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Freshmen Do Worse on ’05 FEE

By Jenny Zhang

Although many freshmen will soon take their first exams at MIT, some took the Freshmen Essay Evaluation and Advanced Standing Exams before classes even began. The primary change to these exams this year was a restructuring of the FEE to include a literature review section rather than narrative section.

Of the Class of 2009, 36 percent will be required to take an expository writing class (CI-HW), an increase from 23 percent last year. Advanced Standing Exam results were generally similar to those of last year.

The new literature review section required more argumentative skills and the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources than the narrative section it replaced, said Leslie C. Perelman, director of writing across the curriculum. The change was made primarily because literature review skills are more useful for MIT students than narrative, Perelman said.

The Advanced Standing Exams, taken mostly by freshmen, allow those who pass to receive credit for introductory courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. The FEE, required by freshmen who do not receive a 5 on either high school AP English exam, determines whether a student must take a writing subject in the first year.