Building a Database for the Historical Analysis of the General Chemistry Curriculum Using ACS General Chemistry Exams as Artifacts

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


As a discipline, chemistry enjoys a unique position. While many academic areas prepared “cooperative examinations” in the 1930s, only chemistry maintained the activity within what has become the ACS Examinations Institute. As a result, the long-term existence of community-built, norm-referenced, standardized exams provides a historical artifact about the nature of content coverage in courses that stretches over decades. This work reports efforts to capture information and formulate it into a database about general chemistry content coverage over the past 20 years. Roughly 2000 items have been characterized in several ways, including (i) content, using an Anchoring Concepts Content Map; (ii) item construct, such as the presence of symbolic or visual information; and (iii) cognitive processing required, in terms of recall, algorithmic, or conceptual thinking.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Chemical Education, v. 92, issue 2, p. 230-236