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Advanced Standing Examinations (ASE)

General Information

  • 18.01, 18.02, 18.03, and 18.06 ASEs are offered four times a year: Orientation Week, end of IAP, final examination weeks of the Fall and Spring terms.
  • 18.03 and 18.06 ASEs require the completion of extensive homework sets due at the time of the exam. Homework packets can be obtained from the MAS office upon submission of the ASE petition form.
  • You may take an ASE in each subject only once and only if you have not been registered for the subject or its equivalent.
  • A passing grade on an ASE confers full credit for the subject. Your letter grade appears on your permanent record but is not incorporated into your term or cumulative GPA.
  • Grades for Orientation Week exams are posted to the Fall record. Grades for IAP exams are posted to the Spring record and do not count toward your IAP/Spring credit load limit.

ASE Dates for Academic Year 2018-2019

  • End of Summer 2018: Freshman Orientation Week
    • 18.01 ASE: Monday, August 27th at 8am
    • 18.02 ASE: Tuesday, August 28th at 8am
    • 18.03/18.06 ASEs: Tuesday, September 4th at 9am
  • End of Fall 2018: check Final Examination Schedule
  • End of IAP 2019: TBD
  • End of Spring 2019: check Final Examination Schedule

For Current Students

See the Office of the Registrar site for ASE petition procedure, deadlines and grading policies. A departmental signature can be obtained in the MAS office once your adviser has signed the petition form. You do not need a signature from the Instructor in charge. You will be notified about the status of your petition by the Registrar's Office shortly after the submission deadline. Approval email will include the time and place of the exam. If you decide not to take the exam after your petition is approved, notify the MAS before the exam takes place.

ASEs in higher-level subjects may be permitted only during the Fall and Spring final exam periods and require the completion of extensive homework sets in order to demonstrate that you are familiar with the needed material. While an ASE for 18.600 is frequently given, ASEs in other subjects are rarely approved. To inquire, speak with Barbara Peskin in the MAS office.

For Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students

The Mathematics Department offers ASEs for 18.01 and 18.02 without registration to all incoming students. All GIR ASE schedules are included in the "freshman packet" sent to you by the Admissions Office and on the The First-Year website.

For 18.03 and/or 18.06, you must contact Theresa Cummings, to register and to obtain the required homework assignment and exam schedule. The information becomes available at the beginning of the summer term.

The 18.01 ASE is divided into two parts. Passing the first part completes an entrance requirement for 18.01A. Passing both parts earns credit for 18.01.

For incoming Freshmen, ASE results are recorded as Pass / NoRecord for exams taken during Orientation week or Fall term and A / B / C / NoRecord for exams taken during IAP or Spring term. If you fail the exam, no record will be kept other than an internal notation that you attempted the exam. For upperclass transfer students, standard letter grades are recorded.

Units for ASEs passed in the orientation and end-of-January exam periods do not count toward your credit load limit. Units for exams taken at the end of Fall and Spring terms do count toward your credit load limit. This means that, as a first-year student, you most likely cannot take ASEs at the end of the Fall or Spring term because the 12 credits earned would cause you to exceed your credit limit for that term.

Preparing for the ASE

Advanced Standing Exams are intended to give you the chance to demonstrate knowledge you have already acquired, but it is helpful to review and practice in preparation for the test. We recommend that you check out class materials available through MIT’s Open CourseWare, where you can find final exams to practice, as well as lectures, homework problems, and more. Another wonderful resource is the on-line class 18.01x (in three parts: 18.01.1x, 18.01.2x, 18.01.3x), available through MITx. See for more information. We also recommend the MITx version of 18.03, for those planning to take that ASE.