SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Certification: Study Material, Study Guide, Reading List, Eligibility Routes and Exam Prep

SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Certification by MLSIACADEMY

The SCT (ASCP) Specialist in Cytology certificate is alone enough to take you to the top seat in your cytology specialist career.

This certificate adds advancement to your abilities and skills and makes you a highly sought-after person in the medical lab. This certificate enhances your popularity and opens new doors to getting a well-paying job.

What are the exam content area, eligibility requirements, reading list resources, best study material, and strategies to get this ASCP certificate, here we are going to explain all.

What Does SCT ASCP Mean?

The American Society For Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) conducts a test to determine the candidates' experience in cytology. The candidates who prove their skills by passing the test qualify for the SCT (ASCP) certificate.

Candidates must have a strong command of Laboratory Operations, Non-Gynecological Cytology (further divided into Genitourinary System, Respiratory System, and Body Cavity Fluids), Gynecological Cytology, and Other and Fine Needle Aspiration to get good scores.

ASCP cytology specialist has advanced knowledge, abilities, and experience to perform lab experiments. They used their advanced knowledge to analyze the cellular specimens from the whole body including advanced cancer diagnostics, bronchoscopic/endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirations, etc.

SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY


The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) is the oldest credentialing agency for lab professionals. It divides almost all certificates (a few are not; for instance, CTgyn ASCPi is only for international) into two categories ASCP and ASCPi due to candidates' residence.

Therefore, the SCT ASCP credential goes to U.S. candidates and the CT (ASCPi) credential goes to international candidates.

The exam syllabus, preparation resources, and exam method are the same for both U.S. & international candidates. However, eligibility requirements and application fees ($300 for the U.S. and $260 for international) are different.

Requirements for SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology

Before submitting your application for the exam, you have to meet some eligibility requirements that ASCP BOC demands, which may be related to previous experience in the cytology field or any diploma. The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) determines the different eligibility routes for both SCT ASCP/ASCPi.

Eligibility Routes for SCT (ASCP)

  • Route 1: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a CT (ASCP) certificate. And full-time, three years of cytology clinical experience from an acceptable lab.
  • Route 2:  ASCP technologist in cytology certification and a baccalaureate degree from an approved educational institution. And cytology three years of experience as an academic teacher.
  • Route 3: Master-level cytology program offered by CAAHEP and master’s degree

Eligibility Routes for SCT (ASCPi)

  • Route 1:  CT(ASCPi) certification, a baccalaureate degree, and clinical experience (three years) in cytology.
  • Route 2: Baccalaureate degree, CT (ASCPi) credential, and three years of expertise as an academic tutor in clinical cytology.

SCT ASCP Exam for Specialists in Cytology

The ASCP cytology specialist exam comprises 100 MCQs that opt from a BOC-determined exam content area. Each exam content area offers a different percentage of questions. For instance,

  • Other and Fine Needle Aspiration: 15 – 25%
  • Gynecological Cytology: 20 – 25%
  • Laboratory Operations: 35 – 40%
  • Non-Gynecological Cytology: 15 – 25%
  • Each category of non-gynecological cytology including the genitourinary system, respiratory system, and body cavity fluids offers an equal percentage: 5 – 10%
SCT ASCP Exam Content Area by MLSi ACADEMY

You have two and a half hours to accomplish this test. All the questions that the computer asks, you have to solve, whether you know their answers or not. Because there is no skip option.

This test is designed based on computer adaptive testing, which appears the next question by evaluating your intelligence based on your previous answers.

If your answer is right, the upcoming question will be harder than the last. Contrary to this, the computer shows slightly easier questions based on your incorrect answer.

SCT ASCP Exam Content Guidelines and Study Guide

ASCP BOC determines the exam syllabus to clear up all confusion related to the exam. To pass the ASCP cytology specialist test, you have to learn all the content areas so that you may get a credential with a high score. Following are the BOC-recommended exam content area

Fine Needle Aspiration & Others Study Guide

  • Triage of FNA & rapid onsite evaluation
  • Normal cellular morphology and Histology
  •  Embryologic origins, physiology, and anatomy
  • Cytopathology, cytopathology, and biologic behavior

Gynecological Cytology

  • Physiology, anatomy and embryologic origins
  • Cytopathology, embryologic origins, and pathology
  • Normal cellular morphology and histology

Laboratory Operations

  • Management
  • Education & training
  • Quality management
  • Companion Diagnostics
  • Instrumentation/Cytopreparation techniques (comprises processing, collection and special technique)
  • Infection control & safety (SDS, OSHA, NIOSH and NFPA)

Non-Gynecological Cytology

Three main categories are

  • Genitourinary system
  • Body cavity fluids
  • Respiratory system

All three categories are divided into sub-categories.

  • Embryologic Origins, physiology and anatomy
  • Normal Cellular Morphology & histology
  • Cytopathology, biologic behavior, and pathology
SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY 2

BOC Reading List for SC ASCP Cytology Specialist

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) offers some preparation resources in the form of journals, online associations, and textbooks. Some of these are.


  • ACTA Cytologica: The Journal of Clinical Cytology and Cytopathology. Published by Karger International
  • Abnormal Cervical Cancer Screening Tests and Cancer Precursors. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, 24(2), 102-131. https://doi: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000525
  • AJCP: American Journal of Clinical Pathology. Published by Oxford University Press.
  • Diagnostic Cytopathology. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology. Published by Elsevier.
  • Perkins, R.B., et. al. (2020). 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines for the Management of
  • Cancer Cytopathology. Published by the American Cancer Society and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Online Association

  • CLIA Interpretive Guidelines for Laboratories
  • Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)
  • Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)
  • CAP Accreditation Checklists
  • ASCP – Lab Management University (LMU)
  • The Joint Commission (TJC)



  • Quick Compendium for Cytopathology
  • Cytology: Diagnostic Principles and Clinical Correlates 5th Edition
  • Diagnostic Pathology: Cytopathology 3rd Edition

Cytopathology Preparation

  • CellBlockistry 101: Textbook of Cell-blocking science (CMAS (CytoJournal Monograph / Atlas Series))
  • Cytopreparation: Principles & Practice (Essentials in Cytopathology, 12)
  • The Art & Science of Cytopathology (4 Volume Set)
  • Diagnostic Pathology: Cytopathology 3rd Edition

Laboratory Management

  • Clinical Laboratory Management (ASM Books) 2nd Edition
  • Quality Management in Anatomic Pathology – Pub125
  • Cytology: Diagnostic Principles and Clinical Correlates 5th Edition

Diagnostic Cytopathology

  • Practical Cytopathology: A Diagnostic Approach to Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy: A Volume in the Pattern Recognition Series 1st Edition
  • Comprehensive Cytopathology: Expert Consult: Online and Print 4th Edition
  • Practical Principles of Cytopathology Revised First Edition
  • The Paris System for Reporting Urinary Cytology

Study Guide

  • Cytopathology Review Guide 4th Edition

Molecular Techniques and Applications

  • Molecular Diagnostics in Cytopathology: A Practical Handbook for the Practicing Pathologist 1st ed. 2019 Edition
  • Molecular Diagnostics: Fundamentals, Methods, and Clinical Applications Third Edition

Study Material for SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology

Your success in earning the ASCP specialist in cytology credential totally depends on your study material. So be clever and select the perfect one. But how can you identify whether your selective study material is the best or not? Here are some features of effective study material that help you choose.


Your learning material must describe the BOC-recommended exam syllabus and reading list for the ASCP specialist in cytology test.


The BOC reading list is too long, so candidates cannot read all the present resources in the list. If you choose other study sources by skipping BOC resources for exam preparation, make sure they offer all the detailed content without fluff.

One Unified Study Source

One unified study material presents you all under one roof. This is an all-in-one solution.

SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY 2

Affordable Budget

Effective study material never crosses the limit and remains within everyone's range.

Easily Digestible

Excellent learning materials use various methods, including images, diagrams, and graphs, to simplify complicated concepts.

Practice Test for SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Certification

Practice tests are a very efficient tool for exam prep. By using question practice, you can learn the real exam question layout, essential questions for the exam, and exam preparation percentage.

These practice tests are very close to the real exam. If you carry on your practice on these practice tests, you will get a command of every content area before the final day. MLSiACADEMY offers practice tests with its prep bundle for students' better preparation.

Question Bank for SCT (ASCP) Exam

A question bank is a set of repetitive questions that appear in the exam again and again. Question banks are very important for exam preparation.

The MLSi ACADEMY SCT prep bundle also comes with a question bank that helps students sit in the exam confidently.

Pass Rate of ASCP Cytology Specialist Exam



SCT ASCP Exam Prep

choose a preparation course that will help you cover the exam syllabus with proper instructions & guidance.

With many years of experience, the MLSIA prep bundle offers incredible services with a 100% success guarantee to pass the exam in one sitting. What MLSIA offers for ASCP cytology specialist exam preparation.

  •  ASCP specialist in cytology live online classes
  • Recording for all live classes
  • One unified, comprehensive, and all-in-one study material
  • Practice Questions and Questions Bank
  • Subscription Bonus
SCT ASCP Specialist in Cytology Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY 2

How To Become an ASCP Specialist in Cytology?

 ASCP specialist in cytology is a very powerful certificate that can improve your life financially & professionally. But how can you pass the BOC test to get this magical certificate? Here are some effective strategies from experts' experience.

Total Time: 1 minute

Never Ignore Your Weakness

You cannot be an expert for all. But to get an SCT (ASCP) credential, you have to become an expert in all exam content areas. Because the ASCP specialist in cytology exam comprises MCQs, you do not have any skipping options for questions in the exam. Hence, you must focus on your weakest concept regarding the exam.

Get Services of Prep Course

For better performance in the exam, you must take advantage of the prep course. In this regard, you can select the SCT ASCP prep bundle. This prep course offers all services for exam preparation, including live classes and their recording, inclusive learning material, practice questions, and a question bank.

Organized Study Timetable

If you have a study schedule and follow it regularly, you can make your dream come true. You must set a time for all subjects. Keep time for practice and organize time for the test of your previous learning once a week.

Take Care Hygiene

For better preparation, you must be fit physically and mentally. For this
Avoid fast food and junk food.
Take exercise daily.
Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water.
Get better sleep.

Book the ASCP Cytology Specialist Test

Make sure you are 99% ready for the test before booking. Because you have little time for preparation after booking the exam.

FAQs for ASCP Specialist in Cytology

What does SCT ASCP stand for?

SCT ASCP is a specialist in cytology certificate that is offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. In short form, it is called SCT (ASCP).

What agency offers the SCT (ASCP) certificate?

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) offers SCT (ASCP) credentials to specialists in cytology.

Does the SCT ASCP certificate expire?

Yes, of course, after three years of getting, the ASCP specialist in cytology certificate expires. To update your credentials, you have to participate in the CMP program.

What is the highest score for SCT (ASCP)?

The highest score for the SCT ASCP test is 999. But if you get 400, you will qualify for a credential.

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