Historical Analysis of ACS Exams Project

Historical Analysis of ACS Exams

This project is aimed at analyzing content coverage and other item characteristics across the history of ACS Exams. To date, general chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry examinations have been analyzed. This work provides a lens from which to understand how the content and format of ACS Exams has evolved. In particular, we have identified pivot points in content coverage, the increased inclusion of visual-spatial reference components in examination items, and a purposeful replacement of recall examination items in favor of more conceptual based examination items.


  • Raker, J. R., & Holme, T. A. (2013). A historical analysis of the curriculum of organic chemistry using ACS exams as artifacts. Journal of Chemical Education90(11), 1437-1442.
  • Luxford, C. J., Linenberger, K. J., Raker, J. R., Baluyut, J. Y., Reed, J. J., De Silva, C., & Holme, T. A. (2014). Building a database for the historical analysis of the general chemistry curriculum using ACS general chemistry exams as artifacts. Journal of Chemical Education92(2), 230-236.
  • Srinivasan, S., Reisner, B. A., Smith, S. R., Stewart, J. L., Johnson, A. R., Lin, S., … & Raker, J. R. (2018). Historical Analysis of the Inorganic Chemistry Curriculum Using ACS Examinations as Artifacts. Journal of Chemical Education.