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Do I need to take the exam?

  • If you register for General Chemistry I (CHEM 111), then you do need to take the exam.

What if I don't take the exam?

  • You will take the exam at some point. If you do not take the exam by the first Monday of class, you may be dropped from CHEM 111. Please contact the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department at chemistry@lasierra.edu or call 951-785-2148 to find out about testing times.
  • If you wish to just take CHEM 110, there is no need to take the placement exam.

But what if I have some additional reason that I think I shouldn't have to take the exam?

  • If you have already taken General Chemistry I and have a C or better you don't have to take the placement exam. For instance if you are retaking the course to get a better grade (but already have a C or better). Or if you achieve a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam, you do not need to take the placement exam. You will need to e-mail chemistry@lasierra.edu with a copy of your AP score to get the override to register for CHEM 111.

How long is the test?

  • The test is 45 minutes long and is 44 questions.

What do I need to bring to the test?

  • Yourself with your La Sierra University student ID and no electronics (e.g. no cell phone, no laptop). You will be provided with pencils, scratch paper and a calculator.

How many times can I take the exam?

  • You may take the exam only once.

What if I have a learning disability?

  • We'd be happy to accommodate any needs you have to ensure your success! Please contact the Office of Disability Services to get your paperwork in order. If you already have paperwork, please make a request at the Office of Disability for a letter to be sent to Dr. Helbley so that arrangements can be made.

What happens if my score is low?

  • You are then eligible to enroll in CHEM 110, which is a course designed to help you build the skills needed to succeed when you enroll in CHEM 111. We are very much interested in helping you spend your money wisely and we have found that people who enter CHEM 111 without some skills end up having to repeat the course multiple times. Instead of repeating CHEM 111 we want you to succeed the first time. Although taking CHEM 110 isn't a guarantee of success, we feel strongly that you have a much better chance of success if you take CHEM 110.
  • CHEM 110 is offered during the first session of Summer and Fall. The required textbook is "Introduction to Chemistry" 3rd Edition by R. Bauer, J. Birk and P. Marks from McGraw-Hill publishing (ISBN 978-0073402673); there is also a softcover binding of the textbook available through on-line retailers.

When can I take the exam?

  • Please contact the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at chemistry@lasierra.edu or call 951-785-2148 to arrange a testing time.

Where do I take the exam?

  • You will be taking it in Palmer Hall, please come to PH 205 if you haven't been told another location.

What topics are covered on the exam?

  • There is a very small sample of questions in the pdf file below.
  • Basic Math/Algebra Skills
  • Scientific Notation Calculations
  • Unit Conversion Calculations
  • Density Calculations
  • Percent Mass Calculations
  • Reading and Balancing Chemical Formulas and Reactions
  • Types of Reactions (Combustion, Neutralization, etc.)
  • Stoichiometry (Mole/Mole or Gram/Mole Conversions)
  • Molarity Calculations
  • Ideal Gas Law Calculations
  • Atomic/Molecular Structure and Properties:

    • Mass Number, Protons, Neutrons, Electrons
    • Lewis Electron Dot Structures
    • Polar Bonds

  • Chemistry Theories and Concepts:

    • Phase Diagrams
    • States of Matter
    • Periodicity and Group Trends of Elements (Metals, Semimetals, and Nonmetals; Radii Size, etc.)

  • Equilibrium Expression
  • LeChatelier's Principle
  • Potential Energy Diagram
  • Heating Curve
  • Kinetic Molecular Theory
  • pH Concepts

Is there any study help?

Sample Questions for Placement Test