Phlebotomy Certification Exam

The Phlebotomy certification exam assesses phlebotomists’ knowledge, skills, and abilities for the purpose of recognizing competence and dedication in their field. Certification as a Phlebotomy Technician can result in increased compensation and broader career opportunities.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be made for the exam. Requests for accommodation must be made in writing to your certification board before you begin the application process.

What are the eligibility requirements to take the Phlebotomy exam?

Eligibility for the Phlebotomy exam is determined by various
combinations of education and professional experience. Routes to eligibility can
be determined with your particular certification board.

Apply for the Exam

Once you determine your eligibility to take the exam, you can apply online with your examination board and pay a cost of anywhere from $120 – $135 to apply in the US. Be prepared to provide all required supporting documentation to verify your education and work experience, as outlined with the certification board. Once your eligibility is approved, you will be notified that you can schedule your exam.

Scheduling your Exam

Your exam can be scheduled online at any Pearson VUE testing location.

What does the Phlebotomy exam cover?

The Phlebotomy exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions. Because the exam is computer-adaptive, the difficulty of each question will be determined by your performance on the previous question. As such, you must answer a sufficient number of difficult questions to pass the exam within the allotted 2-hour timeframe.

There are three types of test questions: theoretical questions measure your knowledge, procedural questions test your ability to perform phlebotomy techniques and ensure quality, and regulatory questions test your knowledge of US laws and regulations.

In terms of content, the Phlebotomy exam contains 6 subtests, each with a different weight, which vary depending on your performance:

Circulatory system

5-10% of questions will include topics on the circulatory system and the blood. Structure, function, and terminology will be tested.

Specimen collection

45-50% of questions will include topics on pre and post blood draw and terminology including order preparation, patient identification and communication, patient preparation, site selection, phlebotomy techniques, common tests, order of draw, complications, and equipment.

Specimen handling, transporting, and processing

15-20% of questions will include topics on the different specimen types, labeling, accessioning, specimen quality, transport, and storage. Equipment and terminology will be tested.

Waived and point-of-care testing

5-10% of questions will include topics on the performance and operation of rapid tests and terminology for urinalysis, hemoglobin, coagulation, glucose, and kit tests.

Non-blood specimens

5-10% of questions will include topics related to the collection of non-blood specimens. Patient preparation, physiology, specimen collection, handling, processing, and terminology will be tested.

Laboratory operations

15-20% of questions will include topics on quality control and improvement, professional ethics, terminology and regulatory applications. Regulatory applications topics include safety, infection control, coding and billing, and patient confidentiality.

Find information specific to the ASCP Phlebotomy Exam here.

Test Day

Arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time to complete check-in and required documents. You must present a current, valid government ID with photo and signature. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license; national, state, or province ID card; passport; or alien registration card. No personal belongs will be allowed in the testing center. This includes phones or smart devices, electronic devices, and study materials. Writing materials will be provided for you by the testing center.

What is a passing score?

400 points out of a possible 999 points is a passing score on the Phlebotomy exam.

When do I receive my score?

A pass/fail preliminary result will be available to you on the computer screen at the end of the exam. You will receive an email notification of your full score report within 4 business days of taking the exam.

What happens if I do not pass the exam?

You may have a limited number of exam re-takes, depending on your certification board and there may be a waiting period to re-apply to take the exam.

How Can I Prepare for the Phlebotomy exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: November 9, 2023