Physicians' Vascular Interpretation (PVI)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Physicians' Vascular Interpretation (PVI) examination tests basic vascular knowledge and skills essential to Sonography Professionals.

To earn a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) credential you must pass the PVI examination.

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

Overview

 PVI Examination Overview

The PVI examination assesses knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of anatomy and hemodynamics (blood flow) of cerebrovascular, venous, peripheral and abdominal blood vessels.

 

As a windowed examination, scores for the PVI 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 PVI Job Task Analysis (JTA) and update the PVI examination to reflect the frequency and importance of PVI tasks being performed by sonography professionals.

 

Click to view the latest results of the PVI JTA conducted in 2011.

 Question Format & Duration

​The PVI examination is four hours and contains 185 multiple-choice questions. In order to earn the RPVI credential, the PVI examination must be taken and passed.


Note: The PVI examination is only offered during select periods of the year. Refer to the “Schedule” tab for upcoming dates.

 

PACSim Items (Questions): The new, patent-pending PACS items are designed to simulate an interpretation workstation experience relevant to actual present-day medical practice. Read the full press release.

 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.  

 Re-applicant

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

 

To sit for the PVI examination as a Re-applicant, submit the application and payment. Your application will automatically be approved.

Prerequisites

 PVI Prerequisites

​To sit for the PVI examination and earn the RPVI credential, you must select a prerequisite pathway that best meets your education and clinical experience and apply under that prerequisite.

 

For the PVI examination, you must meet the applicable prerequisites. Click to view the PVI Prerequisites Chart.

 Application Letter Requirements

When applying for the PVI 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 (hand signed; stamped or computer generated
        signatures will not be accepted)

 Sample Letters

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

 

RPVI Application Sample Letters


     • Clinical Experience Sample Letter
     • Fellowship/Residency Sample Letter

 

Patient Log

     • Patient Log

 International Degrees

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


If the applicant has taken and passed all three parts of and earned the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) certification, a copy of the ECFMG® certificate may be submitted with a copy of current, valid MD or DO license from the U.S. or Canada in lieu of the evaluation.

 Document Requirements

Based on your prerequisite selection, you must submit the necessary supporting documentation 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 PVI 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.

  1. Log in to MY ARDMS and choose the online application option.
  2. Complete the 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 PVI 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. The eligibility period will be available on your ECL or you may click here to view the current PVI 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) and your documentation will be mailed back to you.

 PVI Examination Fees

The PVI examination fee is $600 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.

 PVI 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 Check List” from the “Examination Information” 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:
     • PVI Application Submission 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?

​You will be considered a re-applicant for the Physicians' Vascular Interpretation (PVI) examination if you have previously been approved to sit for the PVI examination.

To sit for the PVI examination as a re-applicant, submit the application and payment; your application will automatically be approved.

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

 

​Application Dates for PVI Examination​PVI Examination Administration Dates
​July 22 - September 22, 2015​October 20 - November 19, 2015
​December 23, 2015 - February 23, 2016
March 22 - April 21, 2016​
​June 22 - August 23, 2016
​September 20 - October 20, 2016


 Once your PVI 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.

 

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. Select "Exam Cancellation" from the "Exam Information" menu
     3. 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 PVI Practice Examination

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

 Review the PVI Content Outline

​The PVI examination contains 185 questions that cover the following content areas. All percentages are an approximate distribution of the questions across the content areas.


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


Anatomy & Physiology [8%]
     • Abdominal/Visceral
     • Cerebrovascular
     • Peripheral arterial
     • Venous

 

Pathology [10%]
     • Abdominal/Visceral
     • Cerebrovascular
     • Peripheral arterial
     • Venous


Patient Care [8%]
     • Abdominal/Visceral
     • Cerebrovascular
     • Peripheral arterial
     • Venous
     • Communication
     • Risk Assessment

 

Integration of Data [44%]
     • Abdominal/Visceral
     • Cerebrovascular
     • Peripheral arterial
     • Venous

 

Protocols [16%]
     • Abdominal/Visceral
     • Cerebrovascular
     • Peripheral arterial
     • Venous

 

Physics & Instrumentation [10%]
     • Artifacts
     • Bioeffects
     • Hemodynamics
     • Imaging instruments
     • Quality Assurance/Statistics (sensitivity/specificity, pos/neg predictive value, accuracy)

 

Other [4%]
     • New Technologies
     • Traumatic injury
     • Physician's role in procedure

 

Please note: All percentages are approximate.

 

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 (AIT) Preparation Questions

​The PVI examination features questions, which assess and measure your interpretation sonography skills. They include:


     • Hotspot questions: You will receive questions about individual images; you will use the
       cursor to mark the correct answer directly on the image.
     • Picture Archive and Communication Simulation (PACS) Questions: The new, patent-pending
       PACS items are designed to simulate an interpretation workstation experience relevant to
       actual present-day medical practice. Learn more.


 Watch ARDMS Presents: How to Answer a Hotspot Question.

Scoring

 How is the PVI Examination Scored?

​The PVI examination evaluates the knowledge and skills you must demonstrate as a PVI 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 PVI Score Report?

​Examination results and a full score report will be posted approximately two months (60 days) after the close of the examination window. Your examination results will then be posted to your secure MY ARDMS within a week after the 60 day period. The results of your examination are limited to the following:
     • Pass*
     • Fail
     • Cancelled – Candidate cancelled scheduled examination appointment time.
     • Absent – Candidate arrived late for a scheduled appointment, did not show up for a
        scheduled appointment or was denied at check-in due to a violation of a stated ARDMS
        policy.
     • Expired – Candidate did not schedule or take the examination within the assigned
        eligibility period.


 *Pass status is not indicative of earning the specialty/credential. To obtain a Status Verification letter please log into your MY ARDMS Account.


Candidates receiving a confirmed passing score on the PVI examination will be awarded a certification, effective the date the score is released. For information, read Scoring Methods.


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 Physicians' Vascular Interpretation (PVI) examination for the past three years.


2014:
First-time takers: 84%
Overall: 83%


2013:
First-time takers: 90%
Overall: 90%


2012:
First-time takers: 95%
Overall: 95%