What is an MRI exam like? The MRI exam is performed in a special room that houses the MR system or scanner. You will be escorted into the room by a staff member of the MRI department and asked to lie down on a padded table that gently glides you into the scanner. You will be required to wear earplugs to protect your hearing because the MRI scanner will produce loud noises. These loud noises are normal. The most important thing for you to do is to relax and remain still. Most MRI exams take between 20 to 45 minutes to complete depending on the body part imaged and how many images are needed, although some may take 60 to 90 minutes or longer. Once the MRI examination is completed, the pictures will be reviewed by a radiologist. The radiologist will send your doctor a report.