General Chemistry Placement Exam

General Chemistry I at Messiah University is the first in a sequence of chemistry courses intended for science and engineering majors.  The course has a prerequisite of high school chemistry.  It relies heavily on that material, and quickly moves to new content.   This course also relies heavily on the tools of algebra and quantitative reasoning.  In order to better place students in courses they are prepared to succeed in, students will need to demonstrate they have the foundational skills in high school mathematics to continue in the course.

On the first day of class in General Chemistry I, a math readiness assessment will be administered, which is a 15-minute quiz that primarily assesses the student's understanding of fractions, units, exponential notation, size of numbers, and a small amount of algebra.  The assessment does not include any calculus material and must be taken without the use of a calculator.

Student scores on the assessment have been shown to correlate strongly to their chances of success in General Chemistry.  Students not receiving an adequate score on the placement quiz will not be permitted to take General Chemistry I in that semester.  In the fall semester, enrollment may be shifted into CHEM 101, Introductory College Chemistry.  This course will use the same text and homework system as General Chemistry, but move at a slower pace, with more emphasis on problem solving and the mathematics needed for success in chemistry.  It will not include a lab.  General Chemistry I is offered again in each spring semester so that students can continue directly on.  If a student receives a C or better in CHEM 101, they will be allowed to continue to CHEM 105 regardless of their math readiness score. If a student decides not to take CHEM 101, they may attempt to place into General Chemistry I in a future semester using the math readiness assessment.

If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact Dr. Jesse Kleingardner, at