Here you'll find answers to some common questions about the Chemistry Placement Exam at Wayne State University.
You will be given the periodic table, the value of R, the Ideal Gas Constant and NA, Avogadro's number.
Frequently asked questions
University-level chemistry is an important area of study for many disciplines and chemistry courses are an essential part of many degree programs. Engineering, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, physics, nutrition and food science, nursing, physical and occupational therapy and chemistry are a few of the disciplines and programs that require chemistry.
Thus, taking chemistry is necessary for many students as they prepare for scientific and/or professional careers. However, learning chemistry is not easy nor should university chemistry be approached flippantly or without preparation. Transcripts have become important documents of your success in college. While one should not be obsessed with getting high grades, you should take your coursework seriously and ensure that you obtain grades that reflect your ability and knowledge. Taking, failing and retaking courses can become an expensive path toward a degree strategy that we neither recommend nor encourage.
Being adequately prepared for important classes greatly increases your chances of success. Taking a course for which you are not adequately prepared can require much more work than is normally expected or can lead to an unsatisfactory and unacceptable level of performance. We want your experience in chemistry to be a fruitful and enjoyable one. We attempt to direct you into a course that is both appropriate for your professional goals and consistent with your knowledge and skills. The reason we give the Chemistry Placement Exam is to increase the likelihood that you will enter a course where you will succeed - an outcome that satisfies both you and our teaching staff.
The Chemistry Placement Exam gives us a quick measure of your chemistry knowledge and of your skills at "doing chemistry." These measures of your skills and knowledge will be useful only if they accurately reflect your background and abilities. Assuming that they do, based on your exam score, we place you into one of three groups:
Group I students are advised to take CHM 1040 a course with limited objectives that can increase your chemistry knowledge and sharpen your skills to prepare you for CHM 1100, the first general chemistry course for science majors. Students in Group I or those who, for whatever reason, fail CHM 1040, will not be allowed to enter CHM 1100 unless and until they complete CHM 1040 with a grade of C- or better.
Group II students may register for CHM 1100 and 1130 in any of the next four semesters.
Group III students having shown a superior knowledge in chemistry are invited to enroll in an honors section of CHM 1100.
We assume that you take college courses to increase your knowledge, to prepare for higher-level courses, to obtain a degree and/or to enter into another program. We also assume that you want high-quality courses, wish to keep expenses to a minimum and plan to finish in a reasonable time. Following our placement policies is an expedient way to any or all of these goals.You should ensure that your performance on the placement exam reflects your knowledge and skills. It is the best way to avoid languishing in a lower-level course or struggling in a course that is at too high a level.
CHM 1100 assumes some prior knowledge of chemistry. To complete the course goals in the 14-week term, we need to begin CHM 1100 several chapters into the assigned textbook. It is the material in these chapters that we assume you know and which, not surprisingly, are the primary topics of the Chemistry Placement Exam and of CHM 1040.
The topics we assume you've learned include:
(References in parentheses correspond to the relevant chapter in Zumdahl's Basic Chemistry, the textbook for CHM 1040. It is on reserve in the library.)
Measurement and calculations
Chemical foundations: Elements, atoms, and ions
Chemical modern atomic theory
Acids and bases