College of Engineering students have two chemistry options that fulfill their general chemistry requirement: (1) CHEN 1201 General Chemistry 1 for Engineers and CHEN 1203 General Chemistry 2 for Engineers or (2) CHEN 1211 Accelerated General Chemistry for Engineers. CHEN 1211 covers the same topics as CHEN 1201 and 1203 but in one semester. Note, some majors require only one semester of chemistry; please check with your academic advisor to confirm your chemistry requirement.

Students who are required to take a general chemistry class are preregistered by the University in CHEN 1201. Students with a stronger chemistry background may wish to instead take CHEN 1211. 

We want to ensure that students are successful in CHEN 1211. If you meet any of the criteria below, you are likely eligible to take CHEN 1211 Accelerated General Chemistry for Engineers. Contact your academic advisor for help enrolling in CHEN 1211.

  • Successful completion of the AP Chemistry exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5.
  • Successful completion of the IB Chemistry exam with a 5, 6 or 7.
  • Successful completion of some level first-year chemistry at the college level (either at CU Boulder or via approved transfer). Note that in some cases, this coursework may make you eligible to skip the entire 1201/1203 sequence. Please talk to your academic advisor if you have taken such courses.
  • Successfully passing the online Chemistry Readiness Exam described below.

Your readiness exam score will be combined with other student information (high school transcripts and college entrance exam scores) to gain enrollment in CHEN 1211. Results remain valid for one year. Successfully passing the Online Chemistry Readiness Exam does not allow students to skip a chemistry class, but rather take the accelerated CHEN 1211 class instead of the general chemistry class CHEN 1201.

  • The 90-minute Chemistry Readiness Exam consists of 25 multiple choice questions. You must complete the entire exam. There will be only one correct answer per question. Partial credit will not be awarded. Incorrect answers will not be penalized.
  • The only resources allowed are pencils (or pens), a scientific calculator (should include ability to work with logarithms and exponents), and the information sheets and periodic table provided when logging into the test. Books, notes, other electronic devices, the internet, and other resources are not permitted.
  • For fall 2020 incoming students, it is preferred that you complete the exam as soon as possible. The date you take the readiness exam could impact your ability to enroll in fall Chemistry courses. The latest the exam can be completed is August 6, 2020, but we recommend talking it earlier to allow you to finalize your schedule.
  • You will not find out your score immediately, but you will be informed if you can enroll in CHEN 1211 by June 30th or within 3 business days after you take the exam, whichever is later.
  • If you require additional time to complete the exam online due to a documented disability, you should contact Disability Services (Center for Community Room N220, dsinfo@colorado.edu, 303-492-8671) prior to taking the exam. You will be asked to register for accommodations with Disability Services and provide the appropriate documentation. After you have received disability accommodations for extended time, it is extremely important that you contact chemreadiness@colorado.edu before starting the exam to activate additional time.
  • Important note: When you start the Chemistry Readiness Exam, you should plan to complete it in one sitting or your incomplete score will be submitted and you will be locked out of the test. If that happens, contact chemreadiness@colorado.edu.
  • Visit Preparing for the Chemistry Readiness Exam for information about how to prepare for the readiness exam.

When you are ready, visit this site to take the online Chemistry Readiness Exam.

  1. Log in using your CU Identikey username and password.
  2. On the "Enroll in Chemistry Readiness Exam page", click "Enroll in Course", then "Go to the Course".
  3. On the Canvas home page, select the course "Chemistry Readiness Test for Engineers Fall 2020".
  4. Review the study materials.
  5. When you are ready to begin the test, take the official Chemistry Readiness Exam.

You will be notified by June 30th or 3 business days after you take the exam, whichever is later, if you may switch your registration to CHEN 1211.

  • What is the chemistry placement process?
    • Students who are required to take a general chemistry class are preregistered by the University in CHEN 1201. Students with a stronger chemistry background may wish to instead take CHEN 1211. Note, some majors require only one semester of chemistry; please check with your academic advisor to confirm your chemistry requirement. See the list of criteria above for how you can qualify.
  • Who needs to take the Chemistry Readiness Exam? 
    • Only those students who wish to take the full general chemistry sequence in one semester instead of two (CHEN 1201 and CHEN 1203). Also, if you qualify by other criteria (listed at the top of this web page) you do not need to take the Chemistry Readiness Exam to enroll in CHEN 1211; talk to your academic advisor to change your enrollment.
  • I took AP/IB Chemistry; will that qualify me for CHEN 1211?
    • Taking AP/IB Chemistry alone is not enough to qualify; you must also receive a high-enough score on the AP test. See the top of the web page for the list of ways to qualify.
  • I got a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam; can I pass out of CHEN 1201/CHEN 1203 and/or CHEN 1211?
    • You cannot pass out of CHEN 1201, 1203 or 1211 with an AP exam score. However, if you scored a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam, you are likely qualified to enroll in CHEN 1211, without taking the readiness exam, and fulfill your general chemistry requirements in one semester.  Talk to your academic advisor about changing your registration. Similar advice applies to students with a 5, 6, or 7 on the IB chemistry exam.
  • I am waiting to find out my AP/IB Chemistry score.  Should I take the exam?
    • It's up to you. The exam is open until August 6th, and AP/IB scores are usually released in early to mid July. So you can wait until then to find out if you need to take the Chemistry Readiness Exam to enroll in CHEN 1211. Note that there is no penalty to taking the Chemistry Readiness Exam first; if you do not get a high enough score on the Chemistry Readiness Exam to qualify, but then later end up with a qualifying AP/IB score, you can still take CHEN 1211; if you meet ANY of the criteria, you may enroll. 
  • I took college chemistry classes: can I pass out of CHEN 1201/1203 and/or CHEN 1211?
    • If you took general chemistry courses in college (either at CU Boulder or somewhere else), you may be able to get credit for some or all of these courses.  Talk to your academic advisor.
  • Where do I take the Chemistry Readiness Exam?
    • See the instructions on "Signing up to take the Online Chemistry Readiness Exam(Incoming and Continuing Students)" above on this web page.
  • What topics are covered? How do I prepare?
  • When do I need to take the test by?
    • You must take the exam by August 6th, but should take it as early as you feel ready in order to get your schedule finalized.
  • When will I find out if I can register for CHEN 1211?
    • You will be notified by June 30th that you may switch your registration to CHEN 1211, or if you take the exam on or before June 26th, within 3 business days after you take the exam. Your academic advisor can switch your class.
  • If I qualify for CHEN 1211, how do get enrolled?
    • If you qualify based on criteria other than passing the Chemistry Readiness Exam, contact your academic advisor now (or if you are waiting for AP/IB exams, after you receive your score).  If you want to qualify with a score on the Chemistry Readiness Exam, take the exam, and we will notify you by the dates indicated if you qualify to change your enrollment.
  • If I qualify for CHEN 1211, must I take it, or may I take the CHEN 1201 / CHEN 1203 sequence?
    • It's your choice!  You decide what is best for you. There are reasons you may want to take a 2-semester sequence; for example, medical schools usually require 2 semesters of general chemistry (please check current requirements with pre-med advisors before making any decisions, such as at the CU Boulder Health Professions advising resources). Talk to your academic advisor as well.
  • Is the exam timed?
    • You have 90 minutes to answer 25 multiple choice questions. You will be able to save your progress; however, you must take the exam in a single sitting of 90 minutes.
  • Will I be penalized for guessing on the exam?
    • No. Your score on the exam is equal to the number of correct answers, with no additional penalties for incorrect answers.
  • Can I use a calculator on the online exam?
    • It is recommended that you use a scientific calculator on the exam, one that has exponentials and logarithms. 
  • I have other questions that are not listed here.