Literature Exams

Literature examinations, affectionately nicknamed "lit exams," are part of the Chemistry & Biochemistry PhD graduate curriculum. This series of eight monthly exams begins during January of the first graduate year and continues through August. Each 2-hour exam is written by a departmental faculty member and targeted towards one or two chemistry sub-disciplines. The student may take a single exam from a discipline of his/her choosing each month when the exams are offered (usually ~6pm on a weekday). 

The Passing Criterion: Earn 16 Points over 8 offered exams. Each exam is worth 4 points. Once 16 points are acquired, no further testing is necessary.

An archive of previous literature exams may be found below. This archive is far from complete, but will be updated as exams are submitted. *Note that the deprecated "polymer" exams are included under the Organic archive*

Thank you everyone who helped out with this. If there is a mislabeled file, broken link, or other error, please email a GSF member.

Good luck, folks!

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Exams 2006-2011

Analytical Exams 2016



Biochemistry Exams 2006-2011

Biochemistry Exams 2013 (50%)


Inorganic Chemistry

Inorganic Exams 2006-2011

Inorganic Exams 2016


Organic Chemistry

Organic Exams 2006-2011

Organic Exams 2016


Physical Chemistry

Physical Exams 2006-2011

Physical Exams 2013

Physical Exams 2015

Physical Exams 2016


-Interested in submitting a literature exam? Shoot an email to a GSF member. All file formats and duplicates are welcome!