Biology 1031 Lab Practical Information


Following are some notes about the Biology 1031 lab practical given in lab at your regular lab section on June 28.  SHOW UP ON TIME to your lab section, you will start the practical at the starting time of class.  Bring a #2 pencil; scantrons will be provided.  You MUST go to your normal lab section; if you go to the wrong one you will not get credit for the exam.


The following is from the lab syllabus:

Lab Practicals:

The lab practicals will be multiple-choice tests that will be given in lab.  Some physical specimens will be used, as well as some projected slides (especially in place of microscope slides).  The first practical covers Labs 1-6; it will have 50 questions (~8 per lab) worth 3 points each, or 150 points.  The second practical covers Labs 7-12; it will also have 50 questions (again ~8 per lab week) worth 3 points each, or 150 points.  For all practicals there will be no going back for questions that you miss, so come to the test on time and pay attention throughout the test.



Unless you have a documented excuse or accommodation, you must take your lab practical at the scheduled day and scheduled time (NOT during the other lab section).  If you have a LEGITMATE, DOCUMENTED EXCUSE for missing your lab section time then you will need to contact me by email ( by noon on Thursday, June 30, to let me know that you missed you practical, have excuse documentation, and will need to take a makeup.  I will then contact you with details about your makeup, which will likely be at 9am on Friday, July 1.  Be sure to BRING YOUR EXCUSE DOCUMENTATION TO THE MAKEUP.  The makeup is the deadline for turning in excuses for the lab practical; no excuse documentation will likely mean that you get a zero for the exam.


If you have an accommodation memo (for extra time on exams, separate testing environment, etc.), then you must contact me at least a week before your scheduled lab exam date if you wish to have your accommodation(s) honored for that exam.  Most likely, accommodated exams will be given at 5pm on June 28 in the Biol 1031 lab room (this exam must be taken in the lab room).



Biol 1031 Lab Practical #1 study outline


  1. For each specimen you observed in lab know the kingdom and phylum.
  2. Any term that was used a lot in lab and/or bold-faced in the lab manual could be on a test question, in some cases as part of a definition or identification, and in some cases simply to even understand the question.
  3. For each plant phylum that was covered in lab (either with specimens, slides, or both) know:
    1. which generation is dominant (gametophyte vs. sporophyte)
    2. characteristics/terms associated with the members of each generation
    3. if members of the phylum are homosporous or heterosporous
    4. if members of the phylum are seed plants
  4. Identify the key characteristics of each phylum that was covered in the labs.
  5. Know the three major life cycles: 1) zygotic meiosis 2) gametic meiosis, 3) alternation of generation (sporic meisosis)
  6. Know which of the three major life cycles best describe each of the phyla you observed in class.
  7. For each specimen of a species with alternation of generations that you observed in class know whether it is a gametophyte (haploid) or sporophyte (diploid).
  8. Know where mitosis takes place in each of the three life cycles.
  9. Know the terms that are summarized on the Life Cycles Study Guide (all of them are in your lab manual); any of those could show up in questions in various ways.
  10. Identify the reproductive structures for each specimen in which the life cycle was stressed or slides were available for viewing.
  11. Know any specialized names given to the gametophyte stage of organisms that you observed in lab.
  12. Know if reproductive structures are male, female, or both for the organisms that you observed in lab or saw on slides.
  13. Three growth forms of lichens
  14. Imperfect vs. perfect fungi
  15. Identify parts of a basidiomycota fruiting body.
  16. Slime mold plasmodium vs. phylum Apicomplexa plasmodium
  17. Composition of radiolarian and foraminiferan tests
  18. Dioecious vs. monoecious
  19. Heterospory vs. homospory
  20. Identify parts of a flower
  21. Details of double fertilization
  22. Identify monocots vs. eudicots
  23. Identify anatomical structures of angiosperm stem, root, and leaves
  24. What did the experiments in lab six demonstrate?
  25. What is the role of auxin in leaf abscission and auxiliary bud development?
  26. What is the role of gibberellins in stem elongation?
  27. Light vs. dark grown plants


Here are a few more details on what to expect:

Several questions will deal with phylum-level identification (and possibly one at the class level for monocots/dicots).  Most phylum identification questions will have a specimen or an image of a specimen.  Many organisms that you viewed in lab will be set out with a simple multiple-choice question: “This organism is a member of which phylum?”

Any organism that has been in the labs or their genus names will be fair game as clues in test questions, but will not be answer choices.  For example, if a question asks what phylum Mnium is in you should be able to pick out “Byrophyta” from the answer choices, but not the other way around.  Or, knowing that Mnium is a bryophyte, you should then be able to answer a question about its life cycle.


A lot of time has been spent in labs dealing with life cycles – mainly terms and differences between different plant groups in aspects of the life cycle such as which ones have a dominant gametophyte, which ones are heterosporous, etc.  The life cycles study guide is intended to help you with this.  Also, all the lab lecture slides are available on the lab webpage.


Every semester it seems that students fail to adequately prepare for this test; class averages are nearly always well under 70% for what is really a pretty straightforward test.  I hope that this class will do better than before, but understand that even if the average is very low there will be NO curving of the test.