By Sandra Phillips, BS, CRA, RT(R)(M)
As I pondered over my topic for my LINK article, one thought just kept coming to my mind. “Listen to your herd.” For those of you that were lucky enough to attend AHRA’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Tuesday’s Keynote Speaker Ross Shafer, had one simple message that just kept resonating with me over and over. The message was to “listen to your herd, listen to the people.” It is that simple. So for me, I decided to write this month’s LINK article on what I “heard” the people at the CRA booth ask over and over again. I must say I was also amazed and excited at the amount of people that came to the CRA booth and how many of those people were wearing future CRA ribbons. I can’t wait to see those white ribbons turn to pink CRA ribbons in Boston next year!
Okay, so on with some of the questions I “heard” asked repeatedly about the CRA:
- How do I know if I am qualified and eligible to take the test?
Eligibility for the CRA exam is based on a point system, with 7 points required to be eligible to take the exam. Points are earned through a combination of experience, education, and/or credentials. Anyone who accumulates the 7 points and submits a complete and valid application with required documentation and fees may sit for the exam. Candidates do not need to join AHRA or hold ARRT or other credentialing to be eligible to take the exam (click the below links for more information).
2. How should I study for the test?
- There are CRA Study and Reference Materials from AHRA available as well as Practice Tests.
- CRA exam workshops at the annual and spring meeting as well as AHRA’s CRA workshop recordings
- There are the AHRA Professional Development in Radiology Textbook Series which includes:
- Communication & Information Management in Radiology
- Financial Management in Radiology
- Human Resource Management in Radiology
- Asset Management in Radiology
- Operations Management in Radiology
- For a full list of study materials and additional resources visit this link
3. How long should I study for the test?
I recommend studying at least 6 months to a year depending on how comfortable you feel with your experience, skills and education. It also depends on how much time you have to study. For each person it can be different but definitely allow yourself time to study and I highly recommend the CRA workshops.
4. How many questions are on the test?
There are 185 questions on the 5 management domains. 30% are based on knowledge, 40% test applications skills and 30% analysis.
5. How much does it cost to take the CRA exam?
First-Time test taker applications, fees are as follows:
- AHRA Members: the exam fee is $325.00 plus a $100 application fee to verify eligibility and a total of $425 (plus late fee when applicable) must accompany the application.
- All Other Applicants: the exam fee is $500.00 plus a $100 application fee to verify eligibility and a total of $600 (plus late fee when applicable) must accompany the application.
6. Is the CRA exam hard?
Yes! However the harder you work for something the greater you feel when you achieve it, so do something that your future self will thank you for and take the test!
If you have more questions you can always post questions on the AHRA’s CRA Community on Connect. We are always happy to help answer any questions you might have.
Sandra Phillips, BS, CRA, RT(R)(M) is the Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Middlesex Hospital in Connecticut. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org