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Chemistry Placement Exam

CHEM 120A Enrollment Requirements:

All students planning to enroll in Chemistry 120A General Chemistry are expected to take the Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE) or have completed Chemistry 115: Introduction to General Chemistry or its equivalent, verified with an official transcript, with a grade of C or higher. In addition, all students enrolling in Chemistry 120A must be exempt from or have passed the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM). You must meet all of these prerequisites to be eligible to enroll in CHEM 120A.

CPE Description

The CPE may be taken only once a year. Test scores are valid for three consecutive semesters.

You will have 45 minutes to complete the Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE). The CPE consists of 44 multiple-choice questions addressing basic concepts in arithmetic, algebra and high school chemistry. In scoring the test, only correct answers will be counted. A Periodic Table of elements and a table of abbreviations and symbols are provided in the test book. You may need them for some questions. All other data are given in the questions. Calculators are permitted but not essential.  Cell phones are NOT allowed.

BRING number 2 pencils with erasers and a nonprogrammable scientific calculator to the test session.

Test results will be sent by email approximately one week after the test.  The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will not give scores over the telephone.

Testing Center CPE Test Dates for Fall 2018:

Pre-registration is required to take the CPE on the dates listed above. There is no charge for the exam but pre-registration is required in order to take the test.You can register for the CPE either by mail or in-person. Please visit the Testing Center website at for more registration information.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry CPE Test Dates for Fall 2018

Test DateTimeLocation
Friday, April 13, 2018 2:00 PM MH 536
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 11:00 AM MH 587
Monday, June 11, 2018 1:00 PM MH 587
Monday, June 18, 2018 1:00 PM MH 587
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 1:00 PM MH 587

 There is no charge for the exam. Pre-registration is required for CPE.  Use the link to Pre-Register now for a CPE session:  

CPE Results

The results of CPE are sent by email within one week of the exam session.

CPE Exemptions

CHEM 115 Equivalent
To be exempt from the CPE, students must have completed Chemistry 115: Introduction to General Chemistry or its equivalent with a grade of C or higher.If you have taken an equivalent chemistry course at another college, you must submit a copy of your transcript that displays the course grade earned and a course description from the college catalog to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry prior to enrolling in Chemistry 120A: General Chemistry.

AP Chemistry Exemption
Students who pass the AP Chemistry exam with a score of 3 or greater are eligible to enroll in CHEM 120A. Students who earn a score of 4 or greater on the AP Chemistry exam will be considered for enrollment in CHEM 120B. Students who want to establish their eligibility for CHEM 120A or 120B and have taken the AP exam, should bring evidence of AP Chemistry exam scores to the Chemistry Department in MH 580.