Re: Test scores
Congratulations on passing the HT(ASCP)
The numbers for the July-December 2001 exams are
not published yet, but I
can let you know what the numbers means in general,
and based on previous
exam. The numbers are fairly consistent over the
years. I'll let Histonet know
what the numbers are when they are
The numbers themselves indicate the degree of
difficulty of an exam question.
In theory, the question difficulty could range from
negative infinity (so easy
that everyone gets the question right) to positive
infinity (so hard that everyone
gets the question wrong). However, asking questions
where everyone (or
almost everyone) gets the question right or wrong
is not a good indication
of a person's ability. So ASCP limits the questions
in terms of degree of
difficulty, but there is still a range from
easy-somewhat easy-medium-somewhat hard-hard.
Now, ASCP assign these questions numbers. 100
is the easy questions.
999 (computer can only register up to 3 numbers, so
there is never 1000)
is hard questions.
So a question with a number of 312 is in the
easy/somewhat easy range,
but it is harder than a 301 question, but easier
than a 321 question.
A 521 is even harder. 662 is even harder. But 112
is a lot easier. Got
So the numbers themselves do NOT indicate a
percentage, as in . . .
if there were 100 questions, and I got 500, it must
mean I got half
the questions (50%) correct. WRONG! The numbers
indicate degree of hardness or
ASCP could have used the letters of the
alphabet, with A being
the easy questions and Z being the hard
With that in mind, in the range of 100 to 999, ASCP
Board of Registry
(BOR) has indicated that a person must be able to
pass with a
degree of difficulty of 400 or higher. 400 is NOT
in the middle range, it
is in the lower (easier) half of the degree of
Looking at the last four sets of reports (Jan-Jun
2001, July-Dec 2000,
Jan-Jun 2000, and July-Dec. 1999):
MEANS were: 412, 421, 415, 436.
This shows (in simple but slightly inaccurate
terms) that 1/2 the people
scored higher than the numbers listed, 1/2 the
people scored lower.
So for Jan-Jun 2001, half the people scored above
412, half scored
lower than 412. (And remember 400 is minimal
RANGES were: 204-775; 209-743; 199-752;
This shows what the lowest score was in each set
and the highest
score. So in Jan-Jun 2001, the lowest score
was 204 while the
highest was 775. So, on average, the lowest score
(remember the easiest question is rated a 100),
highest score averaged 764 (remember, the hardest question
is rated a 999).
PASS RATES for the multiple choice question part
52%, 49%, 50% and 57%.
These numbers are for everyone taking the exams -
timers, repeaters, students from NAACLS programs.
approximately 52% will pass the written portion on
any given year.
(NAACLS students had a pass rate on the written
75%, 77%, 73% and 83%, or on average 78% will
If you remove the NAACLS students from the pass
in the above paragraph, and look at the
scores, the pass rate for OJT (on the
ends up 48%, 38%, 43% and 49%, or
45% of the OJT candidates will pass the
portion, compared with the approximately 78%
NAACLS students that will pass.)
As for the PRACTICAL:
This again is based on degree of difficulty.
tissue and each stain has had a degree of
assigned to it. 100 is very easy. 999 is very
400 is minimum pass.
In general, a liver is easier to microtome
a uterus. So a perfect section on a uterus
be worth more points than a perfect section
In general, for fungus stains, a perfect
is easier to do than an perfect GMS. So a
perfect GMS would be worth more points
a perfect PAS for fungus.
Combining sectioning, staining,
decalcification, etc., each
combination has been given a degree of
MEAN: 515, 526, 465, 531
So these scores are higher than the
exam. Histotechs may be able to DO the
stain procedure, but may not be able
RANGE FOR ALL 4 CYCLES: 100-999
Yes, some people are so BAD that they
score the lowest number possible -
Yet some as so good, they in effect
a "perfect" score.
PASS RATES OF ALL CANDIDATES:
71%, 73%, 58%, 75%
PASS RATES FOR NAACLS STUDENTS:
91%, 78%, 76%, 85%
So, at least now you can (somewhat) place
in the range of how well you did compared to
well others have done in the last 2 years.
this does NOT include the stats for your exam.
will be published soon.
This information is available in a BOR Newsletter
is mailed to all MT, MLT, HT, HTL, etc programs.
can also be found on the ASCP BOR web page,
under "Program Directors". Everyone,
has access to this web page, so anyone can
at the numbers, percentages, etc.
Hope that helps you, and others taking the HT
Peggy A. Wenk, HLT(ASCP)SLS
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 12:15
Subject: Test scores
I just received and passed my H.T.
(ASCP) exam. I'm curious what the test scores mean? Obviously mps
is 400, but what is the average, above average and very well? Do
employers ever care about the scores in relation to peers? Perhaps risky
questions, but I think safe to explore on this wonderful web site!
DSK, HT (ASCP)
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