General Chemistry 1

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Group Leader 

Prof. Kristiina Wähälä, University of Helsinki, FI (  )


This test has been designed to evaluate a level of competence in chemistry equivalent to that expected at the end of compulsory education.


You may answer the questions in any order during 60 minutes.


The test consists of 30 questions covering the 10 topics given below, with 10 questions at each 3 levels of difficulty (introductory, intermediate, advanced).


  1. Composition of matter: Classification of matter (pure substance, mixture) – Solutions (saturated solution) – Separation methods (filtration, extraction, evaporation, distillation)
  2. Atoms and elements: Structure of atom nucleus (number of protons, electrons and neutrons) – Structure of electron cloud – Periodic Table (principles of placing elements, period, group) – Properties of alkali metals, halogens and noble gases – Atomic weight, Molecular weight, Formula weight – Mole and Avogadro’s number
  3. Types of Chemical reaction: Acids and bases (hydronium and hydroxide ions, pH scale, neutralization, indicators, buffer solutions) – Endothermic and exothermic reactions – Chemical equations – Factors which affect reaction rates (T, nature of reactants, surface area, concentration, catalyst)
  4. Chemical bonding: Energy and stability – Role of valence electrons – Ionic bond (structure and formulas of ionic compounds) – Covalent bond (molecules or giant structure) – Water as a solvent (polarity of water molecule) – Metallic bond – Intermolecular forces
  5. Solid, liquid and gas state: Simple models of solid and gas state
  6. Chemistry in our environment: Atmosphere (structure, importance of oxygen, ozone and carbon dioxide, greenhouse effect, pollution) – Water ( water cycle, specific properties, diffusion, osmosis) – Acids and bases (acidic and basic oxides, acid rain) – Basic industry (HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, NaOH, different methods to produce salts, water of hydration, Nitrogen cycle, fertilizers)
  7. Organic chemistry: Oil and oil industry – Carbon, hydrocarbons, multiple bonds, alcohols, carboxylic acids, esters, carbohydrates, proteins, fats) – Addition polymers – Photosynthesis
  8. Metals: Production from ore, properties (periodic table, metallic bonding, reactivity with oxygen and acids)
  9. Electrochemistry: Activity series, corrosion – Electrolysis
  10. Life span of different products (some examples): Waste, paper, plastics, paints, cosmetics, textiles, detergents, glas, construction materials and water