ASE overall pass rates increase by 10.2%

Chemistry department did not offer fall ASEs but plans to for spring term

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ASE pass rate were highest for 6.0001, which was also the most-taken exam.
Joanna Lin — The Tech

This fall, students took a total of 1,488 Advanced Standing Exams (ASEs) with an overall pass rate of 79.8%. Compared to last fall, students completed 326 more exams with a 10.2% higher overall pass rate.

Most Fall 2020 ASEs were virtually administered in late July and early August. ASEs are traditionally administered during orientation week at the end of August.

Elizabeth Young, associate dean and director of first-year advising and programming, provided the 2020 ASE data in an email to The Tech

232 students took the 7.01x (Introductory Biology) exam, nine of whom were upperclassmen, with an 89.2% pass rate, up from the 66.4% rate from last fall.

The pass rate for 18.01 was 18.9%, down from 38.1% last fall, while the rates for 18.01A and 18.02 were 81.1% and 77.0% respectively. 180 students took the 18.01A/18.01 ASE and 287 took 18.02.

The anomalies in the 18.01A/18.01 results were due to the new online exam format, as well as the fact that most students only take the 18.01A portion of the test, Young wrote. This fall, “everyone was scored on both, which makes the pass rate rate for 18.01 look much, much lower than usual” as “the denominator is so much larger now.”

The 18.03 (Differential Equations) and 18.06 (Linear Algebra) ASEs were not offered this fall.

As in previous years, the 6.0001 ASE had the most test-takers, with about 410 exams taken and a 93% pass rate.

This fall, 184 students took 8.01 (Physics I) and 41.3% passed, while 195 took 8.02 (Physics II) with a pass rate of 62.6%. 

The Chemistry Department did not offer any ASEs virtually this fall but has plans for exams in the spring term.

ASEs will take place again in January, but exact dates are unavailable at this time.

In an interview with The Tech, Pranav Arunandhi ’24 commented on his experiences taking the ASEs virtually with proctoring software.

“The resources on MITx made the online test format more familiar, but the proctoring service added an additional level of stress to the exams, as I was unsure what would and wouldn’t be flagged as inappropriate conduct,” Arunandhi said. “Furthermore, I had Proctortrack crash during” three “exams, of which one time I had to completely restart the exam. So, overall, it was definitely a disconcerting experience, contributed to more so by Proctortrack than the exams themselves.”

Despite the technical difficulties, Arunandhi passed all of his ASEs.

“Most of the exams were effective at breaking each question into multiple parts in order to allow for multiple avenues of receiving points on a question; other exams did not do so well on that front, causing small errors to lead to a large loss of points, especially since partial credit was not awarded,” Arunandhi said.

The Fall 2020 Emergency Academic Regulations, released Aug. 10, discourage use of Proctortrack in assessments.