To practice for the radiology board review, students must first study for the 18 categories within the core exam. Once the student passes the core exam, and 15 months after completing the diagnostic radiology residence, they become eligible to take the certifying exam, states Board Vitals.
The core exam that radiology students take is 36 months after they begin the radiology residence. The exam validates the student's acquired knowledge, skills, and basic understanding of the entire field of radiology and physics. It is necessary to study categories such as breast imaging, cardiology and reproductive endocrinology in order to pass the core exam. Each category has physics questions as well, to test the student's knowledge of the subject.
The purpose of the qualifying exam, which comes after the core exam, is to ensure that students are able to apply the knowledge gathered through their residencies and to begin practicing independently. The certification exam is an image-rich computer-based exam that deals with patient management, different diagnosis, and synthesis of information. It takes students five hours to fully complete, and it contains five different modules for students to interpret. Administrators assess the student's scores on the qualifying exam and the core exam to determine the final results, according to Board Vitals.