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The Chemistry Placement Exam (CPT)

A score of 38 or higher on the CPT is required to enroll in CHEM 1000 if you have not met any of the other course prerequisites. Only one attempt to pass the CPT is allowed. Scores will be processed as soon as possible (usually within one week).


Visit the following website to view available dates/times and sign-up to take the exam:

What to Bring

Bring the following items with you to the exam:

  • Non-programmable, non-graphing scientific calculator
  • #2 pencil
  • Photo ID

Test Format

The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions in 55 minutes. There is no penalty for guessing. The following sections are included on the exam:

  • Part I: General Mathematics (elementary algebra including exponential notation) – 20 Questions
  • Part II: General Chemical Knowledge – 20 questions
  • Part III: Specific Chemical Knowledge – 20 questions

Preparing for the CPT

If you feel the need to prepare for the CPT, we recommend that you review standard elementary algebra and high school level chemistry texts. Some free online resources include:

CHEM 1010

If you have not completed a high school chemistry course or completed such a course more than two years ago, consider enrolling in CHEM 1010 to prepare for CHEM 1000. Completion of CHEM 1010 at CSUB with a grade of "C" or better will automatically qualify you for CHEM 1000 without taking the CPT.

Sample Questions from CPT

The CPT contains 60 multiple-choice questions equally divided among three parts: General Mathematics, General Chemical Knowledge, and Specific Chemical Knowledge. If one has good basic math skills and a solid science background, one can pass the CPT even without an extensive knowledge of chemistry. Examples of the types of problems in each part of the CPT are available here.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA  93311-1022 

Phone: (661) 654-2030
Fax: (661) 654-2040
Office: Science II 273