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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

The Number Game by Bryan

A few words of advice before applying to college.

So I had a little free time this morning so I paid a little visit to College Confidential.

Now 4 years ago, I didn’t know something like CC existed, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I think I would have gone nuts. Now, I’ll admit I was kind of shocked by the number of posts that were along the lines of “Chances at MIT.” I guess I was just a little upset about how everyone was trading their “stats” like I used to trade baseball cards in my kindergarten days.

I guess the whole point is MIT looks at more than just the numbers. Now I took N AP classes, got X on my SAT, and got H A’s in my entire life. I applied and got into MIT. Someone else from my high school applied. Took N + 2 AP classes, got X + 10 on their SAT, and got H + 5 A’s. They applied and did not get into MIT.

Does that mean MIT made a mistake by taking me and not them? Maybe, but it’s too late (just kidding). This just shows an important aspect of college admissions that I think we all don’t realize until we’re here and think about it. Hindsight is 20/20. I think more than 1000 students get a 1600 on their SAT every year, but the MIT class size wavers roughly around that number, so how do you figure that MIT admits the class that it does?

Numbers are one thing but there are a lot of other important things that indicate your preparedness for college. I recently realized this with my graduate school applications. I was worried and was like “OMG my GPA is NOT PERFECT” but then I realized that graduate school is not just about GPA. For PhD programs, you’re going to be doing research and so being prepared to spend countless hours in lab is also an extremely important factor. It’s important to realize that it’s not just about what the scores and the number of AP classes; it’s about how prepared you are for the program or the college you want to enter.

MIT is no piece of cake, so just keep this in mind. Numbers aren’t the only thing, but they always help.

5 responses to “The Number Game”

  1. l0ngL says:

    Everytime I do something stupid, my friends and i kid around that there was a glitch on the computer and that’s how I got into MIT.

    I guess I’ll find out comes September =D

  2. Allison says:

    Go Bryan! I think it’s ridiculous how people are still shocked when they don’t get into their dream school despite “perfect” stats. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time stressing over those tests in retrospect. All schools look for the whole package, so people need to realize that the only “right way” to get into MIT is by pursuing what they love – whether it’s Robotics, service, or even a garage band =)

  3. Anonymous says:

    CC scares me. A lot. I just stick to the Princetonreview.com message boards – they’re a bit less insane. :D

  4. Ben says:

    I agree with what you are saying that getting in isn’t just based on how many AP classes you take or your GPA or whatever. However, I have been taking a lot of AP classes and this year as a Junior in HIghSchool I will be taking AP physiscs. One of the components of this class is that it is required that all students present a projects at the Science Fair (my teacher likes to call it the Pre-College Research Project). I was wondering if any of you people would have any ideas for me to get started. Thanks

  5. Jess says:

    Hey, secret: I didn’t get a 2400.

    LE GASP!