All About ASCP Exams
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is an organization that serves medical laboratory professionals in the United States and worldwide by providing networking opportunities, career advocacy and community events, continuing education and professional credentialing for many laboratory-based careers. Earning an ASCP credential may help improve your job search and connections while demonstrating to colleagues, and present and future employers that you are competent and committed to your area of expertise. In some states, ASCP credentials may be used to earn state licensure, so long as you meet all other licensing requirements.
However, before you can earn your credential, you pass an ASCP certification exam.
ASCP Credentialing and Examinations
The credentialing process is handled by the ASCP's Board of Certification (BOC). This agency determines the organization's standards of professionalism and competency, as well as assessment procedures for those medical laboratory employees seeking an ASCP credential.
To earn your ASCP credential, you must first meet several eligibility requirements. This includes passing the corresponding exam, but before you can even sit for the exam, you must have accumulated some educational and practical experience. This can be demonstrated with a college degree or high school diploma, plus completion of an accredited training program and practical laboratory experience. Your exact requirements will vary depending on the credential you seek.
When you apply for an ASCP credential, you will be asked to submit several required documents (such as academic transcripts and verification of work experience) to the BOC within 45 days of completing the online application. After the BOC confirms that you have met the eligibility requirements, you will then have three months to schedule your exam. All ASCP certifying exams are administered at Pearson Professional Centers, which may be found worldwide and are open Monday through Saturday.
All ASCP certifying exams are multiple-choice, computer-adaptive tests (CATs), which means that the difficulty of the test will adapt to your performance as you work through each question. After you have finished, you will receive notification of your scores within four business days. If you pass, congratulations! You have earned your ASCP credential, and you will receive a paper certificate within 4-8 weeks.
If you need to take the exam again, you may do so up to five times under the same eligibility route; afterwards, if you are still unsuccessful, you will have to try a different route to eligibility. Also, note that you cannot take the same exam twice within the same three-month period.
Learn more about what it takes to earn and maintain an ASCP credential on the official website at ascp.org. Here, you can also apply for certification and track the status of your application.
Preparing for the Exam
At Study.com, we offer comprehensive ASCP prep resources so you can enter test day totally confident in your mastery of the material. Our online courses allow you to take a step-by-step approach to your exam, as you review real ASCP concepts on your own time with our easily accessible video lessons and quizzes. Watch (or read) along as our expert instructors break down major subjects in a way that's fun, interesting and effective. Our current ASCP Study & Exam Prep courses include Technologist in Chemistry, C (ASCP), Technologist in Microbiologist, M(ASCP), Technologist in Molecular Biology, MB (ASCP), and Medical Laboratory Technician, MLT (ASCP).
ASCP Credential Types
As of 2018, the ASCP offers the following credentials and exams:
Most technician credentials require a combination of work experience, accredited training and a high school diploma; some may require an associate (two-year) degree or 60 semester hours at a college or university.
- Medical Laboratory Assistant, MLA(ASCP)
- Phlebotomy Technician, PBT(ASCP)
- Donor Phlebotomy Technician, DPT(ASCP)
- Medical Laboratory Technician, MLT(ASCP)
- Histotechnician, HT(ASCP)
Most technologist credentials require a combination of work experience, accredited training and a baccalaureate degree or higher.
- Technologist in Molecular Biology, MB(ASCP)
- Technologist in Hematology, H(ASCP)
- Technologist in Blood Banking, BB(ASCP)
- Technologist in Cytogenetics, CG(ASCP)
- Histotechnologist, HTL(ASCP)
- Technologist in Microbiology, M(ASCP)
- Medical Laboratory Scientist, MLS(ASCP)
- Cytotechnologist, CT(ASCP)
- Technologist in Chemistry, C(ASCP)
Most specialist credentials require a combination of work experience, accredited training and a baccalaureate degree or higher; some routes may also require previous ASCP certification.
- Specialist in Cytometry, SYCM(ASCP)
- Specialist in Blood Banking, SBB(ASCP)
- Specialist in Cytotechnology, SCT(ASCP)
- Specialist in Hematology, SH(ASCP)
- Specialist in Molecular Biology, SMB(ASCP)
- Specialist in Chemistry, SC(ASCP)
- Specialist in Microbiology, SM(ASCP)
- Diplomate in Laboratory Management, DLM(ASCP)
- Pathologists' Assistant, PA(ASCP)