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First-year applicants: Tests & scores

COVID-19 updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our office will continue to suspend our usual SAT/ACT testing requirement for the 2021–22 application cycle.01 This means both prospective first-year and transfer students who aspire to enter MIT in 2022. You can learn more about this decision here.

Updated requirements

  • We will not require the SAT or the ACT from first-year applicants applying in fall 2021, or transfer applicants applying in either fall 2021 or spring 2022
  • Students who have already taken the SAT/ACT, or who can find a forthcoming opportunity to do so safely are encouraged to submit their scores with the understanding that they help us more accurately evaluate their preparedness for MIT.02 D</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">espite the limitations of these exams, our research shows that considering performance on the SAT/ACT substantially improves our ability to predict subsequent student success at MIT. When we have SAT/ACT scores for a student, we can more confidently assess their preparation; when we don’t, we have to look (even) harder at other factors, such as those listed in the next bullet point.
  • Students who have not already taken the SAT/ACT, and cannot find a forthcoming opportunity to do so safely are discouraged from taking the test, in order to protect their personal health, as well as the health of their family and community. We will not make any negative presumptions regarding academic preparation based solely on the absence of SAT/ACT scores, but will instead make the best, most informed decision we can by rigorously assessing other academic aspects of their application (such as grades, coursework, and other examinations).03 For example, AP/IB/AICE exams in the United States, or national examinations such as the (I)GCE, CAPE, WASSCE, KCSE, French Baccalaureate, Abitur, and so on abroad.  

The guidance above is for the 2021–22 application cycle only. To see our usual testing requirements, click here.

For non-native English speakers

For non-native English speakers, we strongly recommend providing the results of an English proficiency exam if you have been using English for fewer than 5 years or do not speak English at home or in school, so that we may consider that information alongside the rest of your application. We accept the following English proficiency exams:

Competitive scores

We do not have cut off or recommended scores for the ACT or SAT 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.

We do have minimum and recommended scores for our English language tests. These minimums are in place to ensure your level of English proficiency. Because English is the language of instruction at MIT, all students must show that they will thrive in our community.

TOEFL Minimum: 90 Recommended: 100
IELTS Minimum: 7 Recommended: 7.5
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic Minimum: 65 Recommended: 70
Cambridge English Qualifications (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency) Minimum: 185 Recommended: 190
Duolingo English Test (DET) Minimum: 120 Recommended: 125

Self-reported scores

Going forward, we will no longer be requiring applicants to officially send their SAT, ACT, or English proficiency test scores as part of their application. Instead, they will be able to self-report their scores on the application, and we will verify these scores upon enrollment. There will be an opportunity to update us with any test results that become available after an application is submitted. We accept test results from any test taken before November 30 for Early Action applicants, and any test taken before December 31 for Regular Action applicants. We will also accept English language proficiency test scores for RA applicants through the January test dates.

  1. This means both prospective first-year and transfer students who aspire to enter MIT in 2022. back to text
  2. Despite the limitations of these exams, our research shows that considering performance on the SAT/ACT substantially improves our ability to predict subsequent student success at MIT. When we have SAT/ACT scores for a student, we can more confidently assess their preparation; when we don’t, we have to look (even) harder at other factors, such as those listed in the next bullet point. back to text
  3. For example, AP/IB/AICE exams in the United States, or national examinations such as the (I)GCE, CAPE, WASSCE, KCSE, French Baccalaureate, Abitur, and so on abroad. back to text