y2kit wrote, “I was just wondering another thing… Are test scores from other examination boards (like GCSE O or A Levels that I am taking) considered? If yes, how would you evaluate them? The grading scheme is different from those in the US school systems.”
We’re quite familiar with non-US grading systems. In fact, your system (O/A Levels) is probably the grading system we see most frequently among non-US systems. No worries, we’re professionals!
Victoria wrote, “Just one more question: I found a tidbit of information about the MIT/Harvard combined premed program… it just said that it exists. I went to the preprofessional advising site, but I can’t find information on it there. This is a program I’d like to write about for the second short essay: can you tell me (at least three days before regular decision apps must be in- preferably longer, but I know you are in the middle of early apps) where I can find more information? My book is a bit outdated… Also, I have two possible responses for the world we live in essay. Is it okay if I put one in the completely optional section?”
I think you mean the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, or HST, which runs, among other things, a combined MIT-Harvard MD-PhD program. The premed advising is an MIT program all the way, and it rocks as it is! I have a number of friends who are enrolled in some aspect of HST, and they seem to think it’s great. As for your second question, yes, it would be okay for you to submit your alternate response as an optional essay.
Rushil wrote, “Does it matter that my research is not fully completed??”
You’re in high school, and you have many other commitments. Honestly, I’m pretty surprised when students can actually complete research. So, no, it does not matter that your work is incomplete.
Harish wrote, “Regarding the teacher evaluation, I’ve rarely had the same teacher for more than 2 years due to me having to shift schools on many occasions. I also have had MAJOR syllabi changes(going from ICSE to CBSE in the middle of high school). Will the admissions office look at things like that? As for independent research. I’m a physics buff and over the last four years, I diligently worked on many “theories” of my own. Problem, they are all, well, silly. on hindsight. I tried things like disproving Heisenberg’s Uncertainity Principle and even have a few ideas relating to the String Theory. It’s mostly rubbish, but heartfelt and pasionate. Will this work for or against me?”
In regard to your first question: these things are an important part of your context. If you tell us about your situation, we will consider that. As for your independent thoughts — it’s not going to work against you, and I think writing the “completely optional” essay about your theories would be quite interesting. I, for one, am intrigued and would like to read more. Good for you for pursuing your ideas.
Syed wrote, “i am a student from Pakistan and i met you in the RSI program over this summer…i am already submitting my RSI paper as a part of my MIT application….is it helpful to send a possible design of a perpetual motion machine (which may be flawed) that I have worked on, just to show my passion for science?”
Hi Syed, good to hear from you. I assure you that your perpetual motion machine is flawed, as I believe in the laws of physics; and if it isn’t flawed, then you probably don’t need a Bachelor’s Degree from MIT, as you will have succeed in upending the entire physics canon. A quick check of (the admittedly frequently inaccurate) Wikipedia says:
Scientists and engineers accept the possibility that the current understanding of the laws of physics may be incomplete or incorrect; a perpetual motion device may not be impossible, but overwhelming evidence would be required to justify rewriting the laws of physics. Any proposed perpetual motion design offers a potentially instructive challenge to physicists: we know it can’t work (because of the laws of thermodynamics), so explain how it fails to work. The difficulty (and the value) of such an exercise depend on the subtlety of the proposal; the best ones tend to arise from physicists’ own thought experiments.
Anyway, all that being said, I do think it would be interesting to hear about your design — as long as you recognize where it violates one of the laws of thermodynamics, or as long as you provide evidence of how your machine doesn’t violate the laws. In the latter case, I’d appreciate a small share of the Nobel Prize.
Sam wrote, “An MIT rep was supposed to visit [my high school] earlier this month but the rep canceled. I know at least 3 people who are intested in applying to MIT [from my school]. I hope you guys didn’t cancel because you thought that was a lack of interest. Anyways, is MIT planning on sending a representative to [my school] in the near future?”
The first thing you need to know is that as an office, we’re able to visit only a very small number of high schools. Don’t take offense to MIT not visiting your school — the vast majority of students admitted to MIT come from schools we’ve never visited. Unfortunately, we won’t be visiting your school (or any other school, for that matter) for at least a few months, as now begins the application reading season, a time where we stop going across the country and focus on selecting a class. Don’t worry, we’ll pay as much attention to your applications as any other.
tami wrote, “May I know what do you consider to b a good SAT Reasoning Test score? Is a score slightly above 600 hurtful? Or do you prefer >700? How to distinguish between good TOEFL and SAT scores?”
I previously answered that question, writing:
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.
To fully answer your question, though, I need to add another previous answer about the TOEFL:
TOEFL is the one test for which we have minimum scores. They are: 577 (PBT), 233 (CBT) and 90 (iBT). You should aim to meet or exceed these target scores: 600 (PBT), 250 (CBT), 100 (iBT).
I hope that helps.
Kadhambari wrote, “I gave my SAT I on October 8th and got 1870 critical reading-550 Math -680 Writing- 640 Do you suggest that I apply to MIT with this or write it again I have very good academic credentials and also won accolades in science fairs across many cities in India recently my project was selected the best from 100 entries all over India and awarded the best project. don’t the credentials compensate for my low SAT score??”
It’s hard for me to answer questions like this. I cannot evaluate students over the blog. Please read the above answer (and links) about how we treat test scores. I hope that helps.
Faiqah wrote, “This month we had our October SAT (on 8th) and it was cancelled in Islamabad due to unknown reasons (we students believe it was because of the earthquake of 7.6 that occured on the same day and caused largescale destruction in Northern areas of Pakistan, but I am sure that was not the reason). Then an ETS official e mailed all of us that our SAT will be on Ocotber 29, and yet AGAIN it was cancelled. Now the biggest problem is, I am registered for SAT II on November and December’s date has passed! What if I and many others from Islamabad are not able to give our SAT I (or II), what are we supposed to do? Register for January SAT?? Please reply as soon as possible, coz time is running out!!”
You may want to take the TOEFL instead of the SAT I. This is an option I highly recommend for many international students. We do not prefer one test over the other, and usually the TOEFL puts international students in a better light. Regardless, you should take your SAT IIs in November, as they are required. Additionally, you should register for either the January SAT I (we will accept this in your case, please email the Admissions Office if you do so) or the TOEFL as soon as possible.
nina wrote, “I’ve posted a question, but haven’t received an answer. I know that you are very busy, but.. I don’t know what to do and how to proceed and the time is running out. My question concernes TOEFL. I had great difficulties trying to save money for the SAT and TOEFL exams. At last, I have the required sum, but there are no free dates for TOEFL till early January. Is there something wrong with it? And should I explain it in the applicationj forms, or write a letter to the admission office?”
We accept January scores on a case-by-case basis and will likely accept yours. Please email [email protected] to confirm. Remember that if you take TOEFL the only other test we will require of you are two SAT IIs: one in math, and one in science. Also, a general comment: please be patient; I don’t think it is completely unreasonable to have to wait a few days for an answer, we’re busy people!
Oliver wrote, “Do siblings of current MIT students get discounts off their tutition. Although we do not qualify for finanical aid, having three children going to MIT (two certain, one pending ;) ) will be very taxing for my parents. Also, how do we know if a supplemental recommendation letter has been received by MIT yet?”
I’m unaware of any automatic tuition discount for siblings (Daniel might know better), but certainly having three kids in college would change a family’s financial aid demonstrated need. To find out how it would affect things, you & your family should apply for financial aid. As for your supplemental letter, it is difficult for us to track down individual applications to tell you what non-required pieces are there once application reading begins. I recommend making sure any non-required application pieces are sent early in the process. We will consider any pieces that are part of your application.
mahsa wrote, “I have one question : Do you know Sharif university in iran? is it good?”
I personally don’t know the school, but don’t go by my knowledge. There are thousands of universities across the world, and I know of only a small percentage of them.
Shikhar wrote, “I couldn’t help but notice on Bryan Nance’s list of 52 things not to do if you want to go to MIT. ‘No matter how tight your argument is, Halo groups are not extracurricular clubs and your mastery of said game is not a skill.’ I was looking forward of putting down Computer Gaming as an EC. As I make money out of it and have won awards I think it can be called an EC and I have been playing since age of 2yrs so it should show a little mad side of me.”
Since this is an important part of your life and your story, you should include this in your application. Bryan’s entry was mostly tongue-in-cheek, though it does contain some good advice in there.
tracy wrote, “More questions…I just submitted part ii of the application, and I noticed that the format was sort of messed up. Like, there are no indents in all the places where I meant to have indents. Before submitting my essay, I made sure that the format of the essay was correct, but it still shows up weirdly in the pdf. Now, I understand that I’m being completely obsessive-compulsive, but will the lack of indents at the beginning of paragraphs hurt us in the admissions process?”
We know that our online application is not perfect, and that most of the formatting problems on the essays are our fault, not yours. Remember, we’re not “grading” the essays, we’re reading them for the content and what it tell us about you. The formatting won’t change that, so don’t worry.
Alissa wrote, “I heard it snowed the other day. Could you say something for us sunny Southern California people about how to convince our parents that snow is not the end of the world?”
I wish I were witty and could come up with some clever response here. Alas, I cannot. But maybe someone can help me out here in the comments? And what is it about snow that so frightens your folks?