A Few Questions

<p>Hi everyone. I had a few queries regarding MIT:</p>

<li><p>How exactly are the grades for a given course decided. Are they acquired entirely from the terminal exams ? Are they from the psets ? Are they also inclusive of something else ? How difficult is it to get an A in a course ?</p></li>
<li><p>How hard is it generally to get permission for appearing in ASEs for non-introductory courses (that is the ones for which they aren't automatically scheduled) ?</p></li>
<li><p>How essential is attendance ? Does it affect the GPA directly ? I find it a better way to learn certain courses by myself, especially when the courses are taught by professors not so apt at teaching (many great researchers who make poor teachers).</p></li>
<li><p>How do you study for those courses for which no textbooks are specified ?</p></li>

<p>Just trying to understand the way it works. Mollie, please help if you can. Thanks in advance.</p>

<li><p>This depends a lot on the class. Early on, you’ll have a lot of classes with a problem set every week or every other week, 2-3 tests during term, and the final. Later on, you’ll have more project-based classes, depending on your major. (If you’re in a humanities course, you can expect more essays.) There’s a lot of variance. Getting an A is probably going to be much more difficult than it was at your high school, though B’s and C’s are pretty reasonable to get.</p></li>
<li><p>Pretty difficult. Most departments don’t offer them. If you have credit for a similar course at a university, though, you may be able to transfer them.</p></li>
<li><p>Varies a lot by class. I know people who don’t attend lecture at all unless it’s one of the classes that require attendance. Skipping class is pretty common. In bigger classes, no one will notice.</p></li>
<li><p>By working through problem sets. </p></li>

<p>Mollie please comment. Also, could someone be kind enough to list the ASEs that are usually held.</p>

<p>Piper’s just as qualified as I am. </p>

<p>The only thing I’d add is that (AFAIK) it’s possible to ask a department to put together an ASE for a course that isn’t automatically scheduled for one, and it’s not unlikely that they’ll do it. It’s just that most people don’t ask.</p>