This year’s freshmen appear to be performing at about the same on the Advanced Standing Exams as previous classes. The more common ASEs are 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus), 18.02 (Multivariable Calculus), 8.01 (Classical Mechanics), 8.02 (Electricity & Magnetism), 5.111 (Principles of Chemical Science), and 7.012 (Introductory Biology).
Catherine A. Modica, Academic Administrator for the Department of Physics, said “A small handful of students take ASEs in 8.03 (Physics III) and occasionally higher-level subjects, by arrangement.”
The Math Department also has similar policies for students wishing to take ASEs in courses at a higher level than 18.06 (Linear Algebra), as the First Year website, http://web.mit.edu/firstyear, notes.
The class of 2014 was much more successful in 18.01 and 18.02 than previous classes, but passing rates for 5.111, 8.01, 18.03, and 18.06 were similar to those in previous years.
For the Chemistry exam, Sylvia Ceyer, the department head, said the results were “typical.”
Although ASEs are optional, freshmen are required to sit for the Math Diagnostic to determine which level of physics is recommended for them. According to the Physics Department, which administers the Math Diagnostic, the exam was taken by 1,054 freshmen.
“Compliance was actually very high,” Modica said. Only 18 freshmen did not sit for the test this year.
Modica said, “277 students scored at or above the level at which the Physics Department recommends they consider taking 8.012; 576 students scored at a level that resulted in a recommendation for 8.01 as the first Physics subject; and 201 students scored below the point at which Physics recommends that they enroll in 8.01L.”