NIOSH B Reader Examination Study Syllabus


December 2006
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2005-103c
Cover of NIOSH document 2005-103c

NIOSH strongly recommends pre-test preparation for examination participants to assure familiarity with the ILO Classification System and associated Roentgenographic Interpretation Form. Pre-test preparation is extremely important because anyone who fails the initial examination must wait six months before re-testing. The examination is difficult: only about half of the examinees pass.

The syllabus is also available in these formats:

  1. Download Syllabus (Windows only)
    1. Save the file B_Reader_Syllabus.zipzip icon (424 MB)
      (Right-click on the link and select “Save Target As…”)
    2. Extract the files to folder (i.e. B_Reader_Syllabus)
    3. Open BReader.exe
  2. CD-based (Windows only)
  3. Hard-copy

The electronic format (CD or download) is free of charge. The hard-copy format consists of 33 pages of text, 80 x-ray films (some with 4 images per film), 51 reading sheets, and answer keys for the 51 sheets. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis 1 month prior to testing. There is a $500 deposit required when requesting the hard-copy syllabus. This deposit is returned once the syllabus has been returned to NIOSH. Additionally, the hard-copy format may be used on-site at NIOSH by anyone interested in coming to Morgantown to study prior to taking the examination. To request a CD or hard-copy of the syllabus, call (888) 480-4042 or email

Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014