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CSWIP 3.2 Radiographic Theory and Interpretation: What You Need to Know for the Supplementary Exam

How to Prepare for the CSWIP 3.2 Senior Welding Inspector Exam

If you are a welding professional who wants to advance your career and demonstrate your competence in welding inspection and quality control, then you might be interested in taking the CSWIP 3.2 Senior Welding Inspector exam.


CSWIP stands for Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel, and it is a globally recognized certification program that validates your skills and knowledge in various aspects of welding technology and inspection.

By passing the CSWIP 3.2 exam, you can prove that you have the ability to supervise, plan, conduct, and report on welding inspection activities, as well as to evaluate weld quality and compliance with codes and standards.

In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about the CSWIP 3.2 exam, including how to register, what to study, and how to prepare effectively.

What are the topics covered in the CSWIP 3.2 exam and how to study them?

The CSWIP 3.2 exam consists of four sections, each with a different format and content. You need to score at least 70% in each section to pass the exam. The sections are as follows:

  • Part 1: General multi-choice questions on welding theory and practice. This section has 30 questions that test your knowledge of welding processes, materials, metallurgy, defects, codes, standards, specifications, procedures, documentation, safety, and health. You have 45 minutes to complete this section.

  • Part 2: Scenario multi-choice questions on welding inspection and quality control. This section has 60 questions that test your ability to apply your knowledge of welding inspection and quality control to various scenarios involving weld design, fabrication, testing, evaluation, repair, and maintenance. You have 150 minutes to complete this section.

  • Part 3: Assessment of four NDT reports on weld defects and acceptability. This section has 40 questions that test your ability to interpret and assess four non-destructive testing (NDT) reports on different types of weld defects and determine their acceptability according to relevant codes and standards. You have 75 minutes to complete this section.

  • Part 4: Interpretation of weld symbols using a drawing. This section has 10 questions that test your ability to interpret weld symbols on a drawing and identify the correct welding parameters, positions, techniques, and inspection methods. You have 30 minutes to complete this section.

In addition to these four sections, you can also choose to take a supplementary exam on radiographic theory and interpretation if you want to enhance your qualification. This exam consists of two parts:

  • Theory B2: Radiographic general theory. This part has 20 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of radiographic principles, equipment, techniques, safety, quality assurance, film interpretation, standards, and specifications. You have 30 minutes to complete this part.

  • Theory: Density and sensitivity calculations. This part requires you to perform calculations related to radiographic density and sensitivity using given data. You have one hour to complete this part.

  • Practical D2: Interpretation of radiographs. This part requires you to interpret radiographs of different metal groups (ferrous, austenitic, aluminum, copper) and identify weld defects, dimensions, quality levels, acceptance criteria, etc. You have one hour and thirty minutes for ferrous metal group (6 radiographs), forty-five minutes for austenitic metal group (3 radiographs), forty-five minutes for aluminum metal group (3 radiographs), and forty-five minutes for copper metal group (3 radiographs).

To study for these topics effectively, you need to have a solid understanding of welding theory and practice as well as welding inspection and quality control methods. You also need to be familiar with various codes and standards that apply to welding activities such as AWS D1.1/D1.1M (Structural Welding Code Steel), ASME IX (Qualification Standard for Welding, Brazing, and Fusing Procedures; Welders; Brazers; And Welding, Brazing, and Fusing Operators), ISO/EN/BS EN ISO standards (International Organization for Standardization/European Committee for Standardization/British Standards Institution European Norm International Organization for Standardization standards), etc.

What are the best resources and tips for preparing for the CSWIP 3.2 exam?

There are many resources available online that can help you prepare for the CSWIP 3.2 exam effectively. Some of them are:

  • Online courses and self-study materials. There are several online courses that offer comprehensive training on welding inspection and quality control topics as well as mock exams that simulate the real CSWIP 3.2 exam format and content. Some examples are TWI Training, Eurotech World, Welding Inspector Course, etc.

  • Practice tests and question banks. There are many practice tests and question banks that offer hundreds of questions covering all the topics in the CSWIP 3.2 exam syllabus as well as detailed explanations for each answer. Some examples are Upweld, Scribd, Wisdom Jobs, etc.

  • Revision guides and flashcards. There are also revision guides and flashcards that summarize the key concepts, formulas, and facts that you need to know for the CSWIP 3.2 exam in a concise and easy-to-remember way. Some examples are CSWIP Senior Welding Inspector Study Guide by David J Smith, Quizlet, Brainscape, etc.

Time management and exam strategies. Finally, you need to practice your time management and exam strategies so that you can answer all the questions within the allotted time and avoid common mistakes such as skipping questions, guessing answers, or changing answers without reason. Some tips are:

  • Read the questions carefully and understand what they are asking before choosing an answer.

irrelevant answers and narrow down your choices to the best one.

  • Use the process of elimination and logic to infer the correct answer if you are not sure.