Class of 2015 is typical, or better, on GIR ASEs

Freshmen do well overall, place out of more physics GIRs with AP/IB credit

The class of 2015 has outshone previous classes on several Advanced Standing Exams this year. A higher number of students in this year’s freshmen class are also placing out of General Institute Requirements through sufficient scores from AP and IB exams.

As it has been in past years, the most common ASEs taken were 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus), 18.02 (Multivariable Calculus), 8.01 (Classical Mechanics), 8.02 (Electricity and Magnetism), 7.012 (Biology), and 5.111 (Principles of Chemical Science).

The number of students who passed the physics ASEs this year was “perfectly normal,” said Krishna Rajagopal, associate head for education in the Physics Department. Of the 124 freshmen who sat for the 8.01 ASE, 49 students passed; for the 8.02 ASE, 55 out of 108 passed. These numbers are slightly lower than last year, when 49 out of 89 students passed the 8.01 ASE and 68 out of 87 passed 8.02.

However, the number of students who received MIT credit or placement into higher-level classes granted from AP and IB scores was “way up from previous years,” Rajagopal said.

“We in the physics department are absolutely delighted,” he added. “The admissions office has attracted students whose physics background is stronger than before, which is great.”

Biology saw a marked improvement in passing scores this year as well. “The percentage of students who passed this year [51 percent] was higher than in previous years,” said Janice Chang, the Associate Administrator for the Biology Department. A total of 38 students passed out of the 74 students who took the 7.012 ASE. Last year, less than 20 percent of students taking the biology ASE passed.

The 18.01 ASE had a 62 percent pass rate. Because more students are testing out of 18.01, fall enrollment for 18.02 is higher than before.

“The incoming class is more competitive and better prepared,” said Jeffrey Kinnamon, the Associate Administrator for the Mathematics Department.

The 5.111 ASE had a similar pass rate compared to last year — 14 out of 93 students passed, or about 15 percent (last year was around 14 percent).

Students planning on taking ASEs for the spring semester must complete an ASE petition form and contact the appropriate departments to find out when specific exams are offered. Check for more information.