AIMS Professional Exam: Syllabus and Topics for Medical Laboratory Technician in Australia

Medical Laboratory Scientist – ANZSCO 234611 || Medical Laboratory Technician-ANZSCO 311213

Medical laboratory scientist (MLS) is an in-demand profession in Australia and the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS) is the body that assesses international candidates who aspire to work as medical laboratory scientists and technicians in Australia. Applicants are assessed on the basis of scores on the AIMS exam.

Candidates who qualify AIMS exam are then evaluated on the basis of their educational qualifications and work experience and are then designated as either medical laboratory scientist (MLS) or medical laboratory technician (MLT) by the AIMS board members.

Medical laboratory scientists are employed in medical pathology laboratories, hospitals, clinical forensics, pharmaceutical industries, biotechnology companies, etc. In order to help physicians in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease, they perform medical laboratory tests on blood, body fluids, and tissues using information and technique from numerous scientific fields.

In addition to the interpretation of test results and the creation of new test protocols, responsibilities may also involve the validity and dependability of test results.

Average Salary of a Medical Laboratory Scientist

In Australia, a medical laboratory scientist makes an average pay of $80,543 per year or $41.30 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $116,286 per year, while entry-level posts start at $78,933 annually.

Steps for registering as a Medical Laboratory Scientists in Australia:

AIMS exam preparation:

PET Exam preparation:

Here’s a list of syllabus and topics you need to cover in order to qualify for the AIMS Miles Exam with flying colours:-

Major Areas of Knowledge

The major areas of knowledge expected of candidates are as follows:

Anatomical Pathology

Preparation of specimens for light microscopy including fixation and tissue processing, decalcification technique and general staining methods such as Haematoxylin and Eosin stain, Van Gieson stain and Masson Trichrome stain

Normal histology especially basic tissue types

Histochemical methods as applied to light microscopy such as PAS and Perls Prussian Blue for Iron

Fixation of cytological specimens

The Papanicolaou staining technique

The cytological features of inflammation and neoplasia in cervical smears

Normal cell types in cytological specimens

Chemical Pathologyy

An understanding of the underlying techniques utilised and methodology behind the measurement of common chemistry analytes and their clinical utility including:

Blood gas and electrolytes measurement

Urea, creatinine, and creatinine clearance, uric acid

Glucose, glucose tolerance, HbA1c

Liver function tests

Lipid analysis

Plasma proteins and protein electrophoresis

Specific plasma proteins e.g., CRP

Principles of enzymatic analysis

Enzyme tests e.g., amylase, creatine kinase

Calcium, phosphate, magnesium

Bilirubin including neonatal bilirubin measurement

Myocardial function tests

Common tumour markers e.g., Prostatic specific antigen, CEA

Basic virology tests are now performed in core laboratory settings

Endocrinology such as Thyroid function tests and Adrenal function tests

Bioinstrumentation including Immunoassay, spectrophotometric assays and Point of Care Testing

Quality Control concepts as they apply to the automated biochemistry laboratory.

Genomic Pathology

Basic understanding of inheritance

Structure of DNA and all forms of RNA

Mitochondrial DNA

Transcription and translation

Influence of epigenetics on phenotypes

Chromosome structure and common pathologies associated with chromosomal abnormalities

Common mutations in oncology, inborn errors of metabolism

Principles of basic thermal and isothermal PCR techniques including sample preparation and use of controls

Principles of reverse transcriptase PCR, real-time PCR and multiplex PCR

Sample integrity for DNA and RNA-based techniques

Awareness of next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques.


Principles of automated cell counting

Macrocytic anaemia

Microcytic anaemia

Normocytic anaemia

Myeloproliferative disorders

Lymphoproliferative disorders

Production of erythrocytes, leucocytes and platelets

Iron metabolism

Intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways and methods of testing

Bleeding disorders

Anticoagulant therapy and methods of monitoring this therapy

Natural anticoagulants


Malaria testing and species

Quality control in haematology and coagulation

Pre-analytical factors in haematology and coagulation.


Basic understanding of the structure and function of the immune system

Adaptive and acquired immune mechanisms

Cellular and humoral immune responses

Immunoglobulin properties and functions

Key cytokines i.e., IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-17, TNF and their functions

Monoclonal antibodies production, properties and uses

Mechanisms of hypersensitivity and their laboratory investigation

Acquired and inherited immune deficiency conditions, major autoimmune conditions and their laboratory investigation

Principles of immunology-based assays e.g., immunophenotyping using flow cytometry, immunochromatographic techniques, solid-phase immune assays, and immunohistochemical techniques.

Medical Microbiology

A basic knowledge of infectious diseases and organisms most commonly associated with these diseases. There will be a greater emphasis on bacterial diseases, but some knowledge of parasitic, fungal and viral diseases is also expected.

Collection, handling and processing of samples including the minimum criteria for acceptance of samples

Knowledge of normal flora (indigenous flora) of major body sites or absence of normal flora in sterile body sites

Presumptive identification of major groups of bacteria based on microscopic and colonial morphology on a variety of common media including chromogenic media and the use of key basic identification tests such as catalase, oxidase and atmospheric growth requirements

Principles of major methods of susceptibility testing i.e., disc diffusion, agar dilution and broth dilution and the relationship between breakpoints, MIC and susceptible/resistant categories

Microscopy: Function and maintenance of a modern binocular microscope, including setting up and using for bright-field, phase-contrast and dark-field microscopy

Staining techniques: Gram stain, Ziehl Neelsen stain, Modified ZN stains

General principles of quality control and quality assurance as it applies to microbiology

Safety in the microbiology laboratory, Biosafety Cabinets, and Biosafety levels.

Transfusion Science

Antibody structure and function

Antigen / antibody interaction

Antibody production

Blood donation testing

Blood components

Blood group systems

Antibody detection and identification

Pre transfusion testing

Haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn

Quality assurance in the blood bank laboratory

Internal quality control and external quality assurance in the blood bank.

Laboratory Safety and Quality Control

Safe handling of biological specimens.

Safe handling of hazardous chemicals.

Sterilisation and disinfection procedures.

Handling of infectious specimens.

Principles of Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Basic charting and rules for rejection of results

Simple statistical evaluation, Reference ranges methodology – parametric and non-parametric

The role of internal quality control and external quality assurance

Uncertainty of measurement.

Basic Laboratory Procedures and Equipment

Normal and molar solutions

Basic laboratory calculations

Basic laboratory equipment and its appropriate use


Concluding Words:

It can get a little tricky and difficult to qualify AIMS exam if you do not have the right approach and guidance. Aspirants generally seem to be lost as they do not know where to start, what to study and which study material they should refer to. This turns out to play a major contribution to their failure. However, you need not worry anymore! You’re not alone in this. is here to help you get through it with flying colours. Our experienced team of teachers will help you ace this exam. Contact us now to book your seat!

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Note: To the best of our ability, we give all information in a correct manner, although errors are possible. We cannot guarantee that this information is accurate, complete or current.

Dr. Akram Ahmad, PhD is the brainchild of Dr. Akram Ahmad. He has done his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine and Health, the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a self-motivated clinical pharmacist and committed lecturer with over 9 years of teaching and research experience in various subjects of medicine at the leading Universities in Australia, Malaysia, and India.

Dr. Akram is the recipient of prestigious “Best Promising Researcher Award” from the UCSI University (Malaysia). He has also published over 110 papers, book chapters, conference papers including in high-impact journals. In addition to that, he is a reviewer and editorial board member in
several journals of medicine and pharmacy.

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