Tests & Scores
How We Use Test Scores
Standardized tests are required for any freshman application to MIT. However, they are not the only factor, or even the most important factor.
When we get your application, we review all of your academic information - grades, scores, classes, etc - to ensure that you are prepared for MIT. In part because of the strength of our applicant pool, the majority of our applicants are very well prepared to succeed at MIT.
What this means is that you shouldn't stress out too much about your scores, because we admit people, not numbers. Seriously. That said, tests are certainly important, and you should prepare for them as best you can.
Standardized Test RequirementsAll applicants must complete one test from each category
|SAT/ACT/TOEFL||Math SAT II Subject Test||Science SAT II Subject Test|
|SAT||Math Level 1||Biology|
|ACT plus writing||Math Level 2||Chemistry|
For native English speakers:
We require the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Plus Writing with the writing test. We do not prefer one over the other. In addition, we require two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2), and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m). We do not have a preference as to which science you take or which level math you take.
For non-native English speakers:
You have two options: 1) take the tests required for native English speakers (see above), or 2) you may take the TOEFL and two SAT Subject Tests, one in math (level 1 or 2) and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).
If you have been using English for less than 5 years or do not speak English at home and school, we strongly suggest that you take the TOEFL. We do not accept IELTS in place of TOEFL.
If you take the same test (SAT, ACT, or an SAT Subject Test) multiple times, we will consider the highest score achieved in each section. We do this in order to consider all applicants in their best light.
For example, if you take the SAT Reasoning Test in 11th grade and score 750 math, 700 critical reading and 650 writing, and then take the SAT again in 12th grade and score 700 math, 650 critical reading and 700 writing, only your best scores from each sitting (i.e. 750 math, 700 critical reading and 700 writing) are used in our admissions calculations.
Students are free to use the College Board's Score Choice option and the ACT's option to submit the scores of your choice as well.
Testing Deadlines and Reporting Scores
In order to apply for freshman admission, you must take the required tests on or before the November test date for Early Action or the January test date for Regular Action. These are the latest scores that will reach the Admissions Committee in time for review.
Your scores must be reported to us officially from the testing agency; scores you list on your application and scores appearing on your school transcript will not be considered official.
Please allow plenty of time for your scores to arrive at MIT. It takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for us to receive SAT scores. We recommend that you list MIT as a school to receive your scores when you take the test. If you are an Early Action applicant, and you take the November test, or if you take the January test, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores or we will not receive them in time for our review.
It is important that you register for tests with the same name as you have indicated on your application or MyMIT account. Your record and test scores will not be linked in our system if the names do not match.
- SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests: MIT's code is 3514
- ACT Plus Writing: MIT's code is 1858
- TOEFL: MIT's code is 3514
When To Take Which Tests
Obviously, it's vital that students take all tests on or before the deadlines. Beyond that, however, choose your test dates strategically! For example, if you will be completing high school physics, chemistry or biology before your senior year, it's very wise to take the appropriate SAT Subject Tests(s) right afterwards (usually May or June), while the material is fresh in your mind.
Many applicants do take at least one science subject test during senior year, after completing only a portion of the given course; our Admissions Committee recognizes this and judges the scores accordingly. As a general rule, however, it's best to take a subject exam just after you've completed a whole course.
The content of your math courses should determine whether you take the Level 1 or the Level 2 Math test and when (we have no preference between the two tests). Before you choose the dates for any of your tests, particularly the math test, be sure to get advice from your guidance counselor and your teachers.
We do not have cutoff or recommended scores for the ACT Plus Writing, SAT Reasoning Test, or SAT Subject Tests as scores are evaluated within an applicant's context. To view test score statistics from the most recent admissions year, visit our admissions statistics page.
Because MIT is an English medium university, language proficiency is crucial. For this reason, we do have minimum scores for the TOEFL exam:
- IBT: 90 minimum; 100 recommended
- PBT: 577 minimum; 600 recommended