Interim Chemistry Placement Test - Now available through Canvas!
All in-person CPT exams have been suspended due to COVID-19 until Spring 2021.
The current suspension of in-person classes due to COVID-19 across our system, as well as Executive Order N-25-20 issued by Governor Gavin Newsom requiring adherence to social distancing guidelines, leads us to cancel standard classroom testing.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the in-person Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) has been suspended. In its place, the Interim Chemistry Placement Test (ICPT) offers a temporary online solution. A passing score on the ICPT will allow students to satisfy the prerequisite for CHEM 101. Students who score less than a passing score on the ICPT will be considered unprepared/underprepared and will be required to retake the ICPT, take the CPT (when offered) or take CHEM 100 and achieve a minimum grade of C to satisfy the CHEM 101 prerequisites. See section below on more information about the ICPT.
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. The CPT test is an on campus only exam.
Interim Chemistry Placement Test (ICPT)
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the in-person Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) has been suspended. In its place, the Interim Chemistry Placement Test (ICPT) offers a temporary online solution. A passing score on the ICPT will allow students to satisfy the prerequisite for CHEM 101. Students who score less than a passing score on the ICPT will be considered unprepared/underprepared and will be required to retake the ICPT, take the CPT (when offered) or take CHEM 100 and achieve a minimum grade of C to satisfy the CHEM 101 prerequisites.
The ICPT consists of 30 questions, each worth 2 points, to be answered in 60 minutes. Registered DRES students will receive accommodations as detailed in their DRES agreement. The questions test basic aspects of chemistry such as the scientific method, stoichiometry, nomenclature, chemical equations and atomic theory together with basic mathematical problem solving such as rounding, significant figures, unit conversions, SI units and scientific notation.
Note that questions will be presented one-at-a-time. You will not be able to change an answer once you move to the next question so make sure you are satisfied with your answer before moving to the next question. Make sure you have access to a basic scientific calculator and one piece of scratch paper during the test. You will be provided with a version of the periodic table to use during the test.
Scheduling the Test
Students will register online at the Testing Center website – www.csun.edu/testing. Exams will be offered the first Monday of each month until COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and students can return back to campus to take the in-person CPT. Registration will be available up to 3 days prior to the exam date and will close promptly at noon (12 pm PT) on that Friday. The Chemistry Department will receive a list of students registered for the ICPT and add students to the ICPT Canvas page. Once your name has been added, the ICPT Canvas page will appear in your usual list of class Canvas sites accessible by logging into your portal using your CSUN credentials at https://www.csun.edu/it/canvas. If you do not see the ICPT Canvas page, you will need to contact the Chemistry Department prior to the exam to ensure you can access to the exam promptly at 10am on that morning.
Timing of the Test
The test will be available on the first Monday of each month, opening promptly at 10 AM pacific time and will remain open for 60 minutes. You must start the test promptly at 10 AM to get the full 60 minutes allowed. Once started, you cannot pause or return later to finish. The test can only be taken once every 3 months.
Rules of Conduct
- This is a closed-book test. Do not use books, notes or electronic means.
- Do not confer with other students during or after the test.
- By taking this test, you verify that you, and only you, are the student answering the questions.
- There will be no make-up test or extra time granted during the test (unless you are a documented DRES student with verified accommodations).
- Do not print, photograph, write down or in any other way record the questions of the test.
- If it is shown after the test is complete that you have violated any of the above rules, your score will be zero and the Dean of Students will be notified of potential academic dishonesty, with penalties up to and including expulsion from CSUN.
- The test can only be taken once every 3 months.
ICPT Passing Score
A passing score is 40/60 (66.6%) or higher.
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 previous two (2) semesters. 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.
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
Students who do not score a 40 or more must wait six (6) months before taking the CPT again.
Test Dates - SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19 until Spring 2021
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 Date||Registration Begins at 9 a.m. on||Registration Ends at noon on||Reporting Location||Exam Time|
|NO exams until Spring 2021|
For information on specific exam time and location, visit the Testing Calendar page.
Students can register for CSUN campus tests through the 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.
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 Access Pass
CPT Access Pass will not be available to print until 3 days prior to your exam date.
Click on the box "I need to print my test access pass" from the Testing Center homepage
Select My Registrations tab
Locate the test for which you need an access pass
Click on the button, Show Access Pass
Print access pass
2 weeks before the test
Check your ID
Does your name (first and last only) on your photo ID match the name on your CSUN student record? Corrections must be submitted to the Admissions & Records Office no later than the Friday prior to your test date. If you file a name change, be sure to notify the Testing Center to ensure it is reflected on your access pass. NO changes will be made once access pass becomes available.
3 days before the test
Obtain a clear, plastic bag (maximum size 1 gallon/3.79 liters) to contain “allowable” items in the testing room.
Print access pass from the Testing Center Online Registration webpage 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 clear plastic bag.
Report to test location no later than start time of your respective exam. Allow yourself at least 15 minutes for arrival and parking is recommended.
Take only page 1 of your access pass 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.
Items Needed for Testing
Access Pass. You should have printed out your access pass in the last 3 days. If not, visit the Testing Center Online Registration page to do so prior to testing day. You must take the access pass with you to testing. Your access pass will contain the following pertinent information: reporting time, reporting address, test center instructions, and test center procedures.
The address on the access pass 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 Access Pass for the exact test date and reporting time.
Prior to reporting to the test location, you must carefully read all pages of your access pass. Only page one of the access pass should be brought to the test. Your access pass may be used only for the test date printed on it.
All test takers can reprint their CPT access pass 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 Access Pass the night before the exam to ensure that they have the most recent and accurate reporting address for their test. Alternate access passes 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 photo ID that contains a recent and recognizable photo, your first and last name or else you will be denied admission.
Acceptable common forms of ID include, but are not limited to:
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
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: Photo identification MUST contain a recent and recognizable photo, your first and last name. 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 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
digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches
cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)
photographic or recording devices
headsets, iPods, or other media players
books, dictionaries, papers of any kind
briefcases, handbags, backpacks of any kind
hats/hoods/beanies (except religious apparel) must be removed when entering the room and placed at the front of the room until completion of the exam
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.
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
- Attempting to take the test for someone else or having someone else take the test for you.
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain improper access to the test, a part of the test, or information about the test.
- Creating a disturbance. (Disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated; the test supervisor has sole discretion in determining what constitutes disruptive behavior.)
- 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.
- Bringing a weapon or firearm into the test center.
- 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.
- Leaving the test room without permission.
- Reading, working on, marking, or erasing during unauthorized times, either beyond time limits or before the start of the test in the test booklet.
- 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
digital watches, alarm watches, beeping watches, calculator watches
cell phones, pay phones, beepers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs)
photographic or recording 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 are valid for up to two (2) semesters preceding enrollment in Chemistry 101/101L.
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
You may review CPT Examples to prepare for the test.