Molecular Biology ASCP certification exam

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KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

Sorry, but I'm hanging on to those books. They are great reference books, and part of my job is research. I use those books a lot to look up stuff. You can order the Buckingham and Coleman books at Amazon.com. The Buckingham book is very affordable, and the COleman book is a little more expensive. I think I actually ordered the COleman book from Borders when I had a 50% coupon for any book.
Go to ASCP website to either apply online www.ascp.org/services/SelectCertification.aspx or to print the application form and mail it in www.ascp.org/pdf/BOR-PDFs/procedures/General-application-form.aspx.
Let me know if you have any other questions.

dulce de leche in Miami, Florida

61 months ago

THANK YOU KM, MS MB(ASCP)!!!!!!!!!!!!

you are an angel!!..........i will study by the books you mention and check the links!................again thanks

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

You are so welcome! I'm glad I could help. : )
Make sure to read this entire thread. People have given excellent advice on what to study for the exam. Good luck!

piscip in New Haven, Connecticut

61 months ago

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: I passed!

Congratulations, what did you think of the test, I hope some of my suggestions were helpful

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

It was different than what I expected. Not difficult, just different. I expected more questions on Molecular techniques, and there were not that many. I thought it tested more your ability to memorize little details, in stead of testing your knowledge and skills in molecular biology.
Thanks again for the helpful hints!

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

I meant to say that in my opinion the MB(ASCP) exam does not test your knowledge on different molecular techniques very well. Questions on molecular techniques were very limited.

AW in RI in Johnston, Rhode Island

61 months ago

Hi! I am scheduled to take the exam in July. Congratulations to everyone who has passed the exam! I am currently reviewing all of the molecular techniques. How much detail should I get into for them?? Also, is the test mostly on the genetic disorders themselves?

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

How much detail?...pretty much just the basics, but DO know the proper controls and how to analyze a PCR run - are the controls (positive control, negative control, NTC control, internal control) valid, is the run valid, which if any rxns should be repeated? Also, know how to increase sensitivity and/or yield of a PCR rxn...meaning happens if you increase/decrease the annealing temp, or if you increase/decrease the annealing or extension time.

AW in RI in Johnston, Rhode Island

61 months ago

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina said: How much detail?...pretty much just the basics, but DO know the proper controls and how to analyze a PCR run - are the controls (positive control, negative control, NTC control, internal control) valid, is the run valid, which if any rxns should be repeated? Also, know how to increase sensitivity and/or yield of a PCR rxn...meaning happens if you increase/decrease the annealing temp, or if you increase/decrease the annealing or extension time.

Thank you so much for your help! I feel like there is so much to study and not enough time.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

I admit I was worried and stressed out about the exam, but it wasn't as scary/bad as I had anticipated. You have 2.5 hours to answer 100 questions. You have to answer each question in order to get your next question. However, before you submit your answers, you can go back and review your answers. You also have the opportunity to change your answers at this point if you want to.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

Also, 2.5 hours is plenty of time to take the exam and not feel rushed - to answer the questions and then review each question. I'm a slow test taker, and it took me somewhere between 1h30min and 1h45min to be completely done, and I reviewed my answer to each question before I submitted my answers.

AW in RI in Johnston, Rhode Island

61 months ago

I will have to remember to check the option to review. Any suggestions about the application portion of the exam?

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

61 months ago

I had marked some questions for review, and I was going to take a second look at them. But when you get to the end, you can review "marked for review" or "all". I had plenty of time left, so I decided to review all.
I can't really think of anything else to say about the application. What bothered me, was that I felt like I had no concept of time. You can't bring anything into the testing room (not even a wrist watch) and there was no clock on the wall. There's a small timer running in the corner of each page on the screen that tells you how much time has passed (or maybe how much time is left)...but you don't know what time it is.
I guess my advice would be to take your time and don't rush. YOu will have more than enough time to get through the test. If you start hurrying and not reading the questions really carefully, you can make stupid mistakes.

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

61 months ago

Has anyone taken the online course offered by the University of North Dakota?

pathology.med.und.nodak.edu/lend/diagnostics.html

I am planning to take the test this year and was wondering how helpful it is.

hl in Glendale, California

61 months ago

I don't think you need to pay that much. All you need are a good set of reference books, the ascp guideline to content on the test and dedication to studying. This forum provides great help. Read it through.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

60 months ago

hl in Glendale, California said: I don't think you need to pay that much. All you need are a good set of reference books, the ascp guideline to content on the test and dedication to studying. This forum provides great help. Read it through.

I agree. I wouldn't pay that much to take the class. Also, did you notice the recommended textbook for the class is Molecular Diagnostics: Fundamentals, Methods, & Clinical Applications by Lela Buckingham...the same textbook that I used and recommended. I think you can do it on your own for a lot less money.

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

60 months ago

Thanks for the input. I already have the Buckingham and Flaws book, which by the way is a great book. And the Leonard book also. I am trying to get my employer to pay for the course under their tuition reimbursement program, if they say yes I will probably take it, if not I won't.

I have a question about the test content:
How much about the individual amino acids do I need to have committed to memory?
Single letter abbreviations?
Chemical category?
Codons for each one?

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

60 months ago

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee said:
I have a question about the test content:
How much about the individual amino acids do I need to have committed to memory?
Single letter abbreviations?
Chemical category?
Codons for each one?

I don't remember having any amino acid questions at all. However, do know the nucleotides (A, T, C, G). Know which are purines, which are pyrimidines, 1-ring vs. 2-ring, and base-pairing.
You should probably know the start codon (AUG, Met) and the stop codons.

Hey, if you can get your work to pay for the course, then most def go for it. It will probably be a great review. I just wouldn't pay for out of pocket.

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

60 months ago

thanks again.

If I take the course I will post about it.

confused in Oakland, California

60 months ago

KM in Wendell, North Carolina said: I was wondering if anyone had taken the ASCP Molecular Biology certification exam? Hardly any information is available online.
I am scheduled to take the exam in April. I have the content guideline and reading list from ASCP website. I would like to get my hands on sample questions or a sample test. I have Master's degree in Molecular Biology (2002) and have worked in academic research and now in a clinical lab. I have started rewieving all my old college textbooks, but I don't know in how much detail I need to know all the topics.
Any information would be much appreciated.
Thanks so much!
KM

Hello, KM. I am planning to get a license for Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist. Do you know if the exam for this license is same with the ASCP Molecular Biology certification exam? How can I get the content guideline and reading list from ASCP? Thank you.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Angier, North Carolina

60 months ago

confused in Oakland, California

60 months ago

Thank you for the input. Is this exam (ASCP Molecular Biology certification exam) for license application?

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

60 months ago

KM in Wendell, North Carolina said: I've been using my old college textbooks (MolB, Biochem, Genetics, Cell Biology). I recently bought two Molecular Diagnostics textbooks. Basically, I've just been following the ASCP content list to read the textbooks. Last week I ordered the ASCP Quick Compendium of Molecular Pathology which is what the exam used to be called before ASCP and NCA merged. I hope the book will be helpful and give me an idea of what the questions will be like and in how much detail I need to know the material.
Have you taken the ASCP MB exam, or any of the previous "versions"? Or do you plan on taking it in the future?

KM

I was wondering if you had the Quick compendium Companion that has practice questions, if so was it helpful? I turned in my online application for the test today.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

60 months ago

The Quick Compendium book did not have any practice questions. The Lela Buckingham book has review questions at the end of each chapter. I made sure I knew the answers to the those chapter review questions, and I thought that was pretty helpful.

Congrats on turning in your application!

Amina in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

Hello, I have a doctorate and I have worked in research laboratories, mainly as a post doc in molecular biology and genetics, for 10 years but now I would like to work in a CLIA Lab to be allowed to take the MB ASCP. Do they take some one who hasn't had their ASCP and where should I go to find such jobs here in Los Angeles. Thank you for your help

J in Spokane, Washington

60 months ago

In response to ctyo in Brentwood's question about taking the online course offered by the University of North Dakota, I am currently taking it, have only a few lectures to go, but the presentations are really just someone reading out of the Molecular Diagnostics book by Buckingham and Flaws. The course is set up in seminars that represent a chapter in the book (some of the longer chapters are split into 2 or 3 sessions) I'm on chapter 13 out of 16 and so far only once has there been a time when the presenter explained anything further than the book. He almost reads it word for word. My employer paid for me to take the class so I'm not out any money for it, but I am kind of disappointed by it (the class not the book.)

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

60 months ago

Thanks for the input J. My employer offered to pay for it but I decided to see if I could pass on my own. I suspected it was just a review of the book.

AW in Johnston, Rhode Island

60 months ago

Hi,
Does anyone have any suggestions on reference material for the laboratory operations portion of the MB exam? Particularly, guidelines and regulations?

Gaba in Georgia

60 months ago

KM, Did you know "ASCP Quick Compendium of Molecular Pathology" by heart?
How much of disease part do you have to know?
Any advice would be appreciated.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

60 months ago

I didn't read the ASCP Quick Conpemdium very much at all. I read Chapter 1 (Molecular Biology and Molecular Assays) and Chapter 2 (Chromosomal Disorders). Some of the earlier posts will tell you which chromosomal disorders (trinucleotide repeat disorders) to study in detail.

Gabba in Augusta, Georgia

60 months ago

Thank you!

cyto in Brentwood, Tennessee

59 months ago

I received my admission letter yesterday, my window is 6-24 through 9-22. I will probably schedule the exam for sometime in July.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

Great! Good luck!

A in Johnston, Rhode Island

59 months ago

Once I get the certification in Molecular biology from the ASCP is it fair to say I could obtain a position as a molecular technologist?

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Dunn, North Carolina

59 months ago

If you have hands-on experience with molecular biology techniques, I think you could definitely land a job as a molecular technologist. If you only have the certification and no experience, it could be more difficult.

A in Johnston, Rhode Island

59 months ago

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Dunn, North Carolina said: If you have hands-on experience with molecular biology techniques, I think you could definitely land a job as a molecular technologist. If you only have the certification and no experience, it could be more difficult.

Thanks!

cyto in Franklin, Tennessee

59 months ago

The exam content guide says to bring a non programmable calculator with log function, KM did you need this? I assume it is for viral load calculations.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

I had a basic calculator with me that adds, subtracts, divides and multiplies. The testing center, however, did not allow any personal items in the testing room, and provided me with a calculator (happened the same as my own) to use for the test. They also gave me a dry-erase board and permanent Sharpie, in case I wanted to write anything down during the test. If you write anything on the board, you're not allowed to erase it and you hand it back to the test administrator with your notes/calculations.

cyto in Franklin, Tennessee

59 months ago

Do you remember needing a log function on the calculator?

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

No, I did not need the log function, only adding and multiplying. I'm sure the calculator the testing will provide you will have all the functions you need for whatever calculations you're asked to perfrom.

dulce de leche in Miami, Florida

59 months ago

IMPORTANT!!.......LAST MINUTE INFO
i hear those that have the 5 licenses are automatically given the molecular lincence
in florida state!!

anybody know about this??????????

Kelly in Seattle, Washington

59 months ago

I'm also taking the online class through the University of North Dakota, and it's AWFUL!!! Not only is the speaker just reading, he is constantly stumbling over his words and often makes no sense. Now I just turn off the audio and review the powerpoint presentation before taking the quiz after each lesson. The quizzes are good to make you think about the topics, but the Buckingham text has good questions at the end of the chapter as well.

On the other hand, I did take the Molecular Diagnostics course through Michigan State University. That course cost a lot more money, but included a one week on-campus lab that was very helpful in getting some hands-on experience.

Between the 2 courses I've taken/am taking, and my limited work experience (PCR and FISH in molecular oncology only) I'm hoping to be well prepared for the exam, even without the direct experience in microbiology, hereditary diseases, paternity testing, etc.

MB in Austin, Texas

59 months ago

Has anyone taken any online mock practice test for MB certification? Could you share your experience?
on ASCP webside there are practice test packages available but I could not find anything related to MB test.

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

I don't think there is a practice exam for the MB exam. At least I could not find one, and ASCP customer service said they don't have one.

hoalanvn in Anaheim, California

59 months ago

Hi KM,

May I contact you by email....I have some questions about the MB test and would like to discuss it with you....thanks for your help....

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

Hoalanvn - I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable sharing my email on this public forum. I can answer whatever questions you may have here, and you might even get answers from others who have taken the exam as well.

hoalanvn in Anaheim, California

59 months ago

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina said: Hoalanvn - I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable sharing my email on this public forum. I can answer whatever questions you may have here, and you might even get answers from others who have taken the exam as well.

Thanks KM... :-)

ACM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

59 months ago

Aside from ASCP, what other agencies provide credentialing for technologists working in molecular diagnostics? What is considered to be the most useful? Thank you very much!

KM, MS MB(ASCP) in Clayton, North Carolina

59 months ago

I hope the following article answers your question. I realize it's an "older" article but it might give you some idea. Probably your best bet would be to do a Google search.
jmd.amjpathol.org/cgi/content/full/4/4/181

MB in Austin, Texas

59 months ago

I am scheduled to take test in few weeks. I would like to know as much details possible on the following:

All topics need absolute memorization. Tables, analytical values, etc. For eg. viral load assay detection values?
For Inherited diseases, different types of leukemias, T-Cell and B-Cell lymphomas---how much detailed study is required?
on the study guideline Pharmacogenomics is listed. Did anybody have any question in particular on this? THose who did study for this topic, pls. share your knowledge and experience. or provide some guidelines
For HLA Typing and Engraftment---if someone can share links to good reviews or some class notes and/or references, that'd be helpful. What kind of questions did you have on test for these topics?

Thanks in advance for sharing and providing some guidelines,

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