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Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE)

As of Spring 2020, the temporary pre-requisite for registering for CHEM 150 is: General Chemistry:

Enrollment restricted to students with declared majors in: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Mathematics, and Physics. Enrollment restricted to students in Math/Quant Reasoning Placement Categories I or II, or who have completed MATH 101 or MATH 105 with a grade of C (2.0) or better (or who have completed the Entry-Level Mathematics (ELM) requirement prior to Fall 2018).

If a student has not completed CHEM 101 or 105 with a grade of C or better, they must take the CPE and attain a passing score prior to being allowed to enroll in CHEM 150. If an incoming student has taken the AP exam, but will not have scores reported until the summer, it is recommended that the CPE be taken.

The exam will be offered multiple times prior to registration, and a student will  be allowed to take the CPE twice. At this point, there is no charge for taking the exam, but it is required that a student register for a specific exam date. The number of spots for each date will be limited and no walk-ins will be accepted. 

  • NO-SHOW POLICY: if you register and are a NO-SHOW, that will count towards one your attempts for taking the exam.
  • CPE EXAM LIMIT: The CPE has a strict 2 limit policy. If you would like to take the CPE a second time, please register for a CPE that is a month apart from your original exam date. (i.e. I took the CPE February 20th, I will register for another CPE after March 20th) 

Spring 2021 Enrollment

The dates for the CPE for spring enrollment are shown below. Spots are limited, so register as soon as possible. You are only allowed to sign up for one date. (Registration will close 3 days prior to the scheduled exam)

  • Currently no spring exam dates. CPE is still postponed until further notice. 
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A sample of the content covered on the CPE: CPE Content

Additional information for the day of your CPE: CPE Info

Special Instructions for Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and will require special testing accommodations to take the Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE), please contact Disability Support Services (DSS) at 760-750-4905 or by email at When sending an email, please be sure and specify in the subject line Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE) Testing Accommodations.

Test takers needing special testing accommodations need to contact DSS and provide any required disability documentation in a timely manner. Every effort will be made to provide authorized special testing accommodations but DSS will need to have the necessary paperwork in their possession two weeks prior to each exam for scheduling purposes.