Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

***UPDATE: Questions AND Answers are now posted***

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 (108 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 (313,000 plus 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.

365 Responses to Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

  1. JB says:

    My ASCP MLS exam is on january 30. didnt really get a chance to study a lot. but this site is motivating me. I am going to sign up with the LabCE and also mostly study from the polasky cards. I will keep you all updated. keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. bitsaif says:

    Sohail why didn’t u reply for my questions ???!!!!!!!

  3. Julia says:

    I passed the ASAP BOC for MLT yesterday morning and I wanted to say that I could not have done it without this site’s study plan and all the great information shared. I look forward to putting together the questions I experienced per subject and posting them here

    I will be taking Molecular Diagnostics this Spring and finishing the MLS portion of this program in the next year and a half – So only one more ASAP BOC Exam to go.

    Again, I want to say Thank You!

  4. SS says:

    Hello, I need some advise. I’m studying for the MLT exam and I have been using the BOC book and their app. A fellow student took the exam and this book didn’t help much, it was the grace of G-d. I know everyone is different in their study habits, but should I really be looking at the Polansky cards and Labce? I have already spend a lot of money on this book and can’t afford both of these. Now it looks like I have to consider paying for more. If you had to choose between the Polansky cards and Labce, what would you do? Consider that I do have this BOC book.

    • wordsology says:

      Some people have mentioned finding the BOC book useful. Most, including myself, didn’t find it so. In the end it comes down to how prepared you already are. If you are prepared then I think the BOC book may work for you b/c it’s hundreds of facts, rapid fire. If you aren’t well prepared, i’d go with labce and Polansky.

      • Jaz says:

        Lab ce questions $35 for one year, and also the funny book- yellow and purple book I have forgot the name. So far 5 people I know have used both and passed. Good luck

  5. Rafil Kako says:

    hey there
    I want to take MLT exam so what your suggestion for what can i read to pass that exam
    many thax

  6. Chad says:

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with passing the ascp mt exam? I missed passing it last time by two points and I mainly used the book success in clinical laboratory science, laboratory science review by Robert harr, the green book from ascp, and notecards by Polansky.

  7. Sasa says:

    Hi,i need help,i failed twice,i want to reapply for third time but i heard i have to wait for one year,is it true?

  8. Larissa says:

    Has anyone used the ASCP app on their phone to study from? I was just wondering how useful it is compared to the actual MLS test.

  9. Veronica says:

    After failing the ASCP BOC exam twice I retook the exam and passed! I used the success book for urinalysis, hematology and immunology and serology. I used all the diagrams posted on wordsology and they were all very helpful. I also used labce in different variations using the suggested % (off this site) as the minimum requirement.

    As we know the exam is a CAT so no exam is predictable as to what you should focus on. My 1st time taking exam it seemed like a horrible hematology exam, 2nd time it was filled with microbiology and 3rd and final time it was immunohematology based. Meaning that the questions were centered around that subject. So it can be a heme question but indirectly relating to immunohematology.

    I had about 20 questions that were direct. The others not so much. Don’t try to guess what they’re asking for. Read the questions thoroughly and answer what they’re asking. That might seem obvious but sometimes seeing familiar terms in an answers throws you off and you might lean towards that answer.

    Here’s so concepts that I realized was a major component of the questions.

    IMViC system
    Many GN Bacilli
    Factor deficiencies
    Typical Mycology organisms
    Renal pathology. (Success urinalysis section was the best study material)
    ~5 leukemia questions
    Although rare I had about 6-8 panels that were no as direct as Labce

    *Answer what they’re asking for. Don’t look for a “trick” don’t be paranoid.

    Use anything possible to remember any and everything that you have to think twice about while studying.
    PEE: IM (+) positive you’ll have to PEE
    Proteus Vulgaris
    E. coli
    Are “IM” indole & methyl red positive. Along w/ studying chart off wordsology you will be able to id organisms w/ out a doubt.

    Hopefully that was a little helpful to at least one person. Don’t give up!!!

  10. Chellezy78 says:

    Thank you for this website about the helpful information/suggestion in studying the ASCP-MLS exam. I took the MLS-ASCP exam and passed. I thought that I would fail because I had many case studies (hematology, syphilis, chemistry) and blood bank questions on my first 50 questions. I reviewed my answers 4 times and I always pray every time I changed my answers. Before I finished the exam, I prayed so hard. Here are some of the questions I remembered that I immediately noted after the exam. I do not have all answers but the questions would be helpful in studying the ASCP exam:

    1. What enzyme is increase in mumps?
    a. Lipase
    b. Creatine Kinase
    c. Lactate dehydrogenase
    d. Amylase (I answered this one because I associate the saliva with amylase)

    2. Cushing syndrome causes
    a. Hyperglycemia
    b. Hypoglycemia
    c. Hypercalcemia
    d. Hypocalcemia
    ***(I think high glucose since Cushing syndrome has high cortisol, which increases glucose)

    3. Case studies about lactic acidosis, and which patient reflects lactic acidosis.

    4. What is (TP x 100)/(TP + FN)
    a. Sensitivity (I answered this one)
    b. Specificity
    c. Precision
    d. Reproducibility

    5. Questions about two methods showing positive and negative result
    Positive Negative
    Method 1 50 98
    Method 2 100 90

    ***I could not remember the choices but it is about if Method 1 is more specific than Method 2 or is Method 2 more sensitive than Method 1.

    6. Preferred specimen for tacrolimus (but I could not remember the other names of the drugs)
    ***I think I selected whole blood

    7. Preferred testing for Legionella.
    ***I could not remember the other choices but answered urine antigen testing ( I read this question before).

    8. What is the immunity test (I think it was immunity, I could not remember but something like that) for CMV?
    a. Latex agglutination
    b. Heterophile test
    c. Culture
    d. Electron microscopy
    ***I got this one wrong coz I selected latex agglutination but I could not remember the source but it says viral culture. Check this link

    9. Specimen for rotavirus
    ***I answered stool

    10. Specimen for whooping cough
    ***I answered nasopharyngeal swab

    11. Sezary syndrome is:
    a. T cell lymphoma
    b. B cell lymphoma
    ***I could not remember the other choices. I think it is T cell

    12. Which of the following shows dosage (or does not show dosage, I could not remember) but memorize the antibody that shows dosage
    a. M
    b. FYa
    c. E
    d. Leb

    13. Questions about appearance of 3 CSF tubes.

    14. Question about describing sensitivity of syphilis ( I could not remember the choices)

    15. Patient has walking pneumonia but treatment shows penicillin resistance because:
    ***One of the choices “no cell wall”

    16. Magnesium must be monitored in
    a. Pre-vomiting
    b. Pre-eclampsia (im not sure but I selected this one)
    c. Diarrhea

    17. Antibody panel to rule out

    18. Increase in jaundiced with pancreatic mass (something like that)
    a. AFP
    b. CA19-9
    c. CEA
    d. Beta-hcg

    19. Normocytic, normochromic, normal WBC, normal platelet, but retics is 0.1%
    a. Pure red cell aplasia
    b. Fanconi’s anemia
    c. Aplastic anemia

    20. Blood smear picture that looks like Howell bodies, the retic is 18%, the technologist should stain with?
    a. Stain Heinz- body staining
    b. Prussian stain
    c. Repeat retic
    ***(it confuses me because Retic was 18% and the blood smear looks Howell bodies but I selected Heinz body staining)

    21. What is the problem or effect of dextran sulfate as anticoagulant in blood transfusion (something like that)
    a. Destroy D antigen (something like that)
    b. Solubility like antigen activity
    ***Cold not remember otherrchoices

    22. Pictures of Stomatocytes, what disease is associated?

    23. Pictures of Burr cell, what disease is associated?

    24. CBC result, Hct did not match Hgb (Hbg x3), what causes the false increase of Hgb?
    ***one of the choices is lipemia

    25. Rouleux is undetectable at?
    a. Room temp
    b. AHG phase
    c. Could not remember other choises
    d. IS

    26. Target cell blood smear, what is the effect of target cell on instrument (something like that)

    27. Adrenal cushing syndrome causes:
    a. ↑ACTH ↑cortisol
    b. ↑ACTH ↓cortisol
    c. ↓ACTH ↓cortisol
    d. ↓ACTH ↑cortisol

    28. Pic of blood smear with artifact something like:

    29. TSI = A/A and oxidase +
    a. Aeromonas
    b. Pseudomonas
    c. Enterobacteriaceae
    d. Serratia

    30. Pink colony on Mac, citrate positive, Lysine=neg, Ornithine posiive, Arginine positive
    a. Kleb Pnuemonia
    b. Kleb oxytoca
    c. E. aerogenes
    d. E. cloceae

    31. Cystic fibrosis associated with P. aeruginosa and organism that is catalase positive, oxidase positive:
    a. Acinetobacter
    b. B. cepacia
    c. Could not remember other choices

    32. Disease associated with unconjugated bilirubinemia

    33. ANA picture that look like the pic (I answered centromere, be familliar with ANA pattern)

    34. Donor deferral questions

    35. Acid-fast bacilli, potassium permanganate is used as: (I saw this on ASCP-BOC book)
    a. Quenching agent
    b. Mordant
    c. Dye
    d. Decolorizing agent

    36. Gram negative tapered ends
    a. Fusobacterium
    b. I could not remember other choices

    37. Pic of coccidiodes

    38. Platelet irreversible aggregation
    39. Calculation of cell count

    • wordsology says:

      This will be a great help i’m sure. Thank you so much!

      • Shhh says:

        Hi chellezy.
        1.What are the study materials did you use?
        2. How much time did you review?
        3. Study habits or review habits/schedule? Daily, time frame for each of the subjects?
        I ask these because this will give me an idea as well as others on how they could start to review and manage time.
        Thank you.

      • Chellezy78 says:

        Thank you for the tips you have provided especially the micro charts. You are helping many of us. Keep up the good work of this website :)

    • Shhh says:

      Hi Chellezy 78.
      What study materials did you use? How many months did you review?

      • Chellezy78 says:

        Hi Shhh:

        I just graduated last December 2014, and took the ASCP last January. I follow all the tips from this website such as subscribing to the, studying the microbiology charts from wordsology, Polansky card, and Harr. I also reviewed the ASCP book but I made sure to understand the question because the answer section does not provide detailed explanation. As for the length of time, It depends and varies in every individual. In my case, I started to review during my last semester ( around October 2014) by reading the review books. I made sure that I answer questions on labce frequently (maybe 100 a day) and it became my routine. Do not be overwhelmed on the microbiology section of the because there are too many difficult questions that I don’t think are useful for the ASCP exam. I strongly suggest to study micro through the chart on this website at wordsology. Then, I read 50 to 100 questions on the review books. Also, try to create mnemonic to reinforce retaining some confusing information ( the book below has great mnemonic ideas. The prehepatic/hepatic/post hepatic diagram is a great way to remember because they are always on the ASCP exam either on hematology or chemistry section).

        I would recommend to go to the testing center the day before the exam so that you know the location. It helps me familiarize the area and it lessens nervousness.

  11. Tek says:

    Hi, your site was given to me by my sister. I am interested in taking the exam just for personal satisfaction. I did not use my education in medical technology that is why I want to try if I can still remember some of our subjects. I hope you can help me. Pls give me notes if you have and ideas on how to best remember topics. It has been 19 years since I graduated from college. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

  12. Maggie says:

    Hi! I did my MLS exam last year, October and passed but I have been having a very hard time trying to get a job. I don’t know what to do anymore. Anyone with some advice or tricks I can use to get a lab job. Thanks guys!

  13. T&L says:

    Anyone who knows, just in case i didn’t take the exam on the scheduled date will that be considered as “failed” and that takes out 1 out of 5 chances to take the exam again?

    • wordsology says:

      From the website: “If you wish to reschedule your testing appointment, within the three month period, you must contact Pearson Registration at least one full business day (24 hours) prior to the date and time of the test to reschedule another date within the same three-month period.”….”If you call within 24 hours (one full business day) of your appointment, you will not be permitted to reschedule and you will be considered a “no show”. You will not receive any refund of your application fee nor can it be transferred to another examination period.”

  14. Sniper says:

    Thanks so much for helping!

    i did pass my exam last march 18 =D

    lots of question about blood typing, ANA , mixing studies, and some weird bacteriology question…

    Lactose fermenter, Oxidase + , A/A… choices are enterobacter, pseudo, hafnia and seratia..
    then, picture of red cell inclusion, TP/TP + FN ,

  15. Medtech says:

    I passed my ascp thanks to this website, a lot of blood bank questions, blood bank discrepancy, i had one panel which was fairly easy. a lot of questions what would you do given certain results. coagulation know what causes abnormal pt and aptt. mycology i got one picture, chemistry a few questions on instrumentation, for immunology hep marker that is common to acute hepatitis and a pass infection i chose anti-hbc, also markers for EBV and CMV infection, 2 questions on ANA patterns and the antibody associated with that specific pattern, for micro i had to differentiate between salmonella and citrobacter, also differentiate between the enterobacter species, thanks to your micro charts i was able to answer these questions.
    Good luck to everyone

  16. Errick says:

    I just wanted to say thanks. I used all the notes you provided and passed the exam today! The Microbiology and coag notes worked like a charm!

  17. CC says:

    I wish to thank the creator of this wordpress for providing high yield notes that are practically so helpful. I found your website 5 days before my scheduled ASCPi exam for International Medical Laboratory Scientist in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Your flowcharts and tables benefited me a lot not to mention your coagulation pathway tips. I got a confidence booster while reading your general tips in taking the CAT. At 11:30AM (Arabian time) of 21 March 2015, I took and passed the ASCPi exam after less than a month of reading Polansky’s book and the examination simulation of Allow me to share some of the items that were given in my exam:
    (1) Inappropriate ADH secretion sydrome;
    (2) Specifications of FFP refrigerator;
    (3) Components of PCR;
    (4) Interpretation of blood smear with sickle cells;
    (5) Interpretation of blood smear with polychromatophilic cells;
    (6) Interpretation of blood smear with tear drop cells, ovalocytes;
    (7) Separation and storage temp of FFP;
    (8) Temperature requirement after cryoprecipitate thawing;
    (9) Biochemical tests in identifying bacteria like Pseudomonas, Erysipelothrix, etc.;
    (10) Antibody panel (simpler than what are given in labce;
    (11) Urine chemistry (interpretation of results & clinical significance);
    (12) Best presumptive test for stool in dx of rotavirus;
    (13) Image of a fungus (Aspergillus);
    (14) Motility test for Yersinia (I found it in your Enterobacteria flowchart);
    (15) Strength of H antigen: O, A2, B, A2B, A1, A1B;
    (16) S-s-u rare blood group (100th question in my exam :));
    (17) Expiry of blood when 40% glycerol added;
    (18) Donor deferment following aspirin intake;
    (19) Interpretation of immunodiffusion (with images);
    (20) Photometric measurement of iron;
    (21) Laboratory picture of hemolytic patient in reference to serum ferritin, iron, transferrin and transferrin saturation;
    (22) Secondary hyperthyroidism (increased total T4 and TSH);
    (23) Ion affected by Bromide measurement;
    (24) Clinical significance of target cells;
    (25) Characteristics of Micrococci;
    (26) Hallmark feature of chronic hepatitis B;
    (27) Indole difference between Klebsiella oxytoca and K. pneumoniae;
    (28) Helicobacter pylori for antral gastritis (biochemical tests);
    (29) Anaerobic cocci associated with jaw abcess (choices were Peptostreptococcus & Veillonella);
    (30) Clostridium perfringens (double zone of hemolysis);
    (31) Equivalent color produced with Hektoen if TSI is A/A, gas;
    (32) Interpretation of forward/reverse ABO typing, Rh and antibody screen;
    (33) Effect of ACTH administration to blood cell count;
    (34) Calculation of the number of blood units for compatibility testing given the % of specific blood group antibodies (2 questions);
    (35) VLDL as the carrier of endogenous TAG;
    (36) Indicator of nutrition (I answered Prealbumin);
    (37) AFP as tumor marker (found in this website);
    (38) Enzymes to dx skeletal muscle disorder (exactly mentioned in this website) – AST, LD, CK;
    (39) The first cardiac biomarker to rise ff AMI (exactly mentioned in this website) – Myoglobin;
    (40) Heaprin as circulating anticoagulant (found in this website);
    (41) Protein S and C, their role in hemostasis;
    (42) APTT and PT questions (the coagulation diagram in this website is amazing);
    (43) Factor 5 Leiden mutation;
    (44) Pheochromocytoma (VMA) – found also in this website;
    (45) Cushing sydrome (cortisol increased) – found in this website “Adrenal gland”;
    (46) Anemia classification based on blood indices;
    (47) MCV, MCHC values determination based on an image of blood smear showing red blood cells;
    (48) Markers for T lymphocyte like CD3 (choices were based on the role of the specific T cell);
    (49) May-Hegglin (found exactly in this website) – giant platelets, thrombocytopenia and hemolysis;
    (50) Pelger-Huet anomaly – clinical significance; and
    (51) Hb H in Alpha Thalassemia.

    More power to this website!

    • wordsology says:

      You are a tremendous help to your future colleagues and a testament to good nature. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, and CONGRATULATIONS charliepcruz!

  18. Kavitha says:

    Need help to clear M ASCP. I have time for 3 months so please give me useful tips as how to start and how to progress.

  19. Natasha says:

    i am taking the MLS exam in a month and some days ive been having nervous break downs about it :( this site helps calm me down telling me how to study. Yes, i’ve heard it all about how people have studied for this exam and i agree with the BOC book not being helpful. My school program made us sign up for the Labce as a class requirement and i am glad they did, granted it doesnt help for studying but just to see where you are at and practice questions. I like the Labce. I am also studying the Polansky cards and I feel good about them. I study the cards one subject at a time in the span of a week and do the 50 questions after each study day. I hope this helps.

    • wordsology says:

      That’s a great strategy. I’m glad this site helps you in the way you described. It’s heartening to hear, actually. Good luck to you and don’t have nervous breakdowns. You have a good strategy and you’re sticking to it.

  20. Nancy says:

    Has anyone taken the ASCP MLS exam recently? I take mine in a couple of weeks and have been studying here and there (whenever I am not working or taking care of my kids). I’m looking for pointers, example questions, anything that will help. Thanks!

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