthcare professionals gain a critical edge in promoting public safety in musculoskeletal sonography.

A separate musculoskeletal-sonographer examination written by and for sonographers, the RMSKS™ credential is part of a larger initiative to expand and customize the MSK ultrasound assessments within the medical community. Click here to read the full announcement.

To earn the Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer (RMSKS) credential, you must pass the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the MSKS examination within five years.

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

If you are looking for information regarding the MSK and MSKS examination restructure, please visit ARDMS.org/sonographerMSK.

Overview

 MSKS Examination Overview

The MSKS examination assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of muscles, joints, tendons ligaments and soft tissues of the body.

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

We periodically​ conduct an MSKS Job Task Analysis (JTA) and update the MSKS examination to reflect the frequency and importance of MSKS tasks being performed by Sonography Professionals.

View the results of the 2015 MSKS JTA​​. 

 Question Format & Duration

The MSKS examination is three hours and contains 170 multiple-choice questions, which include hotspot questions. The hotspot questions are Advanced Item Type questions that assess and measure your practical sonography skills.

Note: The MSKS examination is only offered during select periods of the year. 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 Applications, 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

You will be considered a Re-applicant for the MSKS examination if you have previously been approved to sit for it.


 

​To sit for the MSKS examination as a Re-applicant, submit the application and payment. Your application will automatically be approved and you will be able to schedule within a day.  


 

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


 

Prerequisites

 MSKS Prerequisites

To sit for the MSKS examination and earn the RMSKS credential, you must meet the requirements of the MSKS prerequisite.

Click to view the MSKS Prerequisites Chart​.

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

 Application Document Requirements

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


     • Copy of current valid license or active certification
     • Government issued ID

 Document Requirements

The necessary supporting documentation for the MSKS examination must be received 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 MSKS examination is a windowed examination.  Therefore, it is only offered during select periods of the year. 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 RMSKS online application form and submit payment. If you are a first-time Applicant, you are required to choose a 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​​. For a copy of this guide, complete the How to Apply Guide Request.

​ 

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. The eligibility period will be available on your ECL or you may visit the "Schedule" tab to view the current MSKS examination administration dates.  


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

 MSKS Examination Fees

The MSKS 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.


 

Reimbursement Information for U.S. Armed Forces Veterans: ​
Learn more about the GI Reimbursement Program for United States Armed Forces Veterans. ​

 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 visit "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.

 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.

 Re-applicant Information

You will be considered a Re-applicant for the MSKS examination if you have previously been approved to sit for it.


 

To sit for the MSKS examination as a Re-applicant, submit the application and payment. Your application will automatically be approved and you will be able to schedule within a day.  


 

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


 

 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 MSKS examination is only offered during select periods of the year. See schedule below.

Application Dates for MSKS ExaminationMSKS Examination Administration Dates
July 19, 2017 - September 19, 2017
October 17, 2017 - November 16, 2017
January 17, 2018 - March 20, 2018
April 17, 2018 - May 17, 2018


Once your MSKS 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. The ECL will include your eligibility period based on the set administration dates and you are encouraged to schedule promptly to ensure availability.

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 the "My Examination/Application Status" under "Application Center"

     3.    Select the examination you wish to request a partial refund for.

     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 the 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 Comp​liance 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 MSKS Practice Examination

​Taking a practice examination is a great way to prepare for your actual examination. We offer a MSKS practice examination that simulates the computer interface used in the actual test center environment. The MSKS practice examination 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. 

To register for the MSKS practice examination, click here​.

 Register For The MSKS 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 MSKS 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 MSKS practice examination.​

 Review the MSKS Content Outline

The MSKS examination contains 170 questions that cover the following content areas. All percentages are an approximate distribution of the questions across the content areas.

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

General Anatomy and Physiology [43%]

     •    Abdominal Wall
     •    Ankle and Foot
     •    Elbow
     •    Hand and Wrist
     •    Hip, Groin, and Pelvis
     •    Knee
     •    Shoulder
     •    Soft Tissue

General Sonographic Pathology [24%]

     •    Abnormal Physiology

Integration of Data [10%]

     •    Incorporate Outside Data
     •    Report Results
     •    Serial Studies

Protocols [15%]

     •    Clinical Standards and Guidelines
     •    Measurement Techniques
     •    Imaging Instruments

Treatment [8%]

     •    Interventional Procedures
     •    Sonographer Role in Procedure

Please note: All percentages are approximate.

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

 ‭(Hidden)‬ About the MSKS Practice Examination

Taking a practice examination is a great way to prepare for your actual examination. We offer a MSKS practice examination that simulates the computer interface used in the actual test center environment. The MSKS practice examination 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.

To register for the MSKS practice examination, click here.

 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 MSKS examination features Advanced Item Types 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 MSKS Examination Scored?

The MSKS examination evaluates the knowledge and skills you must demonstrate as an MSKS 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 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 Reports

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

 Untitled ‭[1]‬

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

 

Musculoskeletal Sonographer (MSKS) is a new examination in 2015. Please find below pass rates for previous Musculoskeletal Sonographer (RMSKS) examination administrations: ​


2016:​

First-time takers: 60%

Overall: 58%​


 


 

2015:

First-time takers: 68%

Overall: 68%