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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Guessing game results by Matt McGann '00

MIT's student newspaper publishes the number of freshman applications.

Today, MIT’s student newspaper, The Tech, published a story with our current number of applications: 12,440. This represents a 9% increase over last year’s 11,373 applications.

So, the results of the guessing game… Guessers within half a percent either way [12378, 12502] were Anonymous (from a dream), Roseanne, Patrick, “me,” Analiese ’10, Vihang, and Elizabeth. Well done!

In total, I counted 95 guesses between 10,000 and 20,000 applications. The mean of all guesses was 12,323 (not bad!) and the median was 12,031. The standard deviation was 1303.

Coming soon… another fun contest (while we admissions officers continue to read, read, read).

39 responses to “Guessing game results”

  1. Shashank says:


  2. Sha says:

    First post– again!

    I was nowhere close to the right answer…

  3. Anonymous says:

    so you should accept more people

  4. Sarab says:

    Ah huh! Damn. Was 5000 off.
    Oh well, too bad.

  5. Alyssa says:

    Agh! Reading that high number of applicants this year makes me even more nervous…

  6. Austin says:

    Same here, Alyssa.

  7. Saman says:

    This game was fun. Games like this one keep us busy (!) till the admission decision.

    Matt : Do you know any website which has MIT’s life style videos except MIT zig zag? Videos that is recorded by MIT’s students or something like that?

  8. milena says:

    Wow. that’s a LOT of apps.

  9. Emma says:

    Saman — check out one of my favorites:

  10. sabina says:

    wow, my intuition is not working, too far off.

  11. Jon says:

    i want a party button. now.

  12. Jen P. says:

    That’s an impressive number!
    It’s a bit unnerving, but I’m still keeping my spirits high. =)

  13. My theory about the aliens still stands.

  14. Snively says:

    *Applauds Greg*

    Ignore me if this doesn’t make sense, but I’m imagining some kind of mix between the matrix and scientology. It’s like scientology in that the earth will be way overpopulated so we’ll prolly all be drugged and blown up by nukes in volcanoes. It’s like the matrix because this probably happens every several hundred years and we have no idea. It’s a constant civilizational struggle to attend MIT that results in the complete restructuring of the entire planet every several hundred years.

    Take that L Ron Hubbard!

    But seriously Greg, well done. Love the theory!

  15. anonymous says: it right! yupeeee

  16. anonymous says: it right! yupeeee

  17. me says:

    yuu within half a percent of error

  18. Deepthi says:

    Cripes, that’s a bit frightening for us RD applicants.

    Any statistics on the international pool this year, out of curiosity?

  19. Josh V says:

    “Agh! Reading that high number of applicants this year makes me even more nervous…” (Alyssa)

    I concur. The 9% increase is very disheartening.

  20. bbllp says:

    that’ll be quite a competition for everyone. good luck guys!!!

  21. It makes my bones shaking…. urgh.. the concrete conclusion is… every body has a chance of 1/12440, and along with dipti, sorry deepthi, I also ask about international statistics. …. just outta curiosity

  22. Abhinav says:

    Hi Matt,

    Do you have any statistics specific to international students? If so, for our benefit, could you post that up as well? Thanks a ton!

  23. Solomon says:

    9% increase eh ! hmmmm. The competition is going to be fiercely fierce this year. OMG

  24. Vihang says:

    Wohooo !
    Within half percent.

  25. Monika says:

    wel- maybe a reason for them to admit more applicants?

  26. katrina.. says:

    hmm.. next time i should read the posts starting from the most recent.. i guessed the number of MIT applicants after the answer was published… and still got it wrong (my first MIT post, and i already messed up..) *sigh*

  27. Yippee! Ah. Now I concur that Dreams do come true once in a while raspberry

  28. Elizabeth says:

    There’s an upside and a downside to that number-
    postive: I rock at guessing. Do I get another giant container of M&Ms;? (see post from guessing game page)
    negative: More people means lower acceptance percentage. WAH!

  29. Elizabeth says:

    oh, and “The madman who makes people fly aka Wandering Albatross:”
    we have more than 1/12440 chance because more than one person is accepted. it’s n/12440, where n is the number of students let in RD. ED was about 11% I believe, don’t quote me, and therefore RD will probably be around 10% (a depressing number). So…yeah. It’s not 1/12440, that would frighten me.

  30. Adam S. says:

    Some statistics for this year, if anyone is interested-

    First, this information is based off of my own math. Don’t trust it too much. grin

    12440 applications received.
    390 students were accepted, and “a similar number” were rejected.
    11660 applications pending.
    390 of the estimated 1,513 spots (number accepted last year) are filled with EA acceptances, so
    1123 acceptance spots are left.

    9.63% – Expected overall acceptance rate for all remaining applicants.

    11.28% – Expected acceptance rate for deferred applicants.

    8.74% – Expected acceptance rate for RA applicants this year.

    This doesn’t include students who were waitlisted… so please take that into consideration when looking at these numbers as well. 389 students were put on the waitlist last year, with 40 accepted. The waitlist acceptances change radically every year, though.

    I can’t guarantee that I haven’t made an error, but I’m pretty sure the numbers are right. I used the stats page, Matt’s post, and this page for my information.

    PLEASE take these numbers with a grain of salt. They’re estimated, and only describe the most general trends, nothing else. Most of all, this isn’t a game of chance. Think about your application. Were you happy with it? Did it show “you”? If it did, chances are you have a much better chance than predicted here. If not, you’ve got a much worse chance.

    Hope this information helps! Good luck everyone!

    -Adam S.

  31. Saman says:

    Thank you “Emma”. I’d watched that one before. Quite nice.

    About numbers of international applicants this year. There are 2,743 international applicants this year. For more a little more information you can check out this url: (Go to page 17)

  32. Anonymous says:

    What is happening about the applications?? I’m seriously tensed. But then, who isn’t? So help us out Matt.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    Adam S-
    Thanks for the numbers! One thing to consider though: They let in more than the spaces they have by a slight amount, for people don’t always enroll if accepted (can you imagine? I can’t understand people like that- such as my sister…) so the accepted percentage would be a teensy bit higher.

  34. Adam S. says:

    Hey Elizabeth-

    Actually, they let in around 1500 per year, but only somewhere around 1000 matriculate. This doesn’t actually ruin the statistics that I worked out. A problem that does affect the statistics, though, is that I didn’t properly compensate for the international students – they’re included in the data. Oh well. It doesn’t seem to throw off the numbers *too* much

    Thanks for pointing that out, though!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Oh I see, Adam, rereading your previous post actually you did kinda’ mention that. got it!

    Matt- How bout some pix of your library corner like you showed in November? Maybe by now I’ll ahve gotten the super-magnifying glass so that I can read whose app it is!
    and also, do you guys know about when you’ll announce? I know it was the 19th of March last year (for online), but this year?

    I may be in Vietnam and I may not! Wow, it’s gonna be fun. i can see myself emailing my parents for schools that aren’t online: “Is it big or small? Kinda’ medium? Well, what does that mean?” lol. Not that it isn’t obvious most of the time. Still, I want to be the one to open letters! But hopefully I’ll be into MIT so I won’t care much anymore cuz I’ll know where I’m going!

  36. Eileen says:

    MATT! RETURN MY EMAIL! hehe please+thank you (:

  37. I am LOCO about MIT.

  38. nerdsta_lin says:

    … I feel like I’m surrounded by nerds already …