Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

Welcome! I’ve created this space in order to help folks preparing for the ASCP – MLS/MT/CLS exams. 

To the foreign visitors to my page (42 international locations and counting), thanks for visiting! I took the ASCP exam but the ASCPi is just the international equivalent of the same exam. The competencies tested are the same. 

To all my visitors (40,000 plus unique visitors – 84K hits), i’m humbled. I had no idea so many folks would be referred to my site by word of mouth. I’m embarassed by how inadequate my notes are and I’m making a commitment to transition what i’ve done so far into a more professional format…really!  

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, they are always welcome and appreciated. Your email will not be displayed.

217 Responses to Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

  1. Valen says:

    I passed! Questions I came across: PSA reference values and free/total ratio and what 7% free PSA means. HepB “anti-core window”. Free fatty acids to grow what fungus. Lots of blood bank ABO discrepancies. Pos DATs, mf reactions. LOTS of blood bank and quite a few urinalysis on the whole. Lewis antibodies in saliva of Group A Le(a-b+). HUS associated with E. coli. A few questions about Bilirubin and urobiliogen in urine/serum/feces. Direct/Indirect Bili. Know pre/post hepatic jaundice. A question about Erchlich’s test for urobilin/porpho test. Factor V Leiden and what it does. Coumarin therapy and how it affects. Theophylline therapy in babies and test for toxicity of what? HepB ANA homogenous/speckled/anti-smooth muscle/or anti-thyrotropine?…. What does plasmin do. Lots of urine strip test questions, like . CSF standing in room temp for 3 hours affects: immunoglob neutralization, glucose, etc. CSF should be stored for later testing how: -20C, -70C, RT, etc. Cushings shows: hyper/hypoglycemia or hypo/hyper calcium. Question about inappropriate ADH syndrome: decreased serum sodium, increased glucose, etc. Mg needs to be monitored in: severe vomitting, head injury, etc. bHCG level for positive control. Salmonella Paratyphi A. Sickle Cell test interference. Low serum erythropoein levels in what disease. Normocytic/Normochromic severe anemia with 0.1% retics; Fanconi’s anemia? One calculation: corrected WBC count. Pheochromocytoma. Catecholamines in urine. What does 5HIAA in urine mean. Given electrolyte panel and blood gases, what to measure: ethyl glycol, lead, salicylate, etc. Given picture of Auer Rods, confimatory testing (Phili Chromosome?) Absolute/Relative lymphocytosis/lymphopenia. A few questions (at least 3) about precision/sensitivity/specificity with true positives, false pos, true negs and false negs. My question was TP/(TP+FN)=? What are blastoconidia. Stain for cryptosporidium. Mycoplasma and arylsulfatase testing. Seminal fluid volume, motility, abnormal %. Distinguishing characteristic of micrococcus (furazolidone resistant). Non-fluorescing bacteria like Pseudomonas. I hope this helps!! Lot’s of random detailed questions…. These are probably the harder questions since I can remember them. Ex. of an “easy” question I got would be: shape of tyrosine crystals in urine, but not too many of those gimmes. It was hard, not gonna lie.

    • wordsology says:

      That’s an excellent review. Thank you so much for helping out your future colleagues. Congratulations to you!

    • Michelle says:

      Was this the MLT or MT ASCP?

    • DEE says:

      YES, This is almost EXACTLY what I got! The picture with Auer rods, i think SBB is more correct. I passed mine, but I wish I paid more attention on THIS. lol. Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      thank you so much for this,i really appreciate your effort in helping us, i still hoping to pass my exam in just 1 try. it really is expensive, thank you so much sohail for your kind heart. God bless us all :)

  2. Prima says:

    Hii sohail there’s no notes for clinical laboratory practice notes

  3. Mylee says:

    OMG, I did not passed my first time and now, I’m kind scary to go take the exam again. I’m really don’t want to fail again. Does anyone feel me on here. Please help me to overcome this fear.

    • Kea says:

      I feel the same way. I’m going to take the exam again in March.

    • Mona says:

      I totally understand. This has happened to me. I was devasted but all you have to do is try harder. Study harder and do it again. Failing is not the end of the world just more motivation to try and pass.

    • Erika says:

      Hi Mylee, I also failed the first time and this was about 4 years ago. I had been reluctant to take it again but I regret not taking it right away because I probably would of passed the second time since everything was fresh. I will be taking it the second time this May, my advice is to do the best you can and take it again right away so you don’t forget everything like me. Good Luck!

      • Yoro says:

        I failed on my first attempt -MLS(ASCP) exam. I got 381. I needed 400 to pass. I was disappointed because I thought I did good answering most of the questions. I had 4 antibodies panels in BB. I can not remember all the questions but here are a few of them: Tumor marker to monitor breast cancer(CA-15-3). Test for inflammation(CRP). Sweat test ..which of the following is used to clean the skin…70% alcohol, Water, Betadine. Respiratory Alkalosis. Anti Immune disease with an elevated ALP. Clinitest result turns quickly from blue to orange and back to blue….is this test pos or neg? 10ml of chemical sol spilled in the lab…pull the fire alarm, clean the spill, ask everybody to evacuate the lab? test to identify hairy cell? class of leukemia FM1 and FM3. what is a look back test procedure in QC that is more than one times out for a particular test.
        I used Robert Harr and Labce. All my MT reviews were 85- 92% and my CAT reviews were 63-66 %. I guess I was too confident and have missed a lot of details that could perhaps help me to pass my MLS. I am preparing to take again in November.

    • Veronica says:

      What subject were you most proficient in? I didn’t do well in urinalysis and blood bank. I’m retaking mines in 2 weeks and I’m getting anxious as well. I started restudying those subjects first until I was fully knowledgeable of them. I did really well on chem and heme so I pushed those to the back but now I feel as though I lost all chem knowledge. I did all the questions from heme/homeostasis/blood bank/immunology in the success book. Made note cards off the questions I got wrong. Made note cards from common/uncommon terms. Reviewed those until proficient. I’m also going through each subject on labce until I reach the 75% mark which was suggested on this website. I also am doing computer adaptive exams but I’m not averaging too well only 51% :( So I’m doing individual subjects until I have 75% on all test for a week. Then the week before the exam I’m going to go bk & do computer adaptive hopefully getting the suggested 55%. Good luck! Trust me I’m frkn out & I’m sure everyone retaking is as well.

    • James says:

      I failed the first time also and took the exam three months later and pass……..take that energy and just push on…..try not to think about failing

  4. Pri says:

    Hello , I need the answer of this question.
    Cryoprecipited AHF product was thawed/prepared at 10am, patient has X-Ray at 2pm ( takes about few hours) , what will you do with the product?

    • wordsology says:

      So the question here is – will the cryoprecipitated AHF expire? If the product is pooled, it will expire 4 hours after pooling; otherwise, it will expire after 6 hours. You could keep the product around at room temperature for the aforementioned number of hours. If it gets to be past that time and the product has still not been requested, it has to be discarded because it has expired.

  5. So what is the best book as a final review to pass the MLS (ASCP) exam? And is there any life classes?

    • wordsology says:

      There are a number of very good books listed under survival kit on the Passing Strategy page. Which one you choose depends on how you learn. Numerous colleges in the US offer courses in Medical Laboratory Science. Overseas colleges also offer courses.

  6. wordsology says:

    No live portion to the exam

  7. luz says:

    i failed two times the exam i had Robert Harr 2 edition and polansky card any suggestion please
    help me

  8. Suzy Boo Hoo says:

    Hi. I ordered the ascp practise exam as well as labce. I am doing well on the labce but the ascp practise exam makes me nervous. The questions are not as straight forward as labce and I am getting scared. Do you recommend studyinging with the Ascp practise test. It really is just th same test over and over again with no explaination when you get something wrong. It makes me really nervous. What do I do?

    • wordsology says:

      I’m not familiar with the ascp practice exam but if it doesn’t have explanations what’s the point? You can do it once to see what it’s like but the real purpose in doing questions is figuring out what youd don’t know and why. Explanations are the most important part of doing questions.

  9. Josh says:

    I just took my MLS (ASCP) on Saturday and passed. I really appreciated this web site and it guidance. The post from Valen on January 3, 2014 really pointed me in the right direction. That was the life saver.

  10. Ana says:

    Hi there!

    I’m glad that i came across this website. I’m from Pakistan and planning to take my ASCPi MLT exam in coming months. Though i haven’t register myself yet. I was wondering if you could help me with the free preparatory links for this exam? Like, books that you have mentioned in your passing strategy sections.. are they available online for free download? Can you share the link here. I really appreciate your help in this regard. Moreover, I will be needing your help as soon as I get my self register for the exam, lol. So Thank you in advance!

    • wordsology says:

      Hey there,
      To be honest with you I can’t really help in that regard. There are free resources available online. The best resource is probably the ascp site which allows you to do thousands of questions and see the explanations. It’s inexpensive for what you get so i’d recommend that. Good luck and i’m sorry I can’t help more.

  11. KAnderson says:

    I passed today!! Thank you so much for the suggestions on your site!! I used the Polansky cards, The Bottom Line Approach, and the labce practice tests. I’m also currently working in the lab where I did my internship in chemistry and hematology. Good luck to everyone taking their exam, the scariest part is definitely pushing the submit button!!

  12. kim says:

    If you fail the mlt ascp the first time how soon can you retake the exam?

  13. kim says:

    Also I keep hearing you have to answer enough hard questions to pass. Do you know how that works? I’m taking the mlt ascp test soon and I don’t feel confident. There’s just so much stuff to know that I really don’t even know where to begin.

    • wordsology says:

      The exam is based on adaptive testing. Thus there are a range of easy to hard questions worth few to many points. You’ll start out with easy or moderate level questions and if the computer sees that you are getting them correct it will give you more difficult questions. In other words, the computer will try to give you the types of questions that will help you pass the exam with the fewest numbers of questions. After you’ve passed that “point threshold” for passing, you’ll get easier questions until you’re finished with the exam. On the other hand, if you are NOT getting questions correct at the outset, the computer will give you easier questions in the hopes you will get them right. If you answer several correctly, you’ll see moderate and then hard questions. If you keep getting the difficult questions wrong, it will bring you down to the easier questions level again. Eventually, if you don’t have enough points to pass and you are getting close to the point of no return, the computer will just give you difficult questions (worth more points) whether you get them right or not b/c it wants to give you a chance to pass if at all possible – even if you have to guess.

  14. RC says:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for setting up this website. I took my exam and passed! Your Microbiology charts helped immensely! My questions consisted mostly of microbiology. Some chemistry and some blood bank. There was probably one Fungal, and one parasitology. Thank you so much for taking the time to set this website up.

  15. Jack says:

    I took the exam and passed! I want to thank you very much for this website. This site shows that you are a great person with you willing to share your notes ideas and just overall making this stressful preparation easier to deal with.

  16. Marry says:

    How many time are u Legible to take the ASCP exam for MT.. If you failed four times already?

    • wordsology says:

      I have heard that it can be taken a total of 3 times

      • abu Rayahan - oklahoma says:

        It should 5 times max, and after that you must re-apply from different route.

      • Bessey says:

        You are eligible to take it 5 times. After the 5th try if you fail you will be required to establish again your qualification before you will be allow to sit for the exam.

      • Shhh says:

        What do you mean by “establish again qualification”? What do we need to do if 5 x failed?

      • Bessey says:

        Shh, if you failed 5 times you will not be allowed to take the exam until you are qualified under the category you have taken that exam. For example if you were eligible for MLS and you took it 5 times and failed. You must provide ACSP BOC documentations indicating that you are qualified to take MLS exam again.

      • Shhh says:

        If 5 x failed the exam what type of documents/documentation you need to provide in order to be eligible to take the exam under the same category?

    • Shane says:

      You can take it up to a total of 5 times. Just spoke to an ASCP representative about a minute ago.

      • Bessey says:

        Shhh, if you are already working as a MT. Your supervisor must provide you with a experience document found on ASCP web site (t hat will allowed to qualified to take the exam. With this route you must wait a year or 2 depending on the kind of degree you have. Or you can be qualified by reapplying to a Med tech school for a year. Then the school will provide ASCP with documents allowing you to sit for the exam. The first option is better because you are paid. I hope this help

      • Shhh says:

        Thanks for the info! I am afraid to take the test again since it is limited to be taken only 5x. If anyone could give inputs on how to review starting from organizing the schedule which subject to review, Organizing materials/books, notes, reviewer how much time you spent.

      • tinee says:

        hi shh, based on my experience i read this book called “mastering multiple choice” you can google it, it gave me an idea or better say strategy has to face or how to deal tricky questions. the thing is you know yourself the answer its what we called hunch to the question but can be distracted with other choices, don’t! be confident with your answer defend it, but if not choose the next best answer. practice labce no matter what youre scores are .

    • Shane says:

      So, in your case, you can take it one more time.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Do we need to know formulas and solve equations on the equations?

  18. Jennifer says:


    I’m going to be taking the NYS MLS exam towards the end of April. I’ve been doing a lot of practice questions on LABCE. So far my Chem and Heme is sitting around 70-80%. However, I purchase the ASCP practice tests products where you pay $35 and you get 50 multiple choice questions in each subject area and 2 comprehensives. I did the Chem and heme since that’s all I’ve been reviewing the most the past 2-3 weeks and I score 50%. Is this a bad sign?

    Also is the NYS MLS license exam anything different than the ASCP license exam? I’m confused as to what’s the difference.

    • wordsology says:

      If you take the NYS exam you can only be licensed to work in NYS. Passing the ASCP exam allows you to work anywhere. I don’t know what the difference is with reference to difficulty or content however…

  19. Jefferson says:

    I recently took the ASCPi MT exam. This is a valid exam to gain CA Licensure as a CLS, correct? Also, aside from CA, where is this Certificate useful? I have been doing a lot of research but I yet to find another state that would honor this Certificate in lieu of the MLS Exam administered by the ASCP. Any information would be highly appreciated. Thanks

    • wordsology says:

      I believe the ASCPi is equivalent to the ASCP which is why it should be accepted in lieu of the ASCP. Did you speak to the licensing office of these states?

  20. jord says:

    hi,I am a new student for ASCPexam,I am so thankful to you for this site.this is really great.I’ve purchased Q&V review book by Polansky.So should I buy quick review cards too?Are they different?others I wish to buy are LABCE online practice test n book by Harr.Are they sufficient for my studies?

    • wordsology says:

      I believe the book by Harr (questions) and one review source (like Polansky), as well as LabCE (to force yourself to do thousands of questions) are sufficient resources if you really use them. Good luck jord

  21. Jennifer says:


    I’m taking my MLS NYS license exam in about a week and I’m extremely nervous and I was just thinking what is the limit as to how many times can you take the license exam? I want to pass it the first time but in case I don’t I don’t want to loose my only chance and might consider changing my exam dates. Please help!

    Thank you!

  22. Rigolito says:


    I recently passed my MLT(ASCP) exam and am now working on taking the MLS(ASCP) and AMT exams. For those wondering what are the differences between the LabCE practice exams, and the ASCP Practice Exams, I’ve come to learn that the ASCP practice questions help guide you in READING the questions- in other words, what’s it really asking you. A lot of times, a few keywords jump right out at you, but you need to keep a keen eye out for those “trick” words (i.e. not, except, etc). LabCE questions are more to gauge you in what you know and don’t know. I hope this helps.
    Also, a lot of the questions from the BOC book were on the exam (not word for word!), but very similiar! Again, I think it’s more to help you understand how the questions on the exam will be structured. Good luck!

  23. John says:

    Thanks for everything, I passed.
    However, this was one of the most useless tests I have ever taken. It definitely doesn’t assess if I am ready to be able to work in a laboratory.

  24. Shirley says:

    I’m the program director for a CLS program in Texas. I like what I see from your website and from your study strategies. Although the program that I direct just started, I’m going to direct all of my students here for your insightful tips and strategies. Thanks for your valuable information.

  25. ayyenc says:

    Hi, I took the ASCPi -MT exam today and PASSED.This site really helped me a lot in my review.I thought i will fail because I am only getting an average of 51-54% in LABCE computer adaptive TEST. I am working in MICROBIOLOGY only for 7 years now.That is why I got really scared when most of the questions are BLOOD BANK, CHEMISTRY & HEMATOLOGY. Thank you for your HIGH YIELD NOTES!God bless!

  26. Michelle says:

    Whew…. at last… a reference for MLS. Appreciate your efforts.

  27. Kobe says:

    I think if you fail the first time the question are a little similar if you take it within 2 month interval

  28. ninkendo says:

    Just passed my MLS ASCP. Thanks for the help!

  29. DEE says:

    I passed my MLS on my first time. I didn’t do LabCE because I was too late when I found it out and beside I already bought a few study guides, but the one that I most spend my time with was the Harr book, ASCP BOC book, and a botton line approach plus my class notes; it can be overwhelming, but I advice to focus brush through the small details and focus on the main stuffs, like really understand prehepatic/posthepatic jaudice in relation with bilirubin and urobilinogen, Hepatitis antigen and antibodies (their window), abnormal protein electrophoresis (each disease it entails), and RBC’s inclusions (howell bodies, peppenheimer, heinz body be able to ID them!). I got few questions on mycology and maybe 0-one on parasite, focus on chemistry, BB, hem, and micro more. BB more on ABO Rh, DAT, IS descrepancies. If you know the basic stuffs on each, you should be fine. Good Luck to future tester!!

  30. Kacy says:

    How long does it take for you to be excepted again after reapplying ? I am hoping and praying not 45 days again.

  31. blah says:

    I took my exam for the 2nd time today & failed again. I’m so aggravated & don’t know where to turn. I have the Harr & polansky cards. I even have the not so great BOC book which I’ve never opened. I did not sign up for Labce though. Is this my problem? Would it even help for a few weeks because I plan to reschedule next month already. If anyone can provide some helpful & encouraging words that would be great.

  32. Green Apple Guillergan says:

    Hello, I am getting the ASCP this August. Im so scared, coz I have a few times for review. It feels hard for me while Im working. Im studying basic compilations and Harr. Please advise or where can I go for your flashcards or summary. Please do share. Thanks

  33. Anne says:

    Hi good day! Thank you so much for this website. I will start studying ascp now, i want to take the test on august. i hope this website will help me a lot for my exam i hope i will pass the exam on my first try by God’s grace.

  34. Lando says:

    I posted your site to a new facebook page, do you know of any other really good Clinical Lab Science resources online?

  35. Jean says:

    I just took my ASCP exam this weekend and passed, and I just want to say thank you for this site. The notes really helped me to recall information. I do want to say that my test included all of the subjects with most of them being blood bank. I actually had more questions than I expected of virology, immunology, QC, instrumentation, and mycology. I would suggest that people planning to take this exam to not brush over those subjects because I probably had 10 questions from these areas. I also had questions about bilirubin, odd organisms in microbiology, pictures of immunodiffusion and what they meant, factor deficiencies/inhibitors, TSI slants, antibodies to various viruses and what they meant, QC question on machine with “no endpoint”, what cocaine is metabolized to, a few questions on liver and cardiac markers, a few questions on endocrine system/steroid hormones, pheochromocytoma, lots of questions on HDN, antibody panels, antibody screens, discrepancies in blood bank, etc. I was very nervous during the test and it was very difficult. I am just so happy to say I passed! Thanks for all your help!

    • wordsology says:

      I agree – if you feel comfortable with your knowledge of the basics and still have time, it’s good to go over the “low-yield” subjects because some people end up getting more than just a few of those questions. It’s the luck (bad-luck?) of the draw unfortunately. I’m glad it worked out for you and thanks for the information for all

  36. David says:

    I have a few questions. Is the Labce website subscription better than the ASCP website subscription for studying for the MLT certification exam? What’s the difference between the two? Which one better prepares you for the test? Is there any advantage that one can give you that the other one can’t? They both cost a pretty penny, I need help deciding. I am leaning more toward Labce but ASCP is the one that gives the big exam right? HELP!!??

  37. Jimmy Lee says:

    Hey, guys. I am taking ASCP MLS exam on June 30th, 2014. I just got out of the program, so I have good background/hands on experiences. Although I have been reviewing with ASCP guideline with Bottom Line Approach, LabCE, and a little bit of Harr’s book, I don’t feel 100% confident. And looking through comments, I noticed the exam is not always as it was stated in subject percentage wise (BB 17%, Hema 20%, etc…) I don’t even see Dce/Dce material on the bottom line approach, even though I think it’s important. Actually, I don’t even see it on the exam guide from ASCP. Would you give me some quick tips on the exam? Thanks.

    • wordsology says:

      it’s too late for my advice now but i hope it went well for you. read through peoples comments also – your peers provide some of the best information

  38. Jandra English says:

    I will be taking the MLS ASCP exam in a few months and I am desperately in need of any study materials or tips in preparing to help pass the exam. I was referred to your site, can you please help? Thank you

  39. Ruby says:

    I took my ASCP exam and passed! Thanks Sohail for your website and it’s great for future MLSs to support each other to succeed. My resources (in order of importance) were the Harr book, the review cards, and the LabCe. I must admit I didn’t use the LabCe too much, just a couple of times did the computer adaptive mode, and practiced some questions in my weaker area. I was getting 50% on the computer adaptive mode, so it was a bit discouraging. The exam today had ABO discrepancies, micro (mostly on GPRs & GNRs, mycobacteria), lots of UA/reagent strip case studies (unexpected). It is important to know the main reactions of certain organisms and what they need. ex) malassezia furfur requires olive oil, which org has gliding motility..etc. As long as you’re confident, you may do well, and the review at the end helped me go back and make sure I answered to the best to my ability. I did just graduate last month after a semester-long internship, so that helped.

  40. tinee says:

    Hi wordsology, i took the ascpi and PASSED! thank you for your website it really help me a lot and labce too. I was expecting to fail bcoz i’m just guessing some of the questions, but when i reached half of exam i was getting easy questions, so i was worried that either i am getting my answers wrong or i already reached the passing score which is 400. then as i kept going on it was a bit hard question for me but i’m also confident with my answer choices. when i hit the button it was as if the computer has already decided that i pass and it was a delight surprise for me. the thing is i couldn’t remember the questions anymore just maybe only 3 or 5 questions, all i know is I pass, i didn’t know how i did it, it just happened.

  41. Anna says:

    Good evening everyone, does anyone here had passed their ASCP exam and is willing to share with me his/her Labce simulator exam? I really want to study it,but i don’t have any credit cards. hope to be lucky here. please please. viber me: +63 9177034530 im planning to take my exam this september, ive got harr, ciulla and other review books but the labce thing requires credit card, and sadly i still dont have one.huhuhu

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