Quiz: Could you still pass high school chemistry?
Could you still pass high school chemistry?
By: Olivia Seitz
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Can you still answer these basic chemistry questions every student covers in high school? Whether you slept through class or knew your way around the beakers, take this quiz to see how well you remember high school chemistry concepts.

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An electron has what kind of charge?

Electrons are minuscule particles identifiable via a characteristic negative charge. They easily transfer from most surfaces - every time you touch a doorknob, you transfer electrons!

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In what state of matter is lightning?

Lightning is an example of plasma, which is a collection of super ionized particles. Plasma is usually extremely hot and an excellent source of energy.

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Protons and neutrons have the same ______ but different ______?

Protons and neutrons share approximately the same mass, but protons have a positive charge and neutrons have a neutral charge.

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In an atom, which particle orbits the others?

Protons and neutrons are fused together at the heart of the atom. Electrons fill orbitals around the center, but they don't just travel in circles: electrons occupy regions of space at different distances and shapes, depending on the properties of the atom.

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Which of the following is not a noble gas?

Noble gases are so named because they almost never interact with any other elements. In other words, they're like snobby nobles who don't want to mix with the peasants!

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What is the boiling point of water?

The Celsius temperature scale is ordered around the freezing and boiling points of water. Water freezes at 0 C and boils at 100 C.

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Molecules are furthest apart when in which state of matter?

The kinetic energy of gas particles is greater than that of molecules in the liquid or solid state. Molecules of a gas zoom around, bouncing off each other and the walls of their container.

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The symbol "Am" stands for...

This element has a patriotic name: it was first synthesized in America in1944 by a group of scientists working in a Chicago lab. They created it by smashing neutrons into plutonium at high speed.

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The mole is a common measurement used in stoichiometric chemistry. One mole of a substance (such as water) is approximately 6.022 x 10^23 water molecules!

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What do we call a reaction that produces heat?

A combustion reaction typically includes heat. For example, burning wood or coal results in a combustion reaction.

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What do you get when you add equal parts NaOH and HCl?

NaOH (sodium hydroxide) and HCl (hydrogen chloride) neutralize each other, forming water and table salt. Thus, you have NaOH + HCl = H2O + NaCl.

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Which of the following is the molecular formula of an acid?

Students often remember the formula for sulfuric acid with the macabre rhyme, "Johnny was a chemist's son, but Johnny is no more. What Johnny thought was H2O was H2SO4!"

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A molecule that "dislikes" water is what?

Hydrophobic molecules are water (hydro-) fearing (-phobic). They cling to other hydrophobic molecules, such as lipids, and do not dissolve in aqueous solutions.

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What is the second element on the periodic table?

Helium has two protons and thus is the second atom on the periodic table, right after hydrogen. Incidentally, it's only less common than hydrogen, which is the universe's most ubiquitous element.

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What is the most highly electronegative element on the periodic table (i.e., what attracts electrons most strongly)?

Electronegativity increases toward the top right of the periodic table, excluding the final eighteenth (or eighth) column. Fluorine is at the top of the seventh column, making it furthest to the right and up.

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Lewis bases donate ______ and the acids receive them?

In many examples, an acid-base reaction involves the exchange of a positively charged hydrogen ion. A base must have free electrons in order to receive the hydrogen.

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You can make rock candy with a sugar water solution that is what?

Supersaturation occurs when a solution has more of the solute than it could normally hold at that volume. When making rock candy, you heat the sugar solution in order to dissolve more sugar than would normally dissolve; during cooling, the sugar crystallizes into rock candy.

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Which of the following is NOT usually characteristic of metals?

Metals easily give up their electrons, making it possible for electrons to quickly pass from atom to atom. When you consider how pliable metals are when heated, it's easy to understand why they're described as malleable.

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In a covalent bond, atoms do what with electrons?

Covalent bonds form most of the molecules we know today. In a covalent bond, electrons are shared between atoms to form a molecule. Ionic bonds, on the other hand, involve the transfer of electrons.

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How many valence electrons does a Group 2 element have?

Group 2 elements (the alkaline earth metals) have two valence electrons; the Group number often (but not always) corresponds to the number of valence electrons the elements in that Group contain.

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The elements of which Group react violently with water?

Group 1 alkali metals tend to be explosive when thrown in water. Pure sodium, for example, will produce fire and a whitish cloud upon contact with water.

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What are the electrons in the outer shell of an atom called?

The electrons in the outer orbital of an atom are its valence electrons. During a reaction, these electrons are the first to form a bond or leave the atom.

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Which of the following is NOT typical of a base?

Both bases and acids are dangerous to organic matter if strong enough, but few bases corrode metals. In general, most bases are slippery and bitter. They're likely to increase, not decrease, OH.

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What is true about an aqueous solution?

A solution is aqueous if the reactants and products are in water (meaning water is the solvent). It doesn't matter whether it's overall acidic or basic.

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Which of the following is a balanced equation?

For an equation to be balanced, several things must be true: you must have the same number of elements on each side of the equation, and you need to make sure there are enough electrons to complete the reaction. In the correct example, it takes four hydrogen ions and one diatomic oxygen molecule to make two water molecules.

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The universe tends toward which of these?

Generally speaking, the world tends toward disorder over order, but only in terms of energy exchange. Think about melting a block of ice: adding energy decreases the order present as ice transitions into liquid form.

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During a titration using phenolphthalein as an indicator, what color will you see in a basic solution?

Phenolphthalein (pronounced fee-nawl-thay-leen) turns bright pink in the presence of a base and remains clear in an acidic solution. During a titration, careful students can detect a faint pink; adding a few more drops of base will cause an explosive hot pink color to fill the beaker.

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What kind of reaction is occurring when a metal rusts?

The metal is reacting with oxygen in the air, making it easier to remember that it's an "oxidation" reaction. The important part of an oxidation-reduction reaction is the transfer of electrons.

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"LEO the lion says ______." Can you complete the mnemonic?

The mnemonic helps students remember what is oxidation and what is reduction in a redox reaction. LEO means "losing electrons is oxidation" and the GER means "gaining electrons is reduction."

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Heavier atoms are in which part of the periodic table?

Since atomic number increases to the right and down, the heaviest elements are at the bottom right of the periodic table. It's easier to remember when you consider that hydrogen, the lightest element, is in the top left corner.

An anion is an atom that has a net negative charge, and a cation (pronounced "cat-eye-on") has a net positive charge. This means that an anion has more electrons than usual, and a cation has fewer electrons than usual.

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Which of the following covalent bonds is not possible?

Single, double and triple covalent bonds make regular appearances in chemistry. Whether it is possible for a quadruple covalent bond to form is still under debate.

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Surface tension on water is caused by...

Hydrogen bonding occurs when hydrogen atoms "cozy up" to oxygen or other similarly electronegative atoms. The weak link between electron-starved hydrogen and electron-rich oxygen in water molecules is why water exhibits surface tension.

Some reactions proceed forward and backward at such a rate that the ratio of reactants and products doesn't change, even if some reactant is still becoming product and vice-versa.

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As long as the chemical composition isn't altered, changing the volume of the solution shouldn't effect chemical equilibrium. According to Le Chatelier's principle, chemical equilibrium will shift to counteract a change in temperature, concentration or pressure.

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