Summer 2019 - Chemistry Placement Requirement

About the 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, prerequisites for these courses have been put into effect.

For more information about the Chemistry Placement Requirement, please refer to our Chemistry Placement Requirement FAQ page. If you still have questions after reviewing this webpage, 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+
  • Qualifying Path #5: Pass WLD 41C with a “P” or “C or better”

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. 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 general chemistry.

Access to ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry

Whether you’re accessing ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry as a pathway to ensure enrollment in our general chemistry classes 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 2019 may enroll in ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry via Canvas. After enrolling via Canvas, students will be able to read more about the online course and how it works prior to starting their paid access. At this time, access to the online course has yet to be setup for Summer 2019. Please check back on this webpage in April for more information.
  • 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.

 Deadlines to Access ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry

  • First Day to Sign Up: TBD
  • Last Day to Sign Up: TBD
  • Last Day to Complete with 100% Mastery: TBD
  • Student Accounts Billed: TBD

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 on this page or our FAQs page should be directed to 


The Chemistry Placement Exam

The Chemistry Placement Exam is only available online. The exam may be taken twice per quarter, but only once per testing session. 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. There are no exemptions for International Baccalaureate (IB) scores or general chemistry coursework taken at another institution.

Upcoming Testing Sessions

The next opportunity to take the Chemistry Placement Exam will be for enrollment in Summer 2019. If you are registered in CHE 2A and have not taken the Chemistry Placement Exam or did not receive a qualifying score for the course you are registered, you will need to request access to take the placement exam during a designated testing session. At this time, testing sessions have yet to be setup for Summer 2019. Please check back on this webpage in April for more information.

  • Testing Session #1: TBD
  • Testing Session #2: TBD

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 Testing Session #1: TBD
  • Manual Registration for Testing Session #2: TBD

For more information about the online Chemistry Placement Exam, please refer to

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


Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C)

This is a standard course taught by Sacramento City College instructors on the UC Davis campus. Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C) is only offered during the Fall quarter. You must achieve a grade of "P" or "C or better” to register for CHE 2A or CHE 2AH. This option is for students who prefer to have a standard course with face-to-face instructor time, homework, and exams.

Additional information about Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C):

  • Course Credit. Workload Chemistry provides 3 units of credit towards minimum progress and full-time enrollment status but not credit towards graduation.
  • Cost. The cost for Workload Chemistry is covered by a student's tuition. Students are also expected to purchase any course materials assigned by the instructor including textbook and online homework system access (estimated at $99.00).
  • Completion Time. A 3-unit course is expected to take 6-9 hours of work per week in addition to time spent in-class. This course is only offered in the Fall quarter which causes a (minimum) one-quarter delay towards starting any one of the general chemistry series (CHE 2ABC or CHE 2AH/BH/CH). That delay may cause further delays in courses that require the completion of general chemistry. 
  • Enrollment. During UC Davis class registration times for the Fall quarter, register for Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C).
  • Recommendation. This preparatory course is intended for students who do not satisfy any one of the standardized exams or courses to ensure enrollment in CHE 2A or CHE 2AH and who want a traditional in-person course with deadlines and assignments set by an instructor.


Additional Course Suggestion in Chemistry

Concepts in Chemistry (CHE 10). This is a lecture-based, 4-unit survey course that takes you through basic concepts and applications in chemistry. It is only offered in the Fall quarter. While this course's primary function is to serve non-science majors, CHE 10 can help science majors refresh their interest in chemistry.

Students who take CHE 10 may enroll in CHE 2A or CHE 2AH during a later quarter. If you do this, you are still subject to satisfying the Chemistry Placement Requirements. CHE 10 should not be viewed as a preparatory course for CHE 2A or CHE 2AH. If you are seeking to re-establish your skill set in chemistry, ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is strongly recommended.