Medical Lab Tech Test Guide
By: Erin Hasinger, Tests.com
The voluntary medical lab technician and medical lab assistant certification is a way for lab technicians and assistants to demonstrate to prospective employers their knowledge and skills in medical lab work. While certification is not an industry requirement, many employers seek lab techs and lab assistants who have earned the certification. The Bureau of Labor Services notes that certification helps one advance their career faster than those without professional certification.
Certification is offered by the American Medical Technologists, a professional membership and certification organization. Once medical lab technicians and medical lab assistants meet the certification criteria, they may take an exam that, once passed, earns them the AMT designation.
Medical Laboratory Technician Exam
To qualify to take the medical lab technician exam, a candidate must be of good moral character and either have graduated or be nearing graduation of an accredited professional or associate’s degree program in medical technology, or have completed at least two years of accredited college coursework with 25 hours in medical technology.
The medical lab tech exam includes 200-210 multiple-choice questions that cover:
- General Laboratory
Applications to test are available online at http://www.amt1.com/files/MLT%20Application.pdf. Test candidates should complete and mail the registration forms and the $130 registration fee to the address provided. Once a candidate has been approved to take the exam, they will receive in the mail an Authorization to Test form, which will include specific details on scheduling an exam.
Medical Laboratory Assistant Exam
To qualify for the medical lab assistant exam, one must have graduated from or be nearing graduation of an academic program that includes a minimum of 200 didactic clock hours of total course time and 120 clock hours of clinical lab experience, or have completed at least 1,040 hours laboratory technology work experience within the last three years with at least 520 of those hours devoted to clinical lab duties.
The exam is comprised of 200-210 multiple-choice questions that cover the following topics:
- Clerical Skills
- Immunology and Serology
- Legal, Ethical and Professional Considerations
- Patient Test Management and Specimen Collection
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control
- Safety Standards, Procedures and OSHA Regulations
- Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology
Applications to test can be found at http://www.amt1.com/files/CMLA%20Application.pdf. The application, once completed, should be mailed to the address indicated on the form. Test candidates should include the $95 exam registration fee at this time. Once a candidate is approved to take the exam, they will be mailed an Authorization to Test form, which will provide specific details on scheduling the exam.
For both the medical lab technicians and medical lab assistants, exams are offered in both computer and paper-and-pencil formats; candidates can choose which format to take depending on their personal preference. All computer-based exams are administered year round at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. Pencil-and-paper exams have more limited availability; AMT schedules these exams at various dates and locations throughout the country. Three hours are given to test.
Results for the paper-and-pencil exam are mailed to the test taker’s home within six to eight weeks of the exam date, while score reports for the computerized exam are available immediately upon completion of the exam. Candidates must receive a score of 70 to pass; exams are graded on a scale of 0-100.
For more information on the medical lab tech or medical lab assistant exams, or to find exam prep materials, visit the Medical Lab Tech Test Directory.
Sources: American Medical Technologists, Bureau of Labor Services