Chemistry Placement Survey

All students intending to take one of the Chemistry Department’s three gateway courses in the fall semester are required to take the Chemistry Placement Survey.  All students are advised to initially enroll in CHEM 153 – Concepts of Chemistry, which is the gateway course taken by most first year students. Following the Placement Survey, the Department will adjust some students’ enrollment into either CHEM 151 – Introductory Chemistry or CHEM 155 – Principles of Modern Chemistry.
(Note: These gateway courses are only offered in the fall semester.)

Currently enrolled students interested in taking the Placement Survey should email Professor David Richardson ([email protected]) to request an invitation to a special Glow course that hosts the Placement Survey.  The Placement Survey must be completed during the Spring Registration Period (April 24-May 1).

Incoming first year students must complete the Placement Survey no later than June 19, 2017.  The Placement Survey will be available on Glow, the college’s course management service, beginning in early June.

You will need to activate your Williams College email account to access Glow.

The Placement Survey consists of three sections, and should take about 90 minutes to complete. The three sections of the survey are:

Section 1: Honor Code Statement  (Required for all students)

The Placement Survey, which helps us learn about your chemistry background, is closed-notes, closed-book, and thus access to information and help other than that provided with the Placement Survey is in violation of the Honor Code. You are permitted the use of a calculator; calculators on smart phones or similar devices are not permitted. You may also use blank sheets of paper to work out numerical answers before selecting your answer.

Williams College prides itself on the Honor Code. (http://sites.williams.edu/honor-system/). In this section, you will be asked to acknowledge that you have read the Honor Code statement and that you agree to abide by the code. Note that it is also in your best interest to provide the faculty with a fair description of your background in chemistry to allow us to place you most appropriately.

Section 2: Appointment with a faculty member  (Required for incoming first year students ONLY)

To match first year students with the appropriate course (and to welcome you to the department), the Chemistry Department places significant weight on a one-on-one consultation with a chemistry faculty member as a follow up to the Placement Survey. These meetings will take place on Tuesday, August 29, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You will be asked to select a meeting time in this section of the Placement Survey. Please write down the time you selected and mark it in your calendar. First Days can be hectic, and it is important that you do not miss this appointment. In some circumstances, there may not be a need to meet: we will contact you over the summer if this is the case.  (Currently enrolled students are not required to set up an appointment, but are welcome to contact any of the faculty listed below to ask questions.)

Section 3: Learning more about your chemistry background and interests  (Required for all students)

In this section, we want to learn about your chemistry and science background – what classes you took (e.g. AP Chemistry) and how much experience you have working in a laboratory – and about how taking chemistry fits into your plan of study at Williams and beyond. You will also be asked a series of multiple-choice questions involving chemistry concepts and skills.

This segment of the Survey is divided into two subsections: Part One and Part Two. All students will complete Part One. Based on the outcome of Part One, some students will then be asked to complete Part Two. Your answers to the questions in Parts One and Two will help us match you with the most appropriate gateway class. This section is closed-notes, closed book, and access to information and help other than that provided with the Placement Survey is in violation of the Honor Code.

You are permitted the use of a calculator; calculators on smart phones or similar devices are not permitted. You may also use blank sheets of paper to work out numerical answers before selecting your answer. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the subject of the question – your choices of answers include “I have covered this in a class, but can’t remember how to do it now” and “I don’t think I’ve seen this before”. Select the appropriate choice and move along. You will have 30 minutes to complete Part One and an additional 30 minutes if you are asked to complete Part Two.

Note that you are not required to take the Placement Survey if you plan to take a non-majors chemistry class, as for example CHEM 116(S) Chemistry and Physics of Cooking (which was offered in Spring 2016). Classes like this can be taken without prerequisite and satisfy the Division III distribution requirement. Such classes do not count toward completion of the chemistry major, nor as prerequisite for other courses in the department.

FAQS CHEMISTRY Placement Survey

Do I still need to take the survey if…?

“I never took a Chemistry class in high school.”
YES

“I took AP Chemistry.”
YES

“I took AP Chemistry, but my high school teacher was awful.”
YES

“I took Chemistry a long time ago and I forgot everything.”
YES

 “I am not sure whether I will take Chemistry in my first year at Williams, but plan to take it later as part of pre-health requirements”
YES

 “I want to take a non-majors class such CHEM 116(S) Chemistry and Physics of Cooking.”
NO

“I do not plan on taking a Chemistry class at Williams.”
NO.

Still have questions about the Chemistry Placement Survey? Please contact one of the instructors listed below.

Prof. David Richardson ([email protected]) – CHEM 151

Prof. Amy Gehring ([email protected]) – CHEM 153

Prof. Jay Thoman ([email protected]) – CHEM 155