ODS Exam

Testing Dates and Deadlines

April 5-27,2024; application deadline: March 29

July 19-August 10,2024; application deadline: July 12

October 18-November 9, 2024; application deadline: October 11

Candidate Handbook & Application

Download the 2024 Exam Handbook (PDF).

ODS Credential

The Oncology Data Specialist(ODS) 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 “ODS” 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. 

ODS Exam Eligibility

The first step is to determine eligibility. requirements include education and experience in the cancer registry field. Review the ODS exam eligibility chart. Need your individual eligibility to be reviewed? complete the ODS exam eligibility request form and submit it as noted on the form. Please allow 6-8 weeks to process. questions? e-mail exam@ncra-usa.org.

ODS 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: $335; non-member rate: $435.
•A valid, government issued, photo identification to the proctor is required to gain access to the examination. 

Testing Options

Approved candidates will receive the notice to schedule (NTS) your examination via email approximately 45 days prior to the start of the examination window. When you receive the NTS an examination date, candidates will select a date for the examination and will have a choice of:

Online remote testing allows you to connect to and interact with a live proctor via your computer’s webcam and microphone. The examination is given using the same platform as an in-person testing center and the security requirements are the same. The remote test proctor will complete the "check in" and help you access the examination and will monitor you throughout the examination—just like an in-person testing center. The main difference is you will be in your residence or designated location using your computer or laptop.

For remote testing, the webcam and microphone must remain on for the duration of the examination. You should make arrangements to be in a private, quiet area and remain uninterrupted throughout the examination. If another person enters the area or there appears to be a disruption or other irregularity, the examination will end.

Check to confirm your computer meets necessary technical requirements at https://go.proctoru.com/testitout

General Content of the ODS Exam

The 2024 ODS exam is composed of one-hundred eighty (180), multiple-choice test items, based on four 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.  

  • Legal and Ethical Aspects in the Cancer Registry Profession; 30 items [Closed book]
  • Cancer Registry Operations; 45 items [Closed book]
  • Cancer Registry Data Identification; 45 [Closed book]
  • Cancer Registry Coding and Abstraction; 60 items [Open-book]

References for the ODS Exam

The list of references for the 2024 ODS exam (updated 01/30/2024) includes testable resources including specific references for the open‐book section of the exam. The necessary open-book resources will be made available as PDFs, including search functionality, within the exam platform during a candidate’s testing appointment.   Candidates are NOT to bring any references to their exam appointment.

Content Outline for ODS Exam

The content outline starting in 2023 covers four domains of practice. The content outline was updated according to a recent role delineation study which captured current practice in the cancer registry field.