CTR Exam

CTR Credential

The Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) credential demonstrates a requisite knowledge and professional competence needed within the cancer registry. Candidates receiving a passing score on the exam will be entitled to use “CTR” after their name and will receive a certificate from NCRA’s Council on Certification. To maintain a certified status, a credentialed professional must complete 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years, plus pay an annual fee. 

2020 Candidate Handbook & Application

Download the 2020 Candidate Handbook & Application for more details on the 2020 CTR exam.

CTR Exam Eligibility

The first step is to determine eligibility. Requirements include education and experience in the cancer registry field. Review the CTR Exam Eligibility Chart. Need your individual eligibility to be reviewed? Complete the CTR Exam Eligibility Request Form and submit it as noted on the form. Please allow 6-8 weeks to process. Questions? E-mail ctrexam@ncra-usa.org.

CTR Exam Testing Windows

Once eligibility requirements are met, candidates can take the exam during one of the three, three-week long testing periods held annually. Applications must be submitted by the deadline noted for the desired exam date. 

Testing Dates and Deadlines

March 6 - March 27, 2020; application deadline: January 31, 2020

June 26 - July 17, 2020; application deadline: May 29, 2020

October 16 - November 6, 2020; application deadline: September 11, 2020


Exam Registration

Exam registration fees: NCRA Member rate: $315; Non-Member rate: $415.
Two forms of identification are required for exam candidates at testing centers. 

Testing Locations

There are over 200 testing locations throughout the U.S. Carrels at testing centers are 39 inches wide and the desks are 35.5” wide and 27” deep. To maximize desk space, the computer monitors are mounted on the rear carrel. 

Notification of Results

Upon completing the exam, candidates will receive an Exam Completion Report, but not the formal test results. 
Candidates will be notified of their formal test results by email within six weeks from the LAST DAY of the testing period. Scores on the major areas of the exam and on the total exam will be reported.
Candidates must receive a passing score on the total exam (closed-book + open-book) to be certified.

General Content of the 2020 CTR Exam

The 2020 CTR Exam is composed of one-hundred eighty (180), multiple-choice test items, based on seven Domains of Practice noted below. Test questions are prepared by Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the cancer registry profession from diverse backgrounds and job descriptions.  

Casefinding (10%)
Data Quality Assurance (15%)
Abstracting/Coding (35%)
Analysis and Data Usage (10%)
Follow-up (10%) 
Registry Organization and Operations (10%)
Cancer Program Accreditations (10%)
One-hundred twenty (120) test items comprise the closed-book portion of the exam; sixty (60) test items comprise the open-book portion. The open-book portion focuses on casefinding, staging, treatment, case validation and finalization, and follow-up. It follows the closed-book portion. Candidates are allowed four hours to complete the two-part exam. The closed-book section must be completed in two hours as does the open- book section. 

References for the 2020 CTR Exam

The List of References for the 2020 CTR Exam includes the list of references required for the open‐book portion of exam. It also includes a list of primary references. (These materials are NOT allowed in the open‐book section.) A list of additional references includes materials that may be used to further a candidate’s understanding of the subject matter, but are not used in exam item development.