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Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:

Work Habits

  • Demonstrate professional work habits
  • Demonstrate the ability to organize, implement, and troubleshoot specific tasks
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in teams and as an individual


Knowledge of Biotechnology

  • Define biotechnology and its role
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of biotechnology
  • Describe the life cycle of biotechnology product development
  • Identify the application of the biotechnology industry
  • Describe careers in biotechnology


Laboratory Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrate competency in validating and using laboratory equipment
  • Demonstrate competency in using computer office applications
  • Perform basic laboratory math skills
  • Apply statistical analysis to interpret data
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the scientific method
  • Properly prepare buffers and solutions 
  • Demonstrate the concepts of recombinant technology
  • Demonstrate the principles of DNA isolation
  • Perform Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Perform electrophoresis
  • Perform separation techniques
  • Explain and perform aseptic technique
  • Demonstrate the concepts of microbial culture
  • Demonstrate the concept of mammalian cell culture
  • Demonstrate the concept of laboratory automation
  • Perform basic spectrophotometer assays



  • Demonstrate the knowledge of bioethics
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of professional ethics


Safety in the Biotechnology Laboratory

  • Demonstrate general requirements for laboratory safety
  • Identify and use personal protective equipment
  • Demonstrate ability to implement safety protocols
  • Follow SDS guidelines for handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous material
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety regulatory agencies, such as OSHA


Working in a Highly Regulated Environment

  • Perform documentation according to regulatory agency standards
  • Demonstrate an ability to maintain records in accordance with Intellectual Property law
  • Document lab activities and findings according to guidelines


Appropriate Use of Equipment and Instrumentation

  • Use laboratory glassware 
  • Use volumetric equipment
  • Use electrophoresis equipment
  • Use a spectrophotometer
  • Use balances
  • Demonstrate knowledge of autoclaves
  • Use centrifuges
  • Use pH meters
  • Demonstrate knowledge of thermocyclers
  • Use microscopes
  • Demonstrate knowledge of laboratory hoods for worker protection
  • Demonstrate knowledge of temperature regulating devices (e.g., water baths, incubators)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of chromatographic equipment


Written Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours

Number of Questions: 198


Areas Covered:

Good Work Habits: 6%

Knowledge of Biotechnology: 9%

Laboratory Knowledge and Skills: 35%

Ethics: 4%

Safety in the Biotechnology Laboratory: 13%

Working in a Highly Regulated Environment: 5%

Appropriate Use of Equipment and Instrumentation: 28%


Sample Questions:

The central dogma of biotechnology is 

  1. protein to DNA to RNA to trait
  2. RNA to DNA to protein to trait
  3. RNA to protein to DNA to trait
  4. DNA to RNA to protein to trait


A program designed to copy itself onto other software, and to spread through multiple computers when the software is used, is called a 

  1. bacteria
  2. bug
  3. germ
  4. virus


The study of the conduct that governs the behavior of a person or profession is called

  1. ethics
  2. morals
  3. values
  4. principles


The federal agency responsible for promoting public health through regulation and supervision of food, cosmetics, and drug products is the

  1. EPA
  2. OSHA
  3. FDA
  4. USDA


When dispensing the liquid from a micropipette, a lab technician must always

  1. push plunger to the second stop
  2. push plunger to the first stop
  3. push the tip ejector button
  4. draw the plunger up


One benefit of teamwork is

  1. less responsibility
  2. higher pay
  3. greater work efficiency
  4. less required training


The proper method to remove disposable gloves ensures that 

  1. gloves can be removed and reused
  2. the gloved hand never touches skin or contaminates another surface
  3. the gloves are removed by pulling from the fingertips
  4. the SDS recommendations are followed


To validate a P1000 micropipette, 560 µl of water should equal

  1. 0.56 g
  2. 5.60 g
  3. 0.56 mg
  4. 5.60 mg


To separate components based on their charge, use _____ column chromatography.  

  1. ion-exchange
  2. gas
  3. size-exclusion
  4. thin-layer


The fire triangle refers to 

  1. Class A, B, and C fires
  2. Class A, B, and C fire extinguishers
  3. physical, chemical, and biological fires
  4. heat, fuel, and oxygen needed to start a fire

Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Number of Jobs: 6


Areas Covered: 

27%  Colony Isolation and Streaking Bacteria 

Participant will wear PPE, prepare workstation with disinfectant or lab mat, label plates, use inoculating loop, maintain sterile technique, demonstrate streaking technique, and demonstrate good laboratory practice.  


17% Using Volumetric Equipment:  Using Micropipettes 

Participant will set micropipettes, choose the P1000 micropipette, and demonstrate good laboratory practice. 


11% Using Volumetric Equipment:  Serological Pipettes

Participant will measure volume in tubes to 5.0 ml, record color and volume data, and demonstrate good laboratory practice.  


18% Making a Molar Solution

Participant will calculate, massing NaC1, prepare and store salt solution, and demonstrate good laboratory practice.  


17% Making a Dilution and Using a Spectrophotometer

Participant will wear proper PPE, prepare dilution, use a spectrophotometer, and demonstrate good laboratory practice.  


10% Generating and Utilizing a Standard Curve

Participant will generate a standard curve and determine concentrations.




Sample Job:

Colony Isolation and Streaking Bacteria

Maximum Time:   15 minutes

Participant Activity:  Using the equipment provided, the participant will streak bacteria for single colony isolation from the liquid broth culture on to one agar plate.