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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 2020-2021

  • Orientation 2020: only 18.01 & 18.02 will be offered. The exams will be administered online.
    • 18.01: Monday, August 10th
    • 18.02: Tuesday, August 11th
  • IAP: 18.01, 18.02, 18.03 & 18.06 ASEs will be offered as online exams
    • 18.01: Tuesday, January 19th with 2 sittings (9am & 4pm ET)
    • 18.02: Wednesday, January 20th with 2 sittings (9am & 4pm ET)
    • 18.03: Monday, February 1st with 2 sittings (9am & 4pm ET)
    • 18.06: Tuesday, February 2nd with 2 sittings (9am & 4pm ET)
  • Spring 2021: TBD

We will post more information regarding the IAP & Spring end of term ASEs as soon as it becomes available.

For Current Students

The procedure to take the ASE is:

  1. Check the petition deadline on the Academic Calendar
  2. Fill out the ASE petition form
  3. Obtain advisor’s signature
  4. Submit completed petition to Theresa Cummings (tcumming@mit.edu) for departmental approval by petition deadline
    • If you petition for the 18.03 and/or the 18.06 ASE the homework will provided at this time
  5. Complete homework if necessary

See the Office of the Registrar site for ASE petition 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 emails 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. Due to COVID-19 upper level subject ASEs are currently suspended. To inquire, speak with Barbara Peskin in the MAS office.

For Incoming First-Year and Transfer Students

All GIR ASE schedules are included in the "first-year 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, tcumming@mit.edu 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 first-year students, 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 https://openlearning.mit.edu/beyond-campus/first-year-stem-classes-mit for more information. We also recommend the MITx version of 18.03, for those planning to take that ASE.