I was planning an another entry on the reading process, and since many pertinent questions were asked in the last entry, I figured I’d base this entry on those questions (a formal Questions Omnibus will follow in a few days).
Sendie asked, “Hrm… how many apps do you usually evaluate per day?”
It depends on the reader. In our process, the more experienced admissions officers generally read an application in 20-25 minutes (remember, we’re professionals); newer readers might take 30-45 minutes to fully evaluate and summarize a folder. We’re expected to read applications at least 4 full days each week (including weekends), in addition to the other non-reading work we’re responsible for.
Sirius asked, “How many early actions are you expecting?”
It’s still unclear exactly how things will shake out, but I expect we’ll be up slightly from last year’s ~2800. I’ll post an official number when I can.
Oren asked, “I’m assuming you start with the applications that have had all the components processed already, right?”
We evaluate the applications on a rolling basis: that is to say, yes, we start with the applications that are complete. As each new application becomes complete, it goes to the staff to be read. For applications that are still missing, say, a teacher evaluation, we’ll wait a bit longer and read the folder when it becomes complete (we know you can’t help this, so it is not held against you). It does not matter on what date your application is read; all applications are read in the same way with the same guidelines. Ultimately, we do not admit anyone until all of the applications have been evaluated. That will happen during Selection in early December; stay tuned.
Mike asked, “Is each admission officer assigned applications from a certain geographical region? Or are they random? I mean, will officer A only read applications from Texas, and officer B only from California?”
Unlike many schools, MIT is not regionalized in its admissions process. Each applicant is evaluated individually, within their own context (which does include geography, among other things). We do not admit by state, or region, or city, or high school. We admit individual students in an individualized process.
Ej wrote, “I love it that iTunes is playing in the background [of the stack of applications].”
I need my music. Some readers need absolute quiet when evaluating folders; I need some good tunes. Let me tell you what I was listening to today… so, this morning, I went with some friends for dim sum at China Pearl in Chinatown, and afterwards I spied a CD store that was having an amazing going-out-of-business sale. On Eric‘s recommendation, I picked up albums by S.H.E and Jay Chou. In total, I picked up 4 of their CDs for only $10! Afterwards, I returned to the office with a full stomach and proceeded to work on applications for most of the rest of the day, listening to my new music. Tomorrow? I don’t know yet…
And Sirius asked, “Would you detail your process and include us into the adventure too? :)”
That’s what the blogs are for! More soon…