Chemistry Placement for Incoming Freshmen

For Incoming 2022 Freshmen (First-Time, First-Year Students)

This information is specifically for incoming 2022 freshmen with majors requiring one or more semesters of General Chemistry (for more details please contact the College Advising Center for your major).

General chemistry placement information for the University can be found in Chemistry Placement - Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

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 and 111B) as part of the chemistry sequence.

general chemistry course scheme

For all science majors, CHEM 90 does not count towards degree progress.

If the courses that do not count towards degree progress are included, the course sequence is as follows:

  1. CHEM 90 - Intro to General Chemistry
  2. CHEM 111A - General Chemistry I
  3. CHEM 111B - General Chemistry II

Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, and Geology majors require CHEM 111B.

How We Place You

Please refer to the information below to determine which chemistry course you qualify for based on AP Chemistry credit, CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test score, and Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course completion.

You will be placed in CHEM 111B if you meet the following criterion:

  • Chemistry AP Exam score of 4 or 5

You will be placed in CHEM 111A if you meet at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Chemistry AP Exam score of 2 or 3
  • CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test score of 24 or higher
  • Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course successful completion (master 80% of the topics)

You will be placed in CHEM 90 if you did not meet any of the criteria above.

Please note that taking CHEM 90 does not carry college credit, does not count towards your degree, and will delay your graduation by at least 1 semester. You can reduce the number of courses you will need to take if you can qualify for CHEM 111A instead. The Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course can help you qualify for CHEM 111A.

Deadlines

You must complete CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test before July 1, 2022. You can take the test at any time beginning May 16, 2022.

If you do not achieve a score of 24 or higher on the Chemistry Placement Test, you must complete the Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course by July 15, 2022. The assessment may take up to 40 hours (spread over multiple days), so be sure to start as soon as you have access.


CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test

CSULB uses an online Chemistry Placement Test to assess your preparation for CHEM 111A - General Chemistry, a rigorous college chemistry class. The test covers material from high school chemistry and high school college preparatory math courses, including:

  • chemical formulas and composition
  • balancing and stoichiometry of common chemical equations
  • ideal gas law and gas properties
  • the nuclear atom and atomic structure-orbitals
  • periodic properties of elements
  • solutions: behavior, concentration and stoichiometry

In addition, on the test the math topics with the greatest emphasis include interpretation of algebraic equations and their graphs, and measurement and the metric system using scientific notation.

CHEM 111A coursework assumes that students have mastered the material covered in the Chemistry Placement Test. Therefore, it is critical that we make sure you are ready.

Score Goal

The goal is to achieve a score of 24 or higher on the Chemistry Placement Test. This will allow you to place in CHEM 111A.

If you score below 24, there is still an opportunity to place in and prepare for CHEM 111A through the Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course, which you will take before your first semester.

Please note: all students who do not achieve a score of 24 or higher on CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test must complete the Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course.

How to Take the Test

Instructions will become available closer to May.

Once you start the test, you will have 45 minutes to complete it online. Only one test attempt is allowed; it is not possible to retake the test.

Deadline Reminder: You must complete CSULB's Chemistry Placement Test before July 1, 2022. You can take the test at any time beginning May 2, 2022.


Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course

The Chemistry Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (CHEM ALEKS) Assessment and Prep Course is designed to assess and map your preparation in key chemistry concepts and provide modules to review and refresh knowledge.

For incoming freshmen, the Chemistry ALEKS assessment will be offered free of charge. You will be contacted once you are eligible for the assessment.

The assessment will take 4-40 hours depending on your level of chemistry knowledge. You may spread this task over multiple days.

You need to master 80% of the topics for unrestricted access to CHEM 111A.

Deadline Reminder: you must complete the Chemistry ALEKS Assessment and Prep Course by July 15, 2022.


Questions?

For more information about chemistry placement, email chemistry.placement@csulb.edu.