Orientation Chemistry Placement Information


Orientation Chemistry Placement Information

All incoming first-year students who plan to take CHE 2A or 4A will need to take the Chemistry Placement or earn a C- or higher in course CHE 1V.  Please read through the information below for important information.

  • What is the Chemistry Placement?
  • The Chemistry Placement in an online exam consisting of 50 questions to check a student’s preparedness to take General Chemistry at UC Davis. All students who need to enroll in CHE 2A in Fall 2023 must pass the Chemistry Placement exam with a score of 24 +, for CHE 4A a score of 28+. We also accept a grade of C- or higher in CHE 1V in lieu of a qualifying placement exam score.
  • When should I take the Chemistry Placement Exam
  • Incoming first-year students will take the Chemistry Placement during an assigned week-long testing window based on admitted college: College of Engineering (May 8-15), College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (May 8-15), College of Biological Sciences (May 15-22), College of Letters & Science (May 22-29). Emails will be send out to UC Davis email accounts with additional information in early May. After this Orientation testing window, the next opportunity for incoming first-year students to take the Chemistry Placement will be during the Fall Quarter testing windows (9/6-9/12 and 9/27-10/3). Students enrolled in CHE 2A & 4A for Fall will be sent exam instructions via email the days leading up to the first testing window. Manual registration will also be available for students not enrolled in CHE 2A/4A beginning 9/6.
  • What if I miss or cannot take the exam during my college's testing window?
  • After the Orientation testing window, the next opportunity for incoming first-year  students to take the Chemistry Placement will be during the Fall Quarter testing windows (9/6-9/12; and 9/27-10/3). Students will not be administratively dropped from General Chemistry in the Fall until after the second testing window has closed. You can take the exam once per testing window. You are not permitted to take the Placement Exam during the Summer Session 1 exam window, that is for students who are taking CHE 2A in Summer Session 1 at UC Davis.
  • Do I have to take the Placement exam if I don’t need Chemistry for my major?
  • No. If you do not intend to take CHE 2A or 4A at UC Davis you do not have to take the Placement exam. If you are unsure if you need CHE 2A or 4A please visit your major's webpage and direct any questions to your major advisor: https://www.ucdavis.edu/academics/majors
  • What if I do not score a 24 <
  • If you are not able to score a 24 or more (for 2A) or 28 or more (for 4A), then you should consider taking time this summer to prepare by reviewing high-school chemistry concepts. Any "Introduction to Chemistry" text would be good for review. You may also find our Chemistry LibreTexts webpage helpful. Your next opportunity to take the exam is during the Fall testing window (1st testing window: 9/7-9/13, 2nd testing window: 9/21-9/27). You could also consider enrolling in CHE 1V in Summer Session 1 or 2 or in Fall Quarter. A grade of C- or higher in CHE 1V will exempt you from needing a qualifying Placement Exam score.
  • How many times can I take the Placement exam?
  • You can take the Placement exam one time per testing session (Orientation, Fall testing window 1, Fall testing window 2). After three attempts a petition is required to take the Placement exam for a fourth time. Fall testing: 1st testing window: 9/7-9/13, 2nd testing window: 9/21-9/27.
  • Can I register for CHE 2A if I have not taken/passed the Placement exam?
  • Yes! You can still enroll in CHE 2A/4A for Fall 2023 if you have not taken or passed the Placement exam. You will be contacted prior to the Fall testing window in September with exam instructions. If you fail to get a qualifying score after the second testing window you will be administratively dropped from CHE 2A/4A.
  • Do I still need to take the Chemistry Placement Exam if I did well on the SAT or the AP test?
  • Yes. All students must earn a qualifying score from the Chemistry Placement (24+ for CHE 2A, 28+ for CHE 4A) or take CHE 1V with a grade of C- or higher to enroll in CHE 2A/4A. The Department of Chemistry no longer recognizes scores from the SAT Math, ACT Math, AP Chemistry, or SAT Chemistry as automatic waivers. The Department of Chemistry will administratively drop students who do not qualify for a course in which they enroll.
  • What if I already took General Chemistry at another college?
  • If you took the equivalent to CHE 2A at a California Community College (please double check equivalency using assist.org) and have/will have credit for CHE 2A you do not need to take the Chemistry Placement. The Chemistry Placement is only required for students who enroll in CHE 2A or 4A at UC Davis. If you took a general chemistry course at a non-California community college please send the course syllabus to chemundergrads@ucdavis.edu for equivalency evaluation. Be sure to have your official transcript sent to UC Davis Admissions and discuss your continuing Chemistry course with your academic advisor.