How to Write a Nanolab Equipment Test Process Summary



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Chapter 1.4

How to Write a Nanolab Equipment Test

  1. Process Summary

    1. The Nanolab’s MercuryWeb system houses the equipment testing database. This database administers and records equipment tests for most Nanolab equipment that requires a written qualification exam. This manual will explain how to create a Nanolab equipment test.

  2. Definitions & Process Terminology

    1. Single Choice: A question with a single answer chosen from many answers.

    2. Multiple Choice: A multiple choice question with multiple correct statements that must all be checked.

Mandatory choice: A multiple choice question which must be answered correctly to pass.

    1. All of the Above: A multiple choice question where selecting all boxes OR the “All of the above” line is the correct answer.

    2. None of the Above: As all of the above, except the correct answer is to check “none of the above”.

    3. Yes/No: A yes or no question.

Mandatory: A yes/no question which must be answered correctly to pass.

    1. True/False: A true or false statement

    2. Essay: A question that members are required to type an explanation of their answer into.

  1. Equipment Re-qualification Quiz Guidelines

    1. Equipment re-qualification quizzes are intended to address a structural training deficiency in the qualified member base on the tool.

    2. Quizzes are appropriate when:

Tool usage policy changes in a significant fashion that denies previously approved processes access to the tool

Severe abuse of the tool has occurred throughout the member base

Tool hardware changes have dramatically changed operation, safety procedures, or processing procedures on the tool.


    1. Re-qualification should focus the specific changes being made to the tool and any/or any relevant reminders of policy the process engineering staff believe should be included.

    2. Re-qualification quizzes typically have 5 questions, though more is acceptable.

    3. Tests typically have 1 “mandatory” questions which must be answered correctly or the student immediately fails the test.

Mandatory questions must be clearly marked with a (Mandatory) in the beginning of the question

Mandatory question answers must be easily located in the manual and clearly defined. A lab member who is studying after failing a test should be able to use the find function in a manual to find relevant information pertaining to a mandatory question. Use exact wording where possible.

Mandatory questions must be directly related to the policy or operation changes that caused the quiz to be put in place.


  1. Equipment Qualification Test Guidelines

    1. Equipment tests are intended to check a lab member’s knowledge of basic operation and processing on a piece of equipment.

    2. Tests should include the following topics:

Operational procedures

Any relevant safety procedures

Standard processes and their purpose

Quirks of operation that separate the tool in question from other similar tools



    1. Tests typically have 10-20 questions, though more is acceptable.

    2. Tests typically have 2-4 “mandatory” questions which must be answered correctly or the student immediately fails the test.

Mandatory questions must be clearly marked with a (Mandatory) in the beginning of the question

Mandatory question answers must be easily located in the manual and clearly defined. A lab member who is studying after failing a test should be able to use the find function in a manual to find relevant information pertaining to a mandatory question. Use exact wording where possible.



    1. Remember that essay type questions require a manual grading scheme. Fully multiple choice tests are auto-graded upon completion.

  1. Process Procedure

    1. Login to MercuryWeb

    2. Go to Staff

    3. Click Online Tests

    4. Create a test to edit under “Equipment Qualification Test” or “Equipment Re-Qualification Quiz”

If you are creating a new test, click the “new” line, enter a tool name.

If you are editing a test, click the “View all” line and enter a tool name.

Click the two pages icon next to the current test for that tool


    1. Header information

Write in a Title – Be sure to add the toolname to the title!

Write in an introduction – use the boilerplate in appendix A and modify as necessary

Write in the Pass and Fail messages – See Appendix A - Boilerplate.


    1. Assign a primary and secondary grader (typically process engineer 1 and 2, or equip engineer 1 in lieu of process engineer 2)

    2. Note passing percent should be at least 90% unless special considerations are made.

    3. Allow retake time is 1 hour for standard tests. Some tests require 24 hours wait.

    4. Click add questions, then click add question on the next screen.

    5. Select your question type (See definitions above).

    6. Type in your question prompt.

    7. Type in your choices and select the correct answer.

Remember, tests should never have a “Gotcha” question. Tests should be clear. The goal is not to fail half of a bell curve, but to ensure that the trainers have covered all the material.

    1. Hit Save

    2. Hit Save again

    3. Hit save a third time – this saves your test to the database and prevents loss of data.

    4. Click the edit line, type in the tool name.

    5. Click through to the grader screen, and repeat steps 8.9 through 8.14 as necessary.

  1. Troubleshooting Guidelines

    1. Problem: The testing system will not save my test and is giving a “Unicode ######” error.

    2. Solution: The Mercury database does not handle punctuation that functions as a mathematical operator effectively. Remove all dashes, quotation marks, and apostrophes.

  2. Figures & Schematics

    1. N/A

  3. Appendix A – Boilerplate

    1. Title:

Equipment Qualification Test -

    1. Introduction:

Welcome to the Equipment Qualification Test for the !

A passing grade is 90% with no mandatory questions failed.

Nanolab Tests are not part of your academic records or coursework. The point is to document familiarity with the tools and procedures of the lab.

Nanolab tests are closed book. You may not refer to manuals, the internet, your phone, etc. while completing a test. Please put your phone and all written materials away, close all other windows, and only take the test. Failure to do so will result in your test automatically failing and you will be asked to study for a re-test the next day.

If you feel unsure about a test question, make the best effort you can, complete the test, and submit for grading. If you do not pass, review the training materials again and ask process staff regarding any items needing clarification. Retake the test when ready.

Good Luck!



    1. Pass Message

Congratulations!

You passed the equipment test! Please contact a superuser to arrange oral qualification on the tool.



    1. Fail Message

Unfortunately you did not pass the qualification exam. Please seek additional study/training and try again after 1 hour has passed.

If you have failed twice, contact staff to review areas where you're having trouble.




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