Frequently Asked Questions


 

We listed answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive by category below.

If you have a question not answered here, please reach out to our staff at firstyear@mit.edu.


AP/TRANSFER CREDIT

Q: What if I have a 5 on the AP Language and Composition Exam/AP Language and Literature Exam? Do I receive credit for the FEE? Does MIT need my score to be received before the FEE registration deadline dates? Can I confirm my scores were received?

A: Since you received a score of a 5 on the AP Language and Composition Exam/AP Language and Literature Exam, you are exempt from the FEE and do not need to sign up for it. MIT does not need to receive your score prior to the FEE registration deadline. At this time, we are unable to confirm receipt of your score(s). AP scores are electronically submitted to MIT on a rolling basis. If you requested them through the College Board to be sent to MIT, you will see them in your Online Freshman Advising Folder on, or around August 15. You can also verify that you sent your scores by logging into your College Board account, which will show you your sent history. 

Q: I have a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam.  Do I receive credit for 18.01?

A: All students must take the Math Diagnostic for Math and Physics Placement Exam, which will be given on August 6. A passing grade (yet to be determined by the faculty) on this exam plus a 5 on the Calculus BC will earn credit for 18.01. You can find additional information on the Advanced Placement page.

Q: I have a 5 on the two Physics AP exams.  Do I receive credit for 8.01?

A: All students must take the Math Diagnostic for Math and Physics Placement Exam, which will be given on August 6. However, students with a score of 5 on both Physics C exams—Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism—will earn credit for 8.01. You can find additional information on the Advanced Placement page.

Q: How do I get my AP Scores to MIT? I already sent my AP Scores to MIT Admissions. Do I have to send them again?

A: Please go to the College Board website to order a report.  MIT will only accept AP scores electronically. We will not accept scores from paper reports sent to you, or from your high school. If you sent your scores to MIT from the College Board electronically, there is nothing else you need to do at this time. If you just reported your scores to MIT Admissions and did not go through the College Board website, you will need to do so.  You can find additional information on the Advanced Placement page.

Q: How do I receive transfer credit?

A: First, visit our transfer credit website: https://firstyear.mit.edu/academics-exploration/ap-and-transfer-credit/transfer-credit. Outlined instructions for how to seek transfer credit are available here: https://firstyear.mit.edu/academics-exploration/ap-and-transfer-credit/transfer-credit/how-seek-transfer-credit

If you still have questions, email ap@mit.edu.


ACADEMICS

Q: My laptop runs Linux, it does not run either the Mac or the Windows operating systems that the Proctortrack software is set up for. Can I take the ASE?

A: MIT Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) offers free to members of the MIT community licensing for Mac/Windows operating systems (https://ist.mit.edu/windows/10/enterprisehttps://ist.mit.edu/macosx) and VMware’s workstation visualization software, which supports Mac, Windows and Linux (https://ist.mit.edu/vmware/fusion and https://ist.mit.edu/vmware/workstation). So if you want to you could run the Windows software within a virtual machine on Linux. If you need help with setting this up, MIT IS&T has a 24/7 help-desk: servicedesk@mit.edu or 617-253-1101.

Q: Do I have to take the Math Diagnostic Exam? Do I have to take the Math Diagnostic Exam if I have a 5 on both Physics exams/Calculus BC Exam?

A: Yes, all first year students are required to take the Math Diagnostic Exam, specifically to help place you into the proper level of 8.01 (Physics). If you have scored a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam, the Math Diagnostic Exam will validate your score and, if sufficient, will grant you credit for 18.01 GIR. If you have scored a 5 on both Physics C exams—Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism - you will be granted credit for 8.01.

Q: Does PE Credit count towards the credit limit?

A: It does not. There are 4 quarters each year to take PE credit and it is recorded separately. More about PE is available here: https://firstyear.mit.edu/academics-exploration/general-institute-requirements-girs/girs-pe and here: https://physicaleducationandwellness.mit.edu

Q: Will IAP be taking place in January 2021?

A: Our current plan is for IAP 2021 to be remote, though there may be some variations by program. There will still be non-credit activities offered along with classes for credit. There will still be a 12-unit credit limit.

Q: When can I register for the Advanced Standing Exams?  When will they be held?  Which ones will be offered in August/September?

A: All dates for Advanced Standing Exams can be found on the Advanced Standing Exam registration form, please be sure to use that form to register for ASEs no later than July 24.


ORIENTATION

Q: Will Orientation take place this year?

A: Yes! Virtual Orientation programming will take place from Sunday, August 23 through Friday, August 28. A full schedule of events will be available, via Guidebook app, after August 1.

Q: When will pre-orientation programs (FPOPs) take place this year?

A: FPOPs will take place from August 17-21. Visit our main FPOP page, and click on a specific program name (right side bar) to view program details.

Q: When will in-person Orientation programming occur?

A: We plan to host in-person Orientation events the last weekend of January, immediately preceding the start of the spring semester. More information about exact dates and events will be shared by mid-November.


FINANCIAL AID

Q: Who should I contact with questions about my financial aid package?

A: Reach out to your Financial Aid Counselor to have a conversation about your financial aid decision: https://sfs.mit.edu/contact. Students are assigned to a counselor by the first letter of their last name.


HOUSING

Q: Can you tell me if the housing form will be put back online?

A: MIT Housing & Residential Services (HRS) has temporarily placed all housing processes on hold for both incoming and returning undergraduate students until further guidance is provided by the Institute about plans for the next academic year. Once additional information becomes available, it will be posted to the HRS website.  It's worth highlighting that the first-year housing lottery is not first-come, first-served, and there is no advantage for those who apply early. Once the application period opens, all applicants are given equal weight regardless of when the application is submitted.


EXAM PROCTORING FOR ASEs AND DIAGNOSTIC EXAMS

In light of campus access restrictions due to the pandemic and because most students will be learning remotely, first-year students will be asked to use Proctortrack, a virtual proctoring solution, when taking their Advanced Standing Examinations (ASEs) and diagnostic tests for physics and math (mandatory for all incoming first-year students).

Q: Why has MIT decided to use Proctortrack for ASEs and diagnostic exams?

A: An MIT student who passes an ASE gets credit for the corresponding course and is then able to register in more advanced courses that rely upon the mastery demonstrated. Likewise, all first-years take diagnostic tests for physics and math to help them and their respective advisors make an informed choice about which version of Physics I and Calculus I they should take in the first semester. It is important to the student and MIT community that everyone has full confidence that those taking the exams have achieved mastery of the material on their own merits. With this in mind, MIT is working with Proctortrack, an online proctoring software solution. Proctortrack has been used in other contexts at MIT and is integrated with the MITx platform (on which MIT’s instructors have built the online problems that make up the ASEs and Diagnostic exams). 



Q: How does Proctortrack work?

A: Proctortrack is an automated online remote proctoring system that continuously verifies the identity of online test-takers while monitoring their desktop, webcam video, and audio during a proctored exam. The data recorded by the proctoring software is transferred to Proctortrack’s servers for automated review using machine learning techniques. If possible test-policy infractions are flagged by Proctortrack’s software, the relevant MIT instructors will be notified. Those instructors will then review the possible infractions to determine if whatever was flagged by the software constitutes academic misconduct. Because Proctortrack’s online proctoring is visible and effective, misconduct is very rare.



Q: How long will proctored session data be retained after I take the exam? How long will biometric and identification data be retained before deletion?

A: MIT’s contract with Proctortrack protects the privacy of its students, as required by FERPA, and limits how long Proctortrack can retain the data.. The proctored session data will be kept until the end of the fall semester, or no more than 180 days. The time period is necessary to ensure that MIT has the ability to refer to such data in cases where there may be questions about what happened during a given exam. As some students may end up taking exams over multiple semesters (e.g., in January/February as well as in July/August, periods when ASEs are held), the biometric data will be kept up to 365 days to ensure that a student’s login credentials will still be valid. If a student has concerns about this they can contact firstyear@mit.edu or complete the Proctortrack Data Deletion Request form.



Q: Can students request the deletion of their data (including biometrics, personal information, etc.) at an earlier time?

A: All data deletion requests are managed by MIT, and students should forward requests through the Office of the First Year Proctortrack Data Deletion Request form, not to Proctortrack. 

Q: Can students based in California, which has the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), ask for their data to be deleted without conflicting with other policies in regards to exams?

A: Yes, MIT has procedures in place to accommodate the recent CCPA amendments. Requests should be made through the Office of the First Year Proctortrack Data Deletion Request form to best ensure that the purpose (proctoring) for which the data was captured and stored has been fulfilled.

Q: Are students allowed to use scratch paper during an exam?

A: The Math, Biology and Physics ASEs will allow scratch paper. For the 6.0001 ASE, which is mostly programming, there is no need for scratch paper. 



Q: How may I dispute a case where Proctortrack reports potential academic misconduct? 

A: If the software flags possible academic misconduct, the student’s exam is reviewed by the MIT instructors administering the exam. The student will receive an email that their exam is under review. The MIT instructors will review the video and data recorded by Proctortrack.  The software can flag behavior like stretching or looking away from the test while taking a drink of water, behavior which the MIT instructors will immediately see is perfectly innocuous. The decision about whether or not a student’s behavior during the exam constitutes academic misconduct falls entirely to the MIT instructors. Students who have questions will be able to contact an instructor.

Q: My current operating system does not support Proctortrak - specifically Linux.  Does MIT offer these systems to members of the MIT community?

A: IS&T offers free to members of the MIT community licensing for Mac/Windows operating systems (https://ist.mit.edu/windows/10/enterprisehttps://ist.mit.edu/macosx) and VMware’s workstation visualization software, which supports Mac, Windows and Linux (https://ist.mit.edu/vmware/fusion and https://ist.mit.edu/vmware/workstation). So if you want to you could run the Windows software within a virtual machine on Linux. If you need help with setting this up, MIT IS&T has a 24/7 help-desk: servicedesk@mit.edu or 617-253-1101.