Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Placement Testing in Chemistry

Placement Testing in General Chemistry I (CHEM 1230) and Chemistry for Health Sciences  (CHEM 1120)

Success in these courses requires that you have sufficient background in mathematics and chemistry in order to understand the material and achieve your highest potential.   We evaluate your preparation with a chemistry placement exam and a consideration of other information in your record. 

If the curriculum of your major requires you to complete CHEM 1230, General Chemistry I, in most cases you will be required to take a chemistry placement test.  Exceptions occur if you have an AP Chemistry score of 3 or higher, transfer credit equivalent to CHEM 1090 or CHEM 1230 at UT, or if you have not completed any high school chemistry course. 

If you have not completed at least a year of high school chemistry you will enroll in CHEM 1090, Elementary Chemistry before taking CHEM 1230.

Details of the two available tests are described on this page Chemistry Placement Information

There is no fee for the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Test. After reading the Chemistry Placement information at the link above and reviewing your chemistry knowledge, if you wish to take the ALEKS Chemistry Placement Exam click on this button to begin:  BEGIN ALEKS CHEMISTRY PLACEMENT TEST

American Chemical Society Chemistry Placement Exam
If after you review the information provided at the link above and you decide that you want to take the paper and pencil exam, here is important information for you. The exam was developed by the American Chemical Society and is used at many colleges and universities throughout the country.  It consists of 44 multiple-choice questions, each of which have four possible answers.  Only correct answers are counted, but if you have no idea which answer to give, you should leave the question blank.  You may use a non-programmable calculator.  A periodic table is provided.  A total of 45 minutes is allowed for completion of the exam.  Of course you should have a good night’s sleep before taking the exam.

Topics for the questions include, but are not limited to:

  • Algebraic manipulation
  • Calculations using scientific notation with a consideration of significant figures
  • Interpretation of graphs
  • Balancing chemical equations
  • States of matter
  • Periodic table interpretation and significance
  • Names and formulas for compounds
  • Stoichiometric calculations
  • Gas law
  • Molecular geometry

Click on the following link to practice on some placement-type questions.

General Chemistry I (CHEM 1230)
Your score on either the ALEKS Chemistry or the ACS exam is used with other information to decide your placement.  The previously given link gives details on how the ALEKS score is used. 

For the ACS exam, students with average high school GPA’s (this has been about 3.5) a placement score of 19 or higher is needed to produce a predicted grade of C or above.  This prediction is made using the Placement Analysis webpage.

Chemistry for Health Sciences  (CHEM 1120)
This class is for students who are majoring in nursing or a small number of other allied health fields.  It presumes one year of high school chemistry and two years of high school algebra.  All who wish to take this course must complete the Health Sciences Chemistry Placement Exam which is administered at the University’s Test Center.  A score of 33 out of 60 will place you into CHEM 1120.  Scores below 30 places you into CHEM 1110 Elementary Chemistry for the Health Sciences, which must be successfully completed before taking CHEM 1120.  A score of 31 or 32 should be discussed with your advisor, but in general you should take CHEM 1110 before 1120.

You may send questions about the placement exams to Dr. Jorgensen, Director of General Chemistry,

Last Updated: 2/4/16