Chemistry Placement Test (CPT)

California State University, Northridge placement exam in chemistry determines eligibility to enroll in specific chemistry courses at CSUN. The Chemistry Placement Test is required for students to enroll in Chemistry 101 or Chemistry 107. The CPT test is an on-campus-only exam offered during the first week of each month.  


Candidates will need their cell phones to scan the Testing Center QR check-in code upon arrival and access to their email.  Lockers will be provided to store your items during the exam.

Parking in the B3 structure is recommended. During peak times of the spring and fall semesters, parking can be difficult to locate.  Give yourself plenty of time to find parking.  You may purchase a single-day permit at an attendant booth or dispenser for $10.45 or choose from 2-hour or 4-hour rates. Day pass dispensers accept credit cards or cash and are located by the elevator on each level. Click here, https://www.csun.edu/parking/student-parking-information, for location of parking lots and dispenser locations.

We ask that candidates report no more than 15 minutes before their test appointment time. Latecomers may be dismissed if the center is unable to admit them in a timely fashion. Be sure you have your government-issued ID and access pass. 


General Information

Students may enroll in Chemistry 101 or Chemistry 107 if they have passed the Chemistry Placement Test with a score of 32* or more and it was taken within the previous two (2) semesters. A non-programmable electronic calculator is permitted during the test.

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 or 107. You should be aware that approximately one-half of the students who pass the CPT with a score in the low 30s fail to earn a grade of "C" or greater in Chemistry 101 or 107.

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.

*New cut score beginning October 2023


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
  • Grade of "C" or higher ("C-" is unacceptable) in CHEM 100 taken at CSUN

Retake Policy

Students who do not score a 32* or more must wait three (3) months before taking the CPT again. 

*New cut score beginning October 2023

Test Dates

 The CPT is generally given the first Thursday of each month.  Please check the calendar shown below for the exact date each month.

2024 Testing Calendar

 Test Date TestRegistration Begins at 9amRegistration Deadline at 5pmReporting LocationTest Start TimesTest Ends
5/02/2024CPT4/05/20244/29/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


5/30/2024CPT05/03/20245/27/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


7/3/2024CPT5/31/20247/1/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


8/1/2024CPT7/4/20247/29/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


9/5/2024CPT8/2/20249/2/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


10/24/2024CPT9/6/202410/21/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


11/14/2024CPT10/25/202411/11/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm


12/5/2024CPT11/8/202412/2/2024BH 1909:00am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm or 3:00pm



  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.  Registration closes three to four days 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, 8:00 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.

Printing your Access Pass

CPT Access Pass will be available to print 3 days prior to your exam date.

Click on the box "I need to print my test access pass" from the Testing Center homepage

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

  • Select My Registrations tab

  • Locate the test for which you need an access pass

  • Click on the button, Show Access Pass

  • Print access pass

CPT Checklist

2 weeks before the test

  • Check your ID

    • Current, valid government-issued photo ID is required

      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 before 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 the access pass becomes available.

3 days before the test

  • Print access passes 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.

Test day

  • Report to Bayramian Hall room 190 no later than the start time of your respective exam.  Do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your exam time. 
  • Be sure to allow plenty of time for parking and walking to the Testing Center.
  • Take page 1 of your access pass and your photo ID to the test.
  • Bring a non-programmable calculator.
  • Do not take any prohibited items or electronic devices (including cell phones) into the testing room.  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  .



Test Day

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 10 minutes.

  • Identification. You must have a current valid, government-issued photo ID that contains a recent and recognizable photo, and your first and last name, or else you will be denied admission.

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

    • Passport book

    • 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

IMPORTANT: Photo identification MUST contain a recent and recognizable photo, signature and 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 before 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), any form of ID  that is expired, photocopied ID, or employee ID (even for government employees), or another college/university student ID.

Items Allowed on the Desktop

Test takers may only have pencils and an eraser. These items will be provided by the Testing Center. A personal non-programmable electronic calculator is also allowed on the desktop.   No electronic devices are permitted.

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)

  • personal computers

  • 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) 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 after 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 proctor will assign each test taker a seat. Test takers are not permitted to choose their seats.

  • No latecomers. Under no circumstances will the proctor 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 proctor will tell you when to start and stop work.  Start and stop times will be written on the board.

  • Time. The proctor 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. A proctor will circulate throughout the testing room to ensure that examinees are working on the exam and no other materials are in use. 

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

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

  • Handbags, backpacks, briefcases. No handbags, backpacks, briefcases, or bags of any kind are allowed in the test room.

  • Food and drink. Food and drink may not be consumed during the test. 

  • Leaving the room. If you find it necessary to leave the room during the test, raise your hand and obtain permission from the proctor. Your test materials will be collected and held until your return. You will not be permitted to make up 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. The proctor will report to the 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 proctor 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.

  • 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 concerning the 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

  • 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.



Students are to report to Bayramian Hall room 190 for check-in.  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
  • From the top navigation - Select the "Student Services" tab
  • From the drop down menu - select "SOLAR Student Center"
  • Under the "Academics" section locate the drop down box shown as "other academic .."
  • From the drop down menu, select on "View My Test Scores"

Scores are available through SOLAR n o later than two days after the test administration. Scores are not provided over the phone or via email.

Test Scores

Test scores are valid for up to two (2) semesters preceding enrollment in CHEM 101/101L or CHEM 107.

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 correct 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 or sent via email.

A passing score on the CPT is 32* correct answers to qualify for CHEM 101/101L or CHEM 107.


*New cut score beginning October 2023


Test examples

You may review CPT Examples to prepare for the test.