Advanced Standing Exams (ASEs)

Advanced Standing Examinations are one way in which you can obtain credit for MIT subjects outside of the classroom itself.

A passing grade on an MIT Advanced Standing Exam entitles you to full credit for the subject, as well as placement in the next subject in a sequence. A student may only take an Advanced Standing Exam in a class for which s/he had never registered nor attended at MIT.

Orientation Advanced Standing Exams

Advanced Standing Exams will be offered this August and September for: Calculus I (18.01), Calculus II (18.02), Physics I (8.01), Physics II (8.02), Biology (7.012), Chemistry (5.111)., Chemistry (5.12), and 6.0001. See Placement Exams & Testing for details on Orientation ASEs and be sure to complete the Advanced Standing Exam registration form, which contains the ASE schedule.

The ASEs for the Chemistry GIR and 5.12 will not be offered this fall. Our current plan is to offer the Chemistry GIR ASE in person at the beginning of the Spring term, but we cannot guarantee this will be possible. The grading for the Spring 2021 exam is not known yet, it could be P/NR or ABC/NR. We know that this is disappointing for students who hoped to take the ASE before the fall term. 

The department is unable to waive the Chemistry GIR pre-requisite for any other Chemistry classes, including 5.12. This policy includes students who have received a 5 on the Chemistry AP exam. Our Chemistry GIR subjects are not the same curriculum as AP chemistry and we have found that the AP exam in chemistry is not an indicator of how students fare in our courses. In the past, less than 10% of first year students who got a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam passed the MIT Chemistry GIR ASE. 

Students who feel they are extremely advanced in chemistry seeking to take advanced chemistry courses should contact our Chemistry Education Office (see below) to discuss exemptions from the Chemistry GIR or both the GIR and 5.12 pre-requisites. 

Please note that to be eligible to take an ASE, you cannot have attended or been registered for the subject or any of its variations (5.111, 5.112, or 3.091). An exception can be made if you never attended the class and submitted a drop form within the first week of the term.

We strongly encourage all students interested in Chemistry to take 5.111,  5.112, or 3.091 this fall and reach out to our Chemistry Education Office ( to talk more about our ChemistryChemFlex, and Chemistry & Biology Degree Programs.

Advanced Standing Exams and First-Year Grading

  • Orientation (August/Sept.): Graded P/NR. If exam is passed, P will show up on external transcript. Does not count toward fall credit limit. No record is kept of a non-passing D or F grade taken during Orientation. Non-passing D or F grades taken any time later in the first year will be posted on the internal WebSIS record but not on the external transcript.
  • January/February: Graded ABC/NR. If exam is passed, A, B, or C will show up on external transcript. Does not count toward spring credit limit. If you take an ASE during IAP, credit earned will not count toward the IAP credit limit of 12 units.
  • May (Final Exam Period): Graded ABC/NR. If exam is passed, A, B, or C will show up on external transcript. Credit counts toward spring credit limit.

Procedures for January/February Advanced Standing Exams (ASEs)

Note: Advanced Standing Exams will be offered in Physics, Mathematics, and Biology during the January/February testing period, but not in Chemistry.

You must petition to take an Advanced Standing Examination at least three weeks before the first day of the examination period. ASE petition deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Complete procedural information is available on the Registrar's web site.