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Chemistry Olympiad Exams

New Initiative - Annotated Exam Solutions

Volunteers are coordinating efforts to annotate past USNCO exams to further help students prepare. This project is being coordinated by Dr. Qiang "Steven" Chen.  If you would like to assist in annotating exams, please contact USNCO@acs.org.

Local Chemistry Olympiad Exams

Nearly 16,000 U.S. students participate in Local Chemistry Olympiad competitions. Over 70% of Local Sections use the Local Section Exam prepared by the ACS Chemistry Olympiad Examination Task Force. Exams are administered annually in March and students are nominated for the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad competition based on their performance.

National Chemistry Olympiad Exams

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad national exam is a 3-part, 4 hour and 45 minute exam administered in mid or late April by ACS Local Sections. More than 1000 students participate in this exam each year.

Part I Part II Part III
  • Multiple Choice
  • 90-minutes
  • 60 multiple choice questions
  • Covers broad chemistry topics
  • Problem Solving
  • 105 minutes
  • 8 written questions
  • Covers chemical theories and models
  • Lab Practical
  • 90 minutes
  • 2 laboratory practicals
  • Involves problem solving in the laboratory

Acknowledgements

Exams Task Force Members

  • Chair: Seth N. Brown, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • James Ayers, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO
  • Jerry Bell, Simmons University, Boston, MA (retired)
  • Mark DeCamp, University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI (retired)
  • Joshua de Groot, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
  • James Dohm, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Xu Duan, Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD
  • Valerie Ferguson, Moore HS, Moore, OK
  • Julie Furstenau, Thomas B. Doherty HS, Colorado Springs, CO (retired)
  • Kimberly Gardner, United States Air Force Academy, CO
  • Paul Groves, South Pasadena HS, South Pasadena, CA
  • Nicolas Hamel, Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, OR
  • David W. Hostage, Taft School, Watertown, CT
  • John Kotz, State University of New York, Oneonta, NY (retired)
  • Michael A. Morgan, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet HS, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jane Nagurney, Scranton Preparatory School, Scranton, PA (retired)

Laboratory Task Force Members

  • Chair: Kelli Slunt, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Payton Bailey, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Jesse Bernstein, Miami Country Day School, Miami FL (retired)
  • Alexsandra DaSilva, SUNY, Binghamton, NY
  • Myra Halpin, NC School of Science & Mathematics, Durham, NC (retired)
  • Nicolas Hamel, Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, OR
  • Innocent Pumure, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO
  • Lawrence Wilkinson, ExxonMobil, Baton Rouge, LA

Exams Annotations Authors

  • Editor: Qiang "Steven" Chen, Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science, Princeton, NJ
  • Ritvik Teegavarapu, American Heritage School Boca Delray, Boca Raton, FL. Local Section Exams, 2016 - 2020.
  • Harys Dalvi, American Heritage School Boca Delray, Boca Raton, FL. Local Section Exams, 2016 - 2020.