Skip to content ↓
MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Early Action Interview Deadline Approaching! by Matt McGann '00

It's time for applicants to contact their local MIT representative.

Next Saturday, October 20th, is the deadline for Early Action applicants to contact their interviewer (and, if you’re applying for regular action, you may want to set that interview up pretty soon as well).

For MIT Admissions, the interview is an important part of the process. The interviews are conducted in your home area (not on MIT’s campus) by an MIT alum, a volunteer known as an Educational Counselor, or “EC.”

The interview is not intended to be overly formal. You should dress nicely, but you don’t have to wear a suit or ball gown or anything like that. The interviewers won’t grill you: no questions about calculus, or your brainteasers, or anything like that. It’s meant to be more of a conversation, a give and take.

What you should do is this: log on to MyMIT, where you’ll find the name and contact information for your interviewer. You should then call or email your EC to find a time and place that works for your interview.

In a previous blog post, Interim Admissions Director Stu Schmill had these recommendations for the interview, which I think are pretty good:

  1. Review the ways in which you spend your time. What do you enjoy doing most? Inside or outside of school.
  2. Think about why you like to do these activities. What is it about them? The people, the subject, the process, etc.
  3. Remember that the alums will not have seen any part of your application and are not interested in your grades, test scores, etc. They want to learn about you as a person. This is your chance to tell us things that go beyond the application and what you can tell us in the essays.
  4. Think about why you are applying to MIT. Do a little research on the web, and think of some questions to ask. Remember that the interview is not only a way for us to get to know you better, but also a way for you to get to know us better.
  5. Show up on time.
  6. Relax.
  7. Relax.
  8. Relax. Remember, there is no way to “fail.” The interview is simply a chance to talk about what interests you and the things you like to do. And remember, all our alumni went through the interview when they were in high school and they are very nice people. They are looking to help enhance your application. Last year 16% of interviewed applicants were admitted to MIT while only 6% of those who did not have their interview were admitted. This is not because we penalized students who did not interview; rather it’s because the interview can add a useful, additional dimension to your application. (If your interview was waived, don’t worry; we removed applicants with waived interviews before compiling those statistics.)
  9. Send a short thank you note after the interview. This is not at all expected as part of the admissions process – we will have no knowledge of your having done this, and it will have no bearing on your application or the report that the EC writes. But it is the nice thing to do. (Email is okay, but a short, handwritten note is nicer.)

I hope that is helpful!

I might add: please allow your interviewer some time to get back to you before you start to worry; many MIT alums are quite busy, take business trips, have families, etc. Most ECs, though, are very excited to do the interviews and will get back to you as quickly as they can. Please be patient. If you’ve already been patient and still are having problems, please email [email protected]; we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Also, note that if you live in an area where we don’t have any ECs, your interview will be waived. If your interview is waived, don’t worry, we won’t hold this against you.

For applicants — or current students — who have had an MIT interview, how did it go? Any advice for the students who haven’t yet interviewed?

67 responses to “Early Action Interview Deadline Approaching!”

  1. Sanja says:

    “(If your interview was waived, don’t worry; we removed applicants with waived interviews before compiling those statistics.)”

    Woah… I really freaked out for a second smile

  2. Dustin says:

    I had my interview in September. My interviewer has a son at MIT, so there were lots of things relevant to both of us to talk about. She was easy to talk to, and there were no “curveballs.” Overall, it was a fun and reassuring experience; MIT does have regular people! By the way, there’s a lot of controversy about whether or not to bring a resume or list of awards/accomplishments/etc. My interviewer definitely did want this information.

  3. Zaira '11 says:

    My interview was a “life-changing” experience. My EC arranged for us to meet at my town’s newly opened Starbucks. For years, I swore that I would never drink coffee, especially from that place… but fate proved me wrong. LOL. No, seriously.

    I was an hour earlier, but I thought I was late or in the wrong place. I didn’t have my cellphone, so I couldn’t call my EC. So I waited… and waited… and waited. The coffee smelled SO good. I finally decided to give it a try and get something that didn’t taste too much like coffee. That’s when my obsession with Double Chocolate Frapuccinos (with caramel) got started. It was all downhill from then (just kidding).

    My EC arrived (on time; I was early), and we started my interview. I had brought some awards and a resume with me, but that only helped us break the ice. It was a really great experience, because I found out that my EC graduated from my high school, so we had a lot of things in common. I still talk to him.

  4. Hello! I had my MIT interview about 2.5 weeks ago and it went really well! The MIT alumnus was incredibly energetic, enthusiastic, and intelligent. She made me feel completely comfortable, and I never felt as though I was being “drilled” with questions. I must admit, I did bring pencils in case she made me do a challenging Calculus problem, but fortunately that situation never came up.

    As for advice for applicants who have not yet had their interview, I would suggest to bring a list of topics you hope to cover (regarding yourself), as well as a list of questions you would like the alumnus to try to answer.

    Overall the interview was a fantastic life experience, and made MIT seem very “real” (ie, reinforcing everything that is stated on the site, and providing a sense of humanity regarding MIT). I would highly suggest that everyone who has an EC available make every possible attempt to have the interview.

  5. Travis says:

    I had my interview about 2 weeks ago, and it was fun. My EC and I sat and talked about random things, MIT things, things about me, things about him, and overall, had a good time.

    My advice is: Don’t worry too much about being “spiffy”; rather, be genuine and true!

  6. an '11 says:

    interviews are super fun!

    anyone who has graduated from MIT will have great stories to tell you.

  7. I had my interview last week. It went really really well, much better than I expected.

    The interview is pretty casual and not meant to be scary. We met in a Starbucks about halfway between where my EC lives and where I live. My EC made me feel very comfortable, except on the questions I was unprepared for (see below), but even those went fine.

    So, for hints:
    Be prepared for the evil vague questions like, “Tell me about your family.” (Let’s see, I could on for days…) But at the same time, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. I just asked, “what kind of things about my family do you want to know?” and she helped me figure out what to say.

    Another hint – think of ways you’ve demonstrated the qualities MIT is looking for (see “The Match” on the admissions website). For example, my interviewer asked me to give her an example of a real-life problem I had solved and the process I had used to solve. (I was not expecting that one. I sat there for five minutes just trying to think of what to say.) Your answers don’t have to be earth-shattering, either – I talked about teaching myself HTML so I could make my LiveJournal look pretty.

    Bring at least a question or two; bring a bunch if you have them. If you’re like me and you feel like you know practically everything there is to know and you’ve even visited MIT once or twice, you can still ask a personal question like, “What was your favorite part about going to MIT?” or “What do you think one of MIT’s greatest flaws is?” (The latter one was mine – very interesting answer I got, too.)

    Overall, relax and realize that your EC is on your side. He/she is interviewing for MIT because she wants to find the coolest kids out there and present them to the admission committee in such a way that they’ll get in. They didn’t take the job to keep kids out of MIT; they took the job to get kids in. So be excited and have fun and you’ll do fine.

  8. LL says:

    I had my interview yesterday and I think it went well. I was slightly disappointed because my EC was a political science major, but most of my questions were related to the math and science departments of MIT. It definitely was not as bad as I thought it would be. But I too was caught off guard by a certain question. My EC asked me to discuss a major failure that I have experienced in one of my activities and how I coped with it. I was stumped. But other than that incident, it was fine. Don’t be nervous!

    I have a question about the application because I did something stupid and I don’t what to do. I’m not even sure if I am supposed to be posting this question here but here goes: my mom accidentally submitted part one of my application (I don’t let my parents fill out my stuff or anything like that. I just needed her credit card number to pay.) but I didn’t finish filling out a couple things. I never filled out the 2 boxes that ask me whether both my parents are living or not. Does anyone know what I should do or direct me to someone who can. thanks.

  9. Oasis says:

    Hey Matt, you’re back! smile

  10. theFred '11 says:

    I think that the interview was the single most important part of my application. I strongly believe that the two hour conversation that took place that day is what helped me get into MIT.

    my $.02: don’t worry or be anxious or nervous about the interview, it’s actually pretty fun.

    good luck!

  11. Snively says:

    lol, my interview was an experience. Before I go much further, I agree with a previous comment, definitely bring a list of things to talk about (achievements, projects, etc)

    I am really bad at directions and my interview took place in an area I wasn’t familiar with. I managed to get there ok, but getting home was going to be impossible. I stood up to leave and realized that I was completely lost. I ended up having to use my EC’s computer to MapQuest my house, it was one of my shining moments.

    Don’t sweat the interview, everything about MIT is fun, the interview included! Stressing about MIT just doesn’t fit the atmosphere here. Sure, people are smart, but they all enjoy life and laugh at the little things at every opportunity. Do that, it’ll make everything so much more fun!

  12. milena '11 says:

    This might feel a little bit like cheating, but the more questions you ask, the better it’ll be (at least it was for me). Asking a lot a) makes your EC feel important/smart/generally good about him/herself, b) you might get useful info out of it, and c) it means you do less talking, which is awesome when you feel like they’re trying to suck your whole life story out of you. This is only good, of course, when you run out of things to say and don’t want to come across as boring.

    But overall, be sure to highlight your high points (kinda redundant, but you know what I mean). I prepared a little index card with stuff to say about me, and I suggest you do the same. For that dreaded “So, tell me about yourself” first question, I suggest you mention something along the lines of your strengths and weaknesses, how you usually cope with success and failure, what you see yourself doing ten years from now, how MIT can help you reach your goals, what you can bring to the MIT community that is unique, something you like to do for fun and why, and a funny story about yourself (being a self-praising robot is NOT cool). Hope that helps and good luck all you prefroshiesss!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha. My interview actually has a funny story to go along with it. Since this was my first interview, I had no idea what to expect, so I had my nice suit and my resume and transcript and all these answers to questions rehearsed in my head. From email correspondence, I had learned that my interviewer was Chinese. I had arrived at the location 15 minutes early, and as I was waiting, an old Chinese man walked up to me and asked me a question about transferring a word file to another computer. Being in “test” mindset, I proceeeded to tell “my interviewer” about USB 2.0 ports and anything else I could to make myself seem more tech savvy. Turns out, this man had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, and was just a random guy asking me for help.

    Talk about coincedence =)

  14. Farhad says:

    Hello, I had my interview in late august… What can I say? It was just great! I was nervous at first, but it went ok. I don’t know about others’ interviews, but in mine, we talked a lot, besides talking about everything related to MIT, about college as a moment in my life and he (my EC) gave me a lot of advice in general too for college. I still contact him once in a while with more questions in case I have them.
    I strongly recomend you to have an interview!

  15. Hunter '11 says:

    Wow, was I really here a year ago, fretting about my interview? It’s so weird how time goes…

    Anyway, I get really worked up over things like interviews, but my EC was pretty awesome. Just relax and be yourself, as cliche as it is. AND DO AN INTERVIEW. It’s worth it. I was really not going to do it, but I’m glad I did =P

  16. Jason says:

    Hi, I’m an international student, and I’m thinking of applying to MIT. But I have low scores in sat and class. But I do a lot of extra curriculars and I study a lot (by bad grades i menat bs and cs). can you tell me honestly do i have a chance ?

  17. Jason says:

    Hi, I’m an international student, and I’m thinking of applying to MIT. But I have low scores in sat and class. But I do a lot of extra curriculars and I study a lot (by low scores i meant Bs and Cs). can you tell me honestly do i have a chance ?

  18. Star says:

    First off, congrats on the wedding and hope your honeymoon went well Matt! Nice to see you back.

    As for the interview, haven’t had mine yet, so not much to say there. I’m pretty nervous for it (I’m usually pretty bad with interviews), but I’m also oddly excited. Something about the MIT spirit brings out the best in me smile

    On an unrelated note, I have a couple of questions. First of all, if I switched schools for senior year, should I get my old guidance counsellor to fill out a school report as well as my new one? What about the recommendation (my old guidance counsellor didn’t know me too well, so it’s not like I need a rec letter from her)? Also, how do you like the reports and teacher recommendations submitted (by fax or snail mail)? And if by fax, what’s the fax number for admissions?

    Thanks for your help

  19. Anonymous says:

    umm… if there’s no “fail” is there a “pass”?

  20. leah says:

    thanks guys for all the advice! my interview is next week. im nervous but im also really looking forward to it. i was actually a little dissappointed when my ec said it would only take an hour…i cant help hoping we’ll go overtime hehe

  21. My interview was so fun! I ended up talking with my EC for about two hours about random MIT subjects, such as hacking and circuits. =) My EC was so good at making me feel relaxed even though we were in an uncomfortable, police-interrogation-like room. During the interview, I finally realized that I’m not alone when I think about whether or not I would be able to survive MIT if I were miraculously admitted. Even my EC admitted that (he/she) struggled during (his/her) first year, which made me feel less intimidated about applying.

    The interview made me less annoyed with the paper-shuffling, busy-work part the application process. It’s nice to know I’m not just a statistic to MIT. =0

  22. PS says:

    I hope to have my interview within a month, and I’m already nervous!.

    So, I will repeat tips 6,7 and 8 a lot from now =P

  23. hungyee says:

    It was so much fun to read about you guys’ interviews. I really look forward to my interview next year lol!…if I really am applying.. I do love MIT with all my heart but everyone knows MIT is EXTREMELY hard to get in, not to mention the admission rate for international students is less than 5%. I haven’t won any fabulous national prizes as the international students at MIT did.. but I will still give it a try if I get 8As in the HongKong Certicate Exams next year.. (I’ve heard that I will have to get at least 8As to get ‘consideration’ from prestigious schools like MIT)

    Anyways I’ll study HARD for MIT..!! It was so much fun to read about you guys’ interviews. I really look forward to my interview next year lol!…if I really am applying.. I do love MIT with all my heart but everyone knows MIT is EXTREMELY hard to get in, not to mention the admission rate for international students is less than 5%. I haven’t won any fabulous national prizes as the international students at MIT did.. but I will still give it a try if I get 8As in the HongKong Certicate Exams next year.. (I’ve heard that I will have to get at least 8As to get ‘consideration’ from prestigious schools like MIT)

    Anyways I’ll study HARD for MIT..!! <3<3

    (I sound silly, don’t I..? lol..)

  24. Travis says:

    @ Sam

    Yeah, my EC had graduated 1967. It was pretty cool, though, as we talked about what MIT was like during his time -(still really cool, but with the hippie thing going on smile )

    Good luck with your interview!

  25. My Interview Went very well, Victor my interviewer gave me advice, talked about his time at mit, and talked about many things.

  26. John says:

    hi. i live in long island and i’ve been trying to set up an interview with my EC over the past week. sent an email, waited over the weekend, called on tuesday, called again (yesterday – the 11th) and i sent another email. on each email, i put the subject as “MIT interview request” and both times i called, i got the answering machine so i left messages. am i not waiting long enough for a response? what do i do?? (insert anxiety)

  27. enewts says:

    you guys think i should dress up? im really not one to do so and i think it would be a little pretentious to do so. bah…here i am fretting the little things.

    But seriously…should i?

  28. Oasis says:


    No, you really don’t have to, unless you are planning on meeting at an elegant restaurant or somewhere where you should dress better. In general, just look clean and presentable and it’ll be just fine. Take it easy and relax — the interviewer isn’t out to get you or to find faults in you that aren’t present in the paper application! They are friendly people that just want to meet potential MIT students and help MIT Admissions in the process. Be natural, be comfortable, be yourself, and you’ll do just fine smile

  29. Jason says:

    But I work hard and a lot, and I work many different subjects.

  30. Sam says:

    I haven’t had my interview yet, but the date’s been set; it’s in about two weeks. I’m pretty excited about it, but just slightly worried about one thing.

    I Googled my EC, and found out he graduated from MIT in 1970. This puts him at about sixty years old. Did anyone encounter this sort of, I don’t know, generation gap in his or her interview? But age aside, he seems like a cool person from his emails. I think this will be a good interview.

  31. Jason says:


    I’ll be blunt, because I hate it when people aren’t completely honest with me. Golden rule, you know? Anyway, it’s going to be very difficult to get into MIT with B’s, C’s, and low test scores.

  32. Snively says:

    Ha! Oops, that last comment’s name should be Snively. . .

  33. Josh says:

    I’m really excited to have my interview (it’s supposed to be next Tuesday!).
    I think I’m ready for it, though. I’ve thought about all of the “cool stuff” that I have done in the past that should *hopefully* impress my EC. Plus, I have some questions for him that might give me a better idea of what MIT really is (aside from what I already know from the site).

    Thanks for the advice!

  34. Anonymous says:

    hi, i’m applying to MIT. i’m kind of a good student i guess , but i have a problem : i am not good in math. is this going to make the admission office throw out my file the moment they see this ?

  35. Loly says:

    I have my interview 2mrww and my EC is a very very very well known personality in my country and graduated frm MIT in 1972!!!!….Im really tense…i think he is simply too great to talk to…smile!!!!

  36. Hunter '11 says:

    @Jason – There’s always a chance, so give it a shot. Realistically, chances are a little lower, but they are still there, and if you want to come here, you should apply. You’ll never know otherwise.

    Just be careful. There’s a fine line between well-rounded and being a jack-of-all-trades.

  37. Hawkins says:

    I second everyone’s advice. lol Really, you’ve probably read it ten times by now if you’ve made it this far down the comments. It’s all true.

  38. Basant'11 says:

    The clock ticks pretty fast! Last year, I was the first guy to comment on Matt’s blog-post about interview deadlines. I had an awesome interview (it was exactly a year ago!).

    BTW, the second applicant to comment over there is now a friend at MIT.

    And yeah! Good luck to all prospective Class of 2012 guys… =)

  39. Paul '11 says:

    @ Anonymous: That depends on what you mean by “not good at math.” You don’t need to get a perfect 800 on the Math SAT, or know linear algebra, or have personally derived the value of the googolth digit of pi, to get into MIT. You do need to have done well enough in your high-school classes to show the admissions committee that you can handle the workload here. Also, speaking of standardized tests: While high SAT scores certainly are important, and are given appropriate weight in the decision process, they are not everything.

    If you want a more specific answer for your particular situation, feel free to email me.

  40. Hey basant,
    plz tell us what exactly happened in ur interview?What all did the interviewer as?
    What all did u take to the interview?
    How did u prepare for the interview?

    do help the international applicants out….

  41. Sceth says:

    I had my third MIT interview with the same EC last week. He seemed to be such a sweet man – he remembered much of what was said in both previous interviews, and it was as if we were just continuing our long, engaging chatter. This brings my total time with him to more than five hours. Even if I don’t get accepted [I won’t be able to apply again] I’ll get back to him and practise my social skills in making him a friend.

  42. Meghan says:

    On the day of my interview, I arrived at the Starbucks where we were supposed to meet about 30 minutes early. The entire time I waited, I sat there tapping my foot and clutching the motor I built that I had brought with me. I admit it.. I was nervous.

    Once he arrived, though, my stress level immediately went from max to zero. He was a great guy, and very interesting to talk to. There was no ice to be broken.. the conversation went smooth from the beginning. I really think the key is to just let go of your anxiety and be yourself. That’s what they want to see. If you’re putting on an act, they’ll know it.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Posted by: Anonymous on October 12, 2007 09:31 PM, if your not good at math, why would you want to go to MIT?

    now, my question is I am good at math and sciences, but brutal at humanities…do I still have a chance?

  44. Anonymous says:

    I have a question on the selection process:

    How much do awards matter?

    I do many extracurriculars such as dance (5 years) and swim (9 years) but I don’t have any current national awards. I have many regional awards that I won before high school (I quit before entering high school because of my asthma condition). May I include those?

    The only awards I have in high school are the AP Scholar w/Distinction and the Gifted and Talented State Award.

    I’m afraid this might hurt my chances =[

  45. I sent in the first part of my application last week. I am working on the second part, it is all complete except for the short answers and the essays. I will submit those in next week. I hope I get accepted smile. 61 days left until we all find out!

  46. Aleksey says:

    I had my interview last week. I would just like to say that the ECs are nice people and they make you fell comfortable. We met at Starbucks and we talked a little bit about Oceanography.

    One thing you want to make sure is you think of stuff to ask about MIT. SHOW YOUR INTEREST.

    One question that caught me off guard was what other colleges are you applying to.

  47. Yeah.

    I pretty much agree with what people said here (had my interview today). I talked with my interviewer for one and a half hours and learned a lot. We had the interview in her home and she was really nice. I got to find out about a lot of cool things about MIT, Cambridge, Boston, and colleges in general.

    … no weird questions asked though, thankfully.

  48. Ty says:

    This has (almost…pretty much) nothing to do with interviews, but I just submitted Pt. 2 of MIT Application. Then just as suddenly, I discovered I made a mistake!
    Really panicking now, what do I do?!?!

    This is the most recent blog I stumbled (rather madly) upon that has anything to do with applications…

  49. Hey guys–
    Try not to obsess too much about your interview. As a longtime EC, I can guarantee that we are not trying to trick you, intimidate you, or keep you out of MIT. We’re not looking for you to jump through hoops to impress us. There’s no need to prepare in any special way (no trick questions, and certainly no “right” answers). You don’t need to dress up–I tell applicants to just dress the way they would for school, because it’s nice to see someone’s personal style. The goal of the interview is to get to know you a little so that we can give MIT a clearer picture of who you are. Often, on paper, an applicant is trying so hard to say the “right” thing that his/her personality doesn’t come through. The interview is a chance for us to find out what you’re really like in a “normal” (well, more normal than an application!) setting. Good luck to all of you–I always wish they could accept every single kid I interview!

  50. I’m really glade I read this blog entry, all the information that Matt posted look really helpful, tomorrows my interview so I hope everything goes well and I’m definitely going to bring a list of things I want to ask and discuss with my EC thanks for all the helpful tips and information on your own experiences, lol now I’m going to go to a M.I.T. Fall recruitment meeting ant meet Matt hehe.

  51. Oh. I almost forgot to mention. This is officially my second blog post, meaning the one above this was my first.

  52. Anonymous says:

    interviews arent always gr88…especialy if u r an international stdnt

  53. Kanto Kid says:

    my interviewer made me cry…in a bad way

  54. Natalie says:

    I just had my MIT interview… I feel like it went well, I spent a lot of time talking about how passionate I am about the environment and it turned out my EC works in Environmental Policy… my advice for anyone who is about to interview is find something in common with your EC–it’ll give you something easy to talk about

  55. Ray says:

    The die has been cast, the date set and I’m ready. Interview’s next week!

  56. Reg says:

    Sorry for being completely off-topic to this post, but I’ve got a question on Part 2 of the application.

    For the section where we list out all our AP/GCSE/IB courses we’ve taken or underway, what do you do if you have more than the 12 spaces provided? And for UK/international applicants, do we write our A-level courses there as well?


  57. Taylor says:

    I just had my interview (seriously, like 4 hours ago). It didn’t go bad, but I don’t feel like it went outstandingly amazing either. It was just a nice man that was asking me questions.

    Right now I feel very tempted to run the conversation through my head and think “Oh! I should have said something else here. ACK!”, but I know I’ll drive myself nuts if I do that.

    My interviewer himself was rather interesting, but he attended MIT for graduate school, so I couldn’t get too much information what students do in their spare time here (I know there’s plenty on the blogs, I was just looking for yet another perspective). He did tell me about his graduate thesis though, which was pretty interesting.

  58. Jimmy says:

    I had mine a few days ago. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was spectacular. I somehow got the feeling that my EC wasn’t that interested in me – the whole thing lasted barely an hour and it seemed like most of the time it was me asking the questions. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. It’s amazing how uptight I’m getting over everything college, and I am usually a pretty laid-back kind of guy.

    Anyways, good luck to those who still have their interviews ahead of them.

  59. Raina says:

    Three words: down to earth. After the interview, I want to go to MIT even more, knowing that interesting, passionate, and really nice people like my EC are actually walking around on campus. It was my first interview, and he acted like it was just your normal every day chat. I asked him a lot of questions, and he was really patient in answering all of them, speaking from a student’s perspective (he graduated in 02), and I could really tell that he loved every minute he spent at MIT. We talked about life at MIT, its quirks that only students would know, and I got pretty standard questions, what activities do you do, what do you do for fun, etc. He seemed genuinely interested in my stories though, and it was a great experience overall. Good luck to everyone who’s still waiting to interview!

  60. My interview, which was maybe a month or two ago, was very odd.
    There was the usual greeting and my EC talked about MIT, its courses, housing, why it’s great, etc for a while. That part was fine and pretty interesting.
    Then when it came time for the actual question asking, my EC said “What do you want me to write?”. That was it. No back and forth questioning as an interview would imply, just one request that I was totally unprepared for. The interview was treated more like an additional essay of unlimited length. The EC even said to just think of it as dictation.
    Needless to say, my interview probably didn’t help as much as it could have because of this.