Placement Examinations and Testing


This page gives an overview of upcoming MIT-administered exams that are used for placement purposes and to award credit. These will be given over the summer and during Orientation in August. To prepare yourself for what to expect over the summer and when you arrive at MIT, please review this material carefully.

First Year Essay Evaluation (FEE)

The FEE is MIT's writing placement test and is your first step toward completing the first-year component of the Communication Requirement. This year, the FEE will be offered from June 1-June 10 (June FEE) and from July 20-30 (July FEE). June FEE registration opens on May 18, and the deadline is May 29 at 1:00 PM EST. July FEE registration opens on June 22, and the deadline is July 17 at 1:00 PM EST. You may take either online FEE; we encourage you to take it as early as possible. Those who do not take the online FEE over the summer must take a written exam during Orientation.

Read more on the Communication Requirement page

Math Diagnostic for Physics (8.01) and Math (18.01) Placement

The Math Diagnostic for Physics (8.01) and Math (18.01) Placement is a mandatory test for ALL incoming first-year students that will be given on August 6, 2020. It is used to help you and your advisor make an informed choice about which version of Physics I and Calculus I you should take in your first semester. The Math Diagnostic will test a variety of math skills, including basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry, word problems, coordinate systems including polar, basic functions such as natural log, and some basic calculus like taking derivatives and integration. Accuracy and fluency in these areas are key to doing well in MIT's physics and mathematics subjects. You do not "pass" or "fail" the Math Diagnostic. Based on your scores, you will receive a recommendation for physics and math placement and advised on whether or not 18.01 credit for AP Calculus BC scores of 5 will be awarded. Those with scores of 5 on AP both Physics C exams—Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism - will be granted 8.01 credit.

Advanced Standing Exams

MIT's Advanced Standing Examinations are one means through which registered freshmen and transfer students can obtain credit for MIT subjects outside of the classroom itself. Note: ASEs are not the same as the Advanced Placement exams given by the Educational Testing Service. See AP and Transfer Credit for information on other ways to obtain MIT credit.

A passing grade on an MIT Advanced Standing Exam will grant placement into the next subject in a sequence; it may also give you credit toward your degree, depending on the department offering the exam.

These exams are quite rigorous, typically equivalent to the final exam for a subject. Usually students who pass these exams have had extensive exposure to the subject already in high school or through self-study.

Dates for 2020 Advanced Standing Examinations

Biology- Wednesday, August 5

18.01- Monday, August 10

18.02- Tuesday, August 11

8.01- Wednesday, August 12

8.02- Thursday, August 13

8.03- Wednesday, August 19

8.04- Thursday, August 20

Please be sure to register for the advanced standing exams you plan to take this summer.  The schedule is provided on the registration form.  If you are registering for the 6.0001 exam, please be sure to see the important exam information online at: https://lms.mitx.mit.edu/courses/course-v1:MITx+6.0001.ASEr+Exam/about

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 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 (chemistryeducation@mit.edu) to talk more about our ChemistryChemFlex, and Chemistry & Biology Degree Programs.

Scores and Grading

Advanced Standing Exam scores will be posted in your online Advising Folder. Refer to the folder when registering with your advisor to see if you've passed the exams and are eligible to enroll in the next subject in a sequence.

If you pass an Advanced Standing Exam during Orientation, your permanent record will show a grade of P (for Pass) and you may not enroll in the corresponding subject for credit. If you fail the exam, nothing will appear on your record and you are encouraged to enroll in the corresponding subject. Advanced Standing Exams taken during Orientation or IAP will not count towards the credit limit. Exams taken during the fall and spring final examination periods will count towards the credit limit.