Submitted by Jackie.Hong@se… on Tue, 08/08/2023 - 16:34

CHEM 161:

Description: For science majors. A three-quarter sequence introducing basic concepts of chemistry: structure and bonding, chemical reactivity, physical measurement, stoichiometry, structure of matter, gas laws, intermolecular forces, solutions, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, acid/base, thermodynamics, redox and electrochemistry. Satisfies the general chemistry requirement for science and engineering majors, pre-Med, pre-Pharmacy, pre-Veterinary, etc. Lab included.  CHEM 161 is the first of the three-quarter sequence.

Enrollment Requirements: CHEM 139 & MATH 098 each prerequisite must be completed at a 2.0 or higher within 24 months or placement exam also accepted.

Chemistry Placement Exam:

This placement is exam is designed for the students to be able to register for CHEM 161 with their various chemistry background other than CHEM 139.

2 in-person exams are scheduled during each quarter, including summer quarter.  The format, date, and the time are not flexible. 

Upon passing the placement exam, the student is required to show the proof of MATH 98, before the permission number for CHEM 161 is given. 

See placement options under “Not sure if you need English or Math placement?” on the New Student Advising Page.

The result of the chemistry placement exam is valid for CHEM 161 at North campus for 2 consecutive quarters, and the student can take one placement exam in 360 days.

Exam Dates: 

  • May 24th, 2023 (Wednesday) 5:00-6:00pm
  • June 12th, 2023 (Monday) 5:00-6:00pm
  • August 15th, 2023 (Tuesday) 3:00-4:00pm
  • September 21st, 2023  (Thursday) 5:00-6:00pm
  • November 17th, 2023 (Friday) 5:00-6:00pm
  • December 8th, 2023 (Friday) 5:00-6:00pm
  • Next one tentatively in February 2024 for Spring 2024 registration period

All exams are in person at North Seattle College Campus.  Online placement exam is not available at this time and the dates and times are not flexible.


Fill out this Registration Form at least 4 working days prior to the exam date.  You should receive the confirmation email with the instruction for the exam, including the classroom number.

*If you do not receive the confirmation email within 7 days, send an email to jackie.hong@seattlecolleges.edu to check on the status of the registration.

The exam fee is waived until further notice.

CHEM 139 topics:

  • Measurement   
  • Know metric system prefixes   
  • Understand the difference between accuracy and precision  
  • Understand the concept of uncertainty  
  • Ability to read glassware, thermometer, etc to the correct number of significant figures  
  • Ability to determine the correct number of significant figures in a measurement and complete calculations to the correct number of significant figures  
  • Ability to use significant figures to communicate precision and accuracy  
  • Ability to convert between metric system prefixes  
  • Ability to convert between metric and English system (given conversion factors)  
  • Understand the concept of density  
  • Ability to complete calculations involving density
  • Matter  
  • Ability to identify the building blocks of matter and know the difference between the terms used to describe matter (i.e. the difference between atom and element)  
  • Knowledge of the basic organization of the periodic table including the names and location of groups, families, etc…)  
  • Ability to draw and explain the structure of the an atom including number and location of the subatomic particles  
  • Ability to distinguish between atomic number, mass number and atomic mass   
  • Understand the difference between a chemical and physical property  
  • Ability to predict how atoms will ionize based on their position in the periodic table  
  • Ability to distinguish between ionic and molecular compounds  
  • Ability to predict ionic compound formulas from individual ions  
  • Ability to name basic molecular and ionic compounds
  • Quantifying chemical reactions  
  • Understand the Mole concept (including Avogadro’s Number)  
  • Understand and be able to calculate Molar mass for atoms and molecules  
  • Ability to perform the following conversions:  
    • Gram to moles, moles to grams, moles to molecules, molecules to moles, grams to molecules, molecules to grams  
  • Understand the difference between empirical formula and molecular formula  
  • Ability to calculate % composition  
  • Ability to represent chemical reactions with a chemical equation  
  • Ability to balance a chemical equation and understand that this allows us to represent an understanding of the Law of Conservation of Mass  
  • Ability to determine mol ratios from chemical equations  
  • Ability to perform Stoichiometric Calculations (Given the quantity in grams of one substance in a reaction, be able to calculate the quantity of another substance in the reaction)  
  • Understand the concept of a limiting reactant and ability to determine which reactant in a chemical reaction will determine how much product could be produced  
  • Ability to calculate a % yield
  • Concentrations of Reactants in Solution  
  • Understand the concept and definition of Molarity  
  • Understand how molarity is used as a conversion factor  
  • Ability to perform calculations involving Molarity  
    • Mols to Liters, Liters to mols, grams to Molarity, etc.  
  • Ability to describe how to prepare a solution from a solid  
  • Ability to describe and calculate how to prepare a solution from another solution (dilution)  
    • M1V1 = M2V2  
  • Ability to solve solution stoichiometry problems including limiting reactant and determining amounts of reactants left over   
  • Understand how a titration works, what’s going on in solution during a titration, and the concept of the “end-point”  
  • Perform calculations regarding Titrations 
  • Aqueous Reactions and Metathesis  
  • Understand electrolytes vs. non-electrolytes   
  • Understand weak vs. strong electrolyte  
  • Understand the concept of dissociation   
    • Ability to write the molecular, complete ionic and net ionic equations for both precipitation and neutralization reactions  
  • Ability to determine spectator ions  
  • Ability to predict the products of a metathesis reactions
  • Acids, Bases and Neutralization Reactions  
  • Understand and know the definition of an acid and a base  
  • Understand and know the difference between weak and strong acids and bases  
  • Predict the products of a reaction between an acid and a base
  • Ability to write the molecular, complete ionized and net ionic equation for neutralization reactions  

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