General Chemistry Pretest (for Chem F105X)

Welcome to the exciting world of chemistry!  General chemistry is a central course for scientists that gives you excellent tools for understanding matter and chemical change.  We developed a pretest designed to help you gauge your background preparation for college-level General Chemistry I (Chem F105X).   The test probes background in:
  • Matter and chemical / physical change
  • Elements and the periodic table
  • Electrons, protons, neutrons and makeup of atoms
  • Chemical compounds
  • Dimensional analysis, use of math in chemistry, and use of graphs
  • Chemical bonding patterns
  • Basic chemical reactions
The test is given online via Blackboard (, and you will receive a score and get feedback on incorrect answers right after completing the exam.   All students registered for Chem F105X will be emailed through Blackboard with details on how to take the test.   You may need to use ELMO ( to get your UA Username, which will then let you log into Blackboard.
You will be given a fixed number of points for taking the exam, as described in the syllabus to your course. We will not remove students from the course based upon their score. The test is for you to test your preparation and also for the instructor to look for overall gaps in the classes' background knowledge. Therefore, it is important that you take the test yourself and don't get outside assistance. Best of luck with the pretest!

Interpreting your score

If you score below 60 (of 100), we would recommend:

  • Prepare further this summer. 
    • You can review old text books or a basic self-help chemistry book
    • You can review at the Khan Academy,
    • You can study using the online short courses.  There are many of these out there, and one we are familiar with is ALEKS ( Preparation for General Chemistry (free trial then small cost).  If you are interested in this option, an internet search will let you know what options are out there.
  • Consider other levels of chemistry. The department teaches general chemistry at multiple levels. "Basic General Chemistry, Chem F103X" might be the right place to start.
  • If coupled with low math scores, consider delay. The combination of poor math proficiency with lack of chemical knowledge can be too much to overcome.   Separate.
  • Assure that your schedule is not overloaded.   If the student has a deficiency in background chemistry, they will need extra time to make up this deficiency  

IMPORTANT : This test is designed to assure students have a basic knowledge of chemistry sufficient to ENTER Chem F105X; a good score doesn’t indicate that a student will do well in the course.   Students need to work hard to do well in general chemistry.   We are there to help students and we will be discussing mechanisms to help students set a good study schedule and develop/maintain good study habits.

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