Chemistry Placement Exam

Students must take a Placement Exam prior to enrolling in General Chemistry classes

General Chemistry classes (Chem 107/108) are required for the following majors:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)
  • Health Science
  • Biology
  • Environmental Studies

Students intending to major in Chemistry or BMB and students interested in attending medical school immediately after college should take Chemistry 107 in the fall of their first year. Students intending to major in Health Science and working toward a Bachelor of Science degree should also take Chemistry 107 in the fall of their first year.

Students intending to major in Health Science and working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree and those intending to major in Environmental Studies typically take Chemistry 107 in their sophomore or junior years, although they are welcome to take it in their first year.

Biology majors can take Chemistry 107 either in their first year or their sophomore year.

Incoming first year students will have the opportunity to take the Placement Exam as part of the First-Year Student Dashboard during the summer before classes begin. Returning students will take the exam as part of their Student Dashboard prior to enrolling for General Chemistry.

The Chemistry Placement Exam allows us to place you in a section of Chemistry 107 that is appropriate for your background. Chemistry 107-I is an intensive section with its own labs and discussion sections designed for students with limited chemistry and quantitative problem solving experience in high school. Other Chemistry 107 sections are for students with stronger chemistry and quantitative problem solving backgrounds. All Chemistry 107 sections prepare students to be successful STEM majors.

All students who take the Chemistry Placement Exam will be informed about which section they should take (Chemistry 107 or Chemistry 107-I) before registration occurs. Students who tested into Chemistry 107-I will be asked to choose a lab section and discussion section prior to registration; students testing into Chemistry 107 will select their desired section of Chemistry 107 during course registration.

Please do NOT study for the Chemistry Placement Exam. It is a 40-question, 60-minute, multiple-choice exam, and you will need a scientific calculator (it does not need to be a graphing calculator), a pencil, and scrap paper. If you do not complete the exam in 60 minutes, you will still get credit for the questions you have answered correctly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers. We discourage random guessing because our goal is to place you in a Chemistry 107 section that will provide you with an appropriate level of support. 

If you have questions about the placement exam or when you should take Chemistry 107 (if at all), please contact the Chemistry Department Chair, Prof. Tim Funk (tfunk@gettysburg.edu).