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California State University, Long Beach
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Chemistry Placement Test


Please Note:

The Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) will not be offered until further notice due to COVID-19.

Students meeting one of the criteria (a-g) listed below will be eligible to register for CHEM 111A in fall 2021:

    a) students with Chemistry AP Exam scores 2 or 3
    b) students who have completed CHEM 140 with a grade of “C” or better or are currently enrolled in CHEM 140
    c) students who have successfully completed CHEM 90 (CR) in Fall 2020
    d) students who are eligible to repeat CHEM 111A
    e) students who received a score of 24 or better on the CPT test prior to 3/2020
    f) students who have successfully completed CHEM 90 (CR) in spring 2021
    g) students who have successfully completed CHEM ALEKS on-line assessment.

Information for Students on CHEM ALEKS. The CHEM ALEKS assessment is designed to judge your preparation in chemistry and will take 4-40 hours depending on your level of chemistry knowledge, you may spread this over multiple days.  You need to master 80% of the 80 topics for unrestricted access to CHEM111A, or 50-80% with co-enrollment in CHEM95. The assessment will also help you review for CHEM111A and counts in place of the extra credit assignment in ALEKS which is given in CHEM 111A the week before classes start. To complete on-line assessment, go to enter the class code UCA3X-G3GUQ, and follow directions.  You will need to purchase the ALEKS license, the cost is $25 for 6 weeks access.

Students meeting criteria listed under a), b), c), or d) must contact Chemistry & Biochemistry Chair, Dr. Chris Brazier,, to request permit.

Students meeting criteria listed under e), f), or g) will be added to CHEM 111A student group automatically (no permit request necessary) once a week.

We will begin entering CHEM 111A approvals late March just before fall registration opens. It would be to your advantage to have finished ALEKS by then, but we will continue entering approvals until just before classes start.

If you have questions please contact the Chemistry Dept. Chair


Who Takes the Test?

Anyone who wishes to enroll in CHEM 111A must take the test. Students will not be allowed to register for CHEM 111A until they have taken and passed the placement test. Credit in CHEM 90 will not allow you to enroll in CHEM 111A. CHEM 90 is offered in a ten-week format and students should register to take the placement test offered shortly after.

AP Chemistry Credit

Anyone with an AP Chemistry score of 4 or 5 automatically receives credit for CHEM 111A. Students with an AP Chemistry score of 2 or 3 are exempt from the Chemistry Placement Test and should contact the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for permission to enroll in CHEM 111A.

Why Take the Test?

CHEM 111A assumes that students have mastered the material covered in prerequisite courses. Much of the material in the first four weeks of class was covered in earlier science classes, as well as in high school chemistry classes. If students do not have prerequisite skills to work with this material, they will have difficulty in succeeding in CHEM 111A. If students have forgotten the content of earlier courses, or if they are not confident about their skills, they should take CHEM 90 before enrolling in CHEM 111A. Conversely many students waste time taking CHEM 90 unnecessarily when they are adequately prepared for CHEM 111A. The CPT is designed to place students into the appropriate course.


Score Report Information and Course Placement

Students will be notified of their appropriate placement by E-mail. Students are asked not to call the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department for results. For information regarding registration or score reporting, please contact the Testing Department at (562) 985-4007. After receiving results, students must register for the permitted lecture on their assigned registration date(s).

Students with a bordeline passing score (24-28) for CHEM 111A are strongly encouraged to co-enroll in CHEM 95. CHEM 95 provides 2 hours/week of group exercises to help develop problem solving skills and make connections between concepts presented in lecture and chemistry problems.

Students who score below the required scored for enrolling in CHEM 111A will be notified to register for CHEM 90.

Preparatory Course

CHEM 90 is a 4-unit course designed to help students prepare for CHEM 111A and subsequent chemistry courses. It stresses basic principles and concepts, including atomic structure, nomenclature and chemical calculations with emphasis on problem solving.

Jump Start Chemistry

Jump Start Chemistry is offered through CCPE as a 45 contact hour not-for-credit course in winter and summer sessions in a compressed three-week format. Jump Start Chemistry is designed to prepare students for the placement test which is offered as the culminating activity. Jump start is for those students interested in the accelerated format or who have credit in CHEM 90 but have not passed the placement test.


CHEM-ALEKS is an alternative computer based chemistry placement available for incoming freshmen only. Eligible students will be notified about CHEM-ALEKS by their college advising office as part of Student Orientation and Registration.

For registration instructions, please read the CPT Bulletin.


CPT Test Dates and  Registration Deadlines

  • 11/01/19 at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
    Deadline: 10/18/19
  • 01/03/20 at 9:00 a.m.
    Deadline: 12/13/19
  • 03/27/20 at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
    Deadline: 03/13/20
  • June 2020 TBD
    Deadline: May 2020 TBD

Note: registrations must be received by the above deadlines by 5:00 p.m.