CTR Exam

Testing Dates and Deadlines

March 5 - March 27, 2021; application deadline: February 24

June 18 - July 10, 2021; application deadline: June 4

October 15 - November 6, 2021; application deadline: October 1

Candidate Handbook & Application

COMING SOON! Submit request to receive 2021 candidate handbook and application for more details on the 2021 CTR exam.

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 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 (updated 6/22/2020)

[April 27, 2020]

PSI created a frequently asked questions addressing test center employee and candidate safety which can be found at https://www.psionline.com/wp-content/uploads/psi-services-covid-19-faqs.pdf.

Updated April 15, 2020]

What are the new and updated exam dates for 2020?

The June 26 - July 17, 2020 testing window is extended through July 25, 2020.

A new testing window is scheduled for September 1 - September 12, 2020.

The October 16 - November 6, 2020 testing window is expanded to start on October 12 and run through November 14, 2020.

Why were the exam testing dates updated?

To maximize scheduling flexibility for those planning to test in 2020.

What are the candidate application deadlines for 2020?

The application deadline for June-July testing window shifted from May 29 to June 25, 2020.

The September testing window application deadline is August 31, 2020.

The application deadline for October-November testing window shifted from September 11 to October 11, 2020.

Candidates are expected to meet all eligibility requirements by the application deadline. 

Why were the candidate application deadlines updated?

To maximize time allowance for 2020 exam candidates to complete experience requirements by the application deadline.

Has the 160-hour practicum been modified for Route A applicants?
No. The 160-hour practicum is a critical component of all NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Programs. The extended testing windows and additional September testing dates provide students in NCRA-accredited programs more time to complete their practicums. Students with questions can e-mail Mary Maul at mmaul@ncra-usa.org.   

Will the testing window updates impact the delivery of score reports?

Score reports are planned to be available 3-4 weeks from the final day of the completed testing window, and prior to the application deadline of the subsequent testing window.

How do I register for the CTR exam in 2020?

Candidates are encouraged to submit their completed application and paperwork as soon as they qualify. Submitting before the deadline will assist with scheduling

1) Download and read the Candidate’s Handbook (http://www.ncra-usa.org/handbook).
No changes were made to exam content or references

2) Complete and save the PDF fillable* application form
*provided to assist those who may not have access to printer, scanner, or postal services

3) Submit your completed application, supporting documentation for your chosen eligibility and the payment form to NCRA.
Unofficial transcripts are acceptable

Qualified candidates are encouraged to send their completed submission ASAP and to ctrexam@ncra-usa.org. Please allow 7-10 business days to process submitted applications.

Are you having difficulty getting the required signature for the Experience Verification section of the candidate application?
A separate Experience Verification form (PDF) has been developed to allow candidates an alternative to gaining the required signature on your candidate application. Candidates should append the Experience Verification form to their completed application when submitting.

I registered for the CTR Exam before the updated testing dates were announced. How can I change my exam application in 2020?
To reschedule your exam within the same testing window (June-July or October-November), contact: PSI at #833-333-4755 at least two business days prior to your scheduled appointment.

To transfer your application to a new/updated testing window, contact: ctrexam@ncra-usa.org.

To discuss your testing options in 2020, contact ctrexam@ncra-usa.org or (703)299-6640 x312.

What is the status of PSI test centers?
PSI (NCRA’s test vendor) closed test centers on March 20 as a response to COVID-19 and will reopen on May 1. Check PSI test center status @ https://www.psionline.com/closures

Is it allowable to wear a facemask &/or gloves at the test center?
Yes. PSI has relaxed its policy on the use of facemasks and gloves based on recommendations of the CDC:
· Candidates will be required to provide their own facemasks and gloves should they choose to wear them. These will not be provided by PSI.
· Facemasks will need to be removed during the check-in process to verify identify and take a photo. This photograph, used for security purposes, will also print on your score report.
· Candidates are responsible for disposing of used facemasks and gloves securely outside of the test center.

[April 6]
PSI test centers in the US will re-open meeting social distancing requirement on Friday, May 1, 2020. 
Based on recommendations of the CDC:

  • Candidates will be required to provide their own facemasks and gloves should they choose to wear them. These will not be provided by PSI.
  • Facemasks will need to be removed during check-in process to verify identify and take photo.
  • Candidates are responsible for disposing of used facemasks and gloves securely outside of the test center.

[April 3]
NCRA's Council on Certification is exploring options to accommodate 2020 exam candidates who might be challenged meeting experience requirements by the application deadline. Exam updates to be posted in late April.

[April 2]
The 2020 CTR Exam testing windows are scheduled to continue as scheduled in summer (June 26-July 17) and fall (October 16-November 6). Candidate applications are being accepted and processed within 15 business days.

[March 27]
NCRA's Council on Certification is considering options for testing windows in 2020 to accommodate rescheduled candidates. Exam updates to be posted in late April.

[March 26]
For candidates who completed the March 2020, the timetable for score reports has not changed. Score reports are expected by May 8. Post-exam processes and analyses are necessary prior to the release of score reports. Candidates will be notified by email when their results can be accessed online.

[March 19]

NCRA's test vendor PSI has made the difficult decision to temporarily close PSI-owned and operated physical test centers in the United States starting end of day March 19, and in the United Kingdom starting end of day March 20, until April 13, 2020.

For candidates to be rescheduled for free, contact ctrexam@ncra-usa.org with your request prior to your scheduled testing date and include which testing window (Summer: June 26-July 17; Fall: October 16-November 6) you prefer.

[March 18]
Due to state restrictions related to COVID-19, PSI test centers are closing without much advance notice.

All March 2020 candidates are encouraged to reschedule at this time. Rescheduling to another 2020 testing window can be accommodated with no financial penalty. 

To be rescheduled, contact NCRA @ ctrexam@ncra-usa.org with your request prior to your scheduled testing date and include which testing window (Summer: June 26-July 17; Fall: October 16-November 6) you prefer.

[March 12, 2020]

In response to the growing health situation posed by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), NCRA is allowing any scheduled March 2020 candidates to reschedule to another testing window in 2020 without financial penalty. Any candidate who is uneasy about going to a test center can be rescheduled to another 2020 testing window with no financial penalty. Rescheduling is recommended for any candidate who is experiencing an illness, exhibiting flu-like symptoms, or has been directed to self-quarantine by their local health authority.

To be rescheduled, contact NCRA @ ctrexam@ncra-usa.org with your request prior to your scheduled testing date.

Keep updated on actions taken by psi, our testing vendor, regarding COVID-19.

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: $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.