You can now take the BR examination online from home. Learn more!
The Breast (BR) examination tests the requisite breast knowledge, skills and abilities essential to Sonography Professionals. If you are a physician interested in applying for the RDMS credential with an BR specialty, please visit the website for ARDMS’s physician-centric companion Council, the Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement (APCA).
To earn a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential with a BR specialty, you must pass the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the BR 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 60 days before you can retake the BR examination if you do not pass it however, you are welcome to reapply after 3 days.
The BR examination assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of normal breast as well as breast abnormalities that are found with screening or diagnostic mammography.
We periodically conduct a BR Job Task Analysis (JTA) and update the BR examination to reflect the frequency and importance of BR tasks being performed by Sonography Professionals.
The latest BR JTA was conducted in 2017. Click to view the 2017 BR JTA Results .
All questions on the Breast (BR) examination will fall under the domains and subdomains listed in the BR content outline. It is essential that you review the BR content outline to understand what will be covered in the examination.
The Breast (BR) examination is three hours, including a three-minute survey, and contains approximately 170 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 Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential with an BR specialty, you must pass the Sonography Principles &Instrumentation (SPI) examination and the BR 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.
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.
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.
• 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 earn an ARDMS credential, Applicants must choose and meet the requirements of a prerequisite. Review the Prerequisite Prep tool to help guide you through the prerequisite selection process and to select a prerequisite that best meets your education and clinical ultrasound experience.
Re-Applicant – A re-applicant is a Candidate or Registrant who has previously applied and been approved by ARDMS to take or has taken an ARDMS examination and who is applying to take another examination; this does not include an individual who has only been approved for MSKS, MW examinations and approval of the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination under the SPI Examination Requirement Pathway. Re-applicants should apply as such and thus this guide isn’t necessary for you.
(excludes approval of the SPI examination under the SPI Examination Requirement)
To apply as a Re-applicant:
The BR examination fee is $275 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 $50 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.
Once you are ready to apply for an ARDMS examination, follow the steps below:
- Log in to MY ARDMS and choose the “Apply Online” option.
- 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.
- Gather your supporting documentation and submit at time of application
- To upload your documentation to your MY ARDMS account, click the “My Resources” tab, then “Upload Documents”. For “File Type” select “Application Documents”
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 90-day 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).
Based on your prerequisite or requirement selection, you must submit the necessary supporting documentation at the time of your online application submission.
Please note: We will no longer 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.
Application Letter Requirements
When applying for the BR examination, if your prerequisite selection requires documentation of clinical experience, please note that application letter(s) must:
• Be an 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
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.
Provided are some sample letters that may correspond with your prerequisite requirements:
Sonographer-level Sample Letters
• 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
• Patient Log
Do you have an unreported compliance violation? The examination application will ask you to attest to being compliant with the ARDMS Compliance Policies. If you are unsure if you have a compliance violation or if you have a violation to report, please take a moment to watch the short informational video for guidance. For additional assistance please contact Compliance@Inteleos.org.
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.
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 the “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 form to ensure that you are submitting all the required documentation:
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.
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
• 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.
Once your BR 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.
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.
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 the 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:
- Log in to your MY ARDMS account.
- Visit “My Examination/Application Status” under “Application Center.”
- Select the examination you wish to request a partial refund for.
- 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.
Taking a practice test or two is a great way to prepare for your actual examination. We offer a Breast (BR) Practice Test that simulates the computer interface used in the actual test center environment. The BR practice test review is comprised of 30 sample questions and is 30 minutes long.
After you complete a practice test, 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.
See FAQs for additional information.
Each practice test costs $45 USD.
You can now register for a BR practice test by signing into your MY ARDMS account and clicking the Sign-Up/View Practice Test option in the Application Center tab. You can also view the computer system requirements in your MY ARDMS portal. For any general questions or technical problems regarding the practice tests, please call ARDMS at (800) 541-9754 option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before you start your test you should review the test tutorial. Please note you will not get a chance to review the test tutorial during the actual practice test, so please prepare accordingly. Once your session begins, you have 30 minutes to complete the practice test.
The BR examination covers the following content areas. All percentages are an approximate distribution of the questions across the content areas.
BR Content Outline (Please click on “BR Content Outline” for the detailed Content Outline in PDF-Printable format).
Anatomy and Physiology [15%]
• Normal anatomy and physiology
• Abnormal perfusion and function
• Benign vs. suspicious findings
Integration of Data [19%]
• Incorporation of outside data
• Clinical standards and guidelines
• Measurement techniques
Ultrasound Physics [12%]
• Imaging instruments
Emerging Technology and Treatment [7%]
• New technologies
• Interventional procedures
Please note: All percentages are approximate.
Your score report will display and include performance feedback for these content areas.
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 whiteboard if you plan to jot down notes during the examination. Test centers are using whiteboards (rather than paper) in an effort to “go green.”
• Be advised that the use of a calculator for this examination is prohibited. However, you may utilize the White Board provided at the test center or the digital White Board provided for online proctoring examinations for manual calculations.
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:
The BR 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.
The BR examination evaluates mammography knowledge and skills you must demonstrate as a 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.
You can receive a score report at the test center once you complete the examination. The Pass or Fail results will then be posted to your secure MY ARDMS account within the next week.
Candidates receiving a confirmed passing score on all required examinations and meeting all other requirements will be awarded a certification, effective the date the final examination was taken. For information on the ARDMS’ scoring methods, visit Notification of Results and Scoring.
Candidates who do not pass are invited to re-apply.
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.
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.
ARDMS certification examinations are developed to assess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice the specialty safely and competently.
Please find below pass rates for previous Breast (BR) examination administrations:
First-time takers: 78%
First-time takers: 80%
First-time takers: 78%
First-time takers: 81%
First-time takers: 83%
First-time takers: 79%
First-time takers: 81%
First-time takers: 80%
First-time takers: 80%
First-time takers: 79%