I agree with Derek on this. Although when I took my HT exam, we used
parchment paper and coal, but when I took my PA exam last year, I was livid.
All the photomics where gray and pale blue. I almost blew several questions
because of the poor quality. I don't think it's so much ASCP as it is the
testing center computers may be off color. When I took my exam, others were
taking the GRE, GED, and other tests, but our exams are probably the only
one that needs critical resolution and color. My 4 cents worth.
Derek, congratulations on passing.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Derek Papalegis"
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 7:31 AM
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Question about taking test
>I have my BS and have been in histology for over 3 years and I finally
>found the time to take the HT exam. I found the test to be flawed in many
>aspects and didn't let me accurately demonstrate my knowledge of histology.
>I knew Carson's book and Bancroft and Gamble's book from front to back and
>was extremely confident when I walked into the test.. After going through
>the test, I didn't feel as confident until I saw the tiny word on the
>screen that everyone wants to see: "PASS". The problem I had with the test
>is that histology is a very visual discipline. We are expected to be able
>to view slides and determine what stain was used and if that stain is
>adequate. The pictures on the exam were frequently blurry, the colors were
>skewed (the red in trichrome was a pale brown) and seemed to intentionally
>try to confuse the test taker instead of merely testing the knowledge of
>the person taking the exam. Over the years I have seen many slides that
>were not acceptable and could accurately trouble-shoot them but the slides
>on the exam were not even close to being acceptable. The ASCP set such high
>standards for stains when there was a practical portion of the exam but
>they seemed to drop the ball when they set the standards for the pictures
>that they use for the computer portion.
> That is my two cents... I feel that someone could know the subject
> material extremely well but then be tripped up by the seemingly
> intentionally misleading pictures and questions on the test.
> Derek Papalegis HT (ASCP)
> Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine
> Tufts University 136 Harrison Avenue
> Boston, MA 02111
> phone: 617 636-2971
> fax: 617 636-8354
> Lee & Peggy Wenk wrote:
>> There are two parts to qualifying to take the HTL exam. First, the BS
>> with 30 hours of biology AND chemistry combined plus a minimum of 1
>> experience within the last 10 years under pathologist certified by the
>> American Board of Pathology in Anatomic pathology (or the equivalent of a
>> Second, the experience must be within the last 10 years, and cover
>> microtomy, processing and staining. There are no other specifications.
>> So the microtomy CAN be just frozen sections (or just plastics, or just
>> paraffin, etc.).
>> So the staining CAN be just H&E.
>> (BTW, This experience criteria is the same for the HT exam.)
>> Now, with that said, the exams WILL have questions covering ALL aspects
>> histotechnology - fixation, processing, decalcification, microtomy
>> and paraffin), all special stains, IHC, tissue ID for all tissues,
>> on the HTL, safety, equipment, lab math, etc.
>> So anyone who works in just one specialty area (Mohs, derm, GI, etc.),
>> be at a disadvantage. They will need a lot of books, atlases, and a lot
>> time to learn all that is required. They can pass, but it will take a lot
>> more work than someone who routinely sees a variety of tissues and does a
>> variety of special stains. The last two cycles of HTL exams, 51% and 70%
>> applicants were able to pass the HTL exam.
>> Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
>> William Beaumont Hospital
>> Royal Oak, MI 48073
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: email@example.com
>> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Robyn
>> Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 3:25 PM
>> To: Histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
>> Subject: [Histonet] Question about taking test
>> Hello, I have a question to ask. I have a co-worker that is interested
>> taking the test and has a B.S. We work in a Mohs lab, but not an actual
>> histology lab where we would do special stains. She has been here almost
>> years doing mostly Mohs surgeries, very little paraffin processing. As I
>> understanding it, is that she would have to have 1 year experience in a
>> histology lab doing special stains and paraffin cutting and processing?
>> Since they don't make you do special stains and send them in, then she
>> have to prove that she can perform a special stain and that is where the
>> year experience comes in?
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