Testing requirements FAQ by Matt McGann '00
We've been getting a lot of questions about our testing requirements; here are the answers.
[note: As of August 2006, this entry is out of date in regard to testing requirements. For the most up-to-date information, please view the MIT Admissions home page] All s represents edits to this entry made on or after August 2006.
It seems many people have been calling lately asking questions about our testing requirements. For those of you applying this year and for whom English is your primary language, here is the official statement about what we require:
SAT I  or the ACT [with Writing]. In addition, we require [two] SAT II Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 (Ic) or 2 (IIc)) [and] one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m)[.]
Nevertheless, students, parents and counselors have been calling with questions. In an effort to answer these questions, here is a testing requirements FAQ. I hope it is helpful!
Q. Do you prefer the SAT or the ACT?
A. We honestly have no preference. If you submit both, we will use whichever scores that makes you look best.
Q. How will the new SAT writing section be considered?
A. The SAT writing section is  required [but] will not be used for admissions formulas this year.
Q. I am an international student or a student whose primary language isn’t English. What are my testing options?
A. You have two options. You may do the SAT I or ACT and  SAT IIs as above, or you may choose the second option for non-native English speakers:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and two SAT II Subject Tests, one in math (level 1 (Ic) or 2 (IIc)) and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).
Q. I am an international student, do I have to take the TOEFL?
A. No, we do not require the TOEFL for international students. However, you must submit one of the following: SAT I, ACT, or TOEFL, in addition to the required SAT IIs.
Q. I am an international student. Should I take the TOEFL or the SAT?
A. You may take either or both. We will consider the TOEFL or SAT equally without preference. If you submit both, we will use the test that makes you look best.
Q. What score should I get on the TOEFL?
A. 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).
Q. By when must I take my exams?
A. If you are applying for Early Action, you must complete all of your tests by the November testing date (yes, these scores will reach us on time without rushing). If you are applying for Regular Action, complete your tests by the December testing date. We may accept January tests on a case-by-case basis.
I hope that covers most of your testing requirement-related questions. If you have more, please leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them in the next Omnibus.