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Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA)


The IMCA assess student conceptual understanding of topics covered in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology courses. The topics covered include the theory of evolution; characteristics of viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic cells; monomers; properties of water in cells; biochemical reactions; diffusion; matter and energy in cell growth; gene information storage; and genetic expression.


The IMCA is commonly administered in introductory molecular and cell biology courses for majors and nonmajors.

Typical Performance

Shi and colleagues (2010) report course averages of 42% and 44% before instruction and 71% and 59% after instruction.


The was developed by Shi and colleagues in 2010.

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.


We recommend using Google Scholar and the citations listed under validation to find articles of interest.

Example LASSO Report

Please follow this link to our example report for concept inventories.

Similar Instruments

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