A few queries !

<p>Hi Everyone. Was Just curious to know a few things i read and heard about from various sources regarding MIT.</p>

<li><p>Advanced Standing Exams: Can any one admitted to MIT take these exams before registering for the subject and get full credit for the course ? Sounds too good to be true. And if so, are ASEs available for all courses/majors or is it there only for select or introductory classes. Please explain.</p></li>
<li><p>I understand that one needs about less than 200 MIT units to graduate, and also that there is a limit of only about 100 units for Freshman year and no restriction for sophomore or further years. So can I take 100 units each year and graduate in 2 years ? Practically thinking of it, there seems no issue because:
100 units per year = 1400 Hours per year = 28 Hours per week = 5.5 hours per day
Is this true ? Can someone please explain ?</p></li>

<p>Was just curious. Pardon me if i have got any thing wrong.</p>


Yes, if you pass them. Obviously, some ASEs are more difficult to pass than others.</p>


ASEs are scheduled for certain introductory courses, but you can also request other exams be prepared for you. It’s at the discretion of the department to decide whether or not they will prepare an exam.</p>


No, it’s 180 units beyond the GIRs – 180 units plus the 204 units of the GIRs. So most degrees at MIT require 384 units to graduate.</p>


As you see above, the requirement is actually 384 units, which breaks down to 48 units per semester (four classes). And it’s not just that you have to take any 384 units – you have to complete a major program. Because of prerequisites and scheduling logistics, it can sometimes be possible to graduate from MIT a semester or a year early, but generally not two years early.</p>


I’m not sure where you’re getting your unit conversions, but at MIT, one unit is equivalent to on hour of work (class/lab/homework) per week. So a typical 48-unit courseload requires about 48 hours of work per week.</p>

<p>Let me also add that one unit=one hour is often underestimated, particularly for lab or practical classes. For example 2.007 (the famous robot design class) is theoretically a 12 unit class. I have yet to meet any MIT student who spends just 12 hours per week on this class. There are 7 hours per week in the classroom and a dubious 5 hours per week on other work. I took several 12-unit literature classes, and given that they have 12 hours/week to fill (3 of which are in the classroom) they had no problem assigning a novel to read per week. </p>

<p>It is not that there aren’t people who can graduate in 3 years. One of the other ECs in my region did that. However, such people are very, very, very rare.</p>

<p>However, if you look at the subject evaluations (which requires MIT certificates) you will see that most classes take less hours per week than the number of units. I would estimate based on the subject evaluations that a 12 unit class on average takes something like 9-10 hours per week. This is also consistent with surveys on how much work MIT undergrads do. All the GIRs that I’ve checked have had an average of less than 12 per hours as well. There are some exceptions such as many labs or project based classes but the general trend is definitely that most 12 unit classes take less than 12 hours per week (assuming people estimates of time spent are actually accurate). Regarding 2.007 last year it took students an average of 14 hours per week inside and outside the classroom with a standard deviation of 4 hours so it seems quite likely that a significant minority of students were spending less than 12 hours per week on the class. There is also quite a bit of variation between students in time spent on classes. </p>

<p>The feasibility of graduating in three years also depends a lot on your major. Math is pretty flexible so it would not be hard to graduate in three years with a math major if you start with some credit from APs/ASEs. For some engineering majors it would be difficult/impossible. Two years would be harder still but not impossible. I think the primary reason that few people graduate early is that there is no much incentive to do so and in at least my experience advisers are strongly opposed to it. Graduating early is no advantage in getting jobs and quite possibly a disadvantage as you have less opportunities for internships. Students heading to PhD programs are generally encouraged to take lots of graduate classes instead of graduating early.</p>

<p>I came in with ~90 units, and graduated in 3 years. I would not recommend it. </p>

<p>It may be true that overloading works out on paper when you integrate it out over a semester. That does not, however, guarantee that you’ll have enough time for every single week. Further, as pointed out, there are opportunity costs.</p>