Sunday, 17 March 2013

Quick Review Cards - A Review

I purchased the much famed Quick Review Cards for Clinical Laboratory Science Examinations from Amazon in January and I've been waiting to do a review until I had the chance to properly use them. These cards were recommended by a few of my professors who still use them when they need a refresher as well as past students who used this as their sole study material for the CSMLS (and they passed).
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The card size are the equivalent to 5x7 inches, a bit larger than what I was expecting. I normally use the small 3X5 card stock index cards that most people use and it wasn't really conveyed in the amazon ad.  The cards themselves are printed on plain paper (not cardstock) so I'm currently planning on getting some photo album sheet protectors and keeping them safe in a binder to prevent any damage.

A positive was the sheer amount of information and cards in this set! It says 300 pages but there are 538 "sides"  and I would say around 300 actual cards! When you open the first few cards, you see there is a table fo contents to help you sort through the cards easily and find the section you are looking for.
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The information for each section is neatly organized in tables and chart for that will serve as a great refresher. I have been recommended by many other people who purchased these cards and used them to study for the CSMLS exam to beef them up with more information and specifics. Again, most of what is contained on these cards are the general ideas and key things you need to know.  A little bit more information on something that isn't covered well or a new technique can easily be added on the back of most cards or along the bottom.  The past students recommended bring them to clinical or labs to have as a guide while you are working and so you can fill in more information.
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Here is an example of how the cards look in the Clinical Chemistry Section. As you can see they are nicely organized with information on reference ranges and why these electrolytes could be elevated or decreased. This is one of the more complete sections and I really liked having it while studying for exams as it triggered my thinking!

Unfortunately, there is no histology section included with these so you will have to make your own study cards for that section. Hopefully they look to include that in a future edition. Also, because these cards more geared towards the American exams, there is a section on bill coding and lab management which isn't terribly useful for Canadians. I would say there are about 20-30 cards that are not useful for CSMLS exam writers but I would still highly recommend these cards!

Let me know if you purchase the Quick Review Cards for Clinical Laboratory Science and what you think in the comments below!



  1. Hi Krista, I'm interested in getting this to study for CSMLS as well. I know you said there's nothing about histology, what about transfusion science? And I'm guessing there's nothing on molecular diagnostics either, given how long ago this was published.


  2. Hi Fiona - There is a huge section on Transfusion Science so no need to worry about that and you are correct about molecular diagnostics not being in the cards. I still think they are worth it!


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