Chemistry at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chemistry Proficiency Exam

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois

Students having a strong background in chemistry are encouraged to take the chemistry proficiency exam which allows students the opportunity to earn proficiency credit in one or two general chemistry courses. The proficiency exam is offered at the beginning of the fall semester and at the beginning of the spring semester.

The FALL 2017 - Chemistry Proficiency Makeup Exam will be given:


The date for the Fall 2017 Chemistry Proficiency Exam will be posted
once a room is confirmed. 

Please check back in June, 2017.


Click here to sign up for the Proficiency Exam.

Plan to arrive twenty minutes before the exam begins. Bring your calculator, pencils, and your University ID. Students are allowed to take the proficiency exam only once per semester. Students will not be given their grades for this exam. Students will be sent an e-mail that states if pass or fail only.  Only passing scores are reported to college offices.

Any questions regarding the General Chemistry Proficiency Exam may be directed to:

Keena Finney
367C Noyes Lab
Phone: 217-333-3015

Time allowed for Proficiency exams:

CHEM 102 Proficiency Exam only: 1 hour 50 mins

CHEM 104 (Short exam): 50 mins

This exam does NOT have to be taken but is recommended if you believe you scored 70% or higher on the CHEM 102 Proficiency Exam and wish to receive credit on the CHEM 104 exam.

CHEM 104 Physical or Biological Exam: 3 hours

Examination Conduct:

  • Students are expected to turn off or silence their cell phones and put them away BEFORE they enter the exam room. Cell phones are not to be accessed until the student leaves the examination room.
  • Students who become disruptive or aggressive will be asked to leave the exam room.
  • Security will be called for students who fail to leave the exam room when asked and continue with inappropriate behavior.
  • There will be zero tolerance for any aggression whatsoever towards the proctors of this exam.

Important: Information Regarding the Exam materials that will be repeated on the day of the exam:


1. DO NOT take apart the exam booklet.

2. The periodic table, scantron answer form, the entire exam booklet, and scrap paper MUST be turned in at the end of the exam.

3.  Exam materials DO NOT leave the exam room.

A simple calculator and pencil are necessary for the exam. TI-Nspire calculators are NOT allowed.


Pencils, erasers, and calculators will NOT be provided.

General Chemistry Proficiency Exam Info

The exam is designed to test proficiency in the major topics covered in the University of Illinois general chemistry curriculum. If a student performs well on the exam, then 3 hours of Chem 102 credit can be earned. If a student performs very well on the exam, then the student can take another, shorter exam concentrating on thermodynamics and kinetics for an opportunity to earn an additional 3 hours of Chem 104 credit (6 hours total). Both the general proficiency exam and the additional shorter exam on thermodynamics and kinetics are given during the scheduled 3 hour time period. If students feel that they have done very well on the longer exam (over 70% of the questions correct), they are encouraged to take the shorter exam, but are not required to do so.

If a student already has 3 hours of Chem 102 credit (AP credit, proficiency credit or credit in the course), then a special exam must be taken to earn 3 hours of Chem 104 proficiency credit. The Chem 104 exam is given at the same time as the general proficiency exam. Make sure to identify yourself to a proctor if you want to take the Chem 104 exam instead of the general proficiency exam.

The special Chem 104 exam has two versions from which you can choose. The physical version of the exam emphasizes thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, properties of solids, liquids and solutions, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry and polymer chemistry. The biological version of the Chem 104 exam emphasizes organic and biochemistry more, but also tests knowledge in thermodynamics, electrochemistry and kinetics.

No proficiency credit is granted for general chemistry lab courses.

The additional shorter exam covers thermodynamics and kinetics exclusively and in much more detail.

Any questions regarding the General Chemistry Proficiency Exam may be directed to:

Keena Finney
367C Noyes Lab
Phone: 217-333-3015