Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

I’m back from Siberia and officially A1- certified in Russian! Nothing particularly special about that but i’m pleased :)

***UPDATE: How to Solve an Antibody Panel now posted***

***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 (400,000 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.

588 Responses to Personal Website of Sohail Ahmed

  1. CloFro says:

    Hi, I took my exam about 2 weeks ago and passed. I too had hard questions in the beginning and around question 70 began to get really easy questions. I gave myself a month to study after graduation and I mainly used, the notes on this website, Clinical Laboratory Science Review: A bottom line approach by Patsy Jarreau. (Tip: You can by it directly from Louisiana State University Health Science Center for $50-$60 and have it mailed to you. Amazon charges twice that.) and the Success! in Clinical Laboratory Science by Anna Cuilla. If you are really weak in Blood Bank, I would highly recommend watching the Blood Bank Guy videos on Youtube.

    My scores for LabCE were roughly 60% for individual sections and my highest MLS Adaptive Test was 61% with a difficulty of 6.47.

    For the ASCP certification the questions I received were mainly Blood Bank (LOTS of DATs, If mother is type A- and baby is B+ what is the most likely cause of a HDFN?, What is the next step to determine if the reaction is due to Rh or ABO discrepancy? Know how to recognize common discrepancies, etc.)
    -Lots of Microbiology questions. The flow charts helped me SO much here. Even if I wasn’t sure of the answer, I was able to eliminate wrong answers to reach a conclusion.
    -I got 4 questions regarding RPR’s and VDRLs.
    -1 question over parasitology
    -A question that showed various titers of IgG and IgM for CMV and EBV and you were to determine if it was an active infection of both or just one of the viruses
    – 1 or 2 questions regarding Westgard rules and a graph
    – Other subjects I remember: Cushing’s Disease, Metabolic/ Respiratory reactions (Bottom line approach makes it easy), Thyroid diseases, ANA, Specificity vs Sensitivity, Bombay phenotype
    Most of the questions are phrased differently than LabCE though. They are very situational (Ex. A nurse draws a tube of blood for testing but is left out for 12 hours what tests can be run or do you reject it? Your controls are out of range what could be the cause? Do you continue and process patient samples?) .

    Lastly thanks for putting this website and forum together. This was one of the most helpful in boiling this mass of information down to manageable bits. It helped make things clear and and bring home the big points.

    • wordsology says:

      thank you so very much, CloFro – It’s really the folks visiting this site that make it run. Once again, you’ve provided invaluable information to a great many people. Thank you for paying it forward and congratulations to you!

  2. oronda says:

    Can anyone say how important instrumentaion is in the exam,can’t seem to get the concepts right.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Just passed my MLT exam! Waited way to long after graduating to take it and it was really hard for me! Thank you for the micro charts they did help a lot!

  4. Samy says:

    Hi jenifer,
    Congrtulation !!! can u give me some information about reading material or book name which you hv used in exam? I am prep for exam so it should be very helpful for me. Thanx & appreciate.

    • Mirna says:

      Hey Samy, all you need is the Medical Laboratory Science Review by Robert R. Harr and the Quick Review Cards for Medical Laboratory Science by Valerie Dietz Polansky. I actually also did some courses on LabCE. There’s the SUCCESS yellow and green book but I found the Harr one better.

      Hope that helps.

      Oh and if you’re applying for the CA CLS License, make sure you do it as soon as you pass your exam, because they lag a lot!!

    • Mirna says:

      Oh and also, check the high yield notes on this website.
      The Microbiology noted helped me a lot!

  5. oronda says:

    Yesterday I passed my ASCPi MLS,I would like to thank all the people who pay it forward and contributed to this website, offering support and sharing questions ,I like almost everyone else had quite a few antibody panels and abo discreptancies and microbiology questions that were easily answered by the flow charts provided on this chart .My one advise for people about to take this exam would be to understand the prinple behind all chemistry tests because none of my questions were straight forward ,Also the pictures given to identify stuff seem so low resultion (Ascp need to upgrade pics).The test honestly gives you the feeling of failure but remain calm and dont get fustrated if you don’t know an anwer used the process of elimination then choose the best remaining answer, take a deep breath and continue you’ll do just fine.
    Goodluck …

  6. Olga says:

    OMG! I passed my MLS ASCP! I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful page! I used all your hugh yeild notes, especially Microbiology. Thank you again for helping all of us!

  7. Monet says:

    Just passed my MLS ASCP yesterday after a 2 month school break, and I found this website Super helpful! Wanted to thank you so much for your wonderful charts, they were a great study aid! I actually had one of the questions someone else posted here on my exam (the one about the enzyme controls being 3SD’s out of range). Here are my study tips: Definetly use the Success Book, Clinical lab Science Review: A Bottom Line Approach and Harr. I also used LabCe but don’t count on it being a true gauge of you knowledge because questions repeat and the material is so broad. If you do every question in Success and Harr, and really understand the answers; then use the memory tricks in the review book and drill yourself on LabCE you’re pretty much set to pass. I loved the flow charts on this site and made many of my own. I devoted 3 weeks to intense studying with this approach and passed the 1st time. Good luck future exam takers, study hard and you will do fine!

  8. Adrienne Salazar says:

    i just passed my MLS exam! this site was of big help! i got A LOT of blood bank questions especially about DAT and ABO discrepancies. i also had a bunch of questions where they show you a blood picture and you choose the disease associated with it (ex: burr cells – uremia). i had 2 questions about urinary casts. i had one about platelet aggregation studies. pcs steps. rbc inclusion associated when a toddler ingests a moth ball (naphthalene) — i believe the answer is Heinz bodies. t(15;17) for promyelocytic leukemia or M3. APTT and PT mixing studies. for microbiology i had one question about Erysipelothrix and another about Bacillus anthracis. i didnt get any blood gas and ANA questions at all. thank you again for helping us and to everyone who contributed to this site!

    • ana says:

      hi …
      can you help me and let me borrow your LABCE access codes if you still have access…
      am out of money for real… i cant even pay for the subscription …
      i scheduled to take the test on 22/November… this is my only chance to t start working… :(
      i would be thankful if you can help me… pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese please please

      • Adrienne says:

        Hi! Sorry but i don’t have any access codes. You can play the labce free game if you’re out of money. It’s pretty much similar but has fewer questions than the simulator.

      • ana says:

        thanks and congratulation

    • wordsology says:

      congratulations Adrienne and thanks for the tips!

  9. Kk says:

    Just took my ascp today for the 3rd time an I passed. I just want to thank you for the charts, they helped me so much I probably had over 40 questions that was all micro an it came right from them charts. An the rest was all bloodbank. I had maybe 2 urine and 5 dilutions and 1 or 2 pic for hematology. Was a really hard exam. I’m just so thankful for the charts they really saved my butt. An anyone else that failed it 2x don’t give up, I wanted to but I had people pushing me and alot of prayers to the man upstairs. Good luck to anyone going 2 sit for the exam.

  10. Adrienne says:

    Hi!! For everyone who passed their exams, how many weeks did it take for your certificate to get in the mail after you have passed? I took the ASCPi since Im a foreign graduate. But I live in California. Your responses are greatly appreciated.

    • Gab says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience and the questions youve encountered

    • Oronda says:

      I recently took mine and the certificate took 2 weeks to get to me, I’m in Maryland.

      • Gab says:

        Can you guys post questions you remember? Please will ne takong ascp soon. Or majority of the subjects you encountered. It would be a big help.

      • Adrienne says:

        thank you :)

      • Adrienne says:

        hey Gab. Here are some of the exam contents that I can remember.. for BLOOD BANKING, most of them were about ABO discrepancies, DAT, HDN and they were all situational hehe. I had some questions about blood component storage and processing (take note of the storage temp and shelf life of each and how they are processed), transfusion rxns and donor deferral. Oh and I had several panels but they were all obvious (there was a pattern). For HEMATOLOGY, they gave me more or less 5 abnormal blood pictures and I had to identify which disease is specific to that corresponding blood picture (example: Burr cells – Uremia) I had one which goes “What red cell inclusion would appear on an infant’s blood smear after accidentally swallowing a mothball?” — I believe the answer is Heinz bodies. I had questions about sickle cell anemia, some leukemias, PT and APTT, mixing studies, and platelet aggregation. I was also asked to calculate for MCV and corrected white cell count. For CLINICAL CHEMISTRY, memorizing the reference values (refer to Polansky on this one) for each analyte especially bulirubin, BUN, glucose, and blood gases would do you great help. Most questions were of case study type. You must be familiar with the enzymes and hormones. Diseases/conditions I repeatedly encountered were Hyperthyroidism, lactic acidosis, respiratory/metabolic acidosis/alkalosis, SIADH, Addison’s and Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus to name a few. I was asked to solve for osmolality, anion gap and creatinine clearance too. For MICROBIOLOGY, it is important to memorize or be familiar with the biochemical reactions (the charts in this site helped me a lot) for each bacteria especially Strep (CAMP, PYR, hemolysis, growth on 6.5% NaCl, bile esculin etc) and Enterobacteriaceae (IMVIC, TSIA etc). Also take note of the specific culture media for certain bacteria (ex: Fletcher medium – Leptospira). Some species that I could remember from my exam were Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and Bacillus anthracis. I also had questions about Fungi and their biochemical reactions and a few about viruses and parasites (autoinfection – Strongyloides). For URINALYSIS AND BODY FLUIDS, all that I can remember is that I was given a photo of a cast and crystal and I had to identify which types were shown and something about CSF, exudates and transudates. For IMMUNOLOGY/SEROLOGY, they were mostly about immunoglobulins and serial dilution. I had one question about PCR. I was asked to identify one ANA pattern too and the corresponding disease. And last but not the least, I had a few questions about TOXICOLOGY that I was completely clueless of. hahahahahahahaha.

  11. d says:

    hi! im taking my ascpi exam in 2wks!!!any word of advice?.

  12. jj says:

    ill be taking my exam in2 weeks..and im scared and freaking out.. i have my labce exam simulator and my percentage is only in 50%.. what should i do?. any advice wordsology?.

  13. Choneng says:

    My ASCP exam today was not easy…. but my preliminary result is PASS!!! Yay!!!! Thanks for the exam tips. It was helpful.

    Questions on my exam were more on Mycology, Bacteriology, and Blood Bank!

    Mycology: identification based on descriptions or microscopic view of the organism
    Bacteriology: like you said, straight forward- biochem tests, growth on what media, so on… then identify which bacteria.

    Blood bank: mostly ABO grouping discrepancies and Antibody screen probs- what u should do if u encounter this and that; and two questions about how many units do u need if you want this antigen-negative blood (given its frequencies in the population)

    Hematology: cells in the smear ID; computations- diff count, cell counts; then which stain to use for this type of inclusion, hemoglobin suddenly decreases, platelet aggregation

    Chemistry- i was asked to read and interpret HIV-1 immunoblot; questions about Hemolytic anemia (bili, urobili,haptogobin); i was asked about in what condition do you need to monitor Magnessiun, or when does K+ increase.

    AUBF- nitrite question, when to suspect presence of contrast dye, reagent strip interferences

    So far, those were the things I remembered.

  14. john says:

    Hello Wordsology
    I have been a regular on this wonderful website and have a question for you. I am taking my ASCP MLS exam in three weeks. This is my second time taking it and the score of my first one was 392.. Im really hoping to pass this time. My questions is following,,, WHY is it that the chemistry section is Harr book is contains so much detail?? Harr book has been great for me until I got to chemistry.
    It probably has 100X more detail than Success book and Labce. I need your advice on studying chemistry.. I did pretty well on the 1st ASCP I took.. score was 485 for chemistry. I studied mainly Success and labce and was able to get 485. I just feel little discouraged because of Harr…

    • Breanna says:

      Don’t be discouraged I felt the same way about the chemistry section in Harr and I skipped that section. I did a lot of chemistry LabCE questions, looked at the polansky cards, and read through the comments on this site to get a feel for what type of chemistry questions I might get. I passed my ASCP MLS exam two weeks ago, and I wish you the best.

  15. Milka says:

    Hello, I passed ASCPi MLS test yesterday and I can’t thank you enough for this site. It still seems like a dream and I can’t wait until they send the certificate… haha! I used Polansky and LabCE and for blood panel test……collection of questions from colleagueson indeed ASCP form and on this site, youtube pictures for hematology. Strep, staph and enterobacter charts, hematology, bloodbank and chemistry on this site were very very helpful.You really are a generous person and I wish you all the best in your path.

  16. keesh says:

    I have a blood bank question, I recently came across a patient that was giving a dose of IGG immunoglobulin, and it caused the patient to forward one type and reverse type something different. Any Idea why this happens? and if so what can be done about it?

  17. Gab says:

    Took a Labce exam and wow.. My difficulty now is 6.00+ with scores of 56. Weeks ago my difficulty ranges only to 4.00+ Labce, polansky and harr is really helpful. Still have a month to study and i will use that month to reread notes and study the high yield notes you’ve uploaded here. Hope to pass my exam. Been doing your study tips and so far so good. :)

  18. kris says:

    hi! does anyone have a LabCE account I can borrow? I can’t really afford purchasing the MLS exam simulator. please do email me at I would really appreciate your generosity

  19. Oliver A. says:

    Hello all,

    Passed my MLS exam yesterday. The first five questions gave me some trouble. Spend almost 30mins answering them. But after that I paced myself towards the rest of the questions. Heres some valuable information I want to share.

    Know your GNR flowchart. I got at least 7 questions out of it. Include moraxella and acinetobacter to it because I neglected to include those to my chart.

    Sharpen up on your antibody panel screen. I got at least 7 questions from it.

    MYCOLOGY!! I got at least 9 questions including pictures. I think I bombed half of it.

    I didn’t get lots of chemistry, I can guarantee you that. I braced myself for that subject and end up not getting many.

    I got a few questions in hemo that included a couple coagulation questions about mixing studies and lab results for DIC TTP ITP.

    Overall, it’s a not a tough test if you prepare yourself well. I studied PATSY JARREAU, CARTOON BOOK AND MLS BOOK BY HARR. and I also found YouTube to be most helpful in many areas of the topic I don’t have a clear understanding of. I highly suggest it!!

    Please relax yourself the moment you take the exam. It helps a lot.

  20. Shhh says:

    Hello Wordsology, Is there a waiting period to retake the test when failed 3 times already?

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