How to Pass the Phlebotomy Exam?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


If you aim to become a phlebotomist, you must be confident about a few things. First, you must be capable and prepared to handle some medical situations. Second, you’re expected to take needles and blood with ease and confidence. The third requirement is the ability to manage people and generally enjoy making conversation, as you’ll come across multiple people in this field.

Now, every single state has different requirements and a slightly different exam when it comes to phlebotomy. However, the exams are relatively the same, and they all are known as the Phlebotomy Exam. It is both written and administered by the National Center for Competency Testing.

To become a Phlebotomy Technician, you might be required to sit for this examination. Not all states have it as a mandatory requirement, as only California, Nevada, Louisiana, and Washington ask for it. However, depending on where you’re going to work, it could be a requirement for your employee.

Is the Phlebotomy Exam Multiple Choice?Is the Phlebotomy Exam Multiple Choice?

Before diving deeper into the Phlebotomy Exam, you must know that the certificate or program you must attain varies according to your state. That’s mainly because each state differs in its requirements, so it is essential to check the schedules before becoming a Phlebotomy Technician.

In general, the 6 most recognized programs are:

Let’s break each into its components to understand how the formatting, number of questions, and the topics covered differ.

ASCP Phlebotomy

UPON SUCCESSFULLY PASSING THE EXAMINATION, the ASCP will provide you with a Phlebotomy Technician Certification (PTC).

  • Question type: multiple-choice
  • Number of questions: 80 questions
  • Time to complete: 2 hours
  • Requirements: to find out whether you’re eligible or not, check out the eligibility criteriaon the official ASCP website

AMT Phlebotomy

To become a Phlebotomy Technician (RPT), you can earn your certificate through the AMT Exam.

  • Question type: multiple-choice
  • Number of questions: 200 questions
  • Time to complete: 3 hours
  • Requirements: you can either have completed an entire course on phlebotomy with 120 hours of work or completion of 1,040 hours of work experience. Both routes require you to have administered 50 venipunctures and 10 capillary punctures.

AMCA Phlebotomy

You can become a Phlebotomy Technician through the AMCA Exam.

  • Question type: multiple-choice
  • Number of questions: 100 questions
  • Time to complete: 2 hours
  • Requirements: You either have graduated from a training program or have at least one year of full-time work in the field.

ASPT Phlebotomy

To become a Phlebotomy Technician through the ASPT institute, you must qualify in one of two ways:

  1. You must have one full year as a part-time Phlebotomist. However, you can also have a full-time position in the same field for 6 months instead. You must also have a letter from your supervisor or your attendant.
  2. Successful completion of a phlebotomy training program. You must also prove that you’ve successfully completed 25 venipunctures and 5 finger sticks.

NCCT Phlebotomy

  • Question type: multiple-choice
  • Number of questions: 125 questions
  • Time to complete: 3 hours
  • Requirements: you must either be a current studying student, a graduate student, military personnel, or have sufficient work experience.

NHA Phlebotomy

  • Question type: multiple-choice
  • Number of questions: 120 questions
  • Time to complete: 2 hours
  • Requirements: you must have all the following: a GED or high school diploma, one year of supervised experience within the past 3 years, completion of a Registered Apprenticeship Program, and proof of successful completion of 30 venipunctures and 10 capillary punctures.

What Does the Phlebotomy Exam Cover?

What Does the Phlebotomy Exam Cover?

One of the most common questions about any exam is always how easy it is. So, is the phlebotomist test hard? According to College Board, multiple-choice questions are much more straightforward than open-ended ones. That makes sense, as it’s always easier to recognize a correct answer than recall it.

Moreover, it might be intimidating to figure out each individual exam’s content. However, while some might vary by percentage and the number of questions, different programs span the same concepts and topics.

However, here is a further breakdown with the weighted percentage according to the program and the topics:

ASCP Phlebotomy

  • Specimen Collection (45 – 50%)
  • Laboratory Operations (15 – 20%)
  • Specimen Handling (15 – 20%)
  • Circulatory System (5 – 10%)
  • Waived and Point-of-care Testing (5 – 10%)
  • Non-blood Specimens (5 – 10%)

AMT Phlebotomy

  • Obtaining Blood Samples (41.5%)
  • Specimen Collection & Processing (15.5%)
  • Safety Standards & Procedures (10.0%)
  • Terminology, Anatomy, & Physiology (9.0%)
  • Time Management, & Organization (8.0%)
  • Legal, Ethical, & Professional Considerations (6.0%)
  • Professional Communication (5.5%)
  • Clerical Skills & Duties (4.5%)

AMCA Phlebotomy

The 5 main topics covered are:

  • Order & Equipment Selection
  • Patient Care
  • Patient ID & Site Prep
  • Specimen Collection & Processing
  • Safety & Infection Control

ASPT Phlebotomy

The complete outline and content packet can be found on ASPT’s official website. There is no definitive outline for the exam. However, you can find study resources from institutes around you.

NCCT Phlebotomy

  • Collections (18.4%)
  • Patient ID & Site Preparation (18.4%)
  • Infection Control & Safety (17.6%)
  • Orders & Equipment Selection (17.6%)
  • Quality & Professional Issues (15.2%)
  • Problems & Correction (12.8%)

NHA Phlebotomy

  • Safety & Compliance
  • Patient Preparation
  • Routine Blood Collections
  • Special Collections
  • Processing

What Score Do You Need to Pass the Exam?

What Score Do You Need to Pass the Exam?

As multiple different programs lead you to a certificate in phlebotomy, the passing score might differ slightly. However, the average passing grade is 70%. However, the scale on which the exam is graded and the overall required minimum varies. Here is a brief outline of each:

  • ASCP Phlebotomy: minimum score of 400, with the highest attainable score being 999
  • AMT Phlebotomy: minimum score of 70 out of 100
  • AMCA Phlebotomy: minimum score of 69 out of 100
  • ASPT Phlebotomy: minimum score of 70
  • NCCT Phlebotomy: minimum score of 70
  • NHA Phlebotomy: minimum score of 390 out of 500

All in all, the passing requirement is not difficult to achieve. Moreover, since the exams mainly consist of multiple-choice questions, things tend to be simpler if you’re sitting for a paper-based exam.

How to Ace Your Phlebotomy Exam: 5 Study Tips

How to Ace Your Phlebotomy Exam: 5 Study Tips

The Phlebotomy Exam isn’t difficult. However, it is pretty intricate and detailed. You’ll be asked about 100 or more individual topics that often require apparent answers. Despite being a multiple-choice exam, it gets a little complicated once you realize the content covered in the exam.

Keep in mind that the two most important subjects covered in all individual phlebotomy programs are patient care and obtaining blood samples. Hence, if you feel like your knowledge isn’t very strong in those, focus a little more on them individually.

Learn how to study for the national phlebotomy exam with these few simple steps:

Step 1: Take a Practice Test

Before planning how to study, take a phlebotomy exam practice test. We recommend you take Phlebotomy Coach’s 3 practice tests first. That will give you a quick refresher on everything you already know. Keep in mind that you can’t sit for the exam without previous experience, so you’ll already know quite a lot of information regarding the exam.

Aim to get at least 80% of the questions correct on every practice test you take.

Step 2: Step-by-step Thinking

The main focus of phlebotomy is all in detail. You will need to learn the more minor, less trivial information such as how to disinfect, the small steps, and all the minor details in any procedure. Hence, while it might be overwhelming, this advice is one of the most important.

Step 3: Study Effectively

We’ve all been students at one point in life, which means we all had to undergo rigorous study regimes. However, at this point in life, you’ve probably been working for at least 6 months to obtain the necessary experience you need to sit for the exam. Hence, you haven’t been exposed to books and revision material.

To combat any problems that arise because of that, we recommend you go through a phlebotomy Quizlet to refresh your memory. Then, draw up some flowcharts to strengthen your understanding and finish as many sample questions as possible.

Step 4: Shift Your Mindset

If you’re studying and all you can think about is that feeling of doom, then we got news for you; you probably won’t do great on your exam. While it is easier said than done, we recommend you have a positive attitude towards the exam. Your attitude and confidence will come with some practice if you’re passionate about phlebotomy!

Step 5: Final Revision

You’re ready for the final steps if you’re confident about your revision through flashcards, sample quizzes, and exams. The last thing you should do is take a phlebotomy final exam practice test, and ProProfs Quizzes has the perfect one for 100 questions.

A final examination, timed and graded, will give you the last boost of confidence you need. Keep in mind this will only be effective if you’ve prepared enough beforehand. You should also use the AMCA Study Guide as your final revision.

5 Important Things You Should Know About Phlebotomy Exam

5 Important Things You Should Know About Phlebotomy Exam

Overall, everything you need to know about how to pass the Phlebotomy Exam successfully has been stated. However, we urge you to keep a few things in mind about the exam. These include:

  1. There isn’t one specific nationwide recognized examination for phlebotomy. Hence, if you want to become a Phlebotomy Technician, you must check your state requirements as they differ from one state to the other.
  2. Not all states require a certification to become an expert in phlebotomy.
  3. The average passing grade for all the various programs is approximately 70% of questions answered correctly.
  4. According to the certification you’re applying for, you’ll find different eligibility requirements. Check out their official exam outlines and websites to discover whether you qualify: ASCPASPTAMTNCCTNHA, & AMCA.
  5. According to the type of certificate you’re going to, you’ll have to pay a different fee. It’ll range anywhere from $60 – $135. Moreover, if the certificate expects you to renew it every year, you’ll be subjected to an additional fee every time you continue it.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Pass the Phlebotomy Exam

To conclude, passing the phlebotomy examination is not as difficult as you might think it is. If you’re passionate about it and dedicated, you’ll give it with flying colors. However, this requires a real, lasting motivation to get you through years of working as a phlebotomist.

Simply remember the few pieces of advice provided above. But most importantly, focus on your weak points, solve as many sample exams as possible, and give yourself a break before the exam. We strongly recommend you have a good night’s sleep before your exam and not solve any more questions the morning of the test.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

Perhaps you have exams coming up and you’re considering studying with your friends but aren’t sure how to kick things off. Crafting the ultimate study group involves making sure that the time you spend together...

Read More