CEF provides study materials to help students succeed at every level of the Challenge and expose them to the fascinating world of chemistry and its real-world applications. The Passport to Science Exploration is divided into three sections that correspond to each level of the Challenge:

  • The Core of Chemistry – Challenge Qualifier and Local Challenges
  • Chemistry Connections – State Challenges
  • Chemistry Concepts in Action – National Challenge

To prepare for a Challenge competition, students should carefully read and review the information in the Challenge study materials. Competition questions are based on an overall understanding of chemistry and science concepts presented in these study materials, as well as the relationships among concepts. Questions are largely derived from information contained in CEF’s study materials but are not limited solely to this information.

CEF also provides a Suggested Additional Resources page to help participants and teachers seek other examples and explanations of chemistry concepts. Looking at outside resources will help students to connect concepts, apply their knowledge of chemistry to familiar and unfamiliar situations, and learn more about the world around them!


Study Materials for the Challenge Qualifier and Local Challenges

Coming soon–check back in the fall of 2017!



Study Materials for State Challenges

Coming in early spring 2018.




Study Materials for the National Challenge

Coming in late spring 2018.



Previous YBTC Challenge Cycle Study Materials

CEF releases updated versions of the Local, State, and National Challenge study materials each year. This year’s updated study materials will be posted at the top of this page, but you can check out last year’s Challenge study materials below to see what past participants learned!


Please note that study materials from previous Challenge cycles are outdated and should NOT be used to prepare for the 2017-2018 YBTC Challenge competition. Challenge questions for the 2017-2018 YBTC Challenge cycle will NOT be derived from the study materials directly above. Participants must refer to the materials that will be posted at the top of this page for the 2017-2018 Challenge study materials.

Disclaimer: Please note that the sample questions above are provided as a reference only and should not be altered or adjusted. These sample questions are not an indication of what will be seen in future Local, State, or National Challenge competitions, but are a small set of questions that have been previously used.


Next Generation Science Standards

The You Be The Chemist Challenge® Passport to Science Exploration study materials Next Generation Science Standardsexpose students in grades 5-8 to the fascinating world of science and chemistry. These study materials are meant to supplement classroom learning for meeting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn how each section of the study materials aligns to NGSS performance expectations:


Please note: CEF does not endorse or approve the use of any questions for the purposes of preparing for any level of the Challenge. Challenge competition questions (including the Challenge Qualifier) are for competition purposes ONLY. Students should NOT receive or use questions (from the current year or any previous years) at any point to study. Use of Challenge competition questions for study purposes is grounds for disqualification.