MSc Life Sciences

Written Exam

Written exam

The exam will take place online. You will need a computer reliably linked to the internet at sufficient speed and a webcam/microphone. The exam will take 90 minutes and be composed of two parts (part 1 and 2 contribute equally to the total score):

  • Part 1 comprises questions that test your general understanding (not merely factual knowledge) of the natural sciences.
  • In part 2 you choose two research fields from the following and answer the respective questions: Behavioural Sciences, Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Bioinformatics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Infection and Immunity, Neurosciences, Pharmacy, Plant Sciences. You will get to see all the part 2 questions, so you can choose on the spot which ones suit you most (do not waste too much time to decide which questions to work on!). 

Questions will often be of the multiple choice type, but you may also have to write a short text, find proper relations between terms or even label drawings.

A typical question in part 1 could be the following:
"Which statement(s) about oxygen is/are true (if any)"

a) All known life forms contain oxygen
b) Mammals use oxygen as the main terminal electron donor in oxidative phosphorylation
c) To survive under light, green plants do not need more oxygen than they produce
d) Oxygen is the most electro negative element in organic bio-molecules
e) Oxygen can freely diffuse accross cellular membranes

A question in part 2 (example from Cell and Developmental Biology) could look like that:
"Link by a line each of the model organisms on the left to a basic biological concept that was established with their help."

1) Caenorhabditis elegans a) Neural basis of learning and memory  
2) E.coli b) RNA interference  
3) Aplysia   c) Transposable elements  
4) Zea mays        d) Operon model  

Please note: There is no syllabus or list of books that you should read to prepare for the exam. The exam is meant to test a) knowledge in the life and natural sciences that can be expected to be consolidated at your stage of career, and b) the ability to think about a problem in a scientific way, bringing together separate pieces of information from different areas (such as in the example question about oxygen). Neither should require any particular preparation. If you still want to prepare yourself, any standard textbook in the relevant areas might be useful.