Learn More About the CSMLS Online Self-Assessment Test

Why should I take this test?

This assessment is only to help the potential PLA client decide if they have the theoretical and clinical education, knowledge, skills, and understanding in General Medical Laboratory Technology/Science, at the technologist level, to begin the long and expensive PLA process.

How do I get started?

Please read through these questions before you register for the OSA. Once you have decided to take it, go to the registration page to sign up and supply all the requested information. You will receive a welcome e-mail message that will direct you to the OSA page.

How do I register for the test?

You can register for the online test by going to the Register page and supplying all the requested information. You will receive a welcome e-mail message that will direct you to the test page.

Do I have to take the test right away?

Once you register and pay for the OSA, you will have 30 days to complete it and submit your results.

Do I have to pay for the test right away?

You pay for the OSA when you are ready to write it, before you apply for a PLA.

Should I study for the test?

Studying and memorizing for the OSA will not give you a realistic picture of the level of your knowledge about medical laboratory practice at the technologist level. We recommend that you try the Practice Questions before you take the assessment to help you understand the format used for the multiple-choice questions.

What is on the test?

The assessment consists of 100 multiple-choice questions on General Medical Laboratory Technology distributed according to this blueprint:

10 % - Safe work practices

10 % - Specimen collection and handling

15 % - Each of clinical microbiology, clinical chemistry, hematology, transfusion science, histology

  5 % - Professionalism

Quality control, quality assurance and quality management are integrated into the questions for all subject areas.

Is this online test like the CSMLS certification examination?

No. The OSA only assesses your basic knowledge in the major subject areas of the General medical laboratory profession. The questions are less complex and less advanced than the questions in the CSMLS certification examination. The results of the OSA does not indicate your readiness or eligibility for the CSMLS examination.

How long do I have to complete the test?

You have ninety minutes from the time you start.

Do I have to finish the test all in one sitting?

Yes. You may not leave the test site and come back to finish the test at a later time. Do not close your browser or leave the test site until you have finished the test and submitted your answers.

Am I allowed to get help from textbooks or other people during the test?

There is nothing to stop you from getting help. But the OSA is designed to check your own knowledge in General medical laboratory science so that you can make the right decision about starting the PLA process and your future in the Canadian context of this profession. If you rely on books or other people to give you answers, your final result will not give an accurate assessment of your knowledge and skills. It makes the most sense to get an honest idea of your true knowledge in this field.

What is the pass mark for the online test?

There is no pass mark for the test. Although scores below 70% may indicate that you do not have the theoretical and clinical education, knowledge, skills and understanding in General Medical Laboratory Science, at the technologist level, to succeed in the CSMLS PLA.

What is the diagnostic report?

Immediately following your assessment, you will have access to a diagnostic report. The report will show your performance in the 10 major categories of multiple-choice questions as ‘acceptable’, ‘borderline’, or ‘unacceptable’. Further comments will provide more detail and some suggestions.

What do I do with the diagnostic report?

You can print the report and save it as a pdf document. We suggest that you keep a copy for your records. If you are an internationally educated professional and you want to apply for PLA with the CSMLS, you should send a copy with your application to the CSMLS.

Will my results be confidential?

No one will see your results unless you share them. After you take the assessment, you may choose to share your results with CSMLS as part of your PLA application. If you choose not to send your results to the CSMLS at that time, you can send the report later if you have saved a copy.

Can I take the test more than once?

Yes, if you wish, remember the OSA was designed to demonstrate what your knowledge base is in the profession so that you can make an informed decision before embarking on the expensive and long PLA process, as PLA fees are non-refundable.
You will need to pay the fee for each OSA session you take.