Orientation Chemistry Placement Information
All incoming students who plan to take CHE 2A or 4A will need to earn a qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement or earn a C- or higher in CHE 1/1V. The information below focuses on explaining the Chemistry Placement for incoming students specifically. General information about the Chemistry Placement requirement can be found here, and Chemistry Placement FAQs can be found here.
- What is the Chemistry Placement?
- The Chemistry Placement in an online exam consisting of 44 questions to check for preparedness to take General Chemistry at UC Davis. To enroll in CHE 2A, a score of 24 or higher is required. To enroll in CHE 4A, a score of 28 or higher is required. Alternatively, a grade of C- or higher in CHE 1/1V allows enrollment in CHE 2A or 4A in lieu of the Chemistry Placement.
CHE 2A and 4A are both general chemistry courses but are required for different majors. CHE 4A is intended for students in the following majors: Chemistry (American Chemical Society emphasis), Chemical Physics, and Chemical Engineering. CHE 2A is intended for a number of other majors. If you're unsure which general chemistry class you need to take, if any, please visit your major's webpage and direct any questions to your major advisor: https://www.ucdavis.edu/academics/majors
- When can I take the Chemistry Placement?
Incoming first-year students who plan to take CHE 2A or 4A at some point during their time at UC Davis should take the Chemistry Placement during their college-specific Orientation Testing Window, which takes place in May. Students who do not earn a qualifying score in their first attempt will be able to take the exam again in during the Fall Testing Window in September. More information about Chemistry Placement for incoming students, including Testing Window dates, can be found here:
Chemistry Placement Requirement
- What if I miss or cannot take the exam during my college's testing window?
- After the Orientation Testing Window in May, the next opportunity for incoming first-year students to take the Chemistry Placement will be during the Fall Testing Window in September. Students who miss or do not earn a qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement in May can still register for CHE 2A or 4A in Fall during their registration time, but they will need to earn a qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement during the Fall Testing Window in September, otherwise they will be administratively dropped from their fall general chemistry class. The Chemistry Placement can be taken once per testing window. Incoming students are not permitted to take the Chemistry Placement during the Summer Session Testing Window, which is for continuing students who are taking CHE 2A in Summer Session 1 at UC Davis.
- Do I have to take the Chemistry Placement 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 Chemistry Placement. 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 earn a qualifying score?
- If you are not able to earn a qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement (24 or higher for CHE 2A, 28 or higher for CHE 4A), then you should spend time during the summer preparing to retake the Chemistry Placement 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. 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 1/1V will exempt you from needing a qualifying Chemistry Placement score.
- How many times can I take the Chemistry Placement?
- You can take the Chemistry Placement one time per testing session (Orientation Testing Window, Fall Testing Window #1, Fall Testing Window #2). After three failed attempts, a petition is required to take the Chemistry Placement for a fourth time. Email email@example.com to inquire about the petition process.
- Can I register for CHE 2A/4A if I have not taken/passed the Chemistry Placement?
- Yes! You can still enroll in CHE 2A/4A for Fall if you have not taken or passed the Chemistry Placement. You will be contacted prior to the Fall Testing Window in September with exam instructions. However, if you fail to get a qualifying score after the Fall Testing Window, you will be administratively dropped from CHE 2A/4A.
- Do I still need to take the Chemistry Placement if I did well on the SAT or the AP test?
- Yes. All students must earn a qualifying score from the Chemistry Placement (24 or higher for CHE 2A, 28 or higher for CHE 4A) or earn a C- or higher in CHE 1/1V in order 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.