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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Meeting FAQ by Matt McGann '00

The answers to the FAQs at our Central Meetings.

I’m in Southern California now, preparing for the following Central Meetings:

  • Orange County: Wednesday, September 28 (tonight!), 7:00pm; Troy High School Auditorium, 2200 E. Dorothy Lane, Fullerton, CA 92831
  • Los Angeles/Westwood: Thursday, September 29, 7:00pm; Hoffman Hall at Westwood Presbyterian Church, 10822 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
  • San Diego: Saturday, October 1, 2:00pm; High Tech High School Auditorium, 2861 Womble Rd, San Diego, CA 92133
  • Los Angeles/Pomona: Sunday, October 2, 2:00pm; Theatre Building at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Camphor Lane at Mansion Lane, Pomona, CA 91768
  • San Luis Obispo, Wednesday, October 5, 7:00pm; Assembly Room at Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa Street (at Mill Street), San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach: October 6, 6:00pm; California State University Chancellor’s Office, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802

At my Central Meetings, there are a handful of questions I’m almost always asked. So, what I’m going to do is answer three of the most frequently asked questions here and now, so that you don’t have to ask (not that I mind questions). All of the below statistics are freely available on the MIT website.

  1. What are the early action statistics? Is it easier to get in if I apply early?

    Last year, early action [MyMIT]:
    2794 students applied early action
    384 students admitted early
    2240 students deferred to regular action
    267 deferred applicants admitted during regular action

    Last year’s overall statistics:
    10,443 students applied
    1,495 admitted

    We use the exact same criteria to evaluate and select early and regular action applicants. We do not give an edge or “bonus points” to those who apply early. We are committed to admitting no more than 30% of our class during the early action round. Students who are deferred to regular action are considered again and equally with regular action applicants.

  2. What scores should I get? Are my scores good enough?

    We do not make decisions based on test scores. There is no formula for admission, and there are no minimum test scores. Test scores are one of many parts of the application that inform our decision. Admissions decisions at MIT are made following a holistic, subjective review of each applicant.

    That being said, I know that folks are still (understandably) very concerned about test scores. To give you a sense of things, here are the middle 50% score ranges of students admitted to the Class of 2009 [MyMIT]:
    SAT I Verbal: [690, 770]
    SAT I Math: [740, 800]
    ACT Composite: [31, 34]
    SAT II Math: [740, 800]
    SAT II Science: [710, 790]
    SAT II Humanities: [700, 780]
    (Please remember that we are not considering the new SAT Writing test this year.)

    Also, it’s worth noting that more than 35% of students (370+ students) admitted to the Class of 2008 had SAT I Verbal scores lower than 700, and 11% (110+ students) had SAT I Math scores lower than 700 [CDS]. In the end, it is being a good fit & match with MIT that makes the decision.

  3. Can I get AP/IB credit?


    Though the score that will give you credit changes year to year (this is set by the faculty and not by Admissions), here are last year’s required AP scores. Unless otherwise specified, the noted score provides 9 units of general elective credit.

    Art History: 5
    Biology: 5 1
    Calculus BC: 4 or 5 2
    Economics–Macro: 5
    Economics–Micro: 5
    English Language: 5
    English Literature: 5
    European History: 5
    French Language: 5
    French Literature: 5
    German Language: 5
    Government & Politics–US: 5
    Government & Politics–Comparative: 5
    Human Geography: 5
    Latin Literature: 5
    Latin Vergil: 5
    Music Theory: 5
    Physics C: 5 on both parts 3
    Psychology: 5
    Spanish Language: 5
    Spanish Literature: 5
    US History: 5
    World History: 5

    1 Placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 7.012, Intro Biology. 2 Placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 18.01, Calculus I. 3 Placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 8.01, Physics I.

    …and here are last year’s required IB scores. For the IB, we will only consider Higher Level (HL) subjects.

    Biology: 7 (placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 7.012, Intro Biology)
    Calculus: 6 or 7 (placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 18.01, Calculus I)
    Physics: 7 (placement and 12 units of credit will be given for 8.01, Physics I)

    A 7 on other Higher Level exams (except Chemistry and Computer Science) will generally give you 9 units of general elective credit.

    This page also outlines credit from other exams, including A Levels, the French Baccalur��at, and the German Abitur.

    You may also get credit and placement for courses through advanced standing exams or college transfer credit.

I hope that’s helpful to you. I’ll be answering other questions here soon in an Omnibus format.

And, for those of you in Southern California, I pose this question to you: Can you recommend any good and/or interesting restaurants? Nothing fancy, just some good food.

11 responses to “Meeting FAQ”

  1. Lenore says:

    I am unable to attend my meeting in Long Beach due to location issues (ie, it’s over 4000 miles away at the moment), but I have some questions for you. Does “General Elective Credit” count towards HASS, or something else? Do you happen to know why MIT doesn’t accept AP Chem credit? Anyway, for restaurants I’d suggest either Red Robin (if you like hamburgers + all you can eat steak fries), Claim Jumper, or TGI Fridays (if you pretend to be having a birthday).

  2. Jessie says:

    It’s probably worth noting that on the SAT IIs, the curving of individual tests varies drastically. A 700 on one subject’s test might put you in the 80th percentile, whereas on another it might put you in the 50th percentile, even if they’re in the same general category of subjects (say, Science). So I would take the SAT II stats with a few extra grains of salt.

  3. Jessie says:

    Oh yeah, and to Lenore: No, General Elective credit doesn’t count as HASS credit, or anything specific for that matter. However, to receive an MIT degree, you have to earn a certain number of credits beyond the GIRs, even if fulfilling your departmental requirements won’t give you that many credits. To double major, there’s a different certain number of credits. General Elective credit counts toward this, ensuring that you won’t be forced to take classes for the sole purpose of needing extra credits to graduate.

  4. Victor says:

    I’m confused if we need to send in our AP scores (if at all?) to you guys by a certain date (I’m applying early action).

  5. James Tao says:

    Thank you for your seminar last night. Is there any culinary course offered at MIT?

  6. Lisa Dahl says:

    For good Chinese food, my family loved Sam Woo Barbeque in Monterey Park… it’s in an asian mall with a giant 99 Ranch grocery market. Also in the mall is an elevator that takes you up to a really good dimsum restaurant, but it’s fancy (but not that expensive, just a fancy place). My mom also recommends Roland Heights as a good area for great restaurants. We haven’t lived there for six years though, so we have no idea if the places are gone ^^; I hope that this helps though.

  7. errhode says:

    Re: culinary courses

    Kitchen Chemistry is a 6-unit pass/fail seminar that I would recommend to everyone. (I think it’s run by ESG, but anyone can take it.) Basically, you get together once a week in a kitchen (usually in a dorm somewhere) and cook one dish while studying the science behind the dish. (For example, when you make meringues, you learn why using copper bowls is preferred.)

    When I took it, it happened to be on my floor, so every Monday I’d walk down to the kitchen and make something delicious while earning 6 units of credit. It’s not really a culinary course in the traditional sense, but it sure was fun.

  8. Hill Green says:

    You should try Old Town Mexican Cafe while you’re in San Diego. In Long Beach all of the food sucks. In Monterey Park, Happy Family has excellent Chinese. In the OC, you ought to try Steelheads in the UCI Market Place. In Downtown LA, you ought to try to the fast-food version of Il Fornaio. It’s near Via Rodeo.

  9. Raihan says:

    Hey Matt,

    Firstly, the meeting in Westwood was a pleasure. I learned quite a bit and my interest in MIT is piqued.

    I don’t know if you’re still in SoCal, but I’d recommend Krua Thai (in Van Nuys) for some excellent pad thai (had lunch there today smile) and El Taurino (L.A.) for some of the best tacos in the state.



  10. I’m an international student from Colombia. An i would like to apply for a master degree in the electoncis field. I earned my bachelor degree at UIS I would like to know, how much i need in my TOEFL exam to apply to the master degree program

  11. karan says:


    i am an international student from india.i completed my senior secondary education in 2004.since then i ve been helping my dad in our family i want to apply to mit for sept. 2007 for my bachelors in mechanical gpa has been quite excellent since 9th grade except for my 12th.(i have applied for an improvement for that).i am a holder for the National Talent Search Examination and am currently working on 3 projects.i am expecting a score of above 2300 in sat.wot are my chances to get admitted?i am quite desperate to attend mit.any help would be highly appreciated.

    thankin u