The California Chemistry Diagnostic Test

Chemistry 1A has a prerequisite of Chemistry 2A OR one year of high school chemistry with a lab AND a satisfactory score on the California Chemistry Diagnostic Test taken at one of the Assessment centers.

Students who wish to take the chemistry diagnostic test should visit the Counseling office:
  • Submit official or unofficial high school transcripts that show successful completion on one (1) year of high school chemistry


  • Submit official or unofficial college transcripts showing successful completion of a 4 unit chemistry course
Once supporting transcripts have been verified by Counseling staff, the student is given a Chemistry Diagnostic Approval form. Afterwards, the student can schedule their chemistry test appointment with Assessment or Counseling.

Test Format

This is a multiple-choice paper/pencil test with 44 questions and a 45 minute time limit. Books and notes are not allowed, but calculators are permitted. The Periodic Table of the Elements and a table of symbols and abbreviations are provided on the back of each test booklet.

Test Competency Areas

Compounds and elements, states of matter, reactions of matter, structure of matter, periodic properties, solutions, qualitative kinetics and thermodynamics, lab skills, and mathematical skills. To get a general idea of what to expect from the test, see the sample questions.