First-year Essay Evaluation: Details

What’s on the FEE?

The FEE asks students to write two 750 – 1250 word essays. One essay is an analytical summary of multiple readings, and the other is an argument, based on evidence provided in another reading.

When do I take the FEE?

The FEE is offered twice during the summer; you will have six days to do the readings and write the essays, which are submitted online. Advance registration is required and opens on May 13, 2019. You may only take the online FEE once. This year, the FEE will be offered from May 28 – June 4, 2019 (Session #1) and from July 8 –15, 2019 (Session #2).  See this year’s dates and deadlines here.

A paper-and-pencil make-up FEE will be offered during Orientation for students who were unable to take the online FEE over the summer. Because the online FEEs offer six days total for reading, writing, and revising, they are more accurate measures of students’ writing abilities; in addition, students taking the online FEE receive detailed comments on their writing (which are unavailable to those who take the make-up FEE). Finally, if you take one of the two online FEEs, you will receive your results by the middle of August, so you will be better informed when choosing classes for the Fall semester and be better prepared for your arrival at MIT. For these reasons, you should take the make-up FEE only if it is impossible for you to take one of the two summer online exams.

If you need to request disability accommodations for the make-up FEE, please contact SDS ( or 617-253-1674) no later than Friday, July 26, 2019.

To learn more about SDS visit their website:

How do I take the FEE?

1. Register before 8am EDT on May 28, 2019 (for FEE Session #1) or before 8am EDT on on July 8, 2019 (for FEE Session #2) by going to the MIT First-Year Essay Evaluation Site.

2. Follow the New User prompt and select the “SET YOUR PASSWORD” to set up your account option. You will receive an email with a link to set up a password. Please note the system does not use Kerberos credentials – you will need to set a password to access the system.

3. Fill out the demographic information to set up your account as prompted.

4. Return to “Home” (visible on the left-hand menu). You will see an option in the middle of the screen saying “Undergraduate Students – Click here to register”. Click on the link to select your exam.

5. Select your Test Group from the drop-down menu (FEE Session #1 from May 28-June 4 or FEE Session #2 from July 8-July 15).

6. Readings and prompts will populate on the Home Screen once your exam has begun.

7. When you’ve written your essays, log in and submit your essays by the due date and time.

How long will the FEE take?

We expect that carefully reading the articles will take about 3 – 5 hours, and that writing the essay will take another 8 – 12 hours. We allow multiple days for reading and writing because we know that people have other commitments during that time, and to allow time for a complete writing process, including reflection and revision.

When and how do I find out my results and see comments on my essays?

Your results and feedback will be available on the FEE website several weeks after you complete the exam. If you take the make-up FEE, you will not get your results until August 28, 2019, and they will not include comments.

Once you have your FEE results, you will meet with your advisor during Orientation to select your classes and then register for them via Online Registration.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page.