[Histonet] Exam Prep Info/Guidance/Suggestions
joelleweaver <@t> hotmail.com
Fri Nov 11 10:47:09 CST 2011
LynI am happy if I can help. It is a difficult exam, with one of the lowest pass rates and you got really close on your first try so don't be hard on yourself. I wish you the best of luck, and I am confident you will be successful on your next attempt!
Joelle Weaver MAOM, BA, (HTL) ASCP
From: LStadler <@t> cbiolabs.com
To: joelleweaver <@t> hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Exam Prep Info/Guidance/Suggestions
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 16:28:44 +0000
Thank you so much for your detailed and thoughtful response!
This is most greatly appreciated and I am so grateful for histonet for this kind
of professional interaction and support. I will take your info into account and
be sure to let you know how it goes!
From: joelle weaver [mailto:joelleweaver <@t> hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 10:25 AM
To: Lyn Stadler;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Exam Prep
I compliment you on your organized approach. I did not
take the exam "recently", I am old now! But as part of my previous job I
spent a lot of time analyzing the content and exam topics for the HT exam. If
you look at both outlines (HT and HTL) you will see that they cover a broad
scope of histotechnology. Many people assume that it is mostly "routine"
histology, but in fact they throw some obscure things in there and some
histology speciality practices, and my understanding from a teleconference
on the topic from the exam preparers and working with ASCP and NAACLS, is
that they want to encompass the full spectrum of possible environments where
histologists may work.There are key differences between clinical and research
environments, but the basic histology theory is the same, just practices and
emphasis differences. This makes sense if you think about their
purpose(s). So if you understand the fundamentals you should be able to move
easily between the environments and I believe that is what they are going
Anyhow, I think that the newest Carson
edition is good, but my personal feeling is that it is quite heavy on the
very routine and most common special stains only, and though it is much better
than the previous ones ( which I felt were very superficial), it is still mostly
routine since it is meant to be an introductory text. I recommend the Sheehan
and Hrapchak text for studying the less common special stains, if you can
utilize this for the underlying chemistry and theory. Though bear in mind
that this text is quite old now and some techniques presented are pretty
outdated, but you can get the theory from it. It is not as "reader" friendly,
and less pictures, mostly diagrams if any, but the chemistry is laid out
pretty well in my opinion, though you have to dig around a bit. My advice
to people has always been to make some attempt to understand the
underlying chemistry so that you are not trying to memorize stains. They
can be grouped according to chemical interaction and target
tissue element for study purposes. Then you will not be thrown off by
"modifications" and variations so much for histochemical stains. I
organized it this way when I taught chemistry of stains and this seems to help
people digest the information without getting overwhelmed by all the stains out
there. The web is good these days for providing practice images and
gets you used to seeming them on a monitor- though there is
no replacement for spending time at the microscope. I think being
strong in tissue identification also helps immensly for both HC and IHC
staining, so any time you spend with that at the scope is great in my
opinion. The BOR study guide is good to get you used to the wording
and presentation of the questions that are used ( being retired or not used exam
questions), and gives you some idea of the scope of the content. The more
difficult questions are marked with an * in the guide, and they represent the
type and level of questioning on the HTL. Also that exam is more heavy on the
application, troubleshooting and synthesis. There are some operations questions
on there as well that do not appear on the HT exam. I like the CAP website for
information for background on compliance and higher level functions.
The NSH study materials I also feel are very helpful for content review, and
available from their website.
Here are some other good resources on the web that I
think make for a good review:
Joelle Weaver MAOM, BA, (HTL) ASCP
> From: LStadler <@t> cbiolabs.com
histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:50:41
> Subject: [Histonet] Exam Prep Info/Guidance/Suggestions
> All ~
> I am about to begin preparing for the HTL
certification exam. (I supposse it is only fair to mention that this is will be
my second attempt. My first exam taken last month with a score of 382 out of a
minimum passing score of 400).
> As a "research" Histology
Technician, a good majority of the material covered on the exam was new to me.
My prep for the first exam was to read "Histotechnology, A Self-Instructional
Text, 3rd Edtion" by Carson and Hladik and then answer a lot of "practice
questions" from the Board of Registry Second Edition Practice Questions book. I
focused mostly on the special staining info and images because of the high
concentration of questions on the exam as well as my limited professionnal
exposure to these...unfortunately, it was still the area i did most poorly in on
> In order to go a little more in depth the second time
around, my plan is to is to re-read each chapter ( of Carson), then assess my
knowledge by being sure I can do each of the "Chapter Objectives" and then
answer the questions in the self-assessement workbook, then answer the questions
on that particular chapter topic from the Seond Edition of the Board of Registry
Study Guide, Practice Questions for the Histotechnology Exams (The Purple Book).
I have other textbooks at my disposal, but as a mostly visual learner, I find
Carson's approach to best get the information into my brain! Again, once I feel
comfortable with all the basic knowledge, I would focus mostly on
> Specifically, I would like feedback from anyone who
has recently passed the exam about my approach, and suggestions for other ideas.
Also, I have very limited CAP/Joint Comission type knowlege and wonder if anyone
can offer a resource for "basics" for someone like me in research who is not
presented with the info and regulations on a daily basis! Also, any suggestions
for images online of special stains would be a great resource for me.
> Thanks in advance for any and all info!
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