Chemistry Placement Exam

Registering for CHEM 121N - Foundations of Chemistry I

In order to register for CHEM 121N, students must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Math 102M or 103M with a grade of C or better or placement into Math 162M or higher and
  • One of the following:
    • CHEM 103 with a grade of C or better
    • Score of 3 or better on the Chemistry Placement Exam
    • Score of 80% or better on the Chemistry Review Modules Final Exam

Once a student meets the prerequisites for CHEM 121N, they may self-register for the course. When registering for the course, students must choose a CHEM 121N lecture section, a CHEM 121N recitation section with the same instructor as the chosen lecture section, and a CHEM 122N lab.

Click here to download the Placement Exam Information Sheet.

Please direct any questions or issues to Dr. Pinky McCoy at

The Chemistry Placement exam is a 50 minute, 50 question, multiple choice, online exam that tests your math and chemistry background. It covers content that is typically covered in a high school chemistry course. The purpose of the exam is to determine if you are prepared to take and be successful in CHEM 121N.

The chemistry placement exam is required for all students who want to enroll in CHEM 121N unless a student chooses to take CHEM 103 or has already received credit for CHEM 121N trough transfer or AP credit.

While it is not necessary to prepare for the placement exam, preparing specifically for the exam may allow you to receive a passing grade. The goal of this exam is to determine if you have adequate preparation for success in CHEM 121N, Foundations of Chemistry I, based on what you have retained from previous studies.

Results of the placement exam will be immediately available to students in the "Grades" section of the Placement Exam Blackboard Organization. The scores will be uploaded to student records nightly. Please allow 24 hours to view your score on Banner and LeoOnline.

The placement exam is graded on a 5 point scale.

5 - A student who scores a 5 is well-prepared for the course and has a good chance of doing well in CHEM 121N as long as they put forth the effort throughout the course. Students with a score of a 5 can still review the modules available in the Canvas course.

4 - A student scoring a 4 is reasonably prepared for the course, and with hard work they should be successful in CHEM 121N. These students may want to refresh their knowledge with the learning modules available in the Chemistry Placement Exam Canvas Course.

3 - A score of a 3 is the minimum passing score on the placement exam. While a student with a score of a 3 is determined to be prepared, this does not guarantee success in the course. Students in this category will have to work especially hard to be successful and should work through the learning modules before starting the course.

1 and 2 - Scores of 1 or 2 are failing scores on the placement exam. Students scoring a 1 or a 2 will not be able to register for CHEM 121N until they complete one of the following options:

  1. Successfully complete the Chemistry Learning Modules that will become available in the following modules in the Canvas Course after students take the placement exam.
  2. Successfully complete either CHEM 103 with a C or better.

The chemistry review modules are a set of modules that are designed to reteach some of the basic knowledge students learned in a first year high school chemistry course. The modules are broken down into units, which are further broken down into lessons. Each lesson contains a PowerPoint lecture for the students to view at their own pace, a video presentation of the lecture for students to watch, and a pdf copy of the lecture for students to printout for their notes. After reviewing the information in the lesson, students will have a short assignment associated with that lesson. After each unit, students will take a comprehensive unit test. Finally, at the end of the course, students will take a comprehensive final exam.

As chemistry is a subject that continuously builds upon prior knowledge, subsequent lessons only become available after students successfully complete the prior lesson with a score of 80% or better. Similarly, completion of a unit requires an 80% on the unit test and completion of the course requires an 80% on the final exam. Students may retake an assignment, a test, or the final exam as many times as they like. While students may use their notes for any of the exercises, they should be able to complete them without too much assistance. If a student finds that they are not able to get through the modules, they should take CHEM 103 to meet their prerequisite for CHEM 121N. The modules become available in the Canvas course after a student takes the Chemistry Placement Exam. After a student achieves an 80% or better on the review modules final exam, they will have met the Chemistry prerequisite for CHEM 121N. Scores for the review modules final exam will be loaded to student records nightly throughout the semester. Please allow 24 hours to view your score on Banner and LeoOnline.

  1. Self-enroll in the course using the following link:
  2. You will be prompted to enter your MIDAS ID and Password
  3. Choose enroll in course
  4. Select "Go to your Dashboard"
  5. You will see the welcome page for the course or The Chemistry Placement Exam and Learning Modules in your Dashboard
  6. Additionally, you may select the course from Courses in the left sidebar menu