PGDE Pre-Selection Test - Biology

  • The 2.5 h Exam paper has three sections comprising of multiple-choice questions (MCQs), short-answer questions and essay-style questions.

    1. Starr, C. and R. Taggart. (2004). Biology: The unity and diversity of life: Diversity of Life and Ecology and Behavior. 10th edition. Brooks
    2. Campbell, N.A., Mitchell, L. A. and Reece, J. B. Biology: Concepts and Connections (Benjamin/Cummings, 2003)
    3. Graham, L.E., J.M. Graham and L.W. Wilcox. (2003). Plant Biology. Pearson Education Inc.
  • Cell and molecular biology

    • Synthesis, structure, function of biologically important macromolecules
    • Cellular organisation and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
    • Structure and function of cellular organelles, cytoskeleton, membrane structure and function
    • Cellular respiration; glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and electron transport system
    • Cell signaling, cellular responses to signals
    • The cell cycle and regulation, cell growth and division, the mitotic cell cycle
    • Topology of nucleic acids; controls at transcriptional and translational levels
    • DNA sequencing and polymerase chain reactions
    • Genes in the development of prokaryotes and eukaryotes
    • Molecular biology of the gene

    Biochemistry and physiology

    • Introductory concepts of metabolism, energy, and life
    • Enzyme knietics; the control of metabolism
    • Catabolic and anabolic processes in animals and plants
    • Glycolysis, Krebs cycle, gloconeogenesis, glyconeogenesis, fatty acids catabolism and its biosynthesis, oxidative degradation of amino acids, urea cycle
    • Biochemical and physiological adaptations of organisms in different habitats
    • Physiological processes that account for how animals function
    • Circulation, gas exchange, acid-base balance, ionic and osmotic balance, reproduction and environmental constraints on physiology and survival
    • Photosynthesis and the modes of carbon fixation
    • Physiological and biochemical mechanisms of plant adaptations
    • Plant cell structure
    • Plant nutrition, structure of vegetative organs, such as root, stem, and leaf
    • Photosynthesis, the pathways, mechanisms of carbon fixation; mineral nutrition
    • Plant transport, diffusion and osmosis, passive and active transport, transpiration and translocation
    • Plant reproduction; sexual reproduction, flower structure, pollination, seed development, dispersal and germination
    • Asexual reproduction


    • Introductory microbiology
    • Biology of bacteria, viruses
    • Microorganisms, health and diseases
    • Pathogenecity, host reactions; cellular defense mechamisms
    • Manipulation of microorganisms for molecular research
    • Microbes and the environment


    • Principles of classical, molecular, and evolutionary genetics on genetic segregation and assortment
    • Heredity, role of meiosis and sexual life cycles
    • Mendelian genetics, Mendelian patterns in human inheritance
    • Chromosomal basis of inheritance
    • Molecular basis of inheritance; DNA as genetic material, DNA replication and repair
    • Genes and proteins; gene regulation, genetics of model systems
    • Organization and control of eukaryotic genomes
    • DNA technology and practical applications

    Plant form and function

    • Overview of plant diversity, and reproduction adaptations of seed plants
    • Plant structure and diversity
    • Reproduction, growth and development

    Animal form and function

    • Overview of animal diversity
    • Phylogeny, and comparative functional anatomy of invertebrates and vertebrate phyla
    • Adapatations to living in stressful environments


    • The organism-environmental interactions
    • Demography, population growth, fluctuation; equilibrium and non-equilibrium theories of population regulation
    • Life history strategies, trade-offs in reproductive strategies
    • Principles of community and ecosystem ecology
    • Species interactions and interspecific competition
    • Patterns of species diversity
    • Energy capture in ecosystems, trophic structure, biogeochemical cycles, nutrient cycles and their control