In a previous Fixation on Histology post, we shared the answers to common FAQs about the HT/HTL Exam, such as the routes for qualification, the differences between the HT and HTL exam, and the benefits of certification. In this post, we are going to talk about the actual process of applying for the exam.
Who is in charge of administering the HT exam?
NSH routinely gets phone calls asking how to sign up for the HT exam, but NSH is not the administrator of the test. The exam is administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (the ASCP). NSH provides resources to study for the exam, as well as courses, webinars, and hands-on training sessions that you can use to earn continuing education after the exam, but the business of actually signing up for the test, and turning in your CEUs later, is through ASCP.
Where do I apply to take the exam?
So, to apply for the exam, you will visit https://www.ascp.org/content/board-of-certification/get-credentialed. This is your go-to site for certification, as all facets of the application process are on it. (We will refer to this page throughout this post as the "Get Credentialed Page").
To apply, you have to have qualified via one of the routes mentioned on the ASCP website and our previous blog post, either a histology program, or college credits + lab experience. If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, the ASCP has an eligibility assistant tool, where you can check your eligibility. Once you have determined that you can sit for the exam, on the Get Credentialed page linked above, you will click on US certifications and then the certification you’re interested in, such as the HT.
You’ll notice that there is a $215 application fee for the HT and a $240 application fee for the HTL, which are non-refundable. You are given a 3-month window after your application is approved, to sign up for a test date, so you want to be sure that you are ready to take the test when you apply for it. This page is also where you will find the routes for qualification, and the documentation that you will need to submit. If you are planning on qualifying via Route 2, which requires a year of laboratory experience, you will need your supervisor to complete the work documentation form, which is available on the Get Credentialed page. To apply for the exam, click the apply now button and create or sign in to your ASCP account. You will then complete the application and submit payment.
How do I track the status of my application?
When you apply, you will get an email confirmation. You can track your application status at any time by visiting the Get Credentialed page of the ASCP website, clicking on Certification Exam Process and then General Information. You will also get an email when your application’s status changes. If you are missing documentation, such as the laboratory experience documentation, you will be notified of that and will have 45 business days to submit it. Submitting that material with your application will speed up the review process. It can take up to three weeks for your application to be approved.
How do I sign up for a test date?
Once your application is approved, you will visit the Get Credentialed page, click Certification Exam Process, and click on Schedule a Test Date. In the section below that, under the heading, Exam Day, there is important information about the testing center, such as what to bring and when to arrive that you should read before signing up for a test date.
If you have any questions about applying for the exam, you can reach ASCP's support team at 1 (800) 267-2727.