Below are the ACS Exam Tips for Chemistry Students. This is the Ultimate Guide on how to take the ACS Exam for General Chemistry. Don’t forget to stop by our website at to check out our full Chemistry ACS Practice Exams. All of our ACS Practice Exams are 70 Questions and have a Video Solution for Every Question!

Now… Here are the ACS Exam tips and how to take the ACS Exam.

ACS Exam Tips and How to Take the ACS Exam

Many of these tips can greatly improve your performance, and are unknown to chemistry students that haven’t read this! Let’s get started…

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1. Arrive Early to the ACS Exam

Arrive Early! When I say arrive early, I don’t mean just 5 or 10 minutes early. Arrive about 30 to 45 minutes before your ACS Exam is scheduled to start. There are many reasons for arriving early that we will talk about. Which leads me straight to the next point.

2. Find the Largest Desk

Sit in the seat with the largest desk in the classroom. There are many sizes and types of desks that chemistry classrooms use. But often there will be that classroom that just has those really small desks. These can be hard to work with when taking the ACS Exam (or any other standardized test). Sometimes, those classrooms will have a larger desk for people with disabilities, or a few desks or work areas that are just a little bigger than the rest. If nobody will be using that desk, it’s good to grab this desk just for the ACS exam.

Image of ACS Exam Tips Classroom

Do you see your desk?

Look at the picture of this classroom. Do you see it? That’s your desk right there. You will have a test booklet, calculator, giant scantron, a scratch piece of paper, and 2 pencils! This is a lot of stuff to juggle while you are trying to focus on taking a timed exam. Reduce the shuffling of these items as much as possible to save time, and focus on working the questions. There are many questions on the exam where you have to reference the periodic table, which is on a different page than the questions. All of the shuffling around can be frustrating and can cause you to lose focus.

3. Fill Out Any Information Before the Exam Starts

There’s another reason to arrive early! When you take the ACS Exam, you aren’t allowed to start the exam or even break the seal for the booklet until the time starts. However, you are allowed to fill out the scantron with all of your information in both letters and bubbles. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes. Sometimes longer! Students that arrive right on time to the class, will have to spend precious test taking time to fill this out. You will have to fill things out such as your name, student ID, major code, and other information depending on your school and your professor.

4. Skip Harder Questions and Answer them Later

When taking the ACS exam, if you have trouble starting a calculation, or if it takes you more than 30 seconds to get one going, OR, if there’s a question that’s just really hard to solve… Leave it blank and come back to it after you finish the ACS exam (If you still have time). All of the questions on the ACS exam are worth the same amount of points. There are many easy questions that only take 30 seconds or less to answer. And they count for the same amount (or weigh the same) as the long questions that take you 5 or more minutes to solve.

5. Do the Last Page of the ACS Exam First

Do that last page of the ACS exam first! Now don’t get your numbering all messed up on your scantron. But the last page of the ACS exam usually has some of the lab safety questions that are really easy to answer, as well as a few other questions that might be fast and easy.

6. Know Your Calculator

Know your calculator! Also ask your chemistry professor in advance if your calculator will be acceptable to use on the ACS exam. Most professors do not allow programmable calculators. I use a TI 84 plus calculator most of the time. This is a programmable calculator and typically would not be allowed to be used on the ACS exam. Find a good calculator that is approved by the professor AT LEAST 6 weeks prior to taking the ACS exam. Practice with it instead of any other calculator. Know how to use it quickly, and accurately.

7. Watch the Clock

Watch the clock! If you get down to having 20 minutes or less to finish the ACS exam, spend the next 15 minutes looking for questions that are really fast to answer. After that, spend the last few minutes guessing on any questions that are incomplete or haven’t been answered. By guessing, I mean answer the letter C. Consistently answer C on any that you guess. This will mean you should get about 25% of them correct statistically. If you guess different letters on each one randomly, statistically your odds of getting any of them correct are much less. With the ACS Exam, be sure to never leave any answer blank!

Don’t Forget to Take an ACS Practice Exam

I hope these 7 ACS Exam Tips really help you this semester. Many Chemistry Students go into taking the exam without any preparation on taking it. Even if you don’t study for the ACS Exam (which you should… extensively), these ACS Exam tips for Chemistry Students will still help significantly.

Thank you guys so much for reading this article, or watching the video above! Good luck on studying and on taking your ACS Exam.

P.S. Don’t forget that we have ACS PRACTICE EXAMS with VIDEO SOLUTIONS

Check out these Study Tips for General Chemistry