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.  In order to better place students in courses they are prepared to succeed in, we are offering two placement options for Fall 2022.

The department is now using the intelligent learning ALEKS platform for all General Chemistry homework.  As part of this package, there is a Summer Prep course online for all students currently registered for General Chemistry I, and for those who hope to get a seat in the course before the semester begins.  If you have registered for the course, you will receive several emails during the summer (to your college address) with instructions for enrolling in this course. ALL students who complete this prep course by August 18th at 11:59pm are placed into General Chemistry I.  A student’s score on this exam will then determine eligibility for General Chemistry or Introductory College Chemistry.  We STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL STUDENTS COMPLETE THE ALEKS PREPARATORY COURSE.

If the preparatory course is not completed, a satisfactory performance on a placement quiz will be required for continued enrollment in General Chemistry I.  This quiz is a short math assessment 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.  A calculator may not be used during the quiz, which will take place on the first day of class in General Chemistry I.

The student's score has been shown to correlate strongly to their chances of success in Gneral Chemistry.  Students not receiving an adequate score on the placement quiz must therefore shift their enrollment into CHEM 101, Instroductory College Chemistry.  This course will use the same text 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 the spring semester so that students can continue directly on.

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