Advanced Standing Exam (Freshmen)

This exam is only offered once a year just before the beginning of the fall term. This year the exam is being offered on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 (8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Walker Memorial Gym 50-340).

Please note the directions below are for Incoming Freshmen ONLY. Upperclassmen and Second-Term Freshmen please click here for more information about the Advanced Standing Exam that you can petition to take.

Please REGISTER if you plan to take the exam. The deadline for registration is Monday, August 11, 2014.

What is the purpose of the Advanced Standing Exam in chemistry?

The General Institute Science Requirement equips students with a broad range of tools and provides them with a common background of scientific concepts that are relied on in upper level subjects. Chemistry is one component of this core Science Requirement. It is fulfilled by the successful completion of 5.111, 5.112 or 3.091.

Some freshmen have unusually strong backgrounds in chemistry that may include the concepts and tools covered in the MIT introductory chemistry courses, 5.111, 5.112 and 3.091. The purpose of the Advanced Standing Exam is to test whether your proficiency in chemistry is of a sufficiently high level for you to place out of and to receive credit for the chemistry component of the MIT Science Requirement. This exam is not the equivalent of the Advanced Placement Exam administered by the Educational Testing Service or the IB exam. Rather, it is an exam which tests whether you have mastered the material covered in our introductory courses. This material is substantially more advanced than material covered in a typical two year high school course of advanced placement chemistry.

If you have an exceptionally strong background in chemistry, you should consider taking this exam. A passing grade on this exam will earn you credit for 5.111 and a grade of P on your transcript, thereby fulfilling your General Institute Requirement in Chemistry. If you do not pass the exam, no record will appear on your transcript, although a record is kept of your attempt to take the exam. You are not allowed to take the exam again.

Please note that the Advanced Standing Exam is not an entry exam into 5.112. You are free to choose enrollment in 5.112 without taking this exam. See the online course catalog for more information about the differences between 5.111 and 5.112.

How do I find out my exam results?

Your advisor will have the results of your exam when you meet with him or her. If you do not receive credit for 5.111 by passing this exam, your advisor may use your performance on the exam to recommend whether you enroll in 5.111 or 5.112, but the decision as to the course in which you enroll is yours. There is no minimum performance level on this exam for entry into 5.112.

What type of exam will the Advanced Standing Exam be?

Like most MIT subjects, chemistry is oriented toward problem-solving rather than memorization. Nearly all of the problems on the Advanced Standing Exam involve calculations or analysis of information. None involve mere memorization. For example, there are no questions like: "Name the metals that are liquids at room temperature" or "What color is lead chromate?" In preparing for this exam, spend your time learning to solve problems of the type listed below quickly and accurately.

Many of the problems on the exam have numerical answers. Most of the credit for solving a particular problem will be given for providing the correct answer together with a clear demonstration of how the answer was obtained. Correct logic that leads to an incorrect numerical answer will receive some credit, but usually no more than 30-50% of the point value of the problem. The exam will be accompanied by lists of required physical constants, equations, and a periodic table of the elements. You may not use notes or books during the exam. You will be allowed 3 hours of time to work the exam.

What should I bring to the exam?

Bring a scientific calculator (no graphing calculators) with you to the exam and a writing implement. Sophisticated calculators with extensive memory, cellular phones, and smartphones will not be allowed. Bring your temporary MIT ID. Do not bring notes or books to the exam. Water will be provided in the exam room.

What type of problems will be on the exam?

The content of the Advanced Standing Exam parallels the major topics of Chemistry 5.111 and 5.112, which are taught from lectures, workbooks, and class notes, as well as from a textbook.

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Exam Preparation:

5.111 and 5.112 content can be found at MITOpenCourseWare (OCW). Here you will be able to review topics, watch lecture videos (5.111 only) and work practice problems. Although not an exact guide, these sites and the textbook practice problems will be a useful approximation of the types of questions you will answer on the advanced standing exam.

OCW Class Sites:


Textbook:

The textbook for 5.111 and 5.112 for Fall 2011 is Chemical Principles by Atkins and Jones, 5th edition, Houghton Mifflin 2009, ISBN# 978-1429219556. The 4th edition was used previously (ISBN# 978-1429209656). Pratice problems from both editions are listed below.

Questions from Chemical Principles, 5th Edition:

Chapter Title
1 Atoms: The Quantum World
Problems: 13, 17, 23, 27, 40, 51, 53, 57, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, 75, 77, 87, 89, 93, 107
2 Chemical Bonds
Problems: 33, 35, 45, 47, 49, 51, 55, 57, 63, 69, 89, 92, 103
3 Molecular Shape and Structure
Problems: 33, 35(bcd), 37(ad), 51, 52, 57, 64, 81, 99
5 Liquids and Solids
Problems: 11, 13
7 Thermodynamics: The First Law
Problems: 61, 63, 65, 67, 71, 73, 75, 81, 85
8 Thermodynamics: The Second and Third Laws
Problems: 56, 58, 60, 61, 65, 67, 69, 81
10 Chemical Equilibria
Problems: 13, 15, 21, 23
11 Acids and Bases
Problems: 3, 5, 25, 57, 63, 71, 75, 81
12 Aqueous Equilibria
Problems: 7, 9, 11, 13, 21, 23, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 92
13 Electrochemistry
Problems: 3, 5, 11, 13, 19, 21, 25, 29, 41b, 43b, 61, 63, 65
14 Chemical Kinetics
Problems: 3, 5, 15, 17, 19, 25, 35, 45, 51, 53, 63, 66, 67, 73
16 The Elements in the d Block
Problems: 31, 33, 37, 39, 47, 49, 51, 55, 57, 61, 63
17 Nuclear Chemistry
Problems: 35, 39, 43, 45, 49

Questions from Chemical Principles, 4th Edition:

Chapter Title
1 Atoms: The Quantum World
Problems: 11, 13, 15, 19, 42, 49, 51, 55, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 73, 75, 85, 91, 93, 109
2 Chemical Bonds
Problems: 33, 35, 43, 45, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 65, 85, 87, 101
3 Molecular Shape and Structure
Problems: 33, 35(bcd), 37(ad), 49, 52, 53, 60, 83, 101
5 Liquids and Solids
Problems: 7, 9
6 Thermodynamics: The First Law
Problems: 61, 63, 65, 67, 73, 75, 77, 83, 87
7 Thermodynamics: The Second and Third Laws
Problems: 52, 54, 56, 57, 61, 63, 65, 81
9 Chemical Equilibria
Problems: 13, 17, 19, 21
10 Acids and Bases
Problems: 3, 5, 23, 53, 59, 67, 69, 75
11 Aqueous Equilibria
Problems:5, 7, 9, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 85
12 Electrochemistry
Problems: 3, 5, 9, 11, 17, 21, 23, 25, 39b, 41b, 59, 61, 63
13 Chemical Kinetics
Problems: 3, 5, 15, 17, 19, 23, 27, 43, 49, 51, 61, 64, 65, 71
16 The Elements in the d Block
Problems: 29, 31, 35, 37, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57
17 Nuclear Chemistry
Problems: 33, 37, 41, 43, 47