Chemistry Preparation and Placement Program CHEM P3

The purpose of this program is to enhance your success by placing you in the proper beginning chemistry course given your background and preparation in chemistry and math. It is important that you are honest with yourself regarding your abilities and background in order to select the appropriate course for your upcoming registration. To this end, various assessments are available and should be attempted and completed without outside assistance such as reference texts, online tutoring, classmates, etc.; otherwise the assessments are of little value to you and your academic advisor in determining which chemistry course is best for you.


To Begin

Read the course descriptions here and please note that CHEM 1400/1401 is not offered in the spring or summer. Note your course selction and proceed to Step 1.


Step 1 For Students Considering Enrollment in CHEM 1113/1114 or CHEM 1400/1401

If you scored less than 80%, consider enrolling into CHEM 1021 or postpone taking chemistry.

If you scored above 80%, consider enrolling in or retaining your enrollment in CHEM 1113 & CHEM 1114 and continue on to Step 2.

Prior to your registration window, review your course selection with your academic advisor

Step 2 For Students Enrolled in CHEM 1113/1114, ONLY

  • Prepare for the placement exam, DART (Diagnostic and Readiness Test), which will be administered during your recitation period in Week 1 of classes.
  • To prepare for the DART, consider using the Review Materials for the Preliminary Self-Assessment, if you haven’t already.
  • For additional review and reinforcement you can use ALEKS CHEMISTRY, the online adaptive learning system. ALEKS is available for a modest fee granting 90-days of access. Please see the information in the FAQ for accessing ALEKS CHEMISTRY for CHEM 1113 at CU Boulder.

Step 3 For Students Enrolled in CHEM 1113/1114, ONLY

The placement exam (DART) will be administered the first week of classes in your recitation section. Be prepared to have a discussion with your instructor and academic advisor if you do not earn the recommended 75% minimum score and potentially adjust your schedule adjust your schedule.


Students needing special accommodations

  • CU-Boulder is committed to making information and resources that are available via the web accessible for all users. The ALEKS CHEM product is currently not fully accessible for students who are using screen readers and other assistive devices, and we are working with the vendor on making this accessible to all students.
  • Students who need academic accommodations for working in ALEKS CHEM should contact Disability services at
  • For more information on Disability Services, visit



If you want to take advantage of this resource you must purchase access to ALEKS. When you go to ALEKS CHEMISTRY you will be asked to enter the course code for the general chemistry course in ALEKS. The course code is MAHEY-RFCR. After that you will be prompted to set up an account and pay for the 90-day access to ALEKS. Once you complete the information and payment process you will receive an email with your ALEKS login and password.

Once you have paid for ALEKS CHEMISTRY access and received your login information, go to and login. You will be directed to your Student Account Page where can you select, from your list of course or courses, the “Chem 1113 General Chemistry Skills Assessment – Spring 2018” course.

No, the ALEKS CHEM is not timed. 

Yes. You can logout at any time and when you login again you will be taken to the point where you left off. Just be sure to submit an answer to a question: ALEKS does not remember partially completed questions.

Once you have paid for ALEKS Chemistry access and received your login information via email, go to and log in.

Your Student Account Page will appear and you can select, from your list of course or courses, the pertinent course for preparing for general chemistry. The word "summer" may appear in the course title and that is O.K. Just be sure the course is associated with general chemistry.

Click on your course; you will see a new screen with tutorials (entering subscripts, superscripts, fractions; using the calculator, Periodic Table, etc.) to help you navigate in ALEKS CHEMISTRY.

ALEKS CHEMISTRY is an artificial intelligence-based teaching tool. 

ALEKS CHEMISTRY will have you complete a brief tutorial before your Initial Assessment begins so you are familiar with how the system works. ALEKS CHEMISTRY provides online access to a calculator, the Periodic Table, and useful data such as fundamental constants (e.g., Avogadro’s number).

ALEKS CHEMISTRY first assesses (Initial Knowledge Check) exactly what you know and need to learn in general chemistry and its prerequisites from high school, and it reports the results of this assessment in the ALEKS CHEMISTRY Pie Chart. 

Never click the “I don’t know” button during Initial Knowledge Check unless you really have no idea of how to do the problem. Otherwise, ALEKS CHEMISTRY assumes you don’t know many things you may actually know; Start My Path would then begin at a very basic level and make you “learn” many topics that you have already mastered.

The Initial Knowledge Check consists of approximately 30 questions and should take no longer than 60 to 90 minutes.

Once ALEKS CHEMISTRY determines your level of knowledge, it will present you with only those topics meeting the following criteria: (a) you don’t already know how to do an item or (b) you are ready to learn a topic based on what you know already. This is accomplished in the Learning Mode “Start My Path”.

Work on the ALEKS CHEMISTRY carefully and honestly! It is the way ALEKS CHEMISTRY finds out about you, asking what you already know and are therefore ready to learn. If you do this assessment carelessly or answer randomly, you’ll waste time later because ALEKS CHEMISTRY will force you to work through material you know and don’t need to review. Always read and follow the on-screen instructions very carefully and do the work on your own. Your goal is to learn for mastery, gain confidence, and enhance your success in chemistry.