Skip to main content

Chemistry Placement Exam

What Is the Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE)?


The Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE) is an online tool used to place students into a general chemistry course appropriate for their background. Students with sufficient chemistry background as indicated by a “passing” mark on the CPE (15 or higher) satisfy the required prerequisite to enroll in CH 101, Chemistry: A Molecular Science, or CH 103, General Chemistry I for Students in Chemical Sciences.

Those students for whom remedial work is indicated have the following options to satisfy the prerequisites for enrolling in CH 101 or CH 103: (1) taking and passing with a C- or better, CH 111, Preparatory Chemistry or (2) electing to complete satisfactorily a series of online “modules” and subsequent evaluative examination. See further details in the left side dropdown menu – Chemistry Placement Modules.

The CPE is composed of 4 survey questions and 36 questions on chemistry and math topics. The CPE is deployed online via Moodle, a course management system. Students must have their NC State-issued Unity ID and password to log into the Moodle site. Students will have 60 minutes upon accessing the exam to complete the questions. Only a single login is permitted; each question allows for one submission. Students will also need a calculator capable of exponential and logarithmic computations. A web link to a periodic table is provided within the exam.

Does This Apply to Me?

  • The CPE is mandatory for any student wishing to enroll in CH 101 or CH 103 during an academic year. One cannot enroll in CH 101 without satisfactory completion of the CPE.
  • Take the CPE: (i) if you contemplate a major or degree program requiring CH 101 or CH 103 even if not certain about it or (ii) if you intend or think you may wish to change majors or degree programs to one that requires CH 101 or CH 103.
  • The CPE does NOT apply to students wishing to register for CH 111 or CH 100 nor is it required for students who have no need to register for CH 101. The CPE is a prerequisite for CH 101 and CH 103 only.
  • For further specifications by College, see the following:

Students With Disabilities

To qualify for a testing accommodation, the student must (1) be registered with the DRO office at NC State University and (2) request an accommodation for the CPE. See:

  1. Arrange for confirmation of registration with DRO to be sent to Dr. Lori Petrovich at;
  2. Register into the CPE Moodle Course, but do NOT open the CPE itself;
  3. Email Dr. Petrovich to confirm that you have registered into the CPE Moodle Course;
  4. You will be contacted by return email once the time window for the accommodation has been set;
  5. You may begin the CPE at your convenience.

CPE Logistics

Please see the pull down menus to the left for specific instructions on preparation for and accessing the CPE.

Contact Information

Dr. Lori Petrovich (LMPETROV@NCSU.EDU) to report technical difficulties regarding the CPE or the Modules.

Dr. Jeremiah Feducia ( for other questions regarding the CPE including interpretation of scores or any of the directives found on this webpage.