Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Class of 2018
The First Year at MIT

Important Links and Documents:

Countdown to Campus: Summer Placement Examinations & 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.

Freshman Essay Evaluation

The Freshman Essay Evaluation (FEE) is MIT's writing placement test and is your first step toward completing the first-year component of the Communications Requirement. The FEE was administered online twice during the summer, once in June and once in July. Those who did not take the online FEE over the summer must take a written exam during Orientation.

Read more about the Freshman Essay Evaluation and Communication Requirement in the First-Year Academics section.

Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement

The Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement is a mandatory test for incoming freshmen given during Orientation week on Monday, August 25. It is used to help you and your advisor make an informed choice about which version of Physics I you should take in your first semester. Accuracy and fluency in high school math, including algebra, geometry, logarithms and exponentials, and trigonometry, are key to doing well in MIT's freshman physics and mathematics subjects. You do not "pass" or "fail" the Math Diagnostic. Based on your scores, you will be recommended for placement in 8.01L, 8.01, or 8.012.

See the Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement page in the First-Year Academics section, for more information.

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 the AP and International Examinations pages 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 2014 Advanced Standing Examinations

Advanced Standing Examinations will be offered during Orientation in the following subjects:

For Calculus and Physics ASEs, go directly to the exam room without giving prior notice. However, for the Biology and Chemistry ASEs, you must register in advance as indicated above.

Conflicts: Please contact Galina Lastovkina ( by August 20 if you want to take two ASEs scheduled at the same time (18.01 and 8.02, 18.02 and 8.01). She will arrange for you to take the Calculus exam at another time.

Other Advanced Standing Exams

Other Advanced Standing Examinations offered to entering students are in higher level Mathematics subjects (e.g. 18.03 Differential Equations and 18.06 Linear Algebra). For 18.03 and/or 18.06, you must apply for permission to take the exam and complete the required homework which is to be turned in at the time of the exam. For permission and homework packets, contact Galina Lastovkina,, by August 1.

Scores and Grading

Your scores on Advanced Standing Exams will be posted in your online Freshman 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 freshman credit limit. Exams taken during the fall and spring final examination periods will count towards the freshman credit limit.