Phlebotomists encounter tests and exams throughout their phlebotomy training. Exams must be successfully completed to graduate from a training program and when becoming a certified technician. Certification exams are standardized tests designed to test phlebotomists’ knowledge of phlebotomy technique, including blood collection procedures and safety procedures and protocol.
Though not legally required of practicing phlebotomists in the United States (with the exceptions of California and Louisiana), many employers will not hire non-certified technicians. Thus, having certification is an asset to phlebotomists. Studying for any exams, especially national certification exams can be a stressful task. Phlebotomy practice tests can show students areas of weakness. Knowing what to study can make exam preparation more efficient and improve students’ confidence.
Phlebotomy practice tests are widely available and usually consist of questions modeled after questions that will be present on the exam. The correct answer for each question is provided. The best phlebotomy study guides will provide an explanation in combination with the correct answer. Perhaps the easiest method of attaining a practice test is through the certifying agency with which you are writing the exam. Two good examples are tests available through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
A 90-day access pass to the ASCP’s phlebotomy online practice exam can be purchased for $25. Those who purchase the ASCP’s practice exam will have access to 5 unique practice tests, each with 50 questions. Each question is written in the same format as the questions found on the certification exam. Review materials, including review books and practice tests, are available through the NCCT. The NCCT offers a variety of packages, ranging in price from $15 to $60.
A study guide may also be a useful tool. Phlebotomy Exam Review (3rd edition), written by Ruth E. McCall and Cathee M. Tankersley, comes highly recommended. This guide prepares phlebotomists for ten national certification exams, including the ASCP and NCCT. This text meets the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Written in outline format, this comprehensive text contains over 800 multiple choice questions. The correct answer and an explanation are provided for each question.
Phlebotomy students may also find study tools like flashcards beneficial. Seventy-nine interactive phlebotomy flashcards are available online from Study Stack. Many different phlebotomy websites have downloadable or hardcopy flashcards available for purchase. Some phlebotomy associations offer posters and instructional videos as well, all aimed at helping you successfully obtain your phlebotomy certification.