FAQs for FIRST YEAR and Transfer Students

We administer placement assessments solely for the information they provide: To place you in classes that will give you the best possible foundation for success at Dominican.

You may not be required to take every assessment described below. Most students will need one or two assessments, which will take one to two hours to complete.

Taking Placement Assessments 

Q.  How do I take my assessment?

Once deposited after admission, you will receive an email and a letter with a links to your placement assessment(s). If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Q.  How long will the assessments take?

Most students will need one or two assessments, which will take one to two hours to complete. See assessment descriptions below for more details about the time for each individual assessment. If you need both placement assessments, plan about 2 1/2 hours.

Q. What do I need in order to take my assessment(s)?

If you are taking the math assessment, You will need scratch paper. Calculators are not allowed.

If you are taking the chemistry assessment, you will need scratch paper (a way to upload it) and a calculator. We will supply the Periodic Chart in the assessment.

Q.  Is there a cost for placement assessment?

No, there is no charge.


Q.   How will I know if I need to take the Math Assessment?  

Some students may not need to take the placement assessment in Math. For additional information pertaining to SAT, ACT, and AP scores, please consult the Academic Catalog.

Q.   What is the Math placement assessment like?

This untimed assessment begins at a medium level of difficulty with Elementary Algebra, then adapts as questions become too hard or too easy for you. It is generally about 30 questions and takes about an hour and a half.

Q.   How do I prepare for the Math assessment?

You should review your algebra texts and notes to refresh yourself on the subject if you have not had an algebra class recently.


Chemistry Placement Assessment

Q.   How will I know if I need to take the Chemistry assessment?

All Nursing, Biology (including Pre-Med), and Chemistry majors will need to take the Chemistry placement assessment so we will know which chemistry course is the right one for you. (If you are Undeclared but considering one of those majors, you would also be wise to take the assessment.) If you have taken a chemistry course for college credit and passed with a 'C' or higher, you probably will not need to take the assessment.

NOTE: If you did not take chemistry in high school or if you have not taken a chemistry course for a few years, you may choose to be placed into Chem 1500 Introduction to Chemistry rather than taking the Chemistry placement assessment.

Q.   What is the Chemistry placement assessment like?

This untimed assessment consists of 20 questions. You may use a calculator and scratch paper (you will need to upload it at the end of the assessment). A periodic table is provided within the assessment. The Chemistry placement assessment is meant to assess your chemistry background from high school.


Q.   How do I prepare for the Chemistry assessment?

To prepare for this assessment, you should review the following topics:

  • Significant figures
  • Conversion factors
  • Atoms and elements
  • Naming rules
  • Balancing equations
  • Types of reactions
  • Molarity and dilutions

The results from your Chemistry placement assessment will determine whether you will start in one of the following courses:

CHEM 1500  Introduction to Chemistry: A Preparatory Course (3 units) -- for Biology, Chemistry, and Nursing majors. This course is designed to prepare students for CHEM 1600 or CHEM 2000. Topics include: measurements, energy and matter, atoms and elements, compounds and their bonds, chemical quantities and reactions, solutions, and gas laws.

CHEM 1600  Chemistry for the Health Sciences (3 units) -- for Nursing majors
. This course is designed to expose students in the health sciences to chemical principles important to human physiology. Topics include: reaction rates, chemical equilibrium and gas laws; chemistry of water, solutions, colloids, acids, and bases; carbon chemistry containing heteroatoms; biochemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes, vitamins, and hormones; chemistry of body fluids; and metabolic pathways.

CHEM 2000  General Chemistry I (3 units) -- for Biology and Chemistry majors
. This course is focused on the fundamental principles and theories of chemistry with special emphasis on chemical calculations. Topics include atomic structure, gases, kinetic-molecular theory, periodicity and bonding, chemical thermodynamics etc.

You will also find helpful information about basic concepts at  http://www.chemtutor.com/.


DISABILITY Accommodations for Testing

Q.   What if I need disability accommodations for testing?

If you have a documented disability and need accommodations, contact Kristen Coleman , at [email protected] or 415-257-0153.