I failed the ASCP exam

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Steph in Sampaloc, Philippines

40 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that. There's nothing wrong with letting your mind rest for a while (especially after the studying schedule you went through), but I hope you can bounce back from this soon. I guess you could maybe try using a different review book when you're ready to try again...best of luck.

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Steph in Sampaloc, Philippines

40 months ago

By the way, I don't know if you already know about this website, but I used it just for practice when I was reviewing for the exam:

www.labce.com/start.aspx

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samantha in Union City, California

36 months ago

i took the mls exam earlier today and my preliminary report showed "failed". i graduated a year ago from the philippines, i studied a straight six months went through three reviewers including the ascp boc study guide and also the labce online practice exams. i do admit that maybe i overstudied and completely blanked out earlier. i am also a very nervous person, i had a very stressful couple of months while studying. i will definitely retake the ex as soon as possible, tho this time... i plan on fewer study hours a day. dont want to overwhelm myself again. hopefully the next time around i wont be as nervous at all. but i amconfident in my abilities, i guess it was the nerves.

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Lot in Torrance, California

28 months ago

TFarnon in Sparks, Nevada said: I finished my CLS program in May 2010, and didn't sit for the exam until today. I passed the exam.

I don't think I would have done much better had I take the exam days after finishing my program, but I also don't think I would have done worse.

I did see some questions which were straight from the BOC book (maybe 5 to 10 out of 100). I also bought the online practice exam package from ASCP and the labce.com online practice exam package. I started sort of studying in January of this year when I got laid off, but I didn't spend more than an hour a night studying or taking practice tests. I used the practice tests to determine where I thought I was weakest, and then would go look up stuff (online) on the subjects I had missed questions on. I thought that the BOC book, and both practice exam packages were helpful to refresh my memory.

There were also questions on the exam that drew on my non-CLS experience. I had bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry plus nine years' experience in a university medical research lab doing molecular biology before I entered the CLS program. I couldn't have answered some of the questions without that knowledge.

There were a fair number of questions on material I know we didn't cover in my CLS program, maybe 5 to 10 questions out of 100. And if I hadn't done a good internship in my program? I would have been sunk.

Overall, though, I simply had to take a deep breath and think my way through the less-familiar questions. I guess this is what another MT/CLS/MLS was trying to say when she emphasized having an adequate science background. If you can take what you know from all sources, rearrange it and put it together to find a sensible answer, you can pass the test.

I don't know my score yet, and to be honest I don't care. What I care about is that I passed.

Hey TF! Congratulations on passing. Is it possible to work in Nevada having only CLS certificate? Thanks!

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TFarnon in Sparks, Nevada

27 months ago

In addition to passing the exam, you have to have the education (certificate or degree) and/or MLT plus 1 year training in order to be licensed by the state. If you "only" have the CLS certificate plus a bachelor's degree in a related field (e.g. biology, biochemistry or chemistry, you may have to call and speak to the people in the state licensing agency directly to clarify that your certificate (assuming the program was long enough) is the relevant training as required by statute. I don't know what the situation is for non-US certificates or degrees.

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astar13 in Fargo, North Dakota

26 months ago

Hi,

I graduated in August of 2009 and went directly into Graduate school for a masters program in another clinical field. I did work one year as an MT as board eligible right after graduation in 2009 and then moved on to clinical rotations for my new career. Well years went by until I decided to get certified for a number of reasons. One was for a fall back career and another was so that I legally can do ABGs in the operating room at a moments notice. I first started this endeavor of studying 6 months ago the feeling of having to climb a mountain. Honestly, it was enjoyable to review laboratory science post school years. I failed the first test by 4 points 396 with a weakness in Micro (poopy) and laboratory operations. So.... I studied harder on those subjects. Took the test again and failed by 6 points with my strong points in Micro and laboratory science and my new weak points in Blood bank and Micro. I decided to do more broad studying and try not to focus too much on details. It worked. I took the exam today and I passed. I don't know my score yet.

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Shelly Willems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

26 months ago

LOL, would you say 8, 10, sometimes 12 hours a day for the past 11 days and planning on doing that for 4 more days is too much? I just don't ever want to study again!

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G Tues in Chicago, Illinois

16 months ago

ANA313 in Dearborn, Michigan said: I have signed up for the ASCP exam four weeks ago and i still haven't heard anything from them yet. Anybody knows how long does it take till you get a letter from them?

The customer service is truly atrocious at ASCP; getting through to a human much less the appropriate human... (Jean M Dillon manager)

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LC in San Luis Obispo, California

15 months ago

I Failed my first time :( but passed my second. Use the study method at myascpstudyguide.com. Everyone studies different and the resources ASCP gives are horrible...

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proteus_mirabilis in Staten Island, New York

15 months ago

taking my test this coming week...getting like 70% on the practice exam and like 53% on the adaptive test...i am not sure that i am well prepared to take the exam

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MLT_girl in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

15 months ago

OMG, I'm taking my mlt exam next week and I'm so nervous. I don't know if I'm going to pass this time again. The first time when I take the exam, I was so nervous that I only take 40 mins to do the exam and I failed. So, I took a 6 months break since I don't have money to retake the exam. What do I do to calm my nervousness?

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proteus_mirabilis in Staten Island, New York

15 months ago

good news guy i passed...still don't know how i did it. labce does teach you how to make educated guesses

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melech19 in Lebanon, New Hampshire

15 months ago

I would recommend the book by Lela Buckingham, 2nd edition. As far as any one source goes, this should serve you well. The two books co-edited by Greg Tsongalis, as well as the 5th edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al. complement Buckingham.

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melech19 in Lebanon, New Hampshire

15 months ago

Also, I spent as much time as possible for 2.5 months to learn the basics (Alberts) through all the sophisticated techniques (Buckingham, Tsongalis) for the MB exam. You really have to know everything, as some of the questions ask about specific viral strains, for example which of 4 HPV strains leads to ovarian cancer, and which strain of HCV is easiest to treat and which most difficult. Also, the number or triplet repeats that determine Fragile X syndrome and Huntington Disease and which technique you would use to quantify the repeats: Southern, PCR, dideoxy-sequencing, etc. The latest edition of Thompson and Thompson Medical Genetics is helpful in the sense that it has about 43 case studies of various diseases, in addition to other didactic material. Spending too much time with it, however, leads you too far astray.

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MilainRI in East Greenwich, Rhode Island

14 months ago

melech19 in Lebanon, New Hampshire said: Also, I spent as much time as possible for 2.5 months to learn the basics (Alberts) through all the sophisticated techniques (Buckingham, Tsongalis) for the MB exam. You really have to know everything, as some of the questions ask about specific viral strains, for example which of 4 HPV strains leads to ovarian cancer, and which strain of HCV is easiest to treat and which most difficult. Also, the number or triplet repeats that determine Fragile X syndrome and Huntington Disease and which technique you would use to quantify the repeats: Southern, PCR, dideoxy-sequencing, etc. The latest edition of Thompson and Thompson Medical Genetics is helpful in the sense that it has about 43 case studies of various diseases, in addition to other didactic material. Spending too much time with it, however, leads you too far astray.

thanks for this great information!!! I would like to take the mb(ascp) but have never worked in it, I am a MT(ASCP) so it will purely be book study- I have all the references you suggest (my employer has them for me to borrow) any other suggestions? Would appreciate any other tips you have/used to help you? It seems so overwhelming to study for this? thanks and congrats on passing your mb(ascp)!!!

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melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire

14 months ago

Thanks. The only reason I took the exam was to make a transition from basic research to a clinical molecular diagnostics. I have a Ph.D. in pharmacology and have worked 28 years in an academic molecular biology setting, but still had to use route 3 in order to apply for the MB exam. Also, much to my surprise, my basic science knowledge provided at most about 25-30% of what I needed to pass this exam. Many of the PCR- and hybridization-based assays, as well as the licensure-related lab procedures, I had never heard of. In any event, my research career is over due to funding issues, and I have not heard from the molecular diagnostics places to which I have applied.

Again, if you know Buckingham inside and out, I think you should pass the exam. Also know your DNA polymerases (not covered in detail in Buckingham)! They ask several questions about the functions of DNA polymerases alpha through epsilon, designations I had never learned. They show you a picture of a replicating piece of double-stranded DNA and ask you which polymerase is priming, extending, proof-reading, whether on the leading or the lagging strand. Also, know the polymerase that replicates mitochondrial DNA, and be thoroughly familiar with mitochondrial gene, itself.

Regarding diseases, know the location of nt and aa mutations for the common ones like Leiden V and Hb in sickle cell, and how you would determine the number of triplet repeats in Huntington, Fragile X. Also, know the cut-off number of repeats that are necessary to consider these genes pathological. Know parentage/paternity graphs. Whatever you don't think you understand, refer to Alberts. In fact, I would suggest you read the related chapters in Alberts to get a good grounding and to allow the other books to make sense to you.

As they suggest, don't cram at the last minute. Allow yourself the ~ full 3 months to study several hours a day so that the material becomes second hand to you. Be rested on exam day!

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Blue in New York, New York

14 months ago

Is it easy to get a new graduate job in nyc?

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melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire

14 months ago

Blue in New York, New York said: Is it easy to get a new graduate job in nyc?

If there were, and it paid enough, I would jump at. I can't find anything, myself. There are few jobs that can cover housing expenses.

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Chris in New York, New York

14 months ago

melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire said: If there were, and it paid enough, I would jump at. I can't find anything, myself. There are few jobs that can cover housing expenses.

But you live in New Hampshire?

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melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire

14 months ago

Yes, but there are few opportunities hear. I have been looking at the NY metropolitan area.

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chris in New York, New York

14 months ago

melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire said: Yes, but there are few opportunities hear. I have been looking at the NY metropolitan area.

How long have you been looking? No luck whatsoever finding an entry level job in nyc?

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melech19 in Hanover, New Hampshire

14 months ago

Well, I have a Ph.D. in academia, but I have already lost my track record with regard to publications and grants. Although, I now have an MB certification for ASCP, I can only enter that field as a technologist, as a level equal to someone with an associates or BS. Since I don't have clinical experience, I can't even enter the molecular diagnostics area. It was all a shot in the dark, but I can see there is no future in what I did.

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Chris in New York, New York

14 months ago

If you have a phd why not with a pharmaceutical company like Merck? You can't get an entry level job as a technologist?

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melech19 in Plainfield, Vermont

13 months ago

You get a number between 100 and 999. Based on previous years, the mean has been around 500, and you need around 400 to pass. When the computer tells you that you have passed at the end of the exam, you will have received around 400 points. The fact that you passed is all that employers are interested in. I happened to have gotten a 654, but it doesn't make much difference. You have to keep checking the website, as they are not very forthcoming.

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Pappenheimer in Wappingers Falls, New York

13 months ago

Thanks. I was just trying to get a feel for how good of a chance I had at passing first time around.

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melech19 in Plainfield, Vermont

13 months ago

ANA313 in Dearborn, Michigan said: I have found it hard to find a job without being certified. I have been applying for the past three months but no luck yet.

I have a hard time finding a job with being certified. It's a more closed field than I was led to believe.

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melech19 in Plainfield, Vermont

13 months ago

Pappenheimer in Wappingers Falls, New York said: Thanks. I was just trying to get a feel for how good of a chance I had at passing first time around.

I think if you know Buckingham's Molecular Diagnostics, 2nd edition, inside and out, you should be able to pass.

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benny in Lancaster, California

12 months ago

I am a foreign medical doctor and i want to get certified/licensed for MLT In California.pls can someone tell me what to do.I graduated from medical in 2003 and worked as a physician before relocating to join my family in the U.S.I have taken my medical board,passed it but getting into the residency program is so difficult .Am looking into this MLT to see if i can get it and get a job with it while applying for my residency program which comes ones every yr.

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Le Stat in Woodland Hills, California

12 months ago

benny in Lancaster, California said: I am a foreign medical doctor and i want to get certified/licensed for MLT In California.pls can someone tell me what to do.I graduated from medical in 2003 and worked as a physician before relocating to join my family in the U.S.I have taken my medical board,passed it but getting into the residency program is so difficult .Am looking into this MLT to see if i can get it and get a job with it while applying for my residency program which comes ones every yr.

Hi Benny! What was your pre-med? Getting into residency now these days is not a good idea after all the medical issues we have right now and especally the obama law. Unless you plan to go to a specialty but if you will go to family practice or simply IM without specialization, you will not make as much money as a Nurse or a CLS. Plus the stress and responsibilities that you have to worry about is not really advisable.
Anyway, call lab field services or check the website for eligibility. You should be eligible to take at least a CLT licensure unless your Bachelors is from UK which has a totally different educational system than here in US but other than that, you should be fine. It should be a piece of cake for you since you are an MD. Only 100 one to two liner questions. Answers are straight forward with a little bit of medical scenario which makes it harder for others but easier for you. Exams here are not that difficult. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself and you will be fine. Goodluck!

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Newvillage13 in Bartlett, Illinois

7 months ago

astar13 in Fargo, North Dakota said: Hi,

I graduated in August of 2009 and went directly into Graduate school for a masters program in another clinical field. I did work one year as an MT as board eligible right after graduation in 2009 and then moved on to clinical rotations for my new career. Well years went by until I decided to get certified for a number of reasons. One was for a fall back career and another was so that I legally can do ABGs in the operating room at a moments notice. I first started this endeavor of studying 6 months ago the feeling of having to climb a mountain. Honestly, it was enjoyable to review laboratory science post school years. I failed the first test by 4 points 396 with a weakness in Micro (poopy) and laboratory operations. So.... I studied harder on those subjects. Took the test again and failed by 6 points with my strong points in Micro and laboratory science and my new weak points in Blood bank and Micro. I decided to do more broad studying and try not to focus too much on details. It worked. I took the exam today and I passed. I don't know my score yet.

Hi, just wondering, did u take cls-ascp exam? And do you have to wait 1 year to take the exam after the second fail?. Please respond because i read somewhere that if u fail the second time, you have to wait for a year to take the third time. Thanks much.

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cp0830 in Columbus, Ohio

4 months ago

I was wondering if any of you have taken the ASCP the total of 5 times and failed every single time? My friend back home in CA just took it for the 5th time and failed it. She is devestated and doesn't know what to do? Every time she has taken it, she only failed with in 10-15 points. Any suggestions on what she can to next to take it again?

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MilainRI in East Greenwich, Rhode Island

4 months ago

cp0830 in Columbus, Ohio said: I was wondering if any of you have taken the ASCP the total of 5 times and failed every single time? My friend back home in CA just took it for the 5th time and failed it. She is devestated and doesn't know what to do? Every time she has taken it, she only failed with in 10-15 points. Any suggestions on what she can to next to take it again?

There is a limit on how many times are allowed for all board certifications. There is a reason for this, patient safety and quality. Just as no one would want a MD who could not pass their boards a MT-MLS who has repeatedly failed (5 times by your email) has some significant deficiencies and will not be allowed to take the certification again. Furthermore the exam will let the person know where the weekeness are so you can focus on that, repeated failures demonstrates that the knowledge is just not understood. Your friend will not be able to be a MLS(ASCP) at this point there are no appeals, no remedies.

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Le Stat in Woodland Hills, California

4 months ago

cp0830 in Columbus, Ohio said: I was wondering if any of you have taken the ASCP the total of 5 times and failed every single time? My friend back home in CA just took it for the 5th time and failed it. She is devestated and doesn't know what to do? Every time she has taken it, she only failed with in 10-15 points. Any suggestions on what she can to next to take it again?

ASCP/AMT/AAB are all pretty easy exams. I know cause I am certified in all of these exams. Why I took it? Just to compare how hard the exam is from one another and also to check my theoretical compentency in the field. Im sure she understands all the aspects of the exam. I think that she was just nervous and also traumatized by her previous failures.

My advice is just take it easy. Go to a review class just to build her confidence and to have a study partner although it might not be advisable for others, but I really think it will help her. Get online practice exams and time herself while doing it(very important!). Do it over and over. Study atleast 3 to 4 hours X 6 days and 1 day off every week for a month to 1 1/2 months. This will build up her speed in reading and answering questions. Focus on her weak points based on the practice exams and previous exam results. Read only(1)review book. DO NOT overthink during exams cause majority of the questions are direct to the point. Goodluck! Im sure she will be fine. I disagree with the previous email. Sorry.

This job is pretty easy and majority of the time, it is automated. You need to use critical thinking sometimes but those things will be pretty obvious and she will develop that as well. I Hope she pass the exam cause we really need alot of CLS here in CA. Starting pay here for reference lab without experience is $35 and $38 in the hospital. With experience she can make as much as 55 or more depending on experience and category e.g. I, II, or III. If you have any more questions, just email and tell her not to lose hope.

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ms.j256 in Huntsville, Alabama

4 months ago

MLT_girl in Sheboygan, Wisconsin said: OMG, I'm taking my mlt exam next week and I'm so nervous. I don't know if I'm going to pass this time again. The first time when I take the exam, I was so nervous that I only take 40 mins to do the exam and I failed. So, I took a 6 months break since I don't have money to retake the exam. What do I do to calm my nervousness?

Did you pass and what was on it? Im taking mine in May.

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fbehe@yahoo.com in Seattle, Washington

1 month ago

I failed my first MLT exam what i will do to pass the test ,i study BOC Book for 9 houes daily and labce .

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Tan in Dublin, Ireland

16 days ago

benny in Lancaster, California said: I am a foreign medical doctor and i want to get certified/licensed for MLT In California.pls can someone tell me what to do.I graduated from medical in 2003 and worked as a physician before relocating to join my family in the U.S.I have taken my medical board,passed it but getting into the residency program is so difficult .Am looking into this MLT to see if i can get it and get a job with it while applying for my residency program which comes ones every yr.

Hi, I'm also a foreign trained doctor,thinking to get mlt license.did you get into any program?

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Moonface

13 days ago

Tan in Dublin, Ireland said: Hi, I'm also a foreign trained doctor,thinking to get mlt license.did you get into any program?

Hello,
I am not sure the program in California, but in Northern Virginia, here are some schools or programs that already accreditation by ASCP and you can apply to see if you have enough credit and go straight to training program. I hope this will help

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