Preliminary Examination in Chemistry

Differences from 2020/21 to 2022/23


  • 1. The subjects of the Preliminary Examination in Chemistry shall be Chemistry (comprising Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry) and Mathematics for Chemistry.

  • 2. The number of papers and other general requirements of the Preliminary Examination in Chemistry shall be prescribed by regulation from time to time by the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Board.


  • 1. Candidates in the Preliminary Examination in Chemistry must offer four subjects at one examination, provided that a candidate who has failed in one or two subjects may offer that number of subjects at a subsequent examination.

  • 2. The subjects shall be as follows:

    • (1) Inorganic Chemistry

    • (2) Organic Chemistry

    • (3) Physical Chemistry

    • (4) Mathematics for Chemistry

  • One two-and-a-half-hour paper will be set for each of subjects (1), (3), and (4); one three-hour paper will be set for subject (2).

  • 3. Candidates are required to complete an adequate course of laboratory work as specified in the Course Handbook. The Director of Teaching Labs shall make available to the chair of the examiners records showing the extent to which each candidate has pursued an adequate course of practical work. Only work completed and marked by 5 p.m. on Friday of sixth week of Trinity Term will be taken into account.

    4. Candidates shall be deemed to have passed the examination if they have satisfied the Moderators in all four papers detailed in clause 2, [and in the practical work requirements as outlined in clause 3,] either at a single examination, or at two examinations, as set out in clause 1. Failure to complete the practical work to the satisfaction of the Moderators, in the absence of appropriate documentary evidence, will normally constitute failure of the Preliminary Examination. A candidate who fails the practical work will be required to re-take the entire academic year.

  • 5. Candidates shall be deemed to have passed the examination if they have satisfied the Moderators in all four subjects either at a single examination or at two examinations in accordance with the proviso to clause 1, and provided further that the same subjects as were failed at the first sitting have been passed at the same attempt at a subsequent examination.

  • 6. The Moderators may award a distinction to candidates of special merit who have satisfied them in all four subjects at a single examination.

  • 7. The Moderators will not provide calculators but unless otherwise specified will permit the use of any hand-held pocket calculator subject to the conditions set out under the heading ‘Use of calculators in examinations’ in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and further elaborated in the Course Handbook.