HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification: Eligibility Route, Content Guidelines, Reading List and Preparation Course

HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification by MLSIACADEMY

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) opts for highly qualified and talented candidates for medical labs by giving powerful certificates, including HTL ASCP histotechnologist certification.

HTL ASCP certificate is packed with incredible strength that negates the need to express your expertise in your related medical field. This certificate guarantees your expertise; it explains your abilities without your explanation.

In this article, we will expose all about the histotechnologist BOC exam, including the exam content area, reading list, and studying material. Furthermore, you will also learn effective tactics on how to pass this challenging exam.

What does HTL (ASCP) Mean?

The BOC offers HTL ASCP Histotechnologist certification for those who have strong knowledge in the areas of pathology, education, regulations, and management that have a deep impact on the histotechnology field.

Histotechnologists have the ability to perform both routine and complex tests to diagnose and treat diseases. They are responsible for taking the sample and preparing microscopic slides for pathologists to evaluate disorders.

This certificate enhances your probability of getting a job at any worldwide hospital, doubles salaries, and makes you elite among your peers.


The American Society for Clinical Pathology is the largest certification organization in the U.S. that offers medical credentials all over the world. It selects eligible medical laboratory candidates from the U.S. and other parts of the world by conducting tests.

Therefore, candidates who are U.S. residents get HTL ASCP certificates, while international candidates receive credentials with the name HTL ASCPi. Only names are changed, but the power of the certificate is the same for both.

In short, the exam content area, reading list resources, and exam format are the same for HTL ASCP/ASCPi. While eligibility routes and application fees are different, such as the application fee for U.S. candidates is $250 and $210 for international candidates.

HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY

Eligibility Route for Histotechnologist (HTL)

To sit in the histotechnologist exam, candidates have to meet some requirements that are specified by the ASCP BOC. These requirements may include educational degrees, experience, and training in relevant fields. Eligibility requirements are called routes in the ASCP BOC language.

Eligibility Routes for U.S. Applicants

 The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) fixed four routes with laboratory experience for the U.S. candidates. So it is necessary for U.S. applicants to meet one route and have lab experience to qualify for the exam.

  • Route 1: Baccalaureate degree with 30 semester hours in chemistry and 30 hours in biology from approved institutions. Complete the histotechnologist or histotechnician program offered by NAACLS within the last five years.
  • Route 2: Baccalaureate degree in chemistry or biological science from an accredited college or university. OR baccalaureate degree with a combination of 30 semester hours in chemistry and biology Histopathology laboratory: one year of clinical experience within the previous five years. Or within the last 5 years, a histopathology lab, one year of research, veterinary, or industry experience in Canada or the U.S.
  • Route 3: HT (ASCP) credentials, a baccalaureate degree from recognized institutions, and six months of clinical experience in the histopathology laboratory. Or six months of research, veterinary, or industry experience in a histopathology lab.
  • Route 4: Baccalaureate degree with 30 semesters in both biology and chemistry from an approved institution. 50-week training course for U.S. military histotechnician.

Eligibility Routes for International Applicants

As an international candidate, you must fulfill one route criteria out of three with laboratory skills.

  • Route 1: A histotechnologist or histotechnician completed a clinical training program. Baccalaureate degree with 30 semester hours in chemistry and 30 in biology from an acceptable educational institution.
  • Route 2: Baccalaureate degree in chemistry or biological science. OR, a baccalaureate degree in chemistry or biology with a combination of 30 semester hours for both. While acceptable, one year of clinical, industry, research, or veterinary experience in a histopathology lab.
  • Route 3: HT ASCP/ASCPi credentials, a baccalaureate degree, and six months of histopathology laboratory clinical, veterinary, research, or industry experience.

Lab Experience for HTL ASCP/ASCPi

Applicants must have laboratory experience with at least one route. For the histotechnologist (HTL) certificate, you must have the following lab experience:

  • Staining
  • Fixation
  • Processing
  • Lab Operations
  • Embedding/Microtomy
HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY

Exam Details for HTL (ASCP)

To become an HTL ASCP, your first task is to check the eligibility requirements. Whether you are eligible or not for the test, you can check on the BOC website through the BOC Eligibility Assistant.

After meeting eligibility, you must submit all required documents, including the experience and transcript documentation form, official transcript, authenticity letter(s), foreign transcript evaluation, etc.

The application fee is non-refundable, so be attentive when submitting all documents. Because your little mistake makes a big mess, you can become unfit for the test.

The histotechnologist (HTL) exam comprises 100 questions (all are MCQs) that you have to finish in 2 and a half hours within the given time frame. All exam content areas are important with respect to the exam because ASCP BOC chooses different percentages of questions from each.

There is neither a fixed number of questions you must answer to pass nor a fixed percentage you must obtain to earn certificates. If you get a score above the pass point, you will be considered an eligible candidate for credential.

Content Guidelines for HTL ASCP

The American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification determines five exam content areas for HTL ASCP. Following are the exam content areas with question percentages:

  • Processing: 10 – 20%
  • Fixation:  15 – 25%
  • Staining:  30 – 40%
  • Embedding or Microtomy: 15 – 25%
  • laboratory Operation:  10 – 15%

BOC Reading List for Histotechnologist (HTL)

The BOC of ASCP sets all preparation resources, including textbooks, journals, and online associations for exam preparation. Following is the BOC recommended reading list for histotechnologists.


  • Bancroft's Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques: Expert Consult: Online and Print 8th Edition
  • Diagnostic Immunohistochemistry: Theranostic and Genomic Applications 6th Edition
  • Atlas of Histology with Functional Correlations 13th Edition
  • The Nature of Disease: Pathology for the Health Professions: Pathology for the Health Professions 2nd Edition
  • Wheater's Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas (FUNCTIONAL HISTOLOGY (WHEATER'S)) 6th Edition
  • BOC Histotechnology Study Guide 3rd Edition
  • Histotechnology: A Self-Assessment Workbook 5th Edition
  • Practical Guide to Specimen Handling in Surgical Pathology. College of American Pathologists and National Society for Histotechnology
  • Laboratory Safety: A Self Assessment Workbook 2nd Edition
  • Clinical Laboratory Management (ASM Books) 2nd Edition
  • Laboratory Management, Principles and Processes, Fourth Edition

Online Association

  • Agilent Dako Education Guide: Immunohistochemical Staining Methods
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • College of American Pathologists: Current CAP Guidelines
  • Dako Education Guide: Special Stains and H & E
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • National Society for Histotechnology

Study Material for HTL ASCP

If you have started your preparation early and have a lot of time to cover the exam syllabus, you can rely on BOC recommended reading materials. Contrary to this, if you want to earn this certificate in a minimum amount of time, you can choose the MLSIA one-unified study material.

Features of MLSIA study material

  • Conclusive: Offer important content areas and remove all unwanted content.
  • Comprehensive: Cover all resources of BOC in one study material.
  • Easy-to-Understand: All content is easily digestible.
  • Affordable Price: You can get it at an affordable price.

Preparation Course for HTL (ASCP)

Although ASCP BOC determines exam preparation resources in reading lists, it has been cleared by the ASCP Board of Certification that recommended reading lists are a partial source for exam preparation.

Hence, you have the option to choose any prep package that offers all services related to HTL ASCP exam preparation.

In this regard, the prep bundle could be your final destination for exam preparation. Because MLSIA tries to clear up all concepts with PDFs, live classes, and practice questions.

HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY

The hard work of MLSi ACADEMY is appreciable due to the following services:

  • HTL ASCP live classes, you can discuss your confusion with experts and other classmates.
  • Recording of classes
  • All-in-one study material that encompasses all BOC-recommended exam content areas and reading list resources
  • Practice questions and question banks on every topic of the HTL (ASCP) exam syllabus

Practice Test for Histotechnologist ASCP Exam

It is the saying, “Practice makes a man perfect.” You can get an ASCP certificate by practicing on questions. also offers you practice questions that mimic the real exam. If you continuously practice these questions, no one can stop you from becoming HTL (ASCP) certified in one sitting.

How to Become HTL (ASCP) Certified?

Obtaining a histotechnologist ASCP certificate is not child's play. It demands tiring hard work. Following are effective tricks that will really work for you to become ASCP certified.

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For better performance, make sure that you know all the basic exam details. The ASCP Histotechnologist exam contains 100 MCQs. 2.5 hours are time for test. CAT (computer adaptive testing) is an exam format.

Best Study Material

Your selected study material plays an essential role in achieving ASCP certificates. So be conscious when choosing the best one. To get certificate in the minimum time, you must choose MLSIA study material.

HTL ASCP Histotechnologist Certification Preparation Course by MLSIACADEMY

Apply for the Exam

Getting an ASCP credential is no walk in the park, so make sure you are satisfied with your preparation before booking it.

Use Practice Test

Preparation through practice questions could be the best technique to pass the exam. The MLSi ACADEMY practice test can be a valuable resource for preparation because these questions are extracted from previous exams.

Meet with Experts

Seniors know all the ups and downs of the exam because they have passed the exam by applying beneficial tricks. Try to apply these suggestions in your study plan.

Take Care of Health

For preparation, you must be fit mentally and physically.

Suggestion for Final Days

Get enough sleep.
Eat something good before going for the exam.
Avoid alcohol, etc.
Reach the exam center at least half an hour early.

Frequently Asked Questions for Histotechnologist ASCP

Is the HTL (ASCP) exam hard to pass?

Yes, of course, it is a complicated exam that is a challenge to pass. But if you have an excellent prep course like MLSIA, you can pass it with minimum effort.

What is the passing score to get the ASCP histotechnologist certificate?

The score range for the ASCP test is 0-999. But 400 is the minimum score that is vital to earning a credential.

What is the duration of the HTL ASCP exam?

2 hours and 30 minutes is the total time to finish the entire ASCP test.

What is the expiration date of the ASCP HTL test?

Your histotechnologist ASCP credential will expire after three years. To update the certificate, you have to participate in the CMP program.

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