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Chem 13 News Exam

The exam

The 47th annual Chem 13 News Exam, sponsored by the University of Waterloo, is scheduled for Thursday, May 11, 2017. The exam, which is multiple-choice, is not to be considered as anything but a selection mechanism for awards. Specifically, it is not used as a criterion for admission to university studies. We do not show or give results to any admissions committee.

The exam will cover material that a well-read senior high school chemistry student is likely to have come across in the course of studies. Students may expect to find a few probing and demanding questions on some of the main topics of high school chemistry.

Certain mathematical skills closely related to the study of chemistry may be tested, and there will be a few questions on chemical topics not normally covered in high school. A scientific calculator is required.

The Chem 13 News Exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, some easy, some tough, under the general headings: organic, equilibria, kinetics, oxidation-reduction, bonding, structure, reactions, solutions, gases, and a general knowledge of current affairs.

Who may write?

Students who are completing or have recently completed about 200 hours of Chemistry instruction (two years of high school chemistry) prior to university entry are eligible to write. Most such students will be in their final pre-university year.

In 2016 about 2472 students from 318 schools wrote the Chem 13 News Examination. Names of the top 205 students were published in Chem 13 News magazine, issue #424 (Canadian subscribers only).

Exam order information

The deadline for ordering exams is Friday, March 31, 2017. Orders must be placed by a teacher at an accredited high school, unless otherwise authorized.

All exam orders are submitted online starting in February 2017. Exam costs are provided on the online order form.


The administration of the awards and the exam are the responsibility of Dr. C. Bissonnette of the University of Waterloo; his decision is final.

All correspondence about the exam, exam results and prizes should be addressed to Dr. C. Bissonnette (, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1.

Prizes and certificates

Prizes and/or certificates are given to the top students whose exam performance is best, whether or not they are planning to go to a university.

We reserve the right to restrict the number of prizes and awards offered outside Canada.

Research awards

The Chem 13 News Research Awards are a set of awards established by the Department of Chemistry of the University of Waterloo in 1970. The awards bear the name of a publication for Ontario high school chemistry teachers, Chem 13 News magazine, prepared at, underwritten by and distributed from the University of Waterloo.

The awards are an expression of our concern that well-qualified and strongly-motivated students should devote themselves to the study of chemistry, pure or applied.

They provide an opportunity for a student in year 1 of a Chemistry or Biochemistry program at the University of Waterloo to engage in chemical research by spending some time on a regular basis in a laboratory with a professor and a research group. We think that the awards will help to develop, much more rapidly than is otherwise likely to occur, an understanding of chemical investigation, to which studies in chemistry often lead.

High school students are selected for Chem 13 News Research Awards on the basis of academic performance in high school and the Chem 13 News Exam. Research Awards are available only to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Value and conditions of the awards

The Chem 13 News Research Award consists of $1000 payable at $500 per term, for part-time (3 to 4 hours per week) research in the Department of Chemistry at Waterloo during year 1 of the student's Chemistry or Biochemistry program. Awards are for one year only. However, upper year awards are also available based upon student performance at Waterloo.

Award holders, because of their experience with a research group, may find it easier to obtain subsequent summer employment in the department.

A Chem 13 News Research Award may be held only by a student registered in an Honours Chemistry or Honours Biochemistry program, (regular or cooperative timetables) at the University of Waterloo. Award holders must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The holder of the award agrees to work with a professor and a research group according to the terms listed above. Award holders are expected to carry a full academic program in addition to the work connected with the award.

Information about Chemistry and Biochemistry at Waterloo is available on request to Dr. C. Bissonnette (, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1.