Advanced Standing Exams (ASEs)

2020 ASE Update:

The Department of Chemistry will not be offering the 5.111 or 5.12 ASEs virtually prior to the fall term. We are currently planning to offer the 5.111 ASE at the start of the spring term in person if health protocols allow. The grading for a Spring 2021 exam is not known yet, it could be P/NR or ABC/NR. We know that this is disappointing for students who hoped to take the ASE before the fall term. 

The department is unable to waive the Chemistry GIR prerequisite for any other Chemistry classes, including 5.12.
This policy includes students who have received a 5 on the Chemistry AP exam. Our Chemistry GIR subjects are not the same curriculum as AP chemistry and we have found that the AP exam in chemistry is not an indicator of how students fare in our courses. In the past, less than 10% of first year students who got a 5 on the AP Chemistry exam passed the MIT Chemistry GIR ASE.

Students who feel they are extremely advanced in chemistry seeking to take advanced chemistry courses should contact our Chemistry Education Office to discuss exemptions from the Chemistry GIR prerequisite or both the GIR and 5.12 prerequisites. Please Note: All MIT student MUST fulfill the Chemistry GIR. Students who are permitted to take advanced chemistry classes without the required prerequisite will still need to complete this requirement, either by passing the 5.111  ASE in the future or taking a Chemistry GIR subject.

Please note that to be eligible to take an ASE, you cannot have attended or been registered for the subject or any of its variations (5.111, 5.112, or 3.091). An exception can be made if you never attended the class and submitted a drop form within the first week of the term.

Q & A: Taking the 5.111 Advanced Standing Exam

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. You are encouraged to review a 5.111 Final Exam and Answer Key.

OCW Class Sites:


The textbook for 5.111 and 5.112 for Fall 2019 is Principles of Modern Chemistry by Oxtoby, Gillis and Campion, 8th edition. Chemical Principles by Atkins and Jones was used previously.