Undergraduate Information FAQ Back to the List

Advanced Placement and Accreditation Tests

What placement tests are offered for entering students and how do I register?

The Chemistry placement test is required for all students intending to enroll in general or introductory chemistry and is offered online during the summer.  The placement test for math or calculus is also required and is offered during O-Week. Consult the College Orientation Office for information about the administration of the placement tests. If you desire course CREDIT, rather than just placement, you need to also take the chemistry accreditation tests. In order to be placed into Honors General Chemistry, you must take the Honors Placement Test, which is the second part of the online Chemistry placement exam.

I got an AP 5 in chemistry, so I could place out of introductory chemistry. Should I take honors introductory chemistry or should I skip it and start right with organic as a first year student?

Advice from Professor Laurie J. Butler, former Undergraduate Chemistry Advisor:

"Leave it up to the student. They should be aware of the following:

Their high school course(s), even if they had two years, do not even come close to covering thermodynamics and quantum mechanics at the level covered in the honors intro. chem. (Chem 12100-12300). Some of what is taught in the first quarter of honors intro. chem. is review, but even that quarter presents a considerable amount of material at a deeper level than even the best AP 5 students have seen.

Despite the above, students have successfully skipped honors intro. chem. and started right with organic their first year. They report that they miss the intro. chem. background most severely when they take inorganic (Chem 20100) (because of the molecular orbitals), and the second quarter of physical chemistry (Chem. 26200) (because of the thermodynamics), but with hard work they do pick up on the background material with private study and do fine.

The advantage of starting with organic is that it leaves you able to complete most degree requirements in 3 years, making it easier to take more electives in the 4th year (graduate courses or more advanced courses not in major) or, in some cases, to graduate early.

The disadvantage is that it can make several courses significantly harder (see above), as an AP 5 on the chemistry advanced placement test does not mean you have had much, if any, of the material in Chem 12200 or Chem 12300.

Here is my advice:

If the student is unsure but the advantages are important for financial or other reasons they can try taking fall quarter organic, but if they don't get an A or B they should go back to Chem 12200 in the winter quarter. An AP 5 student who gets a B- or C in fall quarter organic is skipping ahead to their own detriment. They should do the honors intro. winter/spring sequence. Then they will have the right background to continue getting the A's that such a good student deserves.

If the student does opt to take the intro. chem. sequence, advise them although the first quarter used to be largely review even in the honors section, the honors sequence is under substantial revision so they may want to consult with the honors intro chem instructor to decide whether they should seek to get accredited for the first quarter and start the sequence with winter quarter (they could, for instance, use the free fall quarter to take Math 153, if they also got calculus placement credit)".


What chemistry course accreditation tests are offered and how do I register?

  Accreditation tests (optional) for general and organic chemistry can be taken by students who believe they have sufficient background in these areas to obtain credit for these courses. These tests are open only to first year and transfer students.

The accreditation tests will probably be at Kent 101, but check the orientation schedule or this page for changes. If you have a scheduling conflict, call Dr. Vera Dragisich at 2-3071 in advance of the test date to request to take the exam at a different time (advance notice is preferred, but we can take rescheduling requests up until the first day of classes of the fall quarter). Bring a calculator. Note that this is the only time during the year that these accreditation tests are given and note that these exams are challenging so your background needs to be very complete to pass them.