Re: Test scores

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk

Congratulations on passing the HT(ASCP) exam.
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 published.
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
the idea?
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 simply
indicate degree of hardness or easiness.
ASCP could have used the letters of the alphabet, with A being
the easy questions and Z being the hard questions.
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 range.
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 pass!).
RANGES were: 204-775; 209-743; 199-752; 187-788
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 averages 200
(remember the easiest question is rated a 100), while the
highest score averaged 764 (remember, the hardest question
is rated a 999).
PASS RATES for the multiple choice question part were:
52%, 49%, 50% and 57%.
These numbers are for everyone taking the exams - first
timers, repeaters, students from NAACLS programs. So,
approximately 52% will pass the written portion on any given year.
(NAACLS students had a pass rate on the written of
75%, 77%, 73% and 83%, or on average 78% will pass.
If you remove the NAACLS students from the pass rates
in the above paragraph, and look at the non-NAACLS
scores, the pass rate for OJT (on the job) candidates
ends up 48%, 38%, 43% and 49%, or approximately
45% of the OJT candidates will pass the written
portion, compared with the approximately 78% of
NAACLS students that will pass.)
As for the PRACTICAL:
This again is based on degree of difficulty. Each
tissue and each stain has had a degree of difficulty
assigned to it. 100 is very easy. 999 is very hard.
400 is minimum pass.
In general, a liver is easier to microtome than
a uterus. So a perfect section on a uterus should
be worth more points than a perfect section of
a liver.
In general, for fungus stains, a perfect PAS
is easier to do than an perfect GMS. So a
perfect GMS would be worth more points than
a perfect PAS for fungus.
Combining sectioning, staining, processing,
decalcification, etc., each tissue/stain
combination has been given a degree of
MEAN: 515, 526, 465, 531
So these scores are higher than the written
exam. Histotechs may be able to DO the
stain procedure, but may not be able to
explain why/how.
Yes, some people are so BAD that they
score the lowest number possible - 100.
Yet some as so good, they in effect get
a "perfect" score.
71%, 73%, 58%, 75%
91%, 78%, 76%, 85%
So, at least now you can (somewhat) place yourself
in the range of how well you did compared to how
well others have done in the last 2 years. Remember,
this does NOT include the stats for your exam. Those
will be published soon.
This information is available in a BOR Newsletter that
is mailed to all MT, MLT, HT, HTL, etc programs. It
can also be found on the ASCP BOR web page,
under "Program Directors". Everyone, however,
has access to this web page, so anyone can look
at the numbers, percentages, etc.
Hope that helps you, and others taking the HT
written exam.
Peggy A. Wenk, HLT(ASCP)SLS
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 12:15 PM
Subject: Test scores

Hello everyone.
      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!


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