Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - FAQs for exam candidates

FAQs for exam candidates

The FAQs below answer questions about the national exam for medical radiation practice so candidates know what to expect and how they might consider preparing for the exam. They should be read in conjunction with the National exam guidelines which provide guidance about the exam and the conduct expected of candidates. Both the FAQs and guidelines will be updated from time to time when the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (the Board) considers it preferable to do so.

Candidates have up to three hours (180 minutes) to complete the exam. However, you must be available for four hours to complete registration procedures, as well as pre-examination and post-examination administration activities.

The exam is a computerised multiple-choice question format. Candidates are asked to select the best possible answer from multiple choices.

The exam contains up to 200 questions separated across two parts: 

  • Part A (Common)
    • about half of the exam questions will come from Domains 1 through to 5 which are common capabilities for medical radiation practice.
  • PART B (Division specific practice)
    • about half of the exam questions will be about the relevant division of registration, that is:
      • Domain 1A Diagnostic radiography questions
      • Domain 1B Nuclear medicine technology questions, or
      • Domain 1C Radiation therapy questions.

Exam questions will reflect health situations relevant to all these phases of the human lifecycle including in-utero, neo-natal, paediatric, adult and older adult. 

Exam questions

Exam questions will be mostly in the format of a vignette or scenario, or a lead-in question. Each question will have four possible answers, of which, one is the correct answer and three are distracters.

The questions have been developed to test the key capabilities and enabling components of the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice. Questions will also address the professional and related obligations of a registered practitioner.

The exam questions have been developed by experienced members of the medical radiation practice profession and overseen by senior practitioners and education specialists who review and establish the best answer by consensus. The correct answer is the best or most correct option.

Exam questions are changed regularly so candidates who repeat the exam will get a different set of questions.

A candidate may only attempt the exam on three different occasions. Read the National exam guidelines for more information.

The responsibility to prepare for and pass the exam rests with the candidate. You are expected to develop a broad strategy for preparing to sit the exam. You are likely to have difficulty if you do not prepare for the exam.

To prepare for the exam you should:

  1. Read the National exam guidelines to learn about the purpose of the exam, eligibility to sit the exam, exemptions and policies relevant to the exam.
  2. Use this information to develop an understanding of how to prepare for the exam and what to expect on the exam day.
  3. Develop a thorough understanding of the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice.
  4. Review the exam reading and resources list and use these resources in conjunction with the Professional capabilities
  5. Develop a program of revision of academic and professional literature that aims to meet the Professional capabilities requirements.
  6. After registering to sit the exam, complete the practice exam to see how the exam is structured, the types and style of questions and how exam time will need to be managed.

When you have registered to sit the exam, you can sit a practice exam to further help your preparation.

The practice exam consists of questions and is designed to provide candidates with the ‘look and feel’ of the exam. This includes how the exam is structured, the types and style of questions and how exam time will need to be managed. 

To sit the practice exam, you first need to create an account on the exam portal and register for the exam. Once registered, you can sit the practice exam at any time before your scheduled exam date. Candidates who successfully complete the practice exam will not be allowed to re-sit it. Candidates who fail the practice exam are eligible to re-sit the practice exam after a day.

Candidates with a documented health condition, mental health condition or disability can request additional support to provide appropriate assistance to allow them to sit the exam. 

Requesting additional support

Additional support requests need to be made in writing to the National Exam Coordinator a minimum of 30 days in advance of the intended exam date. Relevant documented evidence (e.g. medical certificate) must be attached to the application.

Possible outcome of an application

Candidates with additional support needs will be provided with facilities to support the following:

  • Mobility condition: all exam centres have wide passages, wheelchair access, accessible toilets and adjustable desks.
  • Visual impairment: the exam can be delivered with larger fonts and higher contrasting colour, and reader assistance.
  • Hearing impairment: site support can be provided to ensure exam supervisors can communicate instructions in a satisfactory manner.
  • Other mental or physical health conditions: other conditions supported by appropriate documentation are addressed on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Online proctored exams: where a candidate is sitting an online proctored exam, the candidate will need to choose a suitable environment and must ensure the computer used (hardware and software) is appropriate for their needs.

To be eligible to sit the exam you must have submitted an application for registration as a medical radiation practitioner or otherwise be a registered medical radiation practitioner.

Registering to sit the exam

To register for the exam, you will need to do the following:

  1. Create an account on the exam portal. The exam portal uses 128-bit encryption to protect data and meets international security standards to protect candidate’s information. The account will be activated within five days. An email confirmation will be sent to you when an account has been activated.
  2. Once your account has been activated, you can register to sit the exam through the exam portal. Your account will grant access to the practice exam and enable booking and payment. You will receive a confirmation email with the details of the exam date, exam centre and requirements for the exam day.

You are responsible for scheduling the exam and presenting at the allotted time and exam centre.

Venues

The Board uses the services of an exam platform administrator to deliver the national exam.

The current exam platform provider, Kryterion, has many exam centres across Australia and in other countries around the world. Ordinarily candidates will choose their preferred exam centre to sit the exam when paying for and booking the exam date. In some cases, you may be offered an online proctored exam either as a preference or where there are no suitable exam centres available in that jurisdiction.

Enquiries about exam centre availability can be directed to the National Exam Coordinator.

Exam timetable

The timetable of exam dates for each calendar year is published on the Board's website along with the closing dates for applications to register for the exam. Exams will usually be scheduled at least twice a year and up to four times a year.

You can change the date and time of your scheduled exam for any reason up to 72 hours before the scheduled exam date without incurring additional fees. Exams can be rescheduled using the exam portal.

You are only permitted to change the date and time within 72 hours of the exam if special circumstances apply – see the next FAQ about special considerations. Candidates who need to reschedule an exam within 72 hours of the booked exam date must contact the National Exam Coordinator

Special consideration is available to candidates who are unable to sit or complete an exam due to exceptional circumstance beyond their control. Candidates may be given an opportunity to re-sit the exam at the next available date without incurring additional exam fees.

Candidates who can demonstrate that they have adverse circumstances beyond their control are eligible for special consideration. These reasons include: 

  • acute illness (such as hospital admission, onset of serious illness) 
  • loss or bereavement (such as death of a close family member) 
  • hardship or trauma (such as being victim of crime, severe disruption to domestic life) 
  • unforeseen call-up for service (such as military service, court appearance, jury service, emergency service) 
  • work commitments and circumstances beyond their control (a letter on company/organisation letterhead from an employer confirming this must be attached to the application form) 
  • software malfunction involving the exam provider/digital platform, or exam provider computer hardware failure
  • natural disaster serious event necessitating the evacuation of the exam centre.

Applications for special consideration: 

  • will only be accepted from eligible candidates
  • must be supported by satisfactory evidence 
  • will not be approved unless the circumstances and evidence support a finding of exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the candidate.

Note: candidates who complete the exam are usually not eligible for special consideration. 

Failure to follow this process may result in the application being delayed or not accepted. 

Applications for special consideration must be submitted in writing to the National Exam Coordinator before the exam or within 14 working days after the date of the exam (depending on the nature of the request). Relevant documented evidence of the exceptional circumstances must be attached to the application and must include one or more of the following: 

  • medical certificate 
  • death certificate 
  • police report 
  • statutory declaration 
  • exam centre/proctor report, or 
  • evidence of requirement to attend court, jury service, military service, emergency service. 

No special consideration request will be considered based on the content of the exam. The special consideration procedure is not a means of circumventing the Board’s usual exam process. Special consideration will not lower the pass mark, nor will it improve a candidate’s overall score.

Possible outcomes of special consideration applications

Written requests for special consideration will be reviewed and considered by the Executive Officer, Medical Radiation Practice and assessed against the special consideration criteria outlined above. The review will take place within 21 days of receiving the request. 

If the Executive Officer, Medical Radiation Practice grants the request for special consideration, they will decide how special consideration will take effect and let the candidate know in writing. Any special arrangement for consideration will be acted upon promptly. The decision of the Executive Officer, Medical Radiation Practice is final.

When a request is granted, the usual outcome would be to allow the candidate to re-sit the exam as soon as possible at no additional cost to the candidate. If approved, special consideration may consist of: 

  • deferral of the exam until the next available date (no additional fee or reduced fee), or 
  • other special arrangements for undertaking the exam (no additional fee or reduced fee). 

Where the candidate is granted special consideration, non-attendance or incomplete attempts will not be counted towards the number of permitted attempts.

The fee for sitting the exam is published on the Board's website in the schedule of fees. Ahpra only accepts credit card payment (including Visa or Mastercard debit cards) for the exam. Payment must be made through the exam portal.

If you do not have a credit card, Ahpra will accept payment from someone else (a manager, relative, etc.) on your behalf. 

Additional charges

Some banks may apply an international transaction fee to MasterCard or Visa purchases where the transaction is made in Australian dollars but the party accepting the card is overseas. Kryterion Testing Solutions head office is based in Arizona, USA. Candidates are advised to check with their bank regarding transaction fees.

Payment confirmation

Payment confirmations are sent automatically to the email address listed on the exam candidate account. If a confirmation email has not been received within five days into an inbox (or spam or junk folder), contact the National Exam Coordinator.

Refunds

Candidates that cancel an exam booking 72 hours before the scheduled exam date will have the exam fee refunded to the credit card originally used for payment. It may take up to 10 days before the credit is shown in the account.

Candidates that cancel an exam booking within 72 hours of the scheduled exam date are not refunded the exam fee unless special consideration has been approved (see the earlier FAQ about special considerations for more information).

The following important information for candidates should be read carefully and followed closely.

What to bring to the exam centre

You will need to present the exam supervisor (sometimes also called exam invigilator, proctor or exam adjudicator) with the following documents:

  • the printed email confirmation containing your exam authorisation code, and
  • two types of formal identification (one must be a photo ID). Examples of photo identification include a passport, driver’s license, or other forms of government issued identification.

Failure to bring sufficient identification or the exam authorisation code may result in your exclusion from sitting the exam. 

Where an exam supervisor has a reasonable concern about a candidate’s ability to properly establish their identity or there is a concern that identity documents are being misused, the candidate will be refused access to the exam. Fraudulent use of identity documents is a serious matter and may be referred to police. Candidates who are refused access to the exam will forfeit the fees paid to sit the exam.

Arriving at the exam centre

You should arrive at the exam centre at least 15-20 minutes before the scheduled exam time to undertake the check-in and security processes. Candidates who arrive late should talk to the exam centre staff who will do all they can to ensure you can sit your exam. 

Candidates who are not able to sit the exam should contact the National Exam Coordinator as soon as possible.

Check-in and security processes

There are a variety of security processes in place at all testing venues. 

In addition to verifying registration to sit the exam, and providing formal identification, you will be required to:

  • turn out exterior pockets (on jackets, jeans etc.) to verify they are either empty or do not contain any prohibited items
  • hand over external eyewear to the exam supervisor for (brief) inspection to verify that the eyewear is not technology-enabled, and
  • review and agree to a set of terms and conditions for the exam to keep the exam and questions confidential. By accepting this agreement candidates will confirm eligibility to sit the exam and acceptance of the exam rules. You will be asked to sign a statement similar to the following:

    This exam is confidential and proprietary. It is made available to you, the examinee, solely for the purpose of assessing your proficiency level in the skill areas referenced in the title of this exam. To protect the integrity of the exams, the examinee must adhere to strict guidelines. The examinee shall not disclose to any third party the contents of this exam, including but not limited to questions, form of questions, or answers, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose. I have read and agree to the terms of the above statement.

Items permitted/not permitted in the testing room

You will not be permitted to take any of the following items into the exam:

  • any reference material (electronic or hard copy) 
  • mobile phones
  • any devices that connect to the internet (e.g. smart watches)
  • other equipment (including pens and paper) 
  • water or other beverages (to safeguard the computer equipment). Please note that you will not be allowed extra time in the exam to have water breaks.
  • any personal items (these will be stored securely by the exam supervisor).

Candidates caught with any items that are not permitted in the exam will be suspended from the exam.

Exceptions can be made for candidates to take personal items needed for medical conditions into the exam room. A request for additional support must be submitted to the National Exam Coordinator at least 30 days in advance of the exam date and be formally approved (see the earlier FAQ about support for candidates for more information).

The exam is a high-stakes exam delivered in a regulatory context. It is a formal exam within a highly controlled exam environment that includes clear rules, rigorous security protocols and supervision. Exam supervisors are trained and certified to deliver high-stakes exams and follow standard operating procedures. The exam environment will be different to what many candidates will have experienced in sitting exams at school or university in less formal or less controlled settings. 

Candidates may sit an exam in a room with candidates who are sitting other exams, or who are from other professions. These candidates may have different requirements, rules or restrictions than those that apply to candidates sitting the national medical radiation practice exam. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the rules that apply to the national exam (in the exam guidelines and these FAQs) before the exam day.

Because exam centres work with many providers using staggered exam start times, it is normal for other exam candidates to enter or leave the room while exams are in progress. To minimise disruption, candidates will have access to noise-cancelling headphones or disposable earplugs.

Candidates who have concerns with the exam environment should speak with the exam supervisor on the day to allow the best opportunity for prompt resolution of the problem. It is important that candidates are provided with a professional and secure environment to complete the exam. Exam supervisors are required to note any problems arising during the exam and report these to Kryterion, the exam provider. Such reports are used to verify and support any applications for special consideration or reviews based on exam process or unfairness in the conduct of the exam.

Using the exam portal to register for an exam, some candidates will be able to select an online proctored exam. This will allow the candidate to sit the exam online from the convenience of their home or office. The exam is delivered online to a candidate’s computer and then visually and audibly monitored by a Kryterion Certified Proctor. 

You must have a webcam connected to your computer to sit an online proctored exam. An internal webcam does not provide a sufficient view of the exam area. You must use a camera with a heavy base and flexible neck to allow for easier placement, and one that contains a built-in microphone.

There are also specific technical requirements you must have to access and sit the online exam. Check the Kryterion website for the online testing requirements.

On the day of the exam, you should log in 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. This allows time to verify that the internet connection is viable, your webcam is functioning properly, and that the exam environment is appropriate for an online-proctored exam. 

For the exam to be attempted in the correct environment, you must ensure the following:

  • the exam area is well lit, quiet and free from distraction  
  • the exam surface is clutter-free and contains only one computer, one monitor, one keyboard, and one mouse 
  • only permitted items are in the exam area. (Once the Sentinel loads, the allowed exam aids will be shown as icons on the right side of the screen. These icons are not interactive tools; they simply identify permitted items.) 
  • all items from your neck and wrists have been removed. (Lanyards/name badges, hats, watches, bracelets and necklaces are not permitted to be worn during the exam.) 

During the exam you: 

  • may only interact with exam proctors and are not permitted to have any interaction with any other individual 
  • cannot use dual monitors 
  • cannot take a break for any reason. If you leave the workstation during the exam, you are in breach of the exam rules and will be ejected from the online session.
  • may not lean out of the camera view during your test session. The proctor must be able to see you at all times. 
  • must not use your mobile/cell phone during the exam (phone are not permitted)
  • are prohibited from reading the exam aloud
  • will be recorded during the entire exam experience.

Candidates who are identified as not complying with the conditions of the exam environment will be removed from the online exam environment.

If technical issues are experienced during an online-proctored exam, you are able to chat online with the Kryterion Certified Proctor to resolve the issue.

All formal exams have rules relating to conduct. However, there are some rules that, if breached, would have a significant impact on the candidate’s capacity to sit a current or future exam. Such conduct would also be incompatible and render the candidate unsuitable for registration in a regulated health profession. 

Candidates sitting the exam are subject to the usual rules of ethical and professional conduct.

Failure to comply with any rule or instruction by an exam supervisor will be regarded as a breach of discipline and may lead to exclusion from the exam and the candidate deemed to have failed. More serious breaches of exam rules or security may result in disciplinary or criminal action.

The Board regards misconduct during an exam as a serious matter. Falsifying results, fraudulent or dishonest conduct in connection with an exam has the potential for candidates who are not qualified or not otherwise competent and safe to practise to be improperly registered. In such cases, the Board will consider any complaint and may refer the matter to a responsible tribunal.

Receiving results

You will receive your exam results by email within four weeks of the close of the exam period. Results will state whether you passed or failed. No further detail about results will be provided, as the exam is a regulatory exam, not an exam given in an educational context. Results will not be given by telephone. 

After the exam has finished, any communication about the exam must be addressed to Ahpra through the National Exam Coordinator. You must not communicate with members of the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia or the Board’s committees about the exam. 

Exam failure

Where a candidate has failed the exam, the Board may refuse a new application or an application to renew registration for reasons which may include that the candidate:  

  • has failed the exam, and/or
  • has engaged in misconduct in connection with an examination.

Candidates who fail the exam are strongly encouraged to review their study plan and consider making changes and improvements to the way they are preparing for the exam. See the earlier FAQ about strategies on how to prepare for the exam.

There is no review process based on the content of the exam. Exam results (e.g. a fail result) are not subject to review.

You can apply for special consideration if you are unable to sit or complete the exam due to exceptional circumstances beyond your control. See the earlier FAQ about special considerations for more information.

A candidate can request a review if they believe:

  • their exam performance was impaired as a result of a deficiency or error in the exam process
  • there was unfairness in the conduct of the exam, or
  • there was an administrative breach during the exam.

Any request for review must be made in writing to the National Exam Coordinator within eight weeks of sitting the exam, and must include the following:

  • the grounds and reasons for seeking review, and
  • any relevant supporting documents or other material.

Possible outcome of a review

The written request for review must be received by the Board within 28 days of the scheduled exam. The Board will consider and assess the request against the review criteria (as outlined above).

The review will take place within 21 days of receiving the request. 

The Board will let the candidate know the decision and the reasons for the decision in writing as soon as practicable after the review. The Board’s decision is final.

The usual outcome for a successful review would be to allow the candidate to re-sit the exam as soon as possible at no additional cost to the candidate. A successful review outcome may consist of: 

  • re-sitting the exam at the next available date (no additional fee or reduced fee) 
  • other special arrangements for undertaking the exam (no additional fee or reduced fee), or
  • not counting the exam results (if failed) in the number of failed exams.

The Board recognises the rights of candidates to have their personal information protected. Candidates can be assured that Ahpra’s Privacy Policy will be complied with when managing reviews.

 
 
 
Page reviewed 7/07/2022