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First-year Essay Evaluation: FAQ

​Before you register for the FEE

When you are taking the FEE

After you have taken the FEE

Do I have to take the FEE?

Incoming MIT students must take the FEE, unless one of the following conditions applies:

    • You scored a 5 on one of the Advanced Placement English Tests (English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition) and you request that the College Board submit your AP scores to MIT.
    • You scored a 7 on the English A or B Higher-Level International Baccalaureate (IB) exam and you submit your score to MIT.

In either case, email commreq@mit.edu and ap@mit.edu to verify your placement.

If you are waiting for scores from one of these exams, we recommend you register for the FEE Summer Session #2, which takes place from July 14-21, 2022. If you receive a score of 5 on your AP exam or a 7 on your IB exam, you may simply not take the exam. You just need to report your scores to MIT.

If you take the FEE (either in the June or July offering), before receiving your AP scores and you end up getting a 5 on your AP test or a 7 on your IB exam, we will take the better of the two scores. This means you will automatically be listed as “CI-H or CI-HW Required” even if you do not receive that placement through the summer FEE.

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

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

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.
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I cannot complete either of the summer FEE offerings. What do I do?

We strongly encourage completing the FEE during the summer, as your FEE placement affects your registration choices.

If you are a native English speaker and/or you completed your education from age 6 through high school in English, you can simply sign up for a CI-HW subject. 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.

If you are not a native English speaker (​​English is not your first language or not all of your schooling was in English from ages six through the end of high school) and cannot participate in either offering of the FEE before the fall semester, you may be able to take the Transfer Exam during IAP. Please contact fee-help@mit.edu for more information.
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Do I need to do anything to prepare for the FEE?

​The FEE does not require preparation beyond the work that you have completed already in high school. We do not provide samples of previous evaluations, nor do we recommend students take any specific preparatory classes. The outcome of this exam is a better CI course placement, so that you can be better prepared for the demands of academic and technical communication, and it does not affect your CI requirement or degree progression.
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How long will the FEE take?

​We expect that carefully reading the articles will take about 3 – 5 hours, and that writing and revising the essay will take another 8 – 12 hours. We allow a full week 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.
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Can I have someone else take a look at my essay before I submit it?

No. You may not accept assistance from anyone else regarding the FEE.
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I pasted my essay into the submission portal and formatting looks weird. What do I do?

To avoid formatting errors, please save your essays as plain-text documents (.txt) and copy/paste into the portal from the plain-text document, instead of from a rich text editor.
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How do I get my results?

Log back in to the FEE Essay Evaluation Site several weeks after the completion of your evaluation to view your results and comments on your essays. Your placement will additionally be noted in your Online Advising Folder.
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What do my results mean?

• You may take any CI H or CI HW in either semester of your first year.

• You must take one of the Expository Writing subjects designated as CI HW in either semester of your first year in order to develop foundational writing skills and prepare you for your next CI subjects. You will not receive CI credit for any other subject until you pass a CI HW. Your CI HW subject will count as one of your two CI H subjects.

• You must take 21W.222 as your first CI subject. It provides you with a foundation in communication for your other MIT subjects. You will not receive CI credit for any other subject until you pass 21W.222.

• We strongly recommend that you register for 21W.220. While it does not carry CI credit, 21W.220 is a HASS-H subject and will count toward your HASS Requirement. With this result, you are also required to take 21W.222 Expository Writing for Bilingual Students (listed above) as your first CI HW subject. You will not receive credit for any other CI H subject until you complete 21W.222.
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I have my results. What happens now?

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.
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