Frosh Advanced Standing Statistics: Few Changes

The Class of 2013 performed similarly on the Advanced Standing Exams (ASEs) to the Class of 2012, with a few variations. This year, more freshman passed 8.01 (Classical Mechanics), 8.02 (Electricity & Magnetism), and 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus). The Math Diagnostic results were once again used as a strict cutoff for entry into 8.012 (the more intense, lecture-based version of 8.01), but there was no cutoff for entry into 8.01.

Many students who were recommended for either 8.01 or 8.01L (a longer version of 8.01 that continues into January, intended for students with less calculus experience) chose 8.01, disappointing the Physics Department.

Physics Professor Thomas J. Greytak ’62 said, “We were disappointed that more people didn’t elect to take 8.01L, so we will be looking at the Math Diagnostic scores and the pre-test given on the first day and then talking to students one-on-one to give them our recommendation of whether they would do better in 8.01L.”

Twenty-five percent of the students were cleared to take 8.012, Greytak said, and 18 percent of the students were strongly advised to take 8.01L.

A few students who weren’t recommended for 8.012 but still wanted to take that course were allowed entry into the class to fill the few empty seats while the remaining students were placed on a waitlist.

The pass rates for 18.03 (Differential Equations), 18.06 (Linear Algebra), and 8.02 were all in the 80–90 percent range. However, very few students took these exams. The pass rate for 7.012 (Introductory Biology) dropped slightly from last year, while the 5.111 (Principles of Chemical Science) pass rate rose slightly compared to last year despite having the lowest pass rate this year.

Class of 2013 ASE Stats

Exam Pass Fail %Pass
5.11 10 75 11.76%
7.01 21 63 25%
8.01 38 42 47.50%
8.02 48 11 81.40%
18.01 24 26 48%
18.02 55 34 61.80%
18.03 9 2 81.82%
18.06 8 1 88.89%

None of the freshman placement exams had any notable changes. In fact, the Math Diagnostic was the same test used last year. “Our intention is to give different exams in different years, however this year it was the same as last year,” said Greytak. Once again, the 8.01 and 8.02 exams were the final exams for their respective courses, 5.111 covered topics beyond the AP Chemistry curriculum, and the 7.012 exam covered topics from 7.012, as well as 7.013 and 7.014, the spring-term biology classes focusing on genetics and biology, respectively.

Students in the incoming class who hadn’t received a score of 5 of one of the AP English exams, were required to take the Freshman English Evaluation (FEE). Freshman who passed the FEE were allowed to take any CI-H (Communications ntensive—Humanities) course, while those who didn’t pass were required to take a CI-HW (Communications Intensive—Humanities and Writing)class to improve their writing skills. 783 students took the FEE, around 20 students opted to not take the FEE and just take a CI-HW course, and around 268 students were exempt from the FEE.

The Writing Department prefers students to take their exam. Les C. Perelman, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, said, “I believe our assessment is a much better assessment of the writing that goes on at MIT.” The FEE is designed to test the student’s ability to revise, which is why they discourage students from taking the makeup exam, which only allows time for a first draft. Once again the Writing Department also provided constructive comments on each of the essays, which “turns a mechanical test into an educational experience.”

Gustavo N. Goretkin ’13, who took a Physics I course at a local community college and self-studied electricity and magnetism, received credit for 8.01 through AP credit and credit for 8.02 by passing the ASE. He said, “I thought the 8.02 exam was very fair. It adequately tested what the AP Physics C curriculum covers. You had to complete 8 problems in three hours, so time was not an issue if you remembered the concepts.”

Exam ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10
5.11 11.8% 7% 10% 17%
7.01 25% 30.8% 16.5% 17%
8.01 47.5% 43.0% 54.7% 22%
8.02 81.4% 58.1% 79.7% 60%
18.01 48% 38%
18.02 61.8% 73%
18.03 81.8%
18.06 88.9%