The amidolytic activities of plasma generated by means of thromboplastin and Ca++, on the one hand, and by means of partial thromboplastin, a contact activator and Ca++, on the other hand, were determined using synthetic, chromogenic factor Xa substrates with low affinity for thrombin (CH3SO2-D-Leu-Gly-Arg-pNA and CH3SO2-D-Nleu-Gly-Arg-pNA). In this way, the activation process by splitting off the p-nitroaniline was followed. Besides the summary detection of factor Xa was obtained after addition of hirudin. During preincubation with partial thromboplastin and contact acti (Actin) in Ca++-free medium, an amidolytic activity so far unidentified was generated that renders evaluation of the activation process difficult. In the test system with partial thromboplastin, factor Xa could not be determined and the thrombin-like activity that can be inhibited by hirudin did not correspond to the amount of prothrombin present in plasma. In contrast, activation of factor X and prothrombin by thromboplastin and Ca++ could be followed and the content of the two zymogenes could be detected simultaneously. In general, under optimized reaction conditions, automated systems might be developed that would provide additional diagnostic information about determination of clotting time, on the one hand, and about quantitative determination of zymogen, on the other hand.