Re: [Histonet] Question about taking test

From:Gayle Callis

Joe brings up a very good point.  However, if you are annoyed by the exam 
photographs which may not be high quality to begin with, take it up with 
ASCP.  They should update or fix this part of the exam and THEY need to 
know what you have seen.  They should also make sure the testing centers 
are providing good quality.   It makes you wonder if the testing centers 
are not maintaining/adjusting their monitors for examination photograph 
needs.  Maybe the old paper exams were not so bad after all.

Gayle Callis HTL, HT, MT(ASCP)
Research Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology
Montana State University
Bozeman MT 59717

At 04:36 PM 6/5/2007, you wrote:
>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 
>    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 degree
>>>with 30 hours of biology AND chemistry combined plus a minimum of 1 year's
>>>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 fixation,
>>>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 of
>>>histotechnology - fixation, processing, decalcification, microtomy (frozen
>>>and paraffin), all special stains, IHC, tissue ID for all tissues, enzymes
>>>on the HTL, safety, equipment, lab math, etc.
>>>So anyone who works in just one specialty area (Mohs, derm, GI, etc.), will
>>>be at a disadvantage. They will need a lot of books, atlases, and a lot of
>>>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% of
>>>applicants were able to pass the HTL exam.
>>>Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
>>>William Beaumont Hospital
>>>Royal Oak, MI 48073
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>[] On Behalf Of Robyn
>>>Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 3:25 PM
>>>Subject: [Histonet] Question about taking test
>>>  Hello, I have a question to ask.  I have a co-worker that is interested in
>>>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 4
>>>years doing mostly Mohs surgeries, very little paraffin processing.  As I am
>>>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 would
>>>have to prove that she can perform a special stain and that is where the 1
>>>year experience comes in?
>>>  Thanks
>>>  Robyn
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