ARDMS Sonography Test

The ARDMS Exam Summary
What: ARDMS exams lead to credentials in sonography.
Who: Sonographers wishing to specialize in a particular area of sonography should take an ARDMS exam.
Where: Exams are offered throughout the US and Canada at Pearson Vue Test Centers.
When: Exams are offered year-round.
How: The exams are multiple-choice.
Type: The exams are offered via computer.
Why: The exams are required for ARDMS certification.
Time: The exams last two hours.
Language: English
Preparation: Sample questions and other study materials are available to help candidates prepare.
Cost: Each exam is $200.

By Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is a non-profit organization that administers exams for credentialing in sonography. Two credentials are offered: the Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) and the Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS). Medical sonography specialties for credentialing include obstetrics and gynecology, fetal echocardiography, abdomen, breast and neurosonology. Cardiac sonography specialties for credentialing include fetal, pediatric and adult echocardiography.


More than 60,000 sonographers have been certified by ARDMS. ARDMS certifications are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Candidates for the exam must have completed a post-secondary program in sonography including a physics class with grades of C or higher.


Two separate, comprehensive exams are offered for credentialing. All candidates must pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Exam and one specialty exam. Candidates may take as many specialty exams as they wish, but they must first pass the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Exam. Specialty exams must be taken within five years of the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Exam.


Five specialties lead to the credential of Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:


  • Abdomen
  • Breast
  • Fetal Echocardiography
  • Neurosonology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Aspiring Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographers can specialize in:


  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Pediatric Echocardiography
  • Fetal Echocardiography

 ARDMS also offers a specialization in vascular technology for those wishing to become a Registered Vascular Technologist.


The Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Exam is a two-hour, computerized exam that includes 120 multiple-choice questions on the following topics:


  • Patient Care, Safety and Communication (5%)
  • Principles of Physics (20%)
  • Ultrasound Transducers (20%)
  • Pulse-Echo Instrumentation (30%)
  • Doppler Instrumentation and Hemodynamics (20%)
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control of Equipment (5%)


Application for the exam may be made at ardms.org/apply. Each exam carries a fee of $200. If an exam candidate must cancel an exam, they are refunded $100 of the exam fee.


Approximately two weeks after receipt of the completed application and fee, the candidate is mailed a confirmation letter that includes the tests for which one is approved, as well as the 90-day testing window in which the exam must be completed. Test sites are located at Pearson Vue Test Centers throughout the United States and Canada, and the confirmation letter will include instructions on how to locate and schedule an exam.


Scores are revealed upon completion of the exam. Approximately six weeks following the exam, test takers who have passed will be mailed a credentialing package that includes a certificate and identification card. Those who have failed must wait 72 hours to reapply to retest, and then are not permitted to test for 60 days.


For more information on ARDMS exams or to find test preparation materials, please visit Tests.com’s ARDMS Test Directory.