Chemistry Placement Exam


By clicking on the link to the right, you will enter the chemistry placement exam.

The Chemistry Department utilizes the ALEKS system to determine course placement for any student wishing to take CHEM 1061/1065. We require the placement exam to ensure that students who enroll in CHEM 1061/1065 have a strong chance at success, as the course is quite demanding.

ALEKS is an adaptive system that will quickly determine your current knowledge in areas that the Chemistry Department deems necessary to be successful in our introductory courses. There is an initial assessment of your current chemistry knowledge.

  • The initial assessment will consist of up to 30 questions, depending upon the student.
  • You should set aside 90 minutes to answer these open-ended questions, though the exam is not timed – you may log out and log back in again if you need a break.
  • You may find it useful to have a calculator and scratch paper available.

Once you complete the initial assessment, ALEKS will provide you with a "score" that represents the number of topics you have mastered out of the prerequisite topics.

  • A score of 70% is required by orientation in order to register for CHEM 1061/1065.
  • If you score below 70% you can enter learning mode where you will work to show mastery of additional topics. If you take advantage of learning mode, you can continuously improve your "score" in the system and in doing so, improve your placement into CHEM 1061/1065.
  • The mastery score must be improved to 100% by August 15 in order to maintain chemistry enrollment.

You will be required to enroll in CHEM 1015 if you earn a score below 70% and do not work to improve your score above this mark prior to orientation/registration. Students who do not score 100% by August 15 should change enrollment to CHEM 1015. Please reference this page to determine which chemistry course placement is preferred for your intended major.

If your orientation date is after August 15, you should work in learning mode to improve your mastery score to 100% by your orientation date in order to register for CHEM 1061/1605.

Regardless of course placement, you would be well-served by continuing to work in ALEKS to prepare for your first University of Minnesota chemistry course, time allowing.

Please note that you should not receive any assistance during your ALEKS assessment or learning. If you do so, you are setting yourself up for failure in your first chemistry course.

Chemistry Placement scores are valid for one year.

Note: This page was edited on June 8, 2017 to reflect a change in the placement score required for placement in CHEM 1061/1065. If you visited this page prior to June 8 you may have read that 80% was required to register for CHEM 1061/1065. The change to 70% was made to support students attending orientation and wishing to enroll in CHEM 1061/1065. Students should continue to work toward a 100% placement score by August 15, as indicated above.


If you encounter technical difficulties while accessing the chemistry placement exam, please contact ALEKS support by phone, (714) 619-7090, or at during the hours below. 
Hours (Eastern Time):
Sunday: 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM
Friday: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

If you have any questions, contact