Biology Concept Inventories and Assessments

Sites with lists of concept inventories

Topic specific concept inventories

Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Newman, D. L., Snyder, C. W., Fisk, J. N., & Wright, L. K. (2016). Development of the Central Dogma Concept Inventory (CDCI) Assessment Tool. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar9.
  • Stefanski, K. M., Gardner, G. E., & Seipelt-Thiemann, R. L. (2016). Development of a Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar24.
  • Couch, B. A., Wood, W. B., & Knight, J. K. (2015). The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 14(1), ar10.
  • Shi, J., Wood, W. B., Martin, J. M., Guild, N. A., Vicens, Q., & Knight, J. K. (2010). A diagnostic assessment for introductory molecular and cell biology.CBE-Life Sciences Education, 9(4), 453-461.

Experimental Design

  • Dasgupta, A. P., Anderson, T. R., & Pelaez, N. J. (2016). Development of the Neuron Assessment for Measuring Biology Students’ Use of Experimental Design Concepts and Representations. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar10.
  • Deane, T., Nomme, K., Jeffery, E., Pollock, C., & Birol, G. (2014). Development of the biological experimental design concept inventory (BEDCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(3), 540-551.


  • Kalinowski, S. T., Leonard, M. J., & Taper, M. L. (2016). Development and Validation of the Conceptual Assessment of Natural Selection (CANS). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(4), ar64.
  • Price, R. M., Andrews, T. C., McElhinny, T. L., Mead, L. S., Abraham, J. K., Thanukos, A., & Perez, K. E. (2014). The Genetic Drift Inventory: a tool for measuring what advanced undergraduates have mastered about genetic drift. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(1), 65-75.
  • Perez, K. E., Hiatt, A., Davis, G. K., Trujillo, C., French, D. P., Terry, M., & Price, R. M. (2013). The EvoDevoCI: a concept inventory for gauging students’ understanding of evolutionary developmental biology. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 12(4), 665-675.
  • Nadelson, L. S., & Southerland, S. A. (2009). Development and preliminary evaluation of the measure of understanding of macroevolution: introducing the MUM. The Journal of Experimental Education, 78(2), 151-190.
  • Anderson, D. L., Fisher, K. M., & Norman, G. J. (2002). Development and evaluation of the conceptual inventory of natural selection. Journal of research in science teaching, 39(10), 952-978.


  • Abraham, J. K., Perez, K. E., & Price, R. M. (2014). The Dominance Concept Inventory: a tool for assessing undergraduate student alternative conceptions about dominance in Mendelian and population genetics. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(2), 349-358.
  • Smith, M. K., Wood, W. B., & Knight, J. K. (2008). The genetics concept assessment: a new concept inventory for gauging student understanding of genetics. CBE-life sciences Education, 7(4), 422-430.
  • Bowling, B. V., Acra, E. E., Wang, L., Myers, M. F., Dean, G. E., Markle, G. C., ... & Huether, C. A. (2008). Development and evaluation of a genetics literacy assessment instrument for undergraduates. Genetics, 178(1), 15-22.

General Biology

  • Odom, A. L., & Barrow, L. H. (1995). Development and application of a two‐tier diagnostic test measuring college biology students' understanding of diffusion and osmosis after a course of instruction. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(1), 45-61.
  • Fisher, K. M., Williams, K. S., & Lineback, J. E. (2011). Osmosis and diffusion conceptual assessment. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 10(4), 418-429.


  • Mann, M., & Treagust, D. F. (1998). A pencil and paper instrument to diagnose students' conceptions of breathing, gas exchange and respiration.Australian Science Teachers Journal, 44(2), 55.


  • Wang, J. R. (2004). Development and validation of a two-tier instrument to examine understanding of internal transport in plants and the human circulatory system. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(2), 131-157.


  • Klymkowsky, M. W., Koehler, K., & Cooper, M. (2016). Diagnostic assessments of student thinking about stochastic processes. bioRxiv, 053991.

Science Literacy Skills

  • Gormally, C., Brickman, P., & Lutz, M. (2012). Developing a Test of Scientific Literacy Skills (TOSLS): measuring undergraduates’ evaluation of scientific information and arguments. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11(4), 364-377.

Scientific Process

  • Wilson, K. J., & Rigakos, B. (2016). Scientific Process Flowchart Assessment (SPFA): A Method for Evaluating Changes in Understanding and Visualization of the Scientific Process in a Multidisciplinary Student Population. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(4), ar63.

Statistical Reasoning

  • Deane, T., Nomme, K., Jeffery, E., Pollock, C., & Birol, G. (2016). Development of the Statistical Reasoning in Biology Concept Inventory (SRBCI). CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(1), ar5.