CTR Exam

Testing Dates and Deadlines

March 4 - March 26, 2022; application deadline: February 25

June 17 - July 9, 2022; application deadline: June 3

October 14 - November 5, 2022; application deadline: September 30

Request information on the 2023 CTR Exam Details

Candidate Handbook & Application

Download the Handbook and Application. Complete and save the PDF fillable application form, then submit your completed application, supporting documentation for your chosen eligibility and the payment form to NCRA.  Candidates are encouraged to submit their completed application and paperwork as soon as they qualify. Submitting before the application deadline will assist candidates with scheduling an exam date/time

CTR Exam Testing and Coronavirus

In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, NCRA’s Council on Certification is providing the following CTR exam updates:

[June 15, 2022]

You have the option of wearing a facemask or not while at PSI test centers; if you choose to wear a facemask, bring your own to the test site. You may wear gloves during the duration of your test; gloves will be examined during the check-in and check-out security process.

[June 25, 2020]

PSI requires all candidates MUST wear face masks at all times while in the test center. If a candidate fails to bring and wear a face mask during the examination, the candidate will be requested to leave the test site.

Also, candidates MUST complete a health questionnaire and bring it with them on their testing day. If a candidate fails to bring the required questionnaire, one will be provided on-site.

Read PSI's FAQ @ https://www.psionline.com/wp-content/uploads/psi-services-covid-19-faqs.pdf (Effective May 15, 2022)


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. 

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. 

Exam Registration

 Exam registration fees: NCRA member rate: $325; non-member rate: $425.
 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 2022 CTR Exam

The 2022 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. 


Exams are comprised of a mix of recall, application, and analysis items.

  • Recall items, which assesses facts, terminology, and comprehension of important principles, assess a candidate’s ability to remember information. 
  • Application items pose a problem or situation that you might encounter when working in the profession. These types of questions demand more than simple memorization of facts and assess a candidate’s ability to recognize the proper use of information and principles to solve problems encountered on the job by cancer registry professionals.  
  • Analysis items assess the ability of candidates to examine information and understand the relationship between its components. These questions are based on hypothetical situations and require the integration of analyzing facts, identifying a problem, and recognizing a solution.

References for the 2022 CTR Exam

The list of references for the 2022 CTR exam [updated 12/7/2021] includes testable resources including specific references for the open‐book section of the exam. It also includes a list of primary references. (These materials are not allowed in the open‐book section.)


Content Outline for 2023

The content outline starting in 2023 is composed of one-hundred eighty (180), multiple-choice test items, based on four domains of practice noted below. The content outline was updated according to a recent role delineation study which captured current practice in the cancer registry field.