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Preparation Guide and Practice Exam for the Radiological Technology Certification Exam

1. Purpose and scope of prep guide

This preparation guide was developed by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) to assist candidates who intend to write the national certification exam in the disciplines of Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, Radiological Technology and Magnetic Resonance. The guide provides information on the certification exam process and content, and includes a practice exam of 100 questions. The first part of the guide sets set the national certification exam in the context of the Canadian healthcare system and describes the certification exam process. The second part of the guide describes the exam: what it tests, how it is developed and scored, and what strategies and tools we suggest for exam preparation. This is where a link to the 100-question practice exam is found. The practice exam is followed by the answers to the questions, with rationales and references. You will need to register for a free user profile consisting of a username and password to access the practice exam. The third part details the entire process of the exam administration, from the eligibility requirements to the reporting of results. This guide is designed for use by all exam candidates: graduates of Canadian accredited programs and internationally educated medical radiation technologists (IEMRTs).

2. About CAMRT in the context of the Canadian healthcare system

Founded in 1942 by a coalition of provincial associations, the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) is Canada's national professional association and certifying body for medical radiation technologists and therapists across the country. As the professional association for over 12,000 members, CAMRT supports and advocates for its membership by providing an annual general conference, continued professional development, professional liability insurance and entry-to-practice competency profiles. CAMRT addresses professional practice issues, provides support to educators and educational programs and creates many avenues for networking with related healthcare professionals and government officials As a certifying body, the CAMRT develops and administers national certification exams for the disciplines of magnetic resonance, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and radiological technology. The exams test against a pre-determined standard that is reflective of the competency required to practice in the current Canadian healthcare environment. The first national certification exams were written in 1947 in the discipline of radiological technology, in 1958 for radiation therapy, 1968 for nuclear medicine and 1996 for magnetic resonance. They were developed by a panel of experts from each Canadian province, and that representation continues today. In the mid 1990's, CAMRT changed from the use of a Curriculum Guide, which listed the knowledge required for practice as the blueprint for the development of a certification exam, to a competency or skills profile which listed the outcomes or competencies required for safe and effective practice. CAMRT is committed to ensure the highest possible standards in the certification process and practice requirements for each discipline. Nationally certified technologists and therapists apply specialized knowledge, clinical skills and judgment to provide diagnostic imaging and therapeutic healthcare services in a variety of healthcare environments. Their ability and judgment in the provision of patient care through the use of technology for diagnostic and therapeutic support to patients and various healthcare team members makes them integral partners in the collaborative delivery of patient care. All Canadian provincial authorities for medical radiation technologists recognize the CAMRT certification exam as the entry-to-practice standard, to ensure safe and effective practice. The CAMRT develops and administers this exam on behalf of all provinces.

3. About the exam

3.1 The competency-based model The CAMRT develops and validates with all stakeholders the national competency profiles for entry to practice in the MRT disciplines. The competency profile is a document that describes the outcomes or competencies that must be achieved in an education program for entry-level practice that is safe and effective. The competency profiles are used to develop the blueprint that is used to build the certification exam. The competencies are the behavioural outcomes that integrate knowledge, skills, abilities and judgement. A competency-based approach to exam development is one that tests these behaviours, as opposed to testing direct recall of an individual's knowledge from textbook information. This moves the focus from a knowledge-based approach to a competency-based model for development of a certification exam. Exam candidates who completed their education in a system where the knowledge-based approach is used for development of exam questions may have difficulty with a competency-based, multiple choice exam. The competency-based model focuses on the application of knowledge in a clinical environment. Questions are asked from the point of view of how you use your knowledge to practice as opposed to the direct recall of that knowledge: "think how you work/practice". The CAMRT competency profiles prescribe the required behavioral outcomes. The profiles are used by the education programs to develop curriculum that will provide the students with the knowledge and clinical skills required to achieve the competencies listed in the profiles. The competency profiles are formatted into modules that group competencies into categories. Each competency must be achieved in an education program. It is important that you read the profiles carefully, with attention to content and required competency levels. This will help you focus your preparation for writing the certification exam.

3.2 How the exam is developed The national certification exam is built from a blueprint that was developed from the competency profiles. Blueprints for each discipline-specific certification exam can be found on the CAMRT website. The blueprint provides information on: · exam structure · question type (independent and situation-based) · percentage of questions per competency categories · weighting per competency level An exam blueprint ensures that the same sets of competencies are being tested, to the same level of competence, even though exam questions change from one sitting to another. The blueprint is a valuable tool in your preparation for writing the exam. It will help you focus your studies and identify the level of importance of competency areas based on critical importance and frequency of competencies occurring in practice. The exam blueprints are revised when needed, to reflect changes in practice. This prep guide provides 100 sample exam questions that can be used as a practice exam. The rationales for the correct answer and incorrect answers are provided, along with textbook references. The exam questions are prepared, reviewed and validated by expert panels with representation across all provinces. The experts selected to participate on the exam panels are educators, direct patient care providers and managers. This is a complex process, conducted with the assistance of psychometric and statistics experts.

3.3 Exam scoring The passing score for the CAMRT certification exam is set by the Exam Validation Committee (EVC). There is an EVC for each discipline; the EVC is composed of 10-12 members, with representation from each province. They must be CAMRT members and be experts in their discipline. The EVC members approve the exam, participate in the procedure used to establish the passing score, and approve the passing score for each exam. The CAMRT competency-based exams are criterion-referenced tests. The method used to set the passing score for these exams is a modified Angoff method. With this method, each exam question is rated based on the expected success rate of a minimally competent for safe and effective practice technologist. For each exam question, the experts answer the question "What percentage of minimally competent, entry level technologists would be expected to answer this item correctly". When setting the passing score, the EVC considers other relevant data to ensure the standard

that candidates must achieve is fair, valid and transparent. This includes preparation of new graduates at regional/provincial level, performance of candidates on previously administered exams and statistical data for the individual exam questions. There must be consensus by EVC members for each exam question. Once all the experts have rated the questions, the ratings are collated and the average rating is calculated for each question. These ratings are then averaged to obtain a passing score for the total exam.

4. How to answer multiple-choice questions

A multiple-choice question is a form of assessment in which respondents are asked to select the best possible answer out of a number of choices. Multiple choice items consist of a stem and a set of set of choices. The stem is the beginning part of the item that presents a problem to be solved, a question asked of the respondent, or an incomplete statement to be completed, as well as any other relevant information. The choices are the possible answers that the examinee can choose from, with the correct answer called the key and the incorrect answers called distractors. All CAMRT exam questions have four choices: one of them is the correct answer and the other three are distractors. For advanced items, such as an applied knowledge item, the stem can consist of multiple parts. The stem can include extended material such as a case study, a graph or an image. The stem ends with a lead-in question explaining how the respondent must answer. In medical multiple choice items, a lead-in question may ask "What is the most likely diagnosis?" or "What pathogen is the most likely cause?" in reference to a case study that was previously presented. The CAMRT exams consist of independent questions (with or without images and graphs) and case studies. 4.1 About the questions · · · There is a mix of case study questions and independent questions. Where a case study is presented, it will be clearly indicated what questions refer to that case study. The answer choices will not include: two possible answers, "all of the above" or "none of the above". All efforts are made to ensure the language of the questions is straightforward and without ambiguous phrasing. This does not mean that all questions are easy, or that attention should not be paid to wording. Acronyms or abbreviations used in the exam are described in the glossary included in the exam booklet, and also in this prep guide. Some questions require the use of images. There will be instructions for use of images. Questions of all difficulty levels will be asked; see the exam blueprint. One point is awarded for each correct answer. Points are NOT deducted for incorrect answers. Do not leave any unanswered questions. If you are not certain, select your best choice.

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4.2 Tips and suggestions for answering multiple choice questions · At the beginning of the exam, the invigilator will read instructions. Listen to the invigilator's instructions and read the exam booklet instructions carefully. The invigilator will allow time for this important step. The instructions will tell you how

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to fill out your answer sheet, how to identify and submit your exam and what the ground rules are for exam day. Knowing what you have to do will allow you to relax and focus on the exam questions. Read the questions slowly and carefully. According to exam surveys, the time allowed is more than adequate. Watch out for key words like "most", "without", "not", when looking for the correct answer. Read the question more than once, and think about the answer BEFORE reading the choices. If you already read the choices and you are still uncertain, when you return to the item cover the choices and read only the stem again. This can help focus your thinking. When reading the answers, do not decide on the first most likely answer before reading all four (4) answers. In most cases a candidate is able to immediately remove two (2) of the choices as wrong, and then ponder the remaining two (2). The "50/50" rule is a powerful tool. Do not leave unanswered questions. If you are not sure about your answer and you consider changing it, think it through carefully. Studies show that changing an answer is usually wrong. If you choose to mark answers on the exam booklet prior to marking the answer sheet, be extra careful when transferring the selected answers to the answer sheet: one (1) missed line will change the entire answer sequence. Do not spend too much time on a question that you cannot answer. Proceed with the rest of the questions and return to it when you are finished. Circumstances around other questions may trigger the correct answer in your memory.

5. Study resources for the radiological technology certification exam

Competency profile, Radiological Technology Curriculum Guide, Radiological Technology Exam blueprint, Radiological Technology Glossaries and Abbreviations, Radiological Technology Recommended textbooks, Radiological Technology 100-question sample exam register/login page

6. The Exam Administration

6.1 Eligibility to write the exam CAMRT administers the national certification exam in four (4) disciplines: Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, Radiological Technology, and Magnetic Resonance. Only candidates who have completed an education program in one of these disciplines are eligible to write the exam, upon verification of credentials. Eligible candidates are permitted a maximum of four (4) attempts to successfully complete the certification examination (one initial write and three (3) rewrites) within a five-year time period. 6.1.1 Graduates of accredited Canadian programs To be eligible for certification, candidates must complete a CMA-accredited medical radiation technology (MRT) program in one of the four exam disciplines. CMA-Accredited programs in Radiological Technology are posted on the CAMRT website. Graduates of Canadian accredited programs must complete the four (4) exam attempts within five (5) years of completion of a CMA-accredited program. The exam rewrite policy for graduates of accredited Canadian programs is posted on the CAMRT website. 6.1.2 Internationally educated medical radiation technologists (IEMRTs) Candidates who completed a medical radiation technology program outside Canada are assessed for eligibility to write the exam by the CAMRT or by a provincial regulatory body, depending on the province where the candidate wishes to practice. IEMRTs who completed the assessment process successfully must complete the four (4) exam attempts within five (5) years, OR by a deadline determined on an individual basis by the provincial regulatory body, whichever date comes first. The exam rewrite policy for IEMRTs is posted on the CAMRT website. 6.2.Online Exam application, schedules and fees The CAMRT certification application process is available online. Access to the secure area of the CAMRT website to apply for an exam is available here: Exam centres, schedules and fees are available on the CAMRT website. Candidates who require special needs accommodations for writing the exam must submit the supporting documentation at the time of the application. 6.3 Exam notice Approximately fifteen (15) business days prior to the exam date, a link to the "Notice of Exam" will be emailed to all registered exam candidates. The notice will confirm the time and location

of the exam. A printout of this notice and a photo ID are required for entry to the exam site.

6.4 Writing the exam 6.4.1 Exam duration The certification exam consists of one (1) exam booklet of two hundred (200) multiple-choice questions. The exam is written over four (4) hour session from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CAMRT Certification Exam Confidentiality This is a high stakes, entry-to-practice exam for a healthcare profession where ethical behavior, professionalism, integrity and honesty are of essential importance in the delivery of safe and effective health care services to patients, other healthcare colleagues and communities. These attributes and behaviors must also be applied to the writing of the exam. Any form of cheating is unethical behavior and shall result in sanctions. If cheating has been determined, the candidate will be disqualified from the exam and denied future opportunities to access the certification exam. The exam booklet and its contents, including the examination questions are confidential and are the property of the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). Exam candidates are prohibited from disclosing the content of the exam or sharing any information the exam contains with any individual except CAMRT. Reproduction of exam content in any format is prohibited by copyright laws. 6.4.2 What to bring Remember to bring: Notice of exam; Photo Identification; HB pencils and eraser. Use of a non-programmable calculator and bottled water are also permitted during this four (4) hour exam. Items NOT allowed in the exam writing area: Any food, books, notes, scrap paper, cell phones, pagers, BlackBerry or any other personal handheld electronic devices, including programmable watches, are not permitted in the exam room. 6.4.3. Arrival at the Exam Site 1. Candidates must arrive at the exam site approximately thirty (30) minutes prior to the exam time to allow for seating arrangements and identification checks. Candidates who arrive late will not be given extra time to complete the exam. Candidates will not be allowed into the room thirty (30) minutes after the start of the exam. 2. Candidates must ensure the identification on the exam envelope handed to them by the

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invigilator is accurate. If the identification is not accurate, the candidate MUST bring this to the attention of the invigilator, who will either provide the correct envelope or include this discrepancy in the report submitted to the CAMRT. 6.4.4 During the Exam 1 LISTEN to all instructions and announcements by the invigilator. 2 Candidates must open their OWN exam envelopes. READ ALL exam instructions carefully and sign the disclosure agreement attached to the exam regarding exam confidentiality and cheating. 3 Candidates will not be allowed to leave earlier than thirty (30) minutes after the start of the exam. If a candidate must leave the room for personal reasons, an invigilator will accompany the candidate. Candidates will not be allowed additional time to make up for the interruption. 4 ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS! There are two hundred (200) questions on the exam. Select the best response for each question. Marks are not deducted for incorrect answers. Some exam questions have corresponding images (or tables) to consider when answering. 5 SCRAP PAPER: two (2) sheets of extra paper will be attached to the back of the exam booklet to be used for notes and calculations. No other scrap paper is allowed. You may write and calculate in the margins of the exam booklet, but please keep in mind that notes in the margins will not be considered in the marking of your exam. Please do not write on images. 6 NEIGHBOURS: Do not worry about candidates seated near you. There are many different styles of writing exams; some people show confidence while others show nervousness. Keep in mind that some people finish exams very quickly. Do not allow this to disturb you or affect your exam strategy. 7 Should there be evidence of dishonest behaviour, the candidate(s) will be disqualified from the exam, and will be denied future opportunities for certification with CAMRT. 6.4.5 At the End of the Exam Candidates must immediately stop writing on their answer sheet when time is called at the end of the exam. When complete, place the answer sheet, exam, images, and scrap paper back into the envelope and seal with one of the candidate ID barcode labels provided; then return the sealed envelope to the invigilator. The CAMRT will be accepting comments regarding the administration of the exam for a period of two (2) weeks following the date of the exam. Please forward your comments to [email protected] Computer Answer/Score Sheet: The computer answer sheets are electronically scanned and scored. It is very important that these answer sheets be filled out correctly.

6.4.6 Certification Exam Results Under normal circumstances, a link to obtain exam results on the secure area of the CAMRT website is emailed to candidates within four (4) weeks after the exam date. IMPORTANT: Exam results are NOT released by telephone, fax or e-mail.

6.5 Reporting of Results A candidate who achieves success on the certification exam will be issued a "Pass". There will be no numerical marks given to certification exam candidates who pass the certification exam. Certificates will be mailed to successful exam candidates within four (4) weeks of the exam result date. Please ensure your mailing address is correct by updating your contact information in the secure area of the CARMT website. Unsuccessful candidates will receive an analysis of their performance on the certification exam. The Exam Performance Profile provides: · the candidate's total raw score (number of questions they had correct) · the raw score required for a pass · a breakdown of candidate's performance by Competency Profile module The Exam Performance Profile is viewable on the exam candidate's online profile on the CAMRT website, located under the certification exam result. CAMRT provides this information to allow the unsuccessful candidate an opportunity for remedial preparation. Remedial preparation is strongly recommended to all candidates who have failed two (2) attempts. Existing research indicates that a candidate's performance may improve for the first two (2) rewrites, and starts declining significantly after that. IMPORTANT: The answer sheet of a candidates with a "borderline" result ­ those with a total number of correct answers within three (3) marks of the passing raw score ­ are remarked by hand to confirm the number of correct answers BEFORE the candidate's result is released. THE SCORE AS INDICATED IN THE RESULT LETTER IS FINAL. Should a candidate wish to have the exam manually remarked, please send a written request to the certification coordinator by email. The fee for a manual remark is $60.00, payable by cheque or credit card.

END.

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