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A few graduates pose for a photo opp.
All our courses have testing (e.g. quizzes, mid-term exams, finals, etc.) and most students are prepared for that type of thing coming from secondary schools. Oakwood has a great deal of important testing that occurs to maintain our accreditation, promote critical thinking, and prepare students for careers.  Our Disabilities and Testing Specialist helps advisors and administrators select and review informative testing, so Oakwood staff and faculty can make data-based decisions for student success.  We want students and family members to be knowledgeable about our testing, so they can make the best decisions possible related to testing and assessment at Oakwood University.   Some testing is done before students arrive at Oakwood (e.g. the ACT/SAT) and other testing can be done before starting classes at Oakwood such as Career Interests assessments.   A great deal of testing will be done during New Student Orientation and during the first semester.    We do not do this weed out or even annoy students (many have asked) but we do so to ensure they will be successful in later courses that will prepare them for their careers.   Whether it is our Career Assessments, Placement Testing, Remedial Courses, College Level Placement Exams, or providing a person with a verified disability accommodation, we are here to help Oakwood students be successful.
Career Interest- Self Assessment
Career interest surveys can be taken before students arrive but are also encouraged once students get to Oakwood.  For more information see these two webpages:

In 2016, Oakwood was fortunate to receive the support of the United Negro College Fund and the Lily Foundation.  This funding has allowed OU to develop a smartphone and computer application that provides career assessment at no cost to current Oakwood students.   Student can go to www.gemconnect.ioto utilize the application. When they look under Career Assessments they will find four assessments.

  • Values Assessment helps students learn more about their underlying work needs motivations, which can help them decide what is important to them in a job.
  • Skills Profileris a self-assessment instrument created to assist people in developing a profile of their own skills. Most people have a good understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to skills and abilities. What they lack is a structured means for objectively profiling their skills and for comparing their skill set to various careers. People pretty much know what they’re good at – they just may not know how good, or what that means in terms of choosing a career.
  • Career Personality Testwill help students discover what personality type they are and use that information to build a profile of what might satisfy them in a career.
  • Interests Inventorywill help students find out what their interests are and understand how they relate to the world of work. There are 75 questions in this test designed to compare their personal interests to those of people in 739 different careers whose interests are satisfied by their work.
American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) & Placement Tests

Students entering Oakwood for the first are required to provide American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) results.  To be placed in courses that are counted towards graduated (i.e. 100 level), they must demonstrate a Minimum ACT composite score of 17 and/or Minimum SAT total score of 920. Results from these tests are used only for placement and/or academic advising.   We offer “Residual ACT Testing,” for applicants who do not have access to conventional testing, especially non-Sabbath testing in their home town (i.e. they live outside of the United States of America, Natural Disaster, Other catastrophic extenuating circumstance).  To participate in the Residual testing offered the week of New Student Orientation in August or January, please fill out this form.

ACT Residual Testing Form.

There is a chance for students to “test-out” of remedial courses (see the next section for more on these courses) when they arrive during student registration, because we know the ACT or SAT is only one measure of how a student could do on one day. The English and Mathematics Departments have tests that measure competencies students will need to be successful within 100 and 200 level English and Mathematics courses, and if they pass these tests, they will not have to take remedial or lower level courses.  That said, there is only a 60% pass rate.

The Nursing program requires demonstrated reading at the 13th grade level, as indicated through diagnostic testing on the Nelson Denny Reading Test, because this score is predictive of success in the program.

Also, our OU 101 class has testing that occurs for academic indicators as well as career readiness.

List of Tests Given at New Student Orientation

  • EN 099 Test Out Exam has been the Nelson Denny Reading Testing
  • EN 095 English Department Placement
  • MA 095 Mathematics Department Placement test
  • See the CLEP Testing section for MA 121, 122, and 123 for opportunities for majors in mathematics and engineering.


List of Test Given in OU 101 for a Career Portfolio

  • Nelson Denny Reading Test (i.e. commonly used for government jobs such as nursing and policing). If the students had not taken it to test out for New Student Orientation, or for the Nursing program, they will take it again in OU 101.
  • Test of Adult Basic Education (i.e. Measures the skills adults need to succeed on the job and in life) and is administered in the OU 101 Lab.
  • Student Strengths Inventory (i.e. non-cognitive or psycho-social attitudes and behaviors that are present in successful people) For more information, see, https://beaconsupport.campuslabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/203979368-Student-Strengths-Inventory-SSI-
  • Ready To Work – National and Alabama Certifications https://alabamareadytowork.org/curriculum/


Remedial Courses

Incoming students to Oakwood University who scored at a certain level on entrance exams or entered with grades below a 2.00 must pursue a prescribed course of remedial studies during their first year, which may include any of the following:

EN 095, EN 099, MA 095, and OU 097 (See a more detailed description for each course below)

Students must register for remedial courses when the following conditions exist:

  • High School GPA is below 2.00; student must register for OU 097
  • ACT composite is less than 17 or SAT total less than 920; student must register for OU 097
  • ACT English score is less than 16 or SAT English score is less than 560; students must register for EN 095 and EN 099
  • ACT mathematics score is less than 16 or SAT mathematics score is less than 480; student must register for MA 095
  • In addition, students who have scored less than 500 on the TOEFL must take EN 090 and EN 091 during the first year.
  • International students can take the ACT residual tests for placement purposes as well.

These remedial courses, which are in additionto the 128 hours needed for graduation, must each be passed with a minimum grade of C before registering for other courses in English and mathematics. Any remedial course failed must be repeated until passed. Grades and hours received from remedial courses will not be computed for graduation purposes in the cumulative GPA.


This does not mean that a student will not graduate in 4 years, but it does make summer school courses and passing all courses even more important if that is the student’s goal.  Many college students across the United States graduate in 5 to 6 years, however we are supportive of students making an effort to finish in 4 years.  For example, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, “The 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2009 was 59 percent. That is, 59 percent had completed a bachelor’s degree by 2015 at the same institution where they started in 2009.”  Many Historically Black Colleges and Universities are offering educational opportunities to people who are often the first in their family to attend college and/or who struggled thru challenging educational systems. These systems often have not done well by poor, Black, and Latino students, yet Oakwood does well.  Trust us, we have a system to help your student make it thru to graduation, even if they arrive under-prepared for college level work.   Oakwood started just a few years after people were told it was illegal and not a good idea to teach Black people how to read.  Our teachers are committed to defying those age-old myths, stereotypes, and statistical odds about learners every-day.  We have done this for 120 years.

Description of Remedial Courses
  • EN 090-091 English as a Second Language2-2 hours Study of and practice of English in its written form for students whose first language is not English. Laboratory is required. (Not counted in hours required for graduation).
  • EN 095 Composition Skills Review2 hours This course is required of all beginning freshmen during their first semester if the ACT enhanced English score is below 16 or the SAT English score is below 410. Laboratory is required. An exit examination is given before the completion of EN 095. (Not counted in hours required for graduation).
  • EN 099 College Reading Strategies2 hours This course is designed to help students achieve success in reading purposefully, skillfully, and critically and thereby gain confidence in their ability to meet the demands of university, the workplace, and our information -filled society. Students will practice active reading strategies to develop comprehension, vocabulary, and concentration. (Not counted in hours required for graduation).
  • MA 095 Introduction to College Mathematics2 hours A review of arithmetic and algebraic operations. Course topics include integers and rational numbers, solving and graphing equations, polynomial factoring and simplification of expressions involving radicals and negative exponents. This course is required of all freshmen whose mathematics ACT score is below 16 or mathematics SAT score is below 440, and it must be taken before any other mathematics courses, if needed. No grade below C
  • OU 097 Strategies for Academic Success2 hours. The course is designed to effectively guide new students toward academic success through the utilization of cutting-edge study and learning strategies. All new students admitted to Oakwood University on academic probation and/or having a composite score of less than 17 on the ACT or less than 840 on the SAT are required to take OU 097 the first semester.



College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Testing

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) A student who presents satisfactory evidence of having competence or exposure in a certain area covered by a required course may meet an academic requirement by passing a CLEP test. The following policies apply to the program:

  1. The recommended maximum number of CLEP credits a student may apply toward graduation is 32 semester hours.
  2. In each major the maximum number of CLEP subject examination credits a student may earn is determined by the major department.
  3. In the case of the general education requirements, the Academic Policies Committee will determine which courses can be taken by CLEP and how much credit a student may earn from the basic general education requirements.
  4. The minimum scores listed below must be acquired before credit can be granted. Changes in scores by ETS (Educational Testing Services) may change acceptable scores by Oakwood University.
  5. Acceptable CLEP scores shall earn corresponding course credit, but no letter grade shall be assigned, or quality points considered.
  6. Once CLEP credit is placed on the transcript, a student may not repeat, for a grade, the course for which credit was given by examination.
  7. If a student does not pass a CLEP test, no record is placed on the transcript. A subject exam may be retaken three months after initial testing.
  8. Incoming students wishing to take the CLEP test before entering Oakwood University must have the approval of the Registrar’s Office before the test is taken.
  9. All CLEP scores previously obtained at another school are subject to review by the Registrar’s Office.
  10. A fee covering the cost of the examination and its administration will be charged each student desiring to take the CLEP examination at Oakwood University.
  11. CLEP examination is administered by the Career Development and Testing Center.
  12. The student must complete and submit an Academic Request form to the Registrar’s Office to take a CLEP test.


The following table lists the CLEP subjects, corresponding courses and minimum scores acceptable by Oakwood University:

CLEP subject                                                    Score               Course Equivalent

American Government 50 PS 211 3 Hours
American Literature 50 EN 301, 302 6 Hours
Biology 50 BI 101-102 (6 hours)
Calculus 50 MA 171 (4 hours)
General Chemistry 50 CH 141-142 (6 hours)
College Algebra 50 MA 108 (3 hours)
College Composition 50 EN 111 (3 hours)
College Mathematics 50 MA 101 (3 hours)
English Literature 50 EN 211, 212 (6 hours)
French Language (Level I and II) 50 FR 101-102 (6 hours)
History of the United States I and II 50 HI 211, 212 (6 hours)
Human Growth and Development 50 FS 355 (3 hours)
Introduction to Educational Psychology* 50 ED 200 (3 hours)
Financial Accounting 50 AC 220 (3 hours)
Introductory Business Law 50 BA 475 (3 hours)
Introductory Psychology 50 PY 101 (3 hours)
Introductory Sociology 50 SO 101 (3 hours)
Precalculus** 50, 50 MA 121-122

or MA 123

(6 hours)

(4 hours)

Principles of Macroeconomics 50 EC 283 (3 hours)
Principles of Microeconomics 50 EC 282 (3 hours)
Principles of Management 50 BA 310 (3 hours)
Principles of Marketing 50 MK 301 (3 hours)
Spanish Language 50 SP 101-102 (6 hours)
Western Civilization I and II 50, 50 HI 103, 104 (6 hours)

*Not acceptable for education majors.

**Must be MA 121-122 or MA 123 and not both.

+++++ (Link CLEP Testing  to Form).



Disabilities Accommodations
Disabilities Accommodations

We provided accommodations for some applicants and students with verified disabilities.  For more about verification and our program, please visit of Disabilities Support Services page.

+++++ (Link to DSS).

Disability Support Services



For questions and issues related to testing at Oakwood

contact the Center for Student Success’

Disabilities & Testing Specialist at 256-726-7149

&/or the Dean of Student Success at 256-726-8259



Phone: (256) 726-7668
Fax: (256) 726-7522