First-year Essay Evaluation: FAQ

Q: What are the possible scores on the First-year Essay Evaluation?

A: There are four scores:

  • CI-H/CI-HW Required. You may take any CI-H (Communication-Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) or CI-HW (Foundational Writing) subject during your first year at MIT.
  • CI-HW Required. You must take a CI-HW (Foundational Writing) subject as your first CI subject during your first year at MIT.
  • 21G.222 Required. You must take 21G.222 (Expository Writing for Bilingual Students) as your first CI subject during your first year at MIT.
  • 21G.220 Required. You must take 21G.220 (Workshop in Written Expression) as your first CI subject during your first year at MIT.

Q: How do I get my results?

A: Log back in to the FEE website several weeks after the completion of your evaluation to view your results and comments on your essays. Your scores will additionally be noted in your Online Advising Folder.

Q: I have my results. What happens now?

A: You’ll connect with your advisor during Orientation and select a course based on the results of your FEE. Whether you are beginning with a CI-H or a CI-HW course, you can choose to take the course in either the fall or the spring of your first year at MIT. After you connect with your advisor, you’ll complete Online Registration for your chosen courses. In subsequent semesters, however, you will need to register for your CI-H and CI-HW courses in advance. Check out MIT’s new Enrollment Tools website to learn how to register for CI courses after your first semester.

Q: I received a 5 on the AP Exam on Language and Composition and/or Literature and Composition. Do I need to take the FEE?

A: No. If you have taken either the AP Language and Composition Exam or the AP Literature and Composition Exam and have received a 5 (and have arranged to have your scores sent to MIT), you do not need to take the FEE. You will automatically be listed as “CI-H/CI-HW Required.” You do not need to report your score separately to FEE or the Office of the First Year to be exempt from the FEE. As long as you know you have a qualifying score, you may safely skip the FEE. For questions about sending scores and your AP or IB credits, please visit the First Year website.

Q: I’m taking the AP Language and Composition or the AP Literature and Composition this year. Will you be accepting these scores, even though the exam format has changed due to the pandemic?

A: Yes. MIT will be accepting AP Literature and Composition and AP Language and Composition scores from the 2020 testing season, despite the differences in exam format. You may submit a score of 5 on these exams from this year (or previous years) to be exempt from the FEE.

Q: Which registration option is best for me?

A: We’ve detailed the registration selections below. If you have questions, please email fee-help@mit.edu before making your registration choice.

Option 1FEE Summer Session #1 – This exam is open to all students who are required to take the FEE (i.e. don’t have AP or IB scores exempting them from the exam).

Option 2FEE Summer Session #2 –  This exam is open to all students who are required to take the FEE  (i.e. don’t have AP or IB scores exempting them from the exam). The dates of this exam have been pushed back to July 20-30 to accomodate the AP score release delays. Please note – FEE Summer Session #2 is the final opportunity to take the FEE before the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Option 3 – Qualifying AP or IB score –  If you have already received a score of 5 on AP Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition, or a 7 on IB Higher Level English A or B, you may indicate your exemption by selecting this option.

Please ensure you have followed proper procedure and reported your scores to the Institute. Scores do not need to be reported separately to the FEE Office. Full information on reporting scores is available here: https://firstyear.mit.edu/academics-exploration/ap-and-transfer-credit/advanced-placement

Option 4 – Plan to register for a CI-HW – If you do not have qualifying AP/IB exempting scores, you can opt out of taking the FEE if you intend to register for a CI-HW during your first year at MIT.

CI‑HW subjects are a subset of the required CI‑H subjects focused on developing students’ understanding of genre, audience, argument, discourse, source use, and writing process. All written work in CI-HWs goes through stages of drafting, revising, and editing. Because these subjects are limited to 15 students per section, students receive detailed feedback at all stages of the writing process, and have many opportunities for individual conferences with instructors. Students taking a CI-HW can expect to explore concepts and strategies of writing in great depth within the context of larger topics and contexts, such as Science and Technology, Sports, or the Environment. The MIT registrar’s site provides more information: https://registrar.mit.edu/registration-academics/academic-requirements/communication-requirement/ci-hhw-subjects

Q: I am taking the AP Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition Exam (or IB English A or B) this May and will not have my score until July. Do I need to take the FEE?

A: We strongly suggest that you register for the FEE over the summer if you do not yet have your AP scores, as the FEE is a better measure of your writing ability. For students awaiting AP scores from this year, we recommend you register for the FEE Summer Session #2 in July. If you receive a score of 5 on your AP exam and you have registered for FEE Summer Session #2, you may simply not take the exam. Your exemption will be noted as long as you send your AP scores to MIT.

If you take the FEE over the summer before receiving your AP scores and end up getting a 5 on your AP exam, we take the better of the two scores, and you will automatically be listed as “CI-H/CI-HW Required” even if you do not receive that score on the summer FEE.

Q: What happens if I get a score of 5 on the AP Language and Composition or Literature and Composition Exam (or a 7 on the IB English A or B Exam) but I do not receive a score of “CI-H/CI-HW Required” on the FEE?

A: We take the best score. If you take the FEE and receive a score of “CI-HW Required” or “21G.222 Required,” but receive a score of 5 on the AP or a 7 on the IB exam, your final score will be “CI-H/CI-HW Required,” and you will be able to choose whether to take a CI-H or a CI-HW.

Q: I received a score of 5 on the AP exam or a 7 on the IB exam. Do I need to send my score specifically to the FEE office to prove it?

A: No. If you arranged to have your AP scores sent to MIT, it will automatically count as a “CI-H/ CI-HW Required.” For questions about sending scores and your AP or IB credits, please visit the Class of 2024 website.

Q: Can I have someone else take a look at my essay before I submit it?

A: No. You may not accept assistance from anyone else regarding the FEE.

Q: What if I am a native English speaker and I want to take a CI-HW class rather than a CI-H class?

A: Then you do not have to take the FEE. You can simply not register for the FEE – you do not need to communicate with the FEE Office. By not registering for – and therefore not completing – the FEE, you will automatically be placed in the “CI-HW Required” score category. This placement will be indicated in your Online Advising Folder.

Q: Do you accept SAT or SAT II scores in lieu of the FEE?

A: No.

Q: I took a class for college credit during high school. Can that substitute for the FEE?

A: No. Although you may request MIT transfer credit for college or university courses taken while you were in high school, they will not substitute for the FEE.

If you do not see your question answered here, please check the Communication Requirement page or the HASS Requirement Page.

Still have questions? Email fee-help@mit.edu.