ASCP Chemistry Exam Content Guidelines Per ASCP BOC

The ASCP Chemistry exam content guidelines are the exam syllabus for C ASCP (Technologist in Chemistry) and SC ASCP (Specialist in Chemistry) certification.

The exam content guidelines include:

  • 7 subjects (content area), including general chemistry, proteins and enzymes, special chemistry, lab operation, and acid-base, electrolytes, and blood gases.
  • A complete description of the main topics of all subjects
  • A comprehensive explanation of sub-topics

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) offers comprehensive details about the content area of all its exams, including the C ASCP.

To achieve a C and SC ASCP certificate, you have to pass the exam.

You can only pass these exams if you get a full command of the ASCP chemistry exam content.

Here, we will explain the A-Z ASCP chemistry exam content area so that you can get a clear concept of the syllabus that you have to cover during preparation to become an ASCP technologist and specialist in chemistry.

General Chemistry Exam Content Guidelines

General chemistry is divided into three major areas and it presents 15-25% of questions for both C/SC ASCP exam.

Further classification for general chemistry includes Carbohydrate, Lipids and Heme Derivative.


  • Physiology & biochemical theory (metabolic pathways, chemical and physical characteristics, and normal and abnormal conditions)
  • Test procedures (Glycated proteins, Principles, Tolerance testing, sample collection and processing, interfering substances, troubleshooting, and special protections)
  • Test result arrangement.
  • Disease state correlation


  • Biochemical theory & physiology (normal/abnormal state, metabolic routes, chemical and physical effects (Phospholipids, Cholesterol, Lipoproteins, Apolipoproteins, and Triglycerides))
  • Test processes (Principles, sample collection and processing, troubleshooting, interfering substances, and special protections)
  • Test result account.
  • Disease condition correlation

Heme Derivatives

  • Physiology and biochemical theory (chemical and physical properties (Bilirubin, Porphyrins, Hemoglobin, Myoglobin, and Urobilinogen), normal & abnormal conditions, and metabolic pathways).
  • Disorder condition correlation.
  • Test result report
  • Test methodologies (Directions, sample grouping & processing, troubleshooting, interrupting substances, and particular protections)

Protein and Enzyme ASCP Chemistry Exam Content Guidelines

This content area covers 15-25% of exam questions out of 100 for both C and SC exams.

Proteins and enzymes are categorized into two major parts including Enzyme and Protein & Other Nitrogen-Containing Compounds.


  • Biochemical theory & physiology comprise metabolic pathways, normal/abnormal conditions, and chemical and physical properties ( AST/ALT, LD, Lipase, Alkaline phosphatase, CK, Amylase, GGT, and Angiotensin-converting enzyme).
  • Test procedures (sample grouping & processing, directions, troubleshooting, particular protections, and   interrupting substances)
  • Test consequence report
  •  Correlation of disease condition

Protein & Other Nitrogen-Containing Compounds

  • Biochemical theory & physiology contain normal/abnormal states, chemical and physical properties (Creatinine, Tumor markers, Ammonia, Amino acids, Cardiac markers, Uric acid, and Proteins), and metabolic pathways.
  • Test approaches (Clearances, specimen grouping and processing, directions, troubleshooting, interrupting substances, and particular protections).
  • Test results report
  • Disease state correlation

Electrolytes, Blood Gases, and Acid-Base Exam Content Area

It covers 15-25% of total exam questions for both exams and it is divided into two main parts.

Acid-Base Determinations

  • Biochemical theory & physiology include the Henderson-Hasselbach equation, O2 and CO2 transport, H+ and pH ion concentration, and normal and abnormal states.
  • Test methods (Analytical principles, specimen processing and grouping, directions, particular protections, interrupting substances, and troubleshooting).
  • Test results report
  • Disorder state correlation


  • Biochemical theory & physiology contain potassium, bicarbonate, CO2, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, Calcium, Trace elements, chloride, TIBC, and iron.
  • Test processes (Principles, specimen grouping and processing,  interrupting substances, directions, particular protections, and troubleshooting).
  • Calculations
  • Disorder state correlation
  • Test results interpretation

Special Chemistry ASCP Chemistry Exam Content Area

The special chemistry content area comprises four major topics and it provides 15-20% of the questions for the final exam (chemistry technologist and specialist).

Endocrinology, Vitamins and Nutrition, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Toxicology are its covering content.


  • Physiology and biochemical theory consist of metabolic pathways, states (normal and abnormal), mechanisms of action, and chemical and physical properties (Peptide hormones (e.g., prolactin, insulin), Catecholamines, Thyroid hormones, and Steroid hormones (e.g., hCG, cortisol, and estrogen)
  • Test procedure: principles (immunoassay, fluorescence, special precautions, interfering substances, troubleshooting, specimen processing, and collection), suppression/Stimulation tests.
  • Disease state correlation
  • Test result interpretation

Vitamins and Nutrition

  • Biochemical theory and physiology consist of metabolism and action, abnormal/normal states, and properties.
  • Test result (processing and collection of specimen,  interfering
  • substances, special precautions, troubleshooting, and principles)
  • Disease state correlation
  • Test result interpretation

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

  • Pharmacokinetics: Toxic states, therapeutic states, and excretion & metabolism.
  • Chemical & physical properties: Aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamicin), Anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital), Immunosuppressants (e.g., tacrolimus), and Antidepressants (e.g., lithium).
  • Test Methodology: Principles (Chromatography, Immunoassay), sample processing and collection, troubleshooting,  interfering essences.
  • Test result arrangement
  • Disease condition correlation


  • Toxicokinetics (Excretion and metabolism, Toxic effects, symptoms and signs)
  • Chemical & physical properties: Drugs of abuse, Heavy metals (e.g., lead), Alcohols, and Analgesics (e.g., acetaminophen)
  • Test Methodology: Processing and collection of samples,  interfering
  • substances, Principles (Enzymatic methods, Immunoassay), special precautions, and troubleshooting.
  • Test result interpretation
  • Disorder state correlation

Lab Operation ASCP Chemistry Exam Content Area

The ASCP BOC chooses 15-20% of questions for C ASCP and 20-25% of questions for SC ASCP from lab operations.

Its further classifications are: Quality Assessment/Troubleshooting, Safety, Laboratory Mathematics, and Instrumentation.

Quality Assessment/Troubleshooting

  • Analytical, preanalytical, and postanalytical
  • Compliance
  • POCT (Point-of-care testing)
  • Quality control
  • Regulation (accreditation standards, competency assessment, and proficiency testing)


  • Safety practices and programs ( Safe work practices, reagents, and chemical SDS (Safety data sheets), utilization of protective equipment (personal), and bloodborne pathogens infection prevention.
  • Emergency methods (e.g., splashes to mucous membranes, needlesticks, fire)
  • Transportation and packaging of samples

Laboratory Mathematics

  • Dilutions, volume, and concentration
  • Normality and Molarity
  • Sensitivity, predictive value, and specificity
  • Standard curves
  • Confidence intervals, mode, median, and mean


  • Electrophoresis
  • Point-of-care testing (POCT)
  • Spectrophotometry & photometry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Centrifuges
  • Manual/automated analytics
  • Osmometry

Additional Calculation for Chemistry Exam Content Area

  • Unconjugated/indirect bilirubin
  • Creatinine clearance calculations
  • % Transferrin saturation/UIBC/TIBC
  • LDL/Friedewald equation/non-HD
  • A/G ratio
  • Creatinine clearance calculations
  • Timed urine calculations
  • Beer’s law

Check ASCP Microbiology Exam contnet?

FAQs for ASCP Chemistry Exam Content Area

Does the ASCP BOC determine the exam content guidelines for the chemistry exam?

Yes, of course, the ASCP BOC determines the clear instructions for all exams, including chemistry.

How many exams does ASCP conduct for chemistry experts?

The Ascp BOC conducts two exams for chemistry: C ASCP and SC ASCP.

 Does the ASCP BOC determine the same exam content area for C ASCP and SC ASCP?

Yes, of course, the BOC presents the same exam content area for C ASCP and SC ASCP.

Resources: ASCP BOCContnet Guidlines .

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