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COVID-19

Learn more about how MIT Admissions is responding to COVID-19 in this blog post from our Dean and new dedicated FAQs.

First-year applicants: Tests & scores

How we use test scores

Standardized tests are required for anyone applying as a first-year student to MIT. However, they are not the only factor, or even the most important factor.

When we receive 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. With that said, tests are certainly important, and you should prepare for them as best you can.

Testing requirements

We have recently changed our testing requirements. The requirements below are updated and accurate for all applicants seeking admission to enter MIT in 2021 and beyond. You can learn more about these changes here.

For all applicants:

We require the SAT or the ACT. We do not require the ACT writing section or the SAT optional essay.

For non-native English speakers:

For non-native English speakers, we strongly recommend taking the TOEFL if you have been using English for less than 5 years or do not speak English at home or in school, so that we may consider that alongside the SAT or the ACT.

On writing

While MIT does not require the ACT writing section or SAT optional essay, MIT does value writing and communication highly.

MIT believes that students in any field should learn to write prose that is clear, organized, and eloquent, and to convincingly present facts, data, and ideas. As such, all MIT undergraduates must fulfill a communication requirement that integrates instruction and practice in writing and speaking into all four years and across all parts of MIT’s undergraduate program.

Superscore

If you take the same test (SAT or ACT) 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.

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.

Please note:

Beginning in August 2019, TOEFL is making a change to include superscores or “MyBest Scores” on all score reports. We will accept and evaluate these scores the same way we consider superscores for all other tests.

Testing deadlines and reporting scores

In order to apply for first-year admission, you must take the required tests on or before the November test date for Early Action or the December test date for Regular Action. We will also accept TOEFL scores for Regular Action applicants through the January test dates. 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. Keep in mind that it takes at least four to six 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, 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.

Registration information:

  • SAT: MIT’s code is 3514
  • ACT: MIT’s code is 1858
  • TOEFL: MIT’s code is 3514

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 the TOEFL. These minimums are in place to ensure your level of English proficiency. Because MIT offers no English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, and English is the language of MIT, all students must show that they will thrive in our community.

For the TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT), the minimum composite score is a 90. We recommend scores of at least 23 for each section, and a composite score of at least 100. Similarly, for the TOEFL revised Paper-Delivered Test (rPDT), we recommend scores of at least 23 for each section.