Chemistry Placement for 2019 Freshmen

Students majoring in chemistry, biology, environmental science and policy (ESP), geology, materials science, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering, are required to complete general chemistry (CHEM 111A/B) as part of the chemistry sequence.


Be advised that students who fail to place in CHEM 111A (college general chemistry) will be required to take pre-baccalaureate chemistry (CHEM 90) in Fall 2019. Taking CHEM 90 (which does not carry college credit) will delay your graduation for at least 1 semester.

The following are the CHEM 111A placement standards for Fall 2019 incoming freshmen:

  1. CHEM 111A (unconditional): CPT >24 or AP CHEM with a score of 2 or CHEM ALEKS >80%
  2. CHEM 111A + CHEM 95: ALEKS 50-80%, CHEM 95 is recommended for students with a CPT scores 24-28
  3. CHEM 90: CPT <24 and ALEKS below 50%

NOTE: Also, requires math placement (or transfer credit) in MATH 112B or higher (MATH 112B, 113, 119A, 122, 123, or 224) to qualify for CHEM 111A.

There are 2 options to demonstrate readiness for general chemistry (CHEM 111A): ALEKS or CPT.

Option 1: ALEKS Assessment and Online Chemistry Review

The Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS) assessment will take 10-60 hours depending on the level of your chemistry knowledge and you can spread this over multiple days/weeks. A total grade of 80% or higher is passing. Access to ALEKS usually costs at least $30 but the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) will pay for your license so this assessment is FREE. Incoming CNSM Freshman will be contacted individually by the program assistant once they are eligible for the assessment. Please see CNSM Freshmen Orientation for dates and deadlines.

Option 2: Paper-based Chemistry Placement Test

June 14 and July 8, 2019. The Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) is given by the Testing and Evaluation Department on June 14 and July 8. Pre-registration is required. You must score 24 or higher on the assessment to enroll in CHEM 111A. You are exempt from the test if you scored 2 or higher on the AP Chemistry exam. Students scoring 4 or 5 will receive CSULB credit for CHEM 111A. Students scoring 2 or 3 will be allowed to register for CHEM 111A without taking the CPT. The registration fee is $10.

For more information about chemistry placement options, email Thanh Mai at

Orientation Contacts

CNSM Academic Advising Center

ALEKS Math Placement

Chemistry Placement

HSI-STEM: Step into STEM

Freshmen Scholars Learning Community

CNSM First-Year Welcome