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Urine Test Strip

(Urinalysis Simulation)

Simulation Contents Table of Contents Icon

Background Information Background information icon

Urine Test Strips

Urine test strips are typically narrow ribbons of plastic with several (up to 10) absorbent pads attached to one side. The pads contain chemicals that react (change color) after being immersed in urine. It can take 30 to 120 seconds for the compounds in the urine to begin reacting with the reagents on the test pads.

Urine test strip image
Urine Test Strip

Determination of Results

Test results are determined by comparing the pad colors with a standardized color scale (usually supplied by the manufacturer). Semi-quantitative test values are usually reported as trace, 1+, 2+, 3+ and 4+. A range of associated unit values is also often provided. The strips test for the presence of proteins, glucose, ketones, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, nitrite, and leucocytes as well as testing pH and specific gravity.

Urine Test Strip Color Chart
Urine Test Strip Color Chart

Subject InformationSubject information icon

Your subject is 40 years old and works from home as an accountant. Since moving into a management position, her hours have increased, and getting enough exercise has become an increasing problem. She has gained 40 pounds over the past two years as a result. 

Urine test strip simulation subject, urinalysis test  subject

Your subject is visiting your clinic for her annual physical exam. Her previous exams indicated she was in good health. As a part of your subject’s exam, you have decided to include a urine test strip procedure.

Your subject last urinated about 30 minutes before entering your clinic.

Test Procedures Test procedures icon

Collection and Observations

Collect a urine sample from your subject. Remove the lid from the container and note the color, clarity, and volume of the urine sample.

Test Strip Immersion

Take hold of the gripping surface at the top of a test strip and remove it from the bottle. 

Slowly submerge the test strip all the way into the urine sample, making sure you cover the entire surface of each test square.

Once you’ve saturated the strip, remove it from the container and turn it horizontally. In this position, any excess urine will drain away and ensure that the reactive chemicals don’t run from one square to another. Wait 2 minutes for any reactions to occur.

Test ResultsTest results icon

Read the Test Strip

Compare the test squares to the standardized color chart to determine if any abnormalities are present. Read the test squares in chronological order. Check the value of the first square (the one closest to your hand), then move on to the next and proceed from there until you’ve reviewed the entire strip.

AssessmentAssessment icon

Describe the color, clarity, and volume of your subject’s urine sample?
  • Color – somewhat light.
  • Clarity – clear.
  • Volume – high, considering the subject urinated just before entering your clinic.
Are there any abnormal test readings?

Yes, your subject’s urine contains an abnormally high amount of glucose (++; 30 mmol/l).

What is your preliminary diagnosis?

The high urine glucose level indicates type 2 diabetes mellitus.

How does your subject’s recent weight gain relate to your diagnosis?

Weight gain is associated with increased insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

How does your subject’s urine volume relate to your diagnosis?

Her elevated urine glucose osmotically draws additional water into the urine, which increases urine volume.

Is the specific gravity reading high or low? Offer a possible explanation for this reading.

The specific gravity is somewhat low. The high urine volume may have decreased the solute concentration of the urine.

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Clinical urine tests