06 Chemical Nomenclature

This event is limited to the first 20 entries

2023 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.



We expect this event to be similar to that of 2022, however, the details on taking the test in person will likely be different in 2023.


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 an online learning management system for 2023, details to be posted here when available.
  • 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. 
  • Please email the NJCO Director Miriam Gulotta if you have questions or have any trouble with the practice quizzes.
  • The exam uses a learning management system and students are encouraged to access the system and try the demo quizzes ASAP.  The lockdown browser will be installed on the computers provided on Event Day.
  • The tests will be taken in person on Event Day using NJIT-provided computers.


  • 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 Director.  Requested times will be adjusted for this!