06 Chemical Nomenclature

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2022 Chemical Nomenclature


In the early beginnings of chemistry, the chemical name of a compound and its chemical formula had little or no relationship to each other.  Modern naming methods have corrected this lack of connection between chemical formulas and chemical names.  Mastery of these methods is an important part of communication in the scientific community. This event assesses both the level at which students are capable of communicating using the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) naming rules, as well as their familiarity with the older common names.



This event must be completed by a team of 3 students. Each of the three students will work independently on separate tests at the same time.   Once they have completed their test, a raw score will be determined by combining the scores of the three individuals. 

  • During a 25-minute session, students take a computerized test customized for the NJCO. The exam assesses a student's ability to name and write the formulas for the following types of compounds:
    • ionic compounds containing common ions (ex: AgCl)
    • ionic compounds containing  polyatomic ions (ex: sodium tetraborate)
    • simple molecular compounds (ex: CO2 - note that subscripts would be written as regular numbers in the program)
    • acids (ex:  H3PO4)
    • organic compounds - including aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic compounds  (ex: isopropanol)
    • organic compounds containing functional groups (ex: methyl ethanoate) - limited to one type of functional group per compound, hydroxyl, carboxyl, halogens, ethyl, methyl for example
    • hydrated compounds (ex: Pb(CH3CO2)2 • 3H2O)


  • You will get access to at least two demo quizzes via Moodle for 2022.
  • In some cases, more than one answer is accepted by the program.  Certain notation such as the correct use of parentheses and brackets, and proper capitalization of element symbols, must be entered correctly.  Therefore, it is imperative that students familiarize themselves with the testing platform we will be using. 
  • However, as noted above, subscripts should be written inline:  CO2 is correct for carbon dioxide.
  • A periodic table will be provided on the quiz page - no papers, books, or other materials - printed, digital, or online - are allowed. You must have the lockdown browser enabled during the quiz, instructions will be provided after event registration.
  • Please email the NJCO Director Miriam Gulotta if you have questions or have any trouble with the practice quizzes.
  • The exam uses Moodle and students are encouraged to access Moodle and try the demo quizzes ASAP to make sure their computer can handle the system.  This is especially important as the lockdown browser app may need to be installed locally.
  • STUDENTS:  You will be emailed instructions to set up your Moodle account before the Event Day.  The actual day and time will be arranged with your coach for 2022.



  • The exam on Event Day will present the questions in a random format and the answers will not be shown (type in answers;  subscripts and superscripts not available - read the instructions on the quiz carefully)
  • Students may not fast-forward or skip questions, nor may they return to a test question after they type in an answer.  The correct answers to the questions will not be provided.
  • The time each student takes to complete the exam is recorded for tie-breaker purposes only.  
  • Two teams from the same school must compete in the same time slot for the Nomenclature Event unless approved by the NJCO Directors.  Requested times will be adjusted for this!