Prospective Undergraduate Students

UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test - Information


The UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test (BST) assesses the readiness of students to take CHEM 111, a course with B.C. High School CHEM 11 as a prerequisite. Students repeating CHEM 111 are required to write the BST.

Students with B.C. High School CHEM 12 (or its equivalent) do not take the BST, and can register for UBC CHEM courses for which they qualify.

Students who do not have B.C. High School CHEM 12 (or its equivalent) and who want to register for CHEM 111 must write the Chemistry BST. Students on the CHEM 111 waitlist should write the BST to be eligible for placement in the course in the event that student spaces become available.

This assessment will enable the Department to place a student into an appropriate introductory course: (a) CHEM 111, an accelerated course with lecture and lab components covering a selection of B.C. CHEM 12 and CHEM 121 topics, or (b) CHEM 100, an accelerated lecture-only course covering B.C. CHEM 11 and B.C. CHEM 12. CHEM 100 and CHEM 111 are co-scheduled. Students entering CHEM 111 from the waitlist will have to schedule a laboratory section into their timetable. CHEM 100 can be used as a prerequisite for CHEM 121.

Students without British Columbia CHEM 11 who want to take CHEM 100 can self-register onto the CHEM 100 wait-list, and do not have to write the Chemistry BST. Please consider this decision carefully --these students will not be considered for CHEM 111 registration. 

For Fall 2018:

The BST is scheduled at the UBC-Vancouver campus at 4 PM on Monday August 27 2018. A second exam sitting will be at the UBC-Vancouver campus on the evening of Wednesday September 5 2018 (sign-up available in August).

Students can write the BST only once in a calendar year.

It is strongly recommended that students reserve a desk at one of the two exam sittings. The Department will try to accommodate “walk-in” students, but students without a reservation are not guaranteed that a desk and examination will be available. Only students enrolled in, or on the wait-list for CHEM 111 will be permitted to write the BST.

Students registered in (or on the waitlist for) CHEM 111 can reserve a desk at one of the two sittings using the BST Sign-Up page:

Students will receive an email confirmation including the date, time and test location.

The Chemistry Basic Skills Test asks questions related to the published learning outcomes of British Columbia CHEM 11.

Link: The B.C. Grade 11 Chemistry Learning Outcomes

The UBC Chemistry BST is 20-30 multiple-choice questions. Some of these questions will require the use of a calculator. The use of iPhones, iPads or smartphones as calculators will not be permitted. Students will be required to clear the memory of programmable calculators if requested. A periodic table with element symbols, atomic numbers and atomic masses will be provided.