alt text

Placement Testing

Oxford requires first-year entering students to complete placement exams for courses in English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics and Lab Science courses. We want to make sure our students enroll in the right level of instruction to ensure their first year on campus is as successful as possible.


First-Year Writing Placement

Writing is an integral part of Oxford College’s liberal arts curriculum, both as a focus in itself and as part of how learning happens in a wide range of courses. An important step in your journey as a writer at Oxford will be to take a First-Year Writing (FYW) course sometime within your first year. This course will introduce you to the wide range of writing and inquiry you will encounter throughout your liberal arts education as well as the important role of writing in the intellectual lives of those who are liberally educated. As part of this introduction, you will engage with writing across a range of disciplines, genres, and rhetorical situations, as well as intensive practice in academic reading, writing, and research. Many of our sections are designed around a theme: you can view the First-Year Writing Course Offerings to learn about the themes available.  

Who takes ENG 185? If English is your native language or if you feel you would learn best in an environment that includes native English speakers, you should enroll in ENG 185: Writing and Inquiry in the Liberal Arts in your first or second semester at Oxford.

Who takes ENG 186? ENG 186: Writing and Inquiry in the Liberal Arts for Multilingual Students is equivalent to ENG 185 and has the same learning objectives, but is designed for students who are not native speakers of English and taught by a professor with expertise in teaching non-native English writers. It is only offered in the fall semester. See below for more information.

Exempting FYW? If you have a score of 4 or 5 on the AP English literature or language exam, or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on the IB Higher Level English language exam, you are eligible to apply this score to exempting FYW, but you are not required to do so. If you feel you would benefit from intensive practice in academic reading, writing, and research practices with a college writing professor, you may opt not to apply your score and choose to take a First-Year Writing course. Your AP/IB exam score will still be listed on your transcript, but without college credit.

What if English is not my native language? At Oxford, international students have the opportunity to decide which First-Year Writing course is most appropriate for their learning through a process called Directed Self-Placement (DSP). The DSP process helps you make your decision by letting you experience a first-year writing assignment before you arrive on campus. Through this process, you will receive guidance to help you decide whether to take ENG 186 with other non-native English speakers, ENG 185 with native and non-native speakers, or to apply any exemption credit you may have.

Because writing is essential to a university education and we want you to be successful, Oxford College requires all international students to complete the DSP process well ahead of International Student Welcome in August and before enrolling in a FYW course—this year’s deadline is August 1.

For the 2019 DSP, you will read a published essay, write a response essay, submit your essay online, and answer several reflective questions about your experiences as a reader and writer. This questionnaire will help generate a suggested FYW course that you will then have the opportunity to discuss with a Writing Program faculty member, as well as your advisor. Your essay and reflective question responses will not be used to evaluate you or place you in a course, and you will not receive formal feedback on your essay. Instead, the DSP simulates a college-level reading and writing task to help you self-reflect on your preparation for English-language college writing at Oxford and make the best choice for your own learning. Once you are enrolled in a FYW course, your essay will be sent to your professor to help him or her get to know you as a writer.

The link to the reading assignment, writing prompt, and questionnaire will be available by June 1st. You should submit your essay and answer the reflective questions by August 1.

If you have questions, please contact Gwendolynne Reid,


Chemistry Placement

Priority Deadline: August 1, 2019 (by 11:59p.m. EDT)
Chemistry 150 is the first chemistry course for science majors, pre-med, pre-nursing, and pre-health students. Students who are interested in taking Chemistry 150 during their first academic year at Oxford must complete the mandatory Oxford College Chemistry Preparation online module, the OCCP. Chemistry courses for non-science majors (Chemistry 100 and 120) are open to all students and do not require the OCCP.  Students with chemistry AP or IB credit may take Chemistry 150, or they may exempt Chemistry 150 and start with Chemistry 202, but they still need to complete the OCCP module before their first chemistry course can be taken at Oxford. 

Students interested in taking Chemistry 150 are required to complete the OCCP and earn 100% before the priority deadline of August 1st in order to be eligible to enroll for the fall semester. Students who do not intend to take Chemistry 150 during their first academic year do not need to take the OCCP this summer.  If plans change, students may complete the OCCP before the pre-registration deadline for the upcoming semester.


The OCCP is administered through the artificial intelligence based teaching tool called ALEKS. ALEKS is an adaptive, artificially-intelligent learning system that provides students with an individualized learning experience tailored to each student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Step 1: Register to take the OCCP on ALEKS

  1. Log in to ALEKS.
  2. Click on the "SIGN UP NOW!" link located under the login box on the left of the page. 
  3. Enter the Course Code:Oxford College Chemistry Preparation: AXJWA-WFNQ4 in the box labeled "Using ALEKS with a Class?" and click on "Continue." 
  4. Verify that you are registering for the correct course and click on "Continue."
  5. On the next page you will create an account.  Please provide all the information requested. Remember, your Emory student number is NOT your social security number. You must enter your seven-digit Emory student number (you can find this information on your OPUS account).
  6. After you complete your account set up you will be logged into ALEKS and can immediately begin working in the course. 

Step 2: Initial Assessment

Students will be asked to complete an initial assessment to determine their knowledge level. This initial assessment is VERY important because it will determine the level a student will begin their learning modules. Key tips and reminders for the initial assessment:

  • Take the assessment at least 3 weeks before the deadline 
  • Take the test carefully and honestly- ALEKS will force you to work through material you already know if you are not careful and honest in taking your assessment
  • Never click “I don’t know” unless you really have no idea how to do the problem
  • Assessment should take 60-90 minutes

Step 3: Working Through Your Pie

After you take the initial assessment, you will see a pie graph of your achievement. Look below the pie chart to see how many topics you've mastered out of the total number possible. The goal is to have 100% mastery at the time of the priority deadline. You will want to follow the onscreen directions to work in the ALEKS pie. The system will help you learn the things you need to understand so that you can earn 100% on the assessment.

Note: It is important that you try to complete the OCCP within three months – before your subscription expires. If your subscription expires you should contact ALEKS support and request a Higher Ed subscription extension. 

If you have questions about the OCCP or Chemistry 150, please contact:

If you experience technical issues accessing your ALEKS account, please contact ALEKS support: (714) 619-7090


Biology Placement

Placement for Biology is determined by the Oxford College science division based on high school GPA, SAT scores, and AP/ IB scores (if submitted). Biology placement can only be changed at the discretion of the Oxford College Biology department. Biology AP or IB scores must be submitted to the college by August 1st in order for scores to be factored into the placement evaluation.  An AP score of 4 or 5, or IB scores of 5,6,7, may be used to exempt out of the Biology 141 LECTURE only (BIOL 141).  Students who choose to take the AP/IB credit for the Biology 141 Lecture will be required to take BIOLOGY 141 LAB (BIOL 141L/BIOL_OX 141L), a two credit hour lab course (offered only in the fall semester at Oxford College and in summer school at Emory College) to complete the requirement for the Biology major or for pre-health requirements.  Students considering using their AP/IB credit towards the Biology 141 Lecture exemption will be required to attend a meeting with Biology faculty members during orientation to consider the best options.  In many cases, students with an AP score of 4 and some with an AP score of 5 are strongly encouraged to take the integrated Biology 141 lecture and lab course at Oxford (BIOL_OX 141) which best prepares students for the expectations that have to be met in upper level courses.

If you have questions, please contact Steve Baker (


Foreign Language Placement

Priority Deadline: August 1, 2019
Any student planning to take a language course in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and/or Latin at Oxford College is required to take the corresponding Language Placement test. While Oxford College students are not required to complete foreign language credit for their Associate of Arts degree, foreign language is a requirement for Emory College degree completion.  

French, German, and Spanish

The French, German, and Spanish departments at Oxford College use an online assessment tool called WebCAPE to conduct placement testing. If you are interested in taking courses in one of these languages, please follow the instructions below on how to access the assessment on WebCAPE. If you are interested in more than one language you will need to take the assessment for each language separately.

  1. Visit the WebCAPE Foreign Language Placement Exam website
  2. Enter eagles1 when prompted for the account password
  3. Select the language assessment you would like to take from the drop-down box
  4. When asked for "ID Number" please use your empID number (your Oxford-Emory 7 digit student ID number)

The Chinese Language Placement Test is designed to determine the level of student's knowledge of Chinese. The test must be taken by any student who would like to take Chinese at Oxford College, regardless of prior experience. How to access the test:

  1. Log in on Canvas
  2. Click on "Courses" on the navigation bar on the left
  3. Scroll down to click on “All Courses”
  4. Then “Browse More Courses” on the upper-right corner of the page
  5. Check “open enrollment courses only,” and then “Search”
  6. Hover over the Chinese Placement Test, and click on “Join this Course”

Placement for those wishing to take Latin will be based on previous Latin courses taken, and the judgment of the department faculty. There is no online assessment that needs to be completed over the summer, but please contact Dr. Bayerle if you have an interest in taking Latin courses while at Oxford College.

Foreign Language Departmental Contacts


Mathematics Placement

Priority Deadline: August 1, 2019
The Mathematics and Computer Science department at Oxford College wants you to be as successful as possible in your mathematics courses. A large part of that success starts with choosing a class that is appropriate for your current level of preparation. Taking the math placement exam is required of any student that wants to take a course on the calculus track while at Oxford.  Specifically, this includes courses: Math 110, 111, 112, and some 200+ level courses.* This requirement exists so that we have the opportunity to give you well-informed advice regarding what we feel might be the best first course in mathematics for you. It should go without saying that students who might be interested in majors and programs requiring calculus (e.g., the natural sciences, economics, quantitative science, computer science, math, business, etc.) should plan to take the math placement exam.

Importantly, taking the math placement test is a requirement, but the placement recommendation that results is just that -- a recommendation.  You are not bound to follow it -- although it is likely to be in your best interest to do so.

Starting on June 1st, you will be able to take the math placement exam online through Canvas.  After logging into Canvas, navigate to the placement module where you will be presented with additional directions for taking the test.

If it is relevant to your situation, make sure you are aware of the credit awarded for the various AP test scores in mathematics and computer science.

Pre-medical or pre-business students should also be aware of the suggested math courses for pre-professional students.

* Note: taking the math placement exam is not required to enroll in Math 100 - Introduction to College Algebra, even though it prepares students for the calculus track.

If you have questions about Math Placement please contact Paul Oser,