Shereen Backer A Jan 25, 2024
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EmSAT Biology Practice Test With Answers

EmSAT Achieve Biology test is one of the electronic Emirates standard tests where it is imposed on students of the twelfth grade to measure and determine their skills and information in the subject of biology and their readiness to attend college. 

EmSAT Achieve Biology Public Test Specification

The EmSAT Biology Achieve is a standardized computer-based test that measures the proficiency level of grade 12 students in Biology and determines their readiness for college. The Benefit of the EmSAT exam is that it can evaluate a person’s knowledge and skills in various subjects. 

EmSAT Biology Achieve has four major sections: (1) From molecules to living organisms - Structure and function; (2) Heredity and genetic technology; (3) Evolution and Diversity of Life; (4) Ecology - Interdependence, energy, and dynamics. Test sections, questions, and options are randomized and timed by the computer. Test takers can see how much time they have throughout the test.

Test duration 90 minutes
Questions 80 questions
Content Areas (1) From molecules to living organisms: Structure and function (2) Heredity and genetic technology (3) Evolution and Diversity of Life (4) Ecology: Interdependence, energy, and dynamics
Task types Multiple Choice

EmSAT Achieve Biology

EmSAT achieve biology provides a valuable assessment of student learning, it is also used as one of several factors in determining course placement in Emirates.

Score Descriptors
1500+ High Proficiency: students at this level are well-prepared for biology courses at the university level
1100-1475 Proficient: students at this level are at a satisfactory level of preparation to begin first-year biology courses at the university level.
900-1075 Borderline Proficient: students at this level are minimally prepared for first-year biology courses at the university level.
700-875 Basic: students at this level do not have sufficient mastery of prerequisite knowledge for first-year courses in biology at the university level, and may need some additional support
500-675 Needs improvement: students at this level need instructions in basic biological concepts and skills before beginning any first-year biology courses.
˂ 500 Little knowledge of general biology: students at this level need intensive instructional support in basic biological concepts and skills.

EmSAT Achieve Biology: Content Areas

Appendix 1

Below are the major sections and related content specifications that grade 12 students should be able to demonstrate to meet the expectations of this test. 

Section 1: From molecules to living organisms: Structure, function, and behavior 

This section includes the chemistry of life as well as living organisms’ organization and development. The chemistry of life focuses on the importance of biological macromolecules in the body and the properties of water that allow life to exist on earth, as well as the role of enzymes in chemical reactions carried out in living organisms. It also focuses on the major cellular processes of breaking energy (photosynthesis and cellular respiration) and energy transformation. 

Living organisms’ organization and development focus on the role of the cell in different living organisms emphasizing cellular structures and their functions, as well as the use of microscopes in cellular studies. In addition, this part focuses on major body systems and processes in living organisms. It emphasizes the role of body systems in different living organisms in relation to the importance of the interaction between the body systems in maintaining the internal body environment. 

Content Specifications 

  • Distinguish between the four major categories of carbon compounds in terms of composition, energy values, and primary functions in the body. 
  • Relate the properties of water to its roles in living organisms.
  • Explain the role and effect of enzymes and other factors, such as pH and temperature, in the chemical reactions carried out in living organisms.
  • Identify and summarize the major cellular processes of breaking energy-rich molecules to obtain energy. 
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of handling and using the light microscope for examination purposes, and compare it with an electron microscope in terms of resolution, magnification, and use. 
  • Explain the role of the cell in different living organisms and describe the cellular processes to sustain life and maintain homeostasis. 
  • Relate the structure of major body systems in multicellular organisms to their specific functions and their interaction with each other to maintain homeostasis.

Section 2: Heredity and Genetic Technology 

This section includes the inheritance of traits and heredity and genetic technology. The Content area includes;

  • The importance of cell growth and division and explain possible outcomes when errors occur during the cell cycle. 
  • Transcription, post-transcriptional modifications, and translation, and relate these processes to gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. 
  • Use of genetic code rules to read the DNA sequence, and to identify the amino acids in the polypeptide chain. 
  • Genetic variation and explain how and why it occurs in relation to the importance of population biodiversity and stability. 
  • Understanding the role of genes in determining phenotypes and predicting offspring outcomes based on various inheritance modes, such as dominance, codominance, sex-linked, polygenic, and multiple alleles.
  • Impact of genetic engineering on medicine, industry, and agriculture, and give examples of its use.

Section 3: Evolution and Diversity of Life 

This section includes evolution and diversity of life. A major aspect of this area is determining how species evolve and the effects of natural selection and genetic drift on populations' stability based on theory and evidence of evolution. The content areas for this section also include;

  • The concepts of evolution and the investigation of different evidence to determine the evolutionary relationships among different species. 
  • Identify and explain the mechanisms by which microevolution influences allele frequencies in populations and results in macroevolution. 
  • Describe how living organisms are classified, and categorize them according to specific structural and functional characteristics. 
  • Explain the importance of and the reasons for maintaining biodiversity, and describe the threats that can lead to extinction, including the impact of human activity.

Section 4: Ecology: Interdependence, energy, and dynamics 

Ecological interdependence is discussed in this section. In addition to focusing on ecologies, it examines biogeochemical cycles, energy flow, and food chains and webs. The content areas for this section also include;

  • Differentiate between ecological concepts (e.g., biome, ecosystem, communities, habitats, niches) and provide examples of interactions between them.
  • Identify biotic and abiotic factors that affect ecosystem dynamics by understanding the interactions between organisms at different trophic levels and the flow of energy.
  • Study the impact of human activities, including density-dependent factors and density-independent factors, on carrying capacity and ecosystem dynamics.

How to Prepare for the EmSAT Biology Test?

EmSAT is the first computer-based test in the United Arab Emirates created to measure students' skills independently of the curriculum. For those planning to take the EmSAT biology exam, here are some tips on how to prepare for the EmSAT biology test: 

  • Prepare for the exam as early as possible. This will give you enough time to cover all the topics. 
  • Make a daily routine for studying.
  • Take notes while studying.
  • Study to understand, not just to memorize.
  • Go through the EmSAT biology sample question paper and answers.  
  • Practice EmSAT biology test questions with answers online 
  • Measure your understanding of the topic through constant and continuous testing.
  • Get personalized instructions by attending an EmSAT biology training class. 

EmSAT Biology Practice Test Questions and Answers

  1. Which of the following macromolecules can often be composed of C, H, and O alone?

A. Carbohydrates

B. Lipids

C. Proteins

D. A and B

  1. A student immersed a small piece of potato tissue in a 0.25 mol dm-3 sucrose solution. The tissue shows no change in mass. Which of the following would the student probably find out when the pieces are immersed in a 0.1-mol dm-3 sucrose solution?

A. The mass has increased because water potential of the cells has decreased.

B. The mass has decreased because water potential of the cells has increased.

C. The mass has increased because water potential of the solution has decreased.

D. The mass has decreased because water potential of the solution has increased.

  1. The diagram below represents a cross-section of a root. Which of the following substances do tissues “1” and “2” in the cross-section of the root carry?

Tissue “1”

Tissue “2”

Amino acids and sucrose

Mineral ions

Amino acids and starch

Glucose and water

Mineral ions

Amino acids and starch

Glucose and water

Starch and sucrose

4. The following graph represents the different phases of the cell cycle in which the X-axis represents the amount of DNA and the Y-axis represents the number of cells. At which phase of the cell cycle are the C population of cells?

A. Cytokinesis

B. S phase

C. G1 phase

D. Interphase

5. The chart below shows the mRNA codons for different amino acids?

Given the following codon sequence.


Which of the following can be described as base substitution causing a nonsense mutation in the mRNA sequence below?

A. Substitution of UAC for UAU in the third codon

B. Substitution of UAC for UCC in the third codon

C. Substitution of UAC for UAA in the third codon

D. Substitution of UAC for UGC in the third codon

6. The following pedigree represents the inheritance of an autosomal recessive syndrome in a family.

If the affected male in generation II marries a normal female who is homozygous for the trait, what is the possibility to have an affected child?

A. 0%

B. 25%

C. 50%

D. 100%

7. All of the following steps occur when subpopulations speciate, EXCEPT

A. natural selection divides a population into two or more, forcing them to differentiate.

B. isolated subpopulations adapt to local conditions through natural selection.

C. once the two divergent subpopulations meet again, hybrids will always occur.

D. active selection on differentiated subpopulations to become reproductively isolated

8. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic and frequently fatal genetic disease of the body’s mucus glands. It is caused by an autosomal recessive mutation. In the European population, one out of approximately 10,000 babies is born with the disorder. What is the frequency of the cystic fibrosis allele in the European population assuming the Hardy-Weinberg conditions are met?

A. 0.1

B. 0.01

C. 1.0

D. 0.00001

9. A scientist is studying the phylogeny of 4 species (species 1, 2 3, and 4). To this end, she sequenced a fragment of DNA and she obtained the following alignment:

Species 1 A A T C G G A

Species 2 C A G G T A C

Species 3 A A T C T G A

Species 4 C A T G T G C

Using this alignment, she constructed a phylogenetic tree using the parsimony method (a method that minimizes the number of changes on a phylogeny).

Which of the 4 phylogenetic trees below is supported by the DNA sequences?

A. Tree A

B. Tree B

C. Tree C

D. Tree D

10. The ecological relationship between two different species are shown in the graph below.

What ecological relationship does the graph represent?

A. Mutualism

B. Extinction

C. Commensalism

D. Parasitism

11. The diagram below represents a food web in an ecosystem.

If the population of hawks in this area increases, which of the following is correct about the effect that this increase may cause in this web?

A. The prey populations of hawks might decrease. Later the hawk population might remain unchanged.

B. The prey populations of hawks might decrease. Later, the hawk population might increase.

C. The prey populations of hawks might decrease, Later, the other populations in the web might decrease.

D. The prey populations of hawks might decrease. Later, the hawks would find another prey population.

12. All of the following could be considered density-dependent factors affecting population growth EXCEPT

A. Climate temperature

B. Limited nutrients

C. Build-up of toxins

D. Predation

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English Language and Soft Skills Trainer

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