Nature & Scope of the Radiology Oncology Examination
Registration for the 2023 Exam is open until January 31, 2023. Click Here.
Candidates must register and pay by January 31 of the year they intend to take the ACVR Radiation Oncology Certifying Examination using the ACVR Website.
The ACVR Certifying Examination in Radiation Oncology is a three-part examination composed of clinical, physics and radiation & tumor biology sections. A candidate must pass all three sections in order to pass the examination. A candidate who passes the Certifying Examination is eligible to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. Diplomate status is ultimately conferred by majority vote of the ACVR Executive Council.
The ACVR requires all candidates to agree to and sign the ACVR Honor Code prior to participation in the Preliminary Examination and the Certifying Examination. Any violation of the Honor Code may result in nullification of a candidate’s examination results.
The examination is given at a time and location determined by ACVR. The date of the examination is published on the ACVR Calendar annually. More information is also available on the coming year’s examination tab located below.
The ACVR Radiation Oncology Certifying Examination is a three section computer based examination. The examination will be given remotely using the exam soft platform with a proctor who is a Diplomate of any specialty or college. Each section of the examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The questions are written based on the content outline of the examination which was determined using the ACVR Radiation Oncology Job Task Analysis which is done every 5 years. The content outline for each of the three sections of the examination are available below.
Examination Cut Score and Scoring
The ACVR Radiation Oncology Certifying Examination is a criterion-referenced examination. This simply means that examinees are measured against an absolute standard of minimum competency, and not based on the performance of others taking the examination. This minimum competency standard, also known as the “cut score”, is developed from the following steps.
Items to be used on the examination are selected based on the content outline and examination specifications.
The ACVR Examination Committee members and other ACVR Radiation Oncology Diplomates assess the probability that a minimally qualified examinee will answer an item (test question) correctly. To do this, they consider the difficulty level, the complexity level, and the construction of the item. All items on each section of the examination are evaluated for their difficulty level and are then given a rating based on an estimate of how many (e.g., 60%, 70%) minimally qualified examinees would get the given item correct. The individual ratings for each item are then averaged across all of the members of the Examination Committee and an overall cut score is determined (e.g., 65%, 70%). In other words, the examinee will have to get 65%, or 70% of the items correct to pass the examination.
After the examination is administered, the items are “scored” to determine if they are functioning properly. Various statistical indices are then calculated (e.g., p-values, reliability coefficients, standard deviation, standard error of measurement).
The cut score determined in step 2 is implemented to determine how many examinees passed/failed each section of the examination.
Candidates who fail more than one section of the examination must retake the entire examination. A candidate failing only one section of the examination must retake the failed section during one of the next two test periods. The candidate will be allowed one (1) attempt to retake and pass the failed section. If the candidate does not pass the examination within the allowed period, then he/she must retake the entire examination. The letters of notification of exam results will be accompanied by information regarding the reapplication forms for candidates who failed.
Examination Results Notification
Candidates will be simultaneously notified by electronic mail of results (pass or failing of each section, but scores will not be provided), within 6 weeks of the examination, but sooner if possible. Candidates failing all or a portion of the exam will be given the opportunity to schedule a conference with the Chair to discuss their performance in more detail. It is the responsibility of the candidate to update ACVR of any changes to their contact information.
Candidates for whom English is not their first language
Candidates who are not native English language speakers may bring a printed non-medical translational dictionary, which is to be left with the examination proctors so that they can access it during the examination.