Preparing to take ASCP MT exam in three weeks time

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

77 months ago

Hi,

I'm preparing to take the ASCP MT exam in three weeks time and I am freaking out. I am relying on passing this exam inorder to process an H1 visa, and so I desperately need to pass the exam just in order for me to even stay in this country. Talk about pressure! I wish I had more time to study, but I dont. Has anyone taken the exam recently? Any study tips for me? At this stage, I figure it's impossible for me to sit down with big bulky textbooks and start reading them so I'm relying heavily on the Polanksy review cards to study...and the green ASCP book. Any other pointers, anyone? Do the practise tests available online for the ASCP help at all with the exam? HELP. I'd appreciate any comments or advice at all :(

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

I found the green ASCP review book to be worthless. The ASCP is a hard test with questions that sometimes don't make sense, and which you have to critically think about. The good thing is, the passing score is low.

You'd be better off studying an outline review book such as that yellow prentice hall book or the book by Harr. Reviewing all the major concepts of each subject and having a good basis will help you the best.

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

SD in South Bend, Indiana said: Thanks CLS48. So are you saying that the ASCP exam was more analytical in nature rather than testing facts? Are there case studies and such on the exam then?

Yes I would say it was more analytical and there wasn't any of the questions from the green book on the actual test. It is computerized and the way it works is, if you are getting alot of questions wrong, the computer is smart and starts giving you easy questions. If you are getting them right, the questions become harder.

It is also lopsided in that, it is only 100 questions but you may get 30 questions on micro and maybe only 10 on blood bank while another person may get the opposite. So, you have to basically know all departments well or just get lucky in getting the most questions from the subject you know best.

The best and worst part is that it tells you if you pass or fail, right after you take the test on the computer so you know right away.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

77 months ago

hello CLS48! can you teach me how to interpret a cell panel?

im scheduled to take the ASCPi exam this septemeber...

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paul in Dallas, Texas

77 months ago

so did you pass your test? also, to cls, you said there was only 100 questions?? did you pass your first time..? how long did you study and what did you study?

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

Chu, your question is vague. You probably could find the answer in any review book. Paul by the time I got to question 50 I thought I had failed already. I was surprised to see that I passed after the test.

I mostly studied review questions from the green study book ascp provided and it didn't help me much. I studied for probably 3 weeks a few hours every day.

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CLS48 in California

77 months ago

I think that's just a guide as to how many questions per subject. I don't think they follow it strictly as some subjects will have more questions than others.

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NYC in New Hyde Park, New York

77 months ago

hey everyone i'm in waiting to schedule the ascp exam i live in new york im using the review cards and also the green ascp book

CLS i just wanted to ask i know the green book doesn't help since it doesn't give explainations but are the questions on the test similar to those in the book? Oo yah were the slides/pictures they should clear ? or hard to Id?

By the way SD if you have problems with hematology use the review cards they will help you understand everything about the subject all the material builds on the other so you have to start from the begining and Don't streesss too much!!! good luck everyone

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

77 months ago

Thanks, Tim...will check the website out.

Thanks, NYC. Yup, am using the review cards for Hematology. They're so much better than my class notes. I had a lousy teacher for hematology in school...he is old and ready to retire and most of what he taught is obsolete...so I have lots of catching up to do in that area. LOL.

And yeah, I'd like to know about the pictures too. Just how bad are the parasitology and fungi picture id in the ASCP exam?

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

77 months ago

Okay, so I'm really pissed at how the online ASCP practice exam (www.ascp-practice.com/) that I just took was biased toward knowing random little facts and details about the most uncommon encountered organisms. It's almost as if they WANT you to do bad at it. Most of the questions I got wrong were facts that I had never come across. Such as at what intensity should a lamp in the biosafety hood be replaced. Or some inane piece of information on M.scrofulaceum. I just have to know for my own peace of mind, is the real ASCP exam equally random in its content? I mean, when you say it's difficult, is it difficult because of the problem solving involved or is it difficult because it asks you to recall a random little fact about an organism that is barely talked about in class? Help! I'm stressing out.

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JP in San Bernardino, California

77 months ago

Good luck on your tests guys!

I just took it a few days ago and like CLS48 I really thought I had failed it about halfway through, but I didn't.

I guess if it's really hard, you are doing well. From what I understand, the harder questions are weighted more heavily, but I'm not sure about that.

As for what to study... everything! I heard that the review cards were really good, however, I used a crusty old review book from who knows where that had been photocopied so many times as to be unreadable in many parts. It worked though. A classmate of mine did the same thing, and she passed.

I made flashcards for things like calculations and reference ranges so I could have those in my mind. You really only need the ref ranges for the common tests, it gives you the ranges for the more esoteric tests.

I would focus on micro, blood bank, heme and chemistry the most. I didn't have any lab practice questions and only a couple of parasitology and mycology questions. Of those that I had, there were pictures and a description (which usually gave it away by some key characteristic)

You really need to know disease states and the lab results associated with them. It seemed like that's mostly what I had. Not very many, if any, methodology questions.

Like its been said though, every one's test is different.

Study a lot!

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NYC

77 months ago

i was worried about the same Thing SD i didn't take the practice test online but just some of the questions in the green review book makes you wonder "what in gods name are you F***ing talking ABOUT!" I really more worried about Chemistry and the Kind of calculations that are on there like normality or meq and things like that and immunology because i can't seem to remember the methodology =(

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JP in San Bernardino, California

77 months ago

SD in South Bend, Indiana said: ^Thanks for the tips, JP. Had you used the online ASCP practice tests at all to help review for the exam?

my program bought some of those for us to use, but they weren't really helpful. It was a lot of weird questions, mostly about stuff I didn't ever recall learning about. I couldn't pass any of them.

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

77 months ago

Thanks NYC and JP. Cant tell you how relieved I feel reading your responses. :) I was starting to feel like the biggest moron around coz I have been studying really hard and got frustrated when I couldnt answer some questions from the green book. I think I'll just focus on making sure I have all the concepts right in my head.

NYC, for chemistry, it helps me to make a gigantic chart of all the formulae, memorize them and then just go to questions at the end of the chapter on normality etc and do a lot of different questions on them. I'm fairly okay with them...let me know if you run into a particularly tricky question and I'll help you figure it out. Or atleast try to :)

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NYC

77 months ago

COooooo thanks SD! i was talking to the the director of my program and she was telling me to read the txt book from cover to cover i don't think that's really ognna help only because your only seeing that information once and thats a whole lot of reading... what do you guys think should i stick to the review cards and just brush up on things i don't know or read the entire txt book

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CLS2008 in Libertyville, Illinois

76 months ago

Wow there is no way that anyone can read the whole text book at this time.I'm reading the Robert Harr's CLS Review book.I think it's help full because it explains the answers.Is there anyone out there who used this book and passed the ASCP certification

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

I just took the exam 2 weeks ago missed passing by 10 points. My advice is don't panic it will just work against you & even more difficult to concentrate. I encountered questions found Henry's Clinical Diagnosis text:tips study most common diseases :
Chemistry example-Diabetis,Liver Function,Cardiac Markers know your charts enzyme elevation. Renal water, electrolytes and acid-base balance. Must master the physiology renal function. they will give example blood gas result and you will need to interpret. Know most common calculation in lab manual ldl,anion gap,FTI. Hope this info helps.
I

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CLS2008 in Libertyville, Illinois

76 months ago

sam in Taylor, Michigan said: I just took the exam 2 weeks ago missed passing by 10 points. My advice is don't panic it will just work against you & even more difficult to concentrate. I encountered questions found Henry's Clinical Diagnosis text:tips study most common diseases :
Chemistry example-Diabetis,Liver Function,Cardiac Markers know your charts enzyme elevation. Renal water, electrolytes and acid-base balance. Must master the physiology renal function. they will give example blood gas result and you will need to interpret. Know most common calculation in lab manual ldl,anion gap,FTI. Hope this info helps.
I

what books did u study sam?

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NYC

76 months ago

man that's what im afraid of failing by only a few points i been studying the stuff that you mentioned sam for chemistry after reading some of the questions in the green book i realized you really have to read the question sometimes you might confuse ur self cuz you think you know it from the begining but they ask for something totally opposite

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

Sam, thank you so much for giving us insight into the exam. It helps to hear what the exam was like from someone who took it just recently.
I havent used the Henry's Clinical Diagnosis book for my review. I saw it at the library and it looked big and intimidating. LOL. There is just no way within my time frame I could have used it for review. But I'm wondering, when you said you got questions out of the book, are these questions that are directly taken from the end of a chapter or something. Or do you just mean that you searched for the answers to the questions and found them in the book?
Well, thanks once again for all the helpful comments!

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

I used the Henry's for major subjects because its latest edition. If you can just scan throught it. Look over the tables and charts. If you come across over a topic you feel you need to read more in detail it will help. Actually I just remembered question #1 after reading the chapter. The hCG question I looked up because i did not read alpha hCG I only knew beta hCG. Just keep in mind the questions presented with disease states except for micro questions. 46

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

all i have for my review materials are the green book,harr CLS review 3rd edition and pearl of wisdom and of the 3 i cant find explanations on how to interpret cellpanel..

hi sam! have u encountered several questions regarding cell panel?

how about computations?

im taking the exam this september

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

I have another quick question. I know for the ASCP exam you are required to memorize some of the reference ranges in chemistry. It seems impossible to memorize the ranges for all analytes, so I'm a little confused - which ones should I focus on? Do they really expect you to remember all the ranges for every single analyte? Do I need to know ranges for hormones and enzymes? Could someone tell me which reference ranges I should really concentrate on memorizing and which ones are already given during the exam? I'd appreciate it!

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

for those who have taken the ASCPi exam...do i have to study the LABORATORY MANAGEMENT part? i know its included in ASCP exam but is it also included in ASCP international?

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

SD..Just have an idea the ranges for at least the basic metabolic panel for chemistry. you just need to know if the value given is above or below the normal values. When they give results you won't miss it because if they are elevated they are realy high or vise versa. It will be the same for the hormones & enzymes they will use elevated or increase. The important thing is to interpret them as to the disease process like in thyroid hormones. Most of the time they give the normal values with the question in parenthesis. Know the blood gas normal values.

7

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

SD..how do i get a hold of reveiw cards for hematology?

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

Thanks a zillion for the tips, Sam!

For hematology, I use the Quick Review Cards for Clinical Science Examination by Valerie Dietz Polansky. I really like how they summarize a whole lot of information in form of charts/tables. For the large part, they're really good...there are just a couple of chapters where I thought they were a little too condensed and so I used my school notes to supplement the information on the cards. I also browse through this small book called Clinical Hematology Atlas by Jacqueline H. Carr and Bernadette F. Rodak. It's an atlas but it also has some really good tables that summarize stains and diseases. It's terrific for reviewing hematopoeisis and maturation sequences and morphological alterations to cells, RBC inclusions etc. Because it's an atlas, it's really easy to browse through...I just flip through it and read up on the text at the bottom of the images or look at the tables at the end of some chapters.

The review cards I bought several months ago from amazon. I remember they were in high demand because amazon was all sold out and I had to wait for some time for them to fulfill my order.

The hematology atlas book I got during a sale at the school bookstore. But I'm sure, amazon probably sells it too.

Here's the amazon link to both:
www.amazon.com/Clinical-Hematology-Atlas-Jacqueline-Carr/dp/1416050396/ref=sr_oe_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219800521&sr=1-1

www.amazon.com/Review-Clinical-Laboratory-Science-Examinations/dp/0803604599/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219801293&sr=1-1

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Tammmmm in Elgin, Illinois

76 months ago

I took the MT exam last October and passed. I do admit by question 30 I felt there was no way I was going to pass. I had studied for an hour each day for 6 months with many different study guides besides the green book by ASCP. This may seem excessive but I was an MLT with a Bachelor's degree taking the test. I had not sat through a medical technology lecture in 18 years. Even with that many years working as a tech, I had not encountered most of the questions on the test. My advice would be to concentrate on Microbiology reactions and Blood bank antibodies. Antibody panels will definitely be on the test. Hope this helps.

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

Thanks SD for quick reponse greatly appreciated! By the way how are you studying Micro like Tam said they give biological reactions and sometimes they use the new names instead of the old because classification also changed? As for Bld Bank. Study the RH genotype DCEce....

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

hi sam! thank you for the reply..appreciate it!

however i dnt have the 2 books that you mention :-(
still having problems on how to interpret cell panel

by the way, can i skip questions during the exam? i dnt want to spend too much time on questions that im not sure of

have you encountered many questions on mycology?

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Tammmmm in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

76 months ago

Unfortunately, you are not allow to skip questions during the exam. Each test is individualized according to the way you answer each question. If you show a weakness in Micro or blood bank then there is a good chance more of those type of questions my come up.

As for the blood bank panels, use your negative reactions to cross off your positive cells. That should eliminate your unwanted antibodies.

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NYC

76 months ago

HEY CHU here's a quick break down for Bld Bank

1. make sure you have atleast 3 negative cells or you can't use the panel
2. from those 3 negative cells (that didn't react at AHG Phase) (which will turn positive with coombs control which is how you confirm its negative) CROSS OUT ALL ANTIGENS that are Positive in that cell
3. repeat that step for all negative cells and then look at the antigens that might be present check to see if its being masked by another antigen
Say a patient has Anti K and you are left with E,C,K in the panel
Just remember when a antigen reacts it could mask something else that is positive so if you kno from patient history that the patient has Anti K LOok for a cell that reacted that is K negative and see if E Or C is present that would mean besides Anti K the Patient has Either E or C

If you really need more help and are completely lost then i'll break it down step by step

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NYC

76 months ago

Ohh one more thing i thought Beta HcG is a hormone that is produced by pregnant women

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Angrywolf in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

76 months ago

Some cancers can cuase elevated hormone levels so you will need to revierw those for your clinical chemistry portion of the test...
I think we had 16 people in my old class and one person failed and no it wasn't me...I presume they had to retake the test as some later point.Good luck.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

to Tammm and NYC thank you your reply! i thought i can skip questions for me to be able to save time...but i change my answers at the end of the exam right?

to NYC..thank for explaning the cell panel but im still having diffuculty understanding the interpretation.its been 5 years since i graduated from medtech and i didnt pursue the carreer and didnt have the chance to work as a medtech.

is there a website where i can review about cell panel interpretation?or can you explain it to me further or maybe..can u give an example?

thank you in advance

Godbless

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

chu*** I got the book for you Immunohematology 2nd edition. Principles and Practice by Eva D. Quinley.Chapter 10 Antibody Detection and Identification page 163-200. I hope this will help there are case studies and discussion. The mycology question yes there will be questions I had 2 or 3 but again releated with disease. You are better off answering all the question the first round and you will be given an option to review or go back to it at the end of the test by checking off a small box located at the top left hand corner of screen. The questions you checked for review will allow you to open the question but if you don't mark it you will not be able to change your answere. Pace yourself that you will be able to go back to look over those questions because if you skip it will be considered wrong if you run out of time.

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CLS2008 in Libertyville, Illinois

76 months ago

will u know the score immediately after the exam and how long is the exam(how many hrs)

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

CLS you will have 160 mins for 100 questions. Yes you will know right away when you click submit.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

hi sam! thank you so much for the info! appreciate it alot!

i dont have the book that you mention so im trying to search the net hoping i can find cell panel interpretations and perhaps case studies too

is the exam really difficult? ive been studying for a while but still i dnt think ill be ready for the exam..

are you saying that i should mark those items for me to be able to change my answers later on?cant i change my answers if i didnt mark the items im not sure of?

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

hi! chu if you don't check off the box for that question before going on to the next question,at the end of the test you will see the numbers 1 to 100 in three column with corresponding box next to it if there is no check mark on the box it will not open for you to reveiw or allow you to make any changes.
For me the key is preparation, I didn't expect it to be so difficult. At this point you just do the best you can.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

hi sam! if thats the case then i better check the box of items that i want to review or probably change the answer at the end of the test.

is the time alloted just enough to finish the 100 items?

do u happen to know some websites where i can practice sample exams?

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

Tammmmm in Elgin, Illinois said: I took the MT exam last October and passed. I do admit by question 30 I felt there was no way I was going to pass. I had studied for an hour each day for 6 months with many different study guides besides the green book by ASCP. This may seem excessive but I was an MLT with a Bachelor's degree taking the test. I had not sat through a medical technology lecture in 18 years. Even with that many years working as a tech, I had not encountered most of the questions on the test. My advice would be to concentrate on Microbiology reactions and Blood bank antibodies. Antibody panels will definitely be on the test. Hope this helps.

Wow! That is admirable. And thanks for the tips!

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

sam in Taylor, Michigan said: Thanks SD for quick reponse greatly appreciated! By the way how are you studying Micro like Tam said they give biological reactions and sometimes they use the new names instead of the old because classification also changed? As for Bld Bank. Study the RH genotype DCEce....

For micro, I made a LOT of short notes for myself. The key with reviewing micro I think is organization. The one thing that has helped me is to group all the organisms I have ever studied into groups like gram positives versus gram negatives, then subgroup the gram negatives into bacilli, coccobacilli etc. I take big groupings like anaerobes and break up everything into subgroups like GPC, GNC, GPB etc. When I have it organized like that, sometimes I'll notice that everything in a particular group shares certain characteristic e.g most GNDC are oxidase positive. I also use a lot of mneumonics to remember the reactions. Like I use PEPCS for H2S gas producing enterobacteriaceae (think "pepsi, the soda that produces gas") gives me P.mirabilis, Enterobacter, P.vulgaris, Citrobacter, Salmonella. But I gotta admit, there are just SOOO many microorganisms and sooooo many reactions to remember. It's scary! I have to keep going over them again and again to make it stick in my head. There's also a good book that we used in school - Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology, that has good questions at the end of the chapter for review.

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada said: to Tammm and NYC thank you your reply! i thought i can skip questions for me to be able to save time...but i change my answers at the end of the exam right?

to NYC..thank for explaning the cell panel but im still having diffuculty understanding the interpretation.its been 5 years since i graduated from medtech and i didnt pursue the carreer and didnt have the chance to work as a medtech.

is there a website where i can review about cell panel interpretation?or can you explain it to me further or maybe..can u give an example?

thank you in advance

Godbless

Chu, I dont know if this helps you any, but try this website: www.bbguy.org/education/notes/index.shtml
Go to the Blood Bank Practical Notes section, under antibody id, they explain a little bit on how to solve panels. I personally understand panels, but I have a hard time explaining them to someone else. It's hard to do. But perhaps if you found a sample question or had an example of a panel you need help solving, I can give it a try. Hope the website helps you some, and good luck! :)

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

76 months ago

Oh my gosh, I am totally panicking. I take my exam in five days! And everything in my head feels like mushed up spagetti. There's just too much information to remember and too many facts to keep straight. I hope I can get everything straight and stuck in my head by the time I take the exam.

Sam, another quick question (LOL...I get more questions every time I panic)...did you feel like you had enough time to get through all the questions? Or did you have to rush through it? I wish they had a practice exam where I could time myself. I'm afraid that I'll take too long on some questions and then panic and rush through the rest. *biting my nails nervously*

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Tammmmm in Palatine, Illinois

76 months ago

Thank you. Best of Luck to you. I am sure your hard work will payoff too.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

76 months ago

to SD! thank you so much for helping me..im going to check the link that you recommend later..

so your taking the exam in five days time.goodluck and Godbless

ill be taking my exam too this september and im already freaking out.so many things to learn in so little time left..hope we can make it

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sam in Taylor, Michigan

76 months ago

SD I would not worry too much you will have more than enough time for each question because 2mins for each question is a long time. 5 days is still a long time to study so make it worth the while. I'll take you up on those micro advice! thanks again. In a way its normal to be nervous being in your situation and I feel for you unlike the rest of us the pressure is nothing compare to you.

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CLS2008 in Libertyville, Illinois

76 months ago

SD in South Bend, Indiana said: Oh my gosh, I am totally panicking. I take my exam in five days! And everything in my head feels like mushed up spagetti. There's just too much information to remember and too many facts to keep straight. I hope I can get everything straight and stuck in my head by the time I take the exam.

Sam, another quick question (LOL...I get more questions every time I panic)...did you feel like you had enough time to get through all the questions? Or did you have to rush through it? I wish they had a practice exam where I could time myself. I'm afraid that I'll take too long on some questions and then panic and rush through the rest. *biting my nails nervously*

SD good luck on your exam.I know it's easy for us to say it but just don't panic and keep a positive attitude and u will do fine.Let me know how it goes.I'm taking mine this september too.

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CLS2008 in Libertyville, Illinois

76 months ago

Hi everyone,
Does anyone have the athorization code to take the ASCP Practice exam online or is there any other website for practice exams.

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