Summer 2018 - Chemistry Placement Requirements


We have found that performance in CHE 2A (General Chemistry) is correlated with performance on a number of standardized exams. To ensure you are prepared to meet the demands imposed by general chemistry at UC Davis, revised prerequisites for these courses have been put into effect.

For more information about the Chemistry Placement Exam, please refer to our Chemistry Placement Exam FAQ page. If you still have questions after reviewing these web pages, please email


Placement into CHE 2A (General Chemistry)

You may place into CHE 2A via standardized test scores which you may have taken prior to admission at UC Davis. A score equal to, or higher than, the threshold value on any of the following standardized exams qualifies you to enroll in CHE 2A.

  • Qualifying Path #1: SAT Math score of 600+
  • Qualifying Path #2: ACT Math score of 27+
  • Qualifying Path #3: AP Chemistry score of 3+
  • Qualifying Path #4: SAT Chemistry score of 700+

If you do not satisfy any one of the above standardized pathways, there are two qualifying pathways that you may pursue to demonstrate ability and aptitude to ensure your enrollment in CHE 2A:

·         Earn a score of 24+ on the Chemistry Placement Exam

·         Earn a mastery score of 100% on the ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry course

Students registered in CHE 2A without satisfying any one of these requirements will be administratively dropped from their course by the Department of Chemistry regardless of what anyone else may have told them, including an adviser or an instructor. There are no exemptions to the Chemistry Placement Requirements.


ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry


ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is designed to test for individualized knowledge gaps and to fill the gaps through computerized adaptive learning software. Students take an initial assessment which the software uses to gauge your current content mastery level. Your mastery level may go up or down based on your subsequent interactions with the software. The goal of this preparatory course is to fill the "pie chart" to 100%, which is the mastery level.  

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is an online, self-paced, minimally supervised course. We encourage you to take this preparatory course in order to remain on-sequence with required coursework, especially if general chemistry is a key part of your lower-division major requirements.

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is open to all students, regardless of exam scores or current/previous coursework. In this way, ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry may also be used to refresh your skill set in general chemistry or supplement your learning of chemistry.


Access to ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry

Whether you’re accessing ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry as a pathway to ensure enrollment in CHE 2A or as a means of refreshing your skill set in general chemistry, students who opt to take this online, self-paced, minimally supervised course must earn a mastery score by filling their “pie chart” to 100%. The topics in the course were selected by faculty members in the Department of Chemistry who teach general chemistry. 

Additional information about ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry:

  • Course Credit. ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is a not-for-credit course. There is no course registration number associated with this option.
  • Cost. A fee of $35.29 will be billed to your UC Davis account as part of the Inclusive Access Program for digital course materials (much like online textbooks or online homework). For students completing ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry over the summer, billing may be deferred until Fall quarter (late-September), after financial aid funds have been distributed. 
  • Completion Time. Since ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is an adaptive learning program, time to completion will vary based on a student's interactions with the course. Time to complete the course ranges from 8 hours to 120 hours, with an average of 25 hours, of work in the online modules. The student license to access the course is twelve weeks, starting when students first complete their registration. It is the student's responsibility to complete ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry before his or her license expires, or before the specified deadline to finish, whichever occurs first. 
  • Enrollment. Students seeking to ensure their placement in CHE 2A for Summer 2018 may enroll in ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry via Canvas. To access our latest online course, go to After enrolling via Canvas, students will be able to read more about the course and how it works prior to starting their paid access.
  • Recommendations. Taking ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is recommended for students who have reliable internet access from a computer or tablet (sorry, no smart phones), have the time management skills necessary to complete an online, self-paced course, and feel that limited interaction with peers and an instructor is sufficient. Students are encouraged to create an "ALEKS Notebook" to take notes on how to complete problems and to review notes prior to taking the periodic assessments in the course. Students should set aside time each day towards completing the course. Additionally, students are encouraged to consult outside resources (i.e. Chemistry LibreTexts) before clicking the "explain" button. Frequent use of the "explain" button will extend the time spent in the program. Long gaps between sessions to solve problems can trigger a re-assessment of a student's mastery level.
  • Supervision. ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is minimally supervised by a designated faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. Students taking the course will be able to communicate with other students and the faculty member via an online forum.

Summer Deadlines to Access ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry

  • First Day to Sign Up: 12:00 AM on Friday, April 20 (note: student license is 12 weeks from date of sign-up)
  • Last Day to Sign Up: 11:59 PM on Friday, June 22
  • Last Day to Complete with 100% Mastery: 11:59 PM on Friday, June 29
  • Student Accounts Billed: Sunday, July 15

It is your responsibility to complete ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry before your license expires or before the specified deadline to finish, whichever occurs first. 

Any questions or concerns that may not be addressed by this page or our FAQs page should be directed to


The Chemistry Placement Exam

The Chemistry Placement Exam is only available online. There is only one testing session available for the Summer. As with any exam, if special accommodations are needed due to a disability, please contact the Student Disability Center.

Students registered in CHE 2A without satisfying the required minimum score will be administratively dropped from the course by the Department of Chemistry, no matter what anyone else, including an adviser or an instructor, may tell you. There are no exemptions for International Baccalaureate (IB) scores or general chemistry coursework taken at another institution.


The following are upcoming testing sessions to take the Chemistry Placement Exam for Summer 2018:



Summer Testing Session #1

Begins at 1:00p on June 18, 2018 – Ends at 1:00p on June 26, 2018

If you wish to take the Chemistry Placement Exam or are not currently registered in general chemistry, you must request access by completing our online Manual Registration Form at


Manual Registration for Summer Testing Session #1

Submit your manual registration request from June 18 at 1:00p thru June 25 at 1:00p


Staff assistance during the testing sessions is only available during regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00a-4:00p. Should you require help, please contact us at