Student Study Materials

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Students who are going to be taking an ACS Examinations Institute exam have study materials available in some areas. The Institute is always working to expand this array of study materials. Right now, there are three printed study guides. We have practice tests for students.

Preparing for Your ACS Examination in General Chemistry: The Official Guide

(commonly called the General Chemistry Study Guide)

This guide includes 201 pages of information and over 600 problems separated into first-term and second-term general chemistry material.  Each section contains 8 chapters of material that also aligns to most general chemistry textbooks for a seamless addition to study materials for students.  Each chapter is designed with an introductory section of the material including common representations and where to find this material in a textbook.  The second section provides worked examples of typical, multiple choice questions including how the correct answer is determined as well as how the incorrect answers were determined.  Also included for each study problem is a listing of the corresponding practice questions that use that concept.  The final section is a series of practice problems to test the concepts collectively.  The key is provided on a separate page for all study and practice problems.

Chapters in the study guide are:

First-Term Material:

  • Atomic Structure
  • Electronic Structure
  • Formula Calculations and the Mole
  • Stoichiometry
  • Solutions and Aqueous Reactions, Part 1
  • Heat and Enthalpy
  • Structure and Bonding
  • States of Matter

Second-Term Material:

  • Solutions and Aqueous Reactions, Part 2
  • Kinetics
  • Equilibrium
  • Acids and Bases
  • Solubility Equilibria
  • Thermodynamics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Nuclear Chemistry

Preparing for Your ACS Examination in Organic Chemistry: The Official Guide

(commonly called the Organic Chemistry Study Guide)

This guide is the newest update to our suite of study materials.  A second edition was released in early 2020 with over 240 pages and over 600 unique problems.  The guide is organized similarly to the general chemistry guide with a clear separation of first-term and second-term material.  Each chapter is organized with study and practice questions where the study questions take you through the problem solving process of key problems explaining the correct process and also explaining the incorrect processes leading to incorrect answers.  These study questions are then linked to practice questions where you can work through multiple choice questions and check your answers.  Additionally, there are two culminating chapters linking all previous material: Multistep Synthesis and Applications of Organic Chemistry.

Chapters in the study guide are:

First-Term Material:

  • Structure: Shape and Stability
  • Structure: Nomenclature and Functional Groups
  • Structure: Isomers
  • Acids and Bases
  • Nucleophilic Substitutions Reactions
  • Elimination Reactions
  • Addition Reactions: Alkenes and Alkynes
  • Addition Reactions: Alcohols and Ethers
  • Spectrometry, Spectroscopy, and Spectrophotometry
  • Radical Reactions

Second-Term Material:

  • Conjugated Systems and Aromaticity
  • Aromatic Reactions
  • Carbonyl Chemistry
  • Enols and Enolates
  • Multistep Synthesis
  • Applications of Organic Chemistry

Preparing for Your ACS Examination in Physical Chemistry: The Official Guide

(commonly called the Physical Chemistry Study Guide)

This guide includes 126 pages of information in essentially three categories. First, there is a brief explanation of content in physical chemistry. Second, there are example exam items where the question and answers are analyzed (so you can see not only why the correct answer is correct, but also how the other incorrect answers – called distractors – are devised for a multiple-choice item). Finally, there are practice questions for each section.

Content is derived from all areas of Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics, Quantum Mechanics and Dynamics) and includes:

  • Thermo – Equations of State
  • Thermo – Laws of Thermodynamics and State Functions
  • Thermo – Mathematical Relationships in Thermodynamics
  • Thermo – Chemical and Phase Equilibria
  • Dynamics – Kinetic Molecular Theory
  • Dynamics – Transport Properties
  • Dynamics – Phenomenological Kinetics
  • Dynamics – Mechanisms
  • Dynamics – Reaction Dynamics
  • Dynamics – Statistical Mechanics
  • Quantum – Quantum Chemistry: History and Concepts
  • Quantum – Simple Analytical Quantum Mechanical Systems
  • Quantum – Modern Quantum Mechanical Problems: Atomic System
  • Quantum – Symmetry
  • Quantum – Molecular Orbital Theory
  • Quantum – Spectral Properties
  • Quantum – Advanced Topics: Electronic Structure Theory and Spectroscopy

Practice Exams

The Examinations Institute on-line practice exams – click here for more information.