Who should take the CDT?

The University of Iowa Chemistry Diagnostic Test is recommended for students considering the following majors (more Chemistry Placement Exam info):

Pre-Athletic Training Microbiology
Biochemistry Neuroscience
Biology Nuclear Medicine Technology
Biomedical Sciences Nursing and Nursing Interest
Chemistry Occupational Therapy (pre-)
Chiropractic (pre-) Optometry (pre-)
Dentistry (pre-) Pharmacy and Pharmacy Interest

Engineering (& pre-)

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Computer Science and engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Undeclared engineering
Physical Therapy (pre-)
Environmental Sciences Physician Assistant (pre-)
Geoscience Podiatry (pre-)
Health & Human Physiology Public Health (BA, BS, and interest)
Human Physiology Radiation Sciences
Medical Laboratory Science Science Education
Medicine (pre-) Veterinary Medicine (pre-)


What material does the CDT cover?

The CDT is comprised of 30 multiple choice questions that correspond to material covered in an introductory chemistry course. A periodic table, conversion factors, figures, and necessary data are available as part of the test.

When to take the CDT

Students must complete the placement test at least 2 weeks prior to their Orientation date. International students in F-1 or J-1 status enrolling for fall should complete any required placement tests by the end of May or as soon as possible thereafter. Students requesting a waiver for duplication or regression must take the test prior to the first day of the semester for which the waiver is being requested. Students currently enrolled in a chemistry course should wait until late in the semester to take this test.

How to take the CDT

Use your HawkID and password to access the test through http://examserv.uiowa.edu/cdt/

  • You'll start with the tutorial and practice test which will take 30 minutes and then you will login to take the CDT which will take around 60 minutes.
  • The CDT is designed to be taken without the use of books, notes, or any other materials or resources.
  • You may use a calculator and scratch paper
  • If you get help or use restricted materials, you'll likely place yourself in a course that will be too difficult for you.

If you have questions about your placement, contact the Academic Advising Center at advising-center@uiowa.edu