TESTING

Chemistry Placement Test (CPT)

California State University, Northridge placement exam in chemistry determine eligibility to enroll in specific chemistry courses at CSUN. The Chemistry Placement Test is required for students to enroll in Chemistry 101. These tests must be taken within two semesters preceding enrollment in courses. The CPT is offered only on campus.

General Information

Students may enroll in Chemistry 101 if they have passed the Chemistry Placement Test with a score of 40 or more and it was taken within the year preceding enrollment in these courses. Students who do not score a 40 or more must wait six months before taking the CPT again. Calculators are not permitted during the test.

Enrollment in Chemistry 101 without taking the CPT requires students to complete Chemistry 100 at CSUN with a grade of “C” or better. A grade of “C-” or lower is not considered passing.

The CPT is a 60-point, three part test. PART I is worth 20 points and covers elementary algebra, including exponential notation. PART II is also worth 20 points and deals with general chemical knowledge while PART III, also weighted with 20 points, deals with specific chemical knowledge. Students who fail to obtain a score of 40 or more on the CPT should not retake the test but instead enroll in and pass Chemistry 100 to prepare for Chemistry 101 the following semester.

If you have not completed a high school chemistry course or have completed such a course more than two years ago, you should not take the CPT. Instead, you should enroll in Chemistry 100 (Introductory Chemistry) to prepare for Chemistry 101. Completion of Chemistry 100 at CSUN with a grade of "C" or better will automatically qualify you for admission to Chemistry 101. You should be aware that approximately one-half of the students who pass the CPT with a score in the low 40's fail to earn a grade of "C" or greater in Chemistry 101.

If you feel the need to prepare for the CPT, we recommend that you review standard elementary algebra and high school level chemistry texts. These texts are usually available at most public libraries.

Exemptions

To be exempt from the CPT, students must have:

  • Score of 3, 4 or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Test in Chemistry
  • Score of 50 or higher on the General Chemistry Exam of the College Level Examination Program
  • Successful completion of the ELM requirement is a prerequisite for enrollment in CHEM 100.
  • Grade of "C" or higher ("C-" is unacceptable) in CHEM 100 taken at CSUN

Test Dates

The CPT is offered various times throughout the year. The CPT consists of 60 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 55 minutes. Students are allowed to leave early upon completion of their exam. The CPT is an on-campus exam only.

Test dates and registration deadlines are as shown below.

Test and Registration Dates for Chemistry Placement Test (CPT)
Test DateRegistration Begins at 8 a.m. onRegistration Ends at noon on
August 22, 2014July 21, 2014August 14, 2014
November 22, 2014August 24, 2014November 14, 2014
January 16, 2015November 24, 2014January 8, 2015
April 4, 2015January 19, 2015March 27, 2015
June 20, 2015April 6, 2015June 15, 2015

For information on specific exam time and location, visit the Testing Calendar page.

Registration

Students can now register for CSUN campus tests through the new online registration system. Students must have available their CSUN user ID, password and CSUN email address before accessing the online registration system. The registration process is convenient and easy. It should take approximately five to ten minutes to complete.

Students must register online for the Chemistry Placement Test at least one week prior to the test date. Visit the Register for Tests page to register.

There is a $5 charge for the CPT. Students must have a credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or a checking account in order to pay and finish the registration process. If a student cannot pay by these methods, they should visit the Testing Center in Bayramian Hall 190 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Testing Accommodations

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Alternative testing accommodations such as extended time, electronic text, readers or scribes are available through the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) department to students who have a documented disability and require accommodations to take the exam. If you are not a registered student with DRES and have a disability, please visit the DRES website for registration procedures. 

Registered DRES students can sign up online for the CPT. Students will need to check the optional accommodation box to indicate their accommodation request. The DRES department will contact the student to verify accommodations and make alternate testing arrangements. The University CPT registration deadlines apply for all students and accommodation requests must be submitted by the registration deadline.

Accommodations for Religious Observances

Non-Saturday testing is available for religious observances. If your religious observance prevents you from taking the test on the scheduled test date, students can sign up online for the CPT. Students will need to check the optional accommodation box to indicate their accommodation request. The Testing Center will contact the student to verify accommodations and make alternate testing arrangements. Students can contact the Testing Center at (818) 677-2369 for more information. Students will be required to provide documentation. The university CPT registration deadlines apply for all students and accommodation requests must be submitted by the registration deadline.

Printing your Admission Ticket

Go to Register for Tests

Log in to the registration website using your CSUN user ID and password (at the bottom of the page)

  • Select the "View my tests" link
  • Locate the test for which you need an admission ticket
  • Under the action column, select the "Admission Ticket" link

Admission ticket will open in a new window allowing you to print

CPT Checklist

Weeks before the test 

  • Check your ID
    • Is it an acceptable government-issued ID or a CSUN ID?
    • Is it current (or has it expire in the last 90 days)?
    • Do your first and last name match the names on your CPT admission ticket and your ID exactly? Corrections must be submitted no later than 4:00 PM (PT) on Friday the week prior to testing.

 1 week before the test 

  • Obtain a clear, plastic ziplock bag (maximum size 1 gallon/3.79 liters) to contain “allowable” items in the testing room.

 The day before your scheduled test 

  • Print an updated CPT admission ticket from the Testing Center online registration page to ensure that you have the final and correct reporting address for the test.
  • Check the Testing Center’s website for reporting location directions and a map.
  • Review the list of items allowed in the ziplock bag.

 Test day 

  • Report to testing location no later than the test time.  Allowing at least 15 minutes for arrival and parking is recommended.
  • Take only page 1 of the admission ticket to the test.  Leave this checklist at home.
  • Do not take any prohibited items or electronic devices (including cell phones) to the test.  Possession and/or use of such items is grounds for immediate dismissal from the test. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Testing Center at 818.677.2369 or via email at    

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS. 

Test Day

Items Needed for Admission Testing

  • Admission Ticket. When you registered for the CPT you should have printed out your ticket.  If not, visit the Testing Center Online Registration page to do so prior to testing day. You must take the ticket with you to testing. Your ticket will contain the following pertinent information: reporting time, reporting address, test center instructions, and test center procedures.

    The address on the ticket is a reporting address. Test takers are responsible for obtaining directions and arriving at the test location no later than the reporting time. The Testing Center strongly advises you to check the institution's website for specific directions to the test location, as well as for parking information and a campus map. Internet map searches may not provide reliable information specific to the reporting location. On test day where multiple rooms or buildings are used, the address will be a centralized location. You will be directed from there to a specific testing room or building.

    For the administrations of the CPT, test takers are required to be at the reporting location no later than their respective test time. Refer to your CPT Admission Ticket for the exact test date and reporting time.

    Prior to reporting to the test location, you must carefully read all pages of your admission ticket. Only page one of the admission ticket should be brought to the test. Your ticket may be used only for the test date printed on it.

    All test takers can reprint their CPT ticket if it is misplaced. Visit the Testing Center Online Registration page and log in with your CSUN username and password.

    The Testing Center recommends that test takers print out their CPT Admission Ticket the night before the exam to ensure that they have the most recent and accurate reporting address for their test. Alternate admission tickets will NOT be available on test day. 

NOTE: Test takers should expect the test day to cover up to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Identification. You must have a valid government-issued ID that is current (or has expired within 90 days of your test date) or a CSUN ID that contains a recent and recognizable photo. Your first and last name on your ID must match exactly the first and last name on your CPT Admission Ticket or else you will be denied admission.

    Acceptable common forms of ID include, but are not limited to:

    • Passport book

    • Passport card

    • Driver's license

    • State or province-issued ID card

    • US military ID card (Common Access Card, or CAC)

    • US Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

    • Canadian Permanent Resident Card

    • National ID card

    • Consular ID card

    • CSUN ID

    • In some cases, a temporary driver's license if that license has both a physical description and a signature and must be presented along with CSUN student identification card

IMPORTANT: All of the above forms of ID, along with all other forms of ID that may be acceptable, MUST contain a recent and recognizable photo, your first and last name. The ID must sufficiently authenticate your identity to the test center supervisor. Under no circumstances will access be permitted to the test center without proper ID. If you have questions about whether your ID is acceptable, you must contact the Testing Center at least seven (7) days PRIOR to your registered test date and be prepared to submit a scanned copy of your ID for review.

The following items are NOT acceptable forms of ID for access to the test center: Social Security card, Social Insurance card, birth certificate, credit card (including those with photo), ID expired for more than 90 days prior to your test date, photocopied ID, or employee ID (even for government employees), or another college/university student ID.

  • Pencils. Bring to the test center three or four sharpened No. 2 or HB wooden pencils—with good erasers. Pencils or sharpeners will not be supplied at the test center.

Items Allowed in the Test Room

Test takers may bring into the test room only a clear plastic Ziploc bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair. The sealed Ziploc bag may contain only the following items: valid ID; wallet; keys; analog (nondigital) wristwatch; medical or feminine hygiene products (including diabetic testing supplies); #2 or HB wooden pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, and tissues. All items must fit in the Ziploc bag such that the bag can be sealed.

Items Allowed on the Desktop

Test takers may only have pencils, erasers, and a pencil sharpener on the desktop. No electronic devices are permitted. Neither are timers of any kind except analog wristwatches.

Items Prohibited in the Testing Location

You may not bring into the testing center or use any of the following:

  • electronic timers of any kind

  • electronic cigarettes

  • digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches

  • cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)

  • personal computers

  • calculators

  • photographic or recording devices

  • listening devices

  • headsets, iPods, or other media players

  • books, dictionaries, papers of any kind

  • rulers

  • briefcases, handbags, backpacks of any kind

  • earplugs

  • hats/hoods/beanies (except religious apparel) may not be worn on the head

  • weapons or firearms 

IMPORTANT: Electronic devices, including cell phones, are not permitted in the test room, and the use of any electronic device is strictly prohibited. Any test taker discovered in possession of or using an electronic device, including but not limited to cell phones, pay phones, pagers, iPods™ or other media players, or personal computers, will be dismissed from the test and their test will not be scored. This policy will be enforced from the time test takers arrive at the test until they leave at the conclusion of the test—including restroom breaks. Violations will be grounds for score cancellation and you may be subject to a CSUN investigation. Test center staff assume no responsibility for personal items.

 

Test Center Regulations

  • Seating. The supervisor will assign each test taker a seat. Test takers are not permitted to choose their own seats, rooms, or building.

  • No latecomers. Under no circumstances will supervisors admit anyone after testing begins.

  • Restroom use. Use the restroom before checking in; once you are checked in, you will not be permitted to leave until after the start of the test.

  • Test administration. The supervisor will tell you when to start and stop work.  Start and stop times will be written on the board.

  • Time. Supervisors will keep the official time. You may take an analog (nondigital) wristwatch to the test center. No other timers—including electronic and countdown timers—are allowed.

  • Testing staff. Testing staff will circulate throughout the testing room to ensure that examinees are working on the exam and no other materials are in use. The supervisor will announce a ten-minutes-remaining warning.

  • Scratch paper. Scratch paper or any other paper is not permitted.

  • Hats/hoods/beanies. No hats, hoods or beanie may be worn on the head (except items of religious apparel).

  • Handbags, backpacks, briefcases. No handbags, backpacks, briefcases, or bags of any kind—except a maximum-sized one-gallon (3.79 liter) clear plastic Ziploc bag (sealed)—are allowed in the test room.

  • Food and drink. Food and drink may not be consumed during the test. Food and drinks are allowed if placed in the sealed Ziploc bag in the testing room.

  • Leaving the room. If you find it necessary to leave the room during the test, raise your hand and obtain permission from the room supervisor. Your test materials will be collected and held until your return. You will not be permitted to make up the time. Use the restroom before reporting to the check-in station; once checked in, you will not be permitted to leave until after the start of the test.

  • Test Center Violations/Irregularities. Room supervisors will report to Testing Supervisor any test center violation/irregularity that occurs during the administration.

  • Testing materials. All testing materials, including test booklets and answer sheets are the property of California State University Northridge Testing Center and must be returned to the room supervisor before dismissal from the test. Under no circumstances may test content or any part of the test be removed, reproduced, or disclosed by any means (e.g., hard copy, verbally, electronically) to any person or entity. Legal action may be taken against anyone who removes or reproduces test materials in any way, or shares CSUN test content.

  • Left-handedness. Room supervisors attempt to accommodate left-handed test takers. However, room supervisors cannot guarantee special desks or tables for you.

  • Creating a disturbance. Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated. The test supervisor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior. The test supervisor is authorized to dismiss from the test center any test taker who creates a disturbance.

 

Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers

When you take the CPT, it is your responsibility to report all instances of suspected cheating on the part of any test takers and any other inappropriate behavior that becomes known to you.

You are an important part of protecting the CPT and ensuring a fair test environment. Cheating impacts everyone. If you believe that you have information about actual or potential test security violations, please contact the Testing Center office immediately.

 

Test Center Violations and Irregularities

If you engage in any test center violation or irregularity during the test—such as creating a disturbance; giving or receiving help; working on or reading the test during a time not authorized by the supervisor; removing test materials or notes from the testing room; taking part in an act of impersonation or other forms of cheating; failing to follow the directions of test center staff; or using books, ear plugs, rulers, papers of any kind, or other aids—you may receive a warning or you may be dismissed from the testing room, have your test score canceled by the Testing Center and you may be subject to other penalties for test center violations or irregularities.

 

Possible Penalties

Test takers who violate test center regulations, including but not limited to those listed below, will be subject to a warning notice, dismissal from the test center, and/or cancellation of their test score. Test takers may have their cases referred for further investigation to the Student Misconduct Board.

 

Possible Test Center Violations

  1. Attempting to take the test for someone else or having someone else take the test for you.
  2. Obtaining or attempting to obtain improper access to the test, a part of the test, or information about the test.
  3. Creating a disturbance. (Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated; the test supervisor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior.)
  4. Removing or attempting to remove test content from the test center.

    NOTE: Under no circumstances may test content or any part of the test content, including the topic sheet, be removed, reproduced, and/or disclosed by any means (e.g., hard copy, verbally, electronically) to any person or entity. This includes making notes on paper, erasers, or other items and removing them from the test center. Legal action may be taken against anyone who removes test materials and/or reproduces test materials in any way.
  5. Bringing a weapon or firearm into the test center.
  6. Leaving the test center vicinity during the test session or during a restroom break. Test takers may not leave the building or the floor where the test room is located.
  7. Leaving the test room without permission.
  8. Reading, working on, marking, or erasing during unauthorized times, either beyond time limits or before the start of the test in the test booklet.
  9. Copying or other forms of cheating.

 

Electronic Devices: NO-TOLERANCE POLICY

The Testing Center has adopted a no-tolerance policy with regard to possession of electronic devices. Under no circumstances are test takers permitted to bring an electronic device into the test area. Test supervisors and their staff are advised NOT to hold such items and are instructed to dismiss any test taker found in possession of or using an electronic device. Such devices include, but are not limited to:

  • electronic timers of any kind

  • electronic cigarettes

  • digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches

  • cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)

  • personal computers

  • calculators

  • photographic or recording devices

  • listening devices

  • headsets, iPods, or other media players

Any test taker found in possession of or using an electronic device will be dismissed from the test center and their score will be cancelled.

 

TEST REPORTING LOCATION

Visit our Test Reporting Locations Map for driving directions to all on-campus testing locations.

Viewing CPT Scores on SOLAR

Go to CSUN at www.csun.edu.

  • Log in to the Portal
  • Select the "Academics" tab
  • Locate the "Tools for Academic Success" section (has black background)
  • Click on "Check Test Scores"

Scores are available through SOLAR approximately one to two weeks after the test administration. Scores are not provided over the phone or via email.

Test Scores

In scoring the test, only correct answers will be counted. If you have no idea which of the answers to a given question is correct, you should leave the question blank. If you happen to guess correctly answers to questions you do not understand, you may be advised to take a course for which you are not adequately prepared. Your examination results will be posted on SOLAR one week after the test. Scores cannot be given over the telephone.

A passing score on the CPT is 40 correct answers to qualify for CHEM 101/101L

Resources

Test examples

You may review CPT Examples to prepare for the test.