How do you use a 13 panel drug test? A 13 panel instant drug test is a test device that has thirteen test strips called "panels". Each one tests for a specific drug; although some panels can be divided into 2 parts and test for 2 drugs. When the panels are submersed within the urine specimen a migration process occurs: the urine sample begins to wick up the test strips. Once this happens, results become visible in the control and test regions, taking mere seconds to display negative results first. Then, if drugs are present within the specimen positive results will follow.