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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

You Complete Me by Matt McGann '00

What makes an application complete for Early Action, and related Q&A.

I see that there’s been a bit of discussion in the comments about the Application Tracking System and what makes an application “complete.” Let me try to help clarify things a bit.

Scores: We don’t need to have your full set of scores now; we won’t need them until we go into the Early Action selection committee. We will receive November scores in time, so don’t worry, we will consider all of your new scores.

MidYear Grades: We do not expect to see first quarter grades. If we need them, we’ll call your school. We *do* want your first semester (or trimester) grades as soon as they’re available; this is mostly for the Regular Action selection committee.

Supplemental materials: If you’re concerned about our having received them, you can call our office at 617-253-3400 to see if we have them.

What if we don’t have everything?: We will not act on any case where we don’t feel we have enough information to make a decision. If we need further information or application materials to be able to make a decision, we will contact you or your school. That being said, it is your responsibility to monitor the tracking system and make sure we have your application materials.

Decision day: We have not yet announced a date for early action decisions. We will make an announcement later in December; watch the blogs for more information.

…and now, I’m off to go see the Bollywood film Om Shanti Om! (Happy belated Diwali!)

76 responses to “You Complete Me”

  1. Teresa says:

    What do we do if our first semester grades will not be final until the second week of January? Can I send my quarter grades?

  2. Sam says:

    Hey, what goes on the summary on the E-3 card, anyway?

  3. AParent says:

    I take your title metaphorically. We complete ourselves, and make others feel complete. Hence, you complete me.

  4. AParent says:

    Thank you very much for the post. It is so timely and comforting to many people who apply this year.

  5. Paul says:

    @ Teresa: Send your first semester grades on the mid-year report; most people don’t send that form in until January anyway.

  6. Olivia Milam says:

    My guidence counsler said she sent my transcript along with Evaluation A and B, and my transcript and Evaluation A show being processed, however, Evaluation B is missing? Should I be worried, or is it nothing?



  7. "Ann Onymus" says:

    My situation is same as Olivia’s! Please help!

  8. Nishanth says:

    i never knew that there is some one in MIT who enjoy bollywood movie. and knows about diwali thats really cool matt

  9. says:

    Would you prefer that grades from college courses be submitted in the form of an official transcript from that college? (as opposed to having the high school copy the grades onto the midyear report form)

  10. Vivek says:

    Sal Mubarak!
    (happy Diwali)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Will you act on the case when the fee waiver request has not been processed, possibly because you guys did not receive it?

  12. Utkarsh says:

    Happy Diwali to you to……Never knew that you like bollywood movies too!!! Nice, really nice…..

    By the way when I get to MIT sometime maybe next year or whatever,I will get you some classics…..

  13. Oasis says:

    I should drop by and look at the stacks of applications. I always wondered what an Admission Office looks like when it’s filled with applications…=p

  14. Anonymous says:

    if I’m applying to study music/art, do I need to take the SAT 2 ?

  15. Shamarah says:

    Yes, Anonymous, I’m 97% sure you still have to take the SAT Subject Tests in math and science. They’re required! :D

  16. i am academically curious, really i am, i love to take extra classes and took some APs becaus they sounded interesting and i was curious. but the thing is i didnt necessarely get As in them, sometimes Bs, few Cs. so will MIT take in account that i’m academically curious, or that i failed those classes ? (also, my sat score is in the 500-600 range…).
    do i seriously have a chance ?

  17. Shamarah says:

    To ra applicant guy:

    A) It doesn’t sound like you failed anything, from what you described.
    B) Far be it from me to give you any advice on “chances”, but you never know if you don’t try! smile Be optimistic.

  18. you sound like Paul, but Paul can say to try since he doesn’t care, he got in ! and I’m sure he had 700 something on his sat.
    and 500-600 sat score isnt failing for you ?

  19. Shamarah says:

    I met an MIT freshman this summer who got around a 1900 total on his SAT; I seriously don’t think you should hold back from applying, just try. You might be surprised.

    I mean, you’re here on the blogs right? Something inside you is telling you that MIT could be the place for you – at least apply so you’ll know.

  20. Paul says:

    @ RA: I don’t do chances, and nor does anyone else in the admissions office or on the blogs. But I do care, very much, about the people who are applying or thinking of applying to MIT. That’s why I’m here.

    Shamarah’s advice is perfect. Remember that getting into MIT is not easy for anybody, regardless of what your grades or GPA scores are. You will never get in if you don’t even try.

  21. Sarah says:

    My school uses block scheduling, so at this point i am halfway through my non-AP class, while my other three classes are only 1/4 done. Should I send in the mid year grade report just to show my progress in that one class?

  22. Rashi says:

    Woah.. Om Shanti Om.. It was such a roller coaster ride..!!

  23. Nihar says:

    Omgg..Om shanti om??..I saw the film a couple of days ago, never knew MIT-ians in Boston would be doing the same!
    Haha, Indians do enjoy it, but I want to hear your take on the melodrama around which Om Shant Om revolves…do post your comments!:)

    P.S. I did like the film. But I think its olden counterpart “Karz” was better. Il bring a copy along if I get the chance to come to Boston wink
    **hopefully as a frosh**

  24. Anderson says:

    Hi! I´m Anderson. I did Toelf Test (paper-based) in september 2005…may I send this test



  25. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone’s school been contacted by MIT asking for first quarter grades? My guidance counselor talked to me in a rush earlier saying that one of my schools was requesting first marking period grades, but she didn’t remember what it was off the top of her mind and figured it was my EA school (plus this is the only school I’ve submitted by app for). I wasn’t aware that MIT would request them, so I told her they don’t need to see them, but maybe they did request them? Anyone have any ideas on if MIT has been requesting them already or any reason why they would want to see them?

  26. Lai says:

    Right, exactly. Everything is in for me except Evaluation B. Is the Evaluation B Filing Office behind the rest? (Okay, so I don’t know how admissions really works. But you know what I mean.) And if I shouldn’t be worried now, when should I be worried?

  27. Snively says:


    You’ll have to turn in a mid-year grade report no matter what, so yes, you should send it. It doesn’t matter how much is actually on it.


    MIT has said that they’ll contact your school if they want, so I’d say it’s possible. Don’t worry about it, it’s what they do.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What should we do if we already told our school to send our first quarter grades?

  29. Shamarah says:


    I had the same problem with my Evaluation A; I was especially worried because I mailed them something after the Eval A was sent but it got there first. I guess it didn’t mean anything because now it’s all straightened out and my application is complete. I’d say to e-mail the Admissions office – that’s what I did, and they responded in a reasonable amount of time. They were nice, too! (Thanks again for that, folks) :D

  30. Snively says:

    When the time comes, tell them to send the mid-year as well.

  31. Thomas'12 says:

    Just checking to make sure but: all my things are in except one letter of rec, which my teaceher sent several weeks ago. I am assuming it just hasn’t been processed yet but I want to make sure. Should i be worried about it being lost in the mail yet?


  32. Isshak says:

    Er, do letters of rec show up in the online tracking ?

  33. Karen says:

    @Isshak: Yes, they do. I think that it’s about in the middle of the page, there are two checkboxes, one for Evaluation A and one for Evaluation B. Now you just have to remember who had which one smile

  34. Anonymous says:

    Om Shanti Om has the best music! *random*

  35. What do we do if our first semester grades will not be final until the fourth week of December? Can I send my quarter grades? I am in Early Action.

  36. Becca says:

    The mid-year report is meant to be sent after you finish the first semester or trimester or seomthing, depending on what system your school runs on. You can still send your quarter grades, but you will have to send the semester ones too.

  37. Anonymous says:

    okay, i know this has came up a lot, but i’m really worried.
    i’m passionate, i love to take challenges, but i am not always good in everyone of them, i just like the challenge. and my sat score is in the 500 to 600 (not higher). i know you’re going to tell me to just try we never know, but can the admission comitee take me more because of my personality/extra curriculars/teachers letters of rec/motivations then my academics ? i’m not bad, but i’m not very very good either..

  38. Matti says:

    I recommend you take a look here:

    There’s a lot of stats and stuff. So you find averages (“even” people with scores below 600), and a chart on the importance of things. Your SAT scores are “important”, along with your grades and rank and so on, but the only thing “very important” are your personal qualities.

    So it quite probably boils down to this anyway: Try and apply and find out. wink

  39. Paul says:

    @ Anon: Your SAT score, by itself, does not define you. It’s just a number. That being said, one of the primary responsibilities of the admissions department is to ensure that the students they select will not only survive but also thrive in MIT’s rigorous academic environment. The SAT is one way (but not the only way) to gauge how prepared a certain applicant is for MIT. Ultimately, your scores, grades, personality, motivation, and everything else are considered together – while they all matter in different ways, you can’t really say one is more important than the other.

    @ Rhyan: Yes, you can send in your quarter grades now, though you don’t have to (and you are not expected to). Either way, make sure you still send in your semester grades once they’re available. If you refer to some of my earlier comments above, you’ll find a more detailed answer to your same question.

  40. Paul says:

    Follow-up: Thanks to Matti for pointing out that page. While I encourage everyone applying to remember that all parts of your applicant do matter, it looks like I mis-spoke when I said personality was equally important as scores. Instead, it turns out the admission committee values personal qualities more highly than just scores. Who’d have thought? wink

  41. Isshak says:

    Oh these are what you mean by letters of rec ? I thought it meant an letter of recommendation different then the teachers evaluation (and I didn’t see a checkbox for that). Since I sent it with my two teachers evaluations (in the same big enveloppe), can I assume they received it ?

  42. Anonymous says:

    so if/when do I start panicking about my “Evaluation B” not having been processed?

  43. Anony says:

    Wow, the statistics are intimidating. I’m a bit curious how the admissions committee judges personality. I’m certainly hoping it’s not entirely based on the teacher’s evaluation, I don’t think I ‘scored’ too well there raspberry

  44. Anonymous says:

    so i am guessing most early applicants are admitted without even having their mid-year grade report in then?

  45. Ahmad says:

    i’ll be applying RA…but i still haven’t taken the SAT so i’d have to take my SAT subject tests in Janauary….will dat be a problem???
    nice to hear dat our movies r enjoyed by u all… personally i didn’t like the movie much even though i am a huge shahrukh fan..

  46. E says:

    Now, Anthony R hasn’t blogged for months on end.. Why does MiT even bother to have his blog here anymore? Can’t you scramble mr Snively so we get more frequent updates?


  47. Anonymous says:

    In my freshman year in high school I was not academically motivated and performed slightly above par. Since then I have “turned a new leaf” and have been enrolled in AP courses with As and have been performing at the top of my class. Will my academic “evolution” be taken into account.

  48. Corrine says:

    Ok I might sound melodramatic but Essay writing is not my idea of a bed of roses! GAH!I’m great at sci and math but gee, i only hope my not so above-average essay skills don’t affect my application essays negatively though:(…I hope…

  49. Hey to whoever answers my blog. On my app I checked native american and I was sent a form by MIT asking a few questions about my heritage: are you registered, what tribe, ties maintained, etc. I am registered but will MIT confirm it with the council or do I need to send them a copy of my registration. I already sent in the question sheet with my answers; do I need to do anything else?
    Thanks…Chief Bigfoot

  50. Cassandra says:

    Hey Paul,
    I applied EA, but I just got some good news from the Reischauer Program, can I send MIT an update?

  51. Dustin says:

    I have the same question. I received two awards this week, and I wonder if it’s appropriate to notify Admissions even though my EA app is complete and the deadline has passed.Thanks.

  52. Roy says:

    Thanks for posting this! I was going to email you guys and ask about 1st-quarter grades, so this was a big help smile

  53. Paul says:

    @ Cassandra & Dustin: Yes, you can feel free to update Admissions on any really good news you may have gotten in the past few weeks. The best way to do this is probably by a quick fax that briefly explains the award or accomplishment. Make sure you include your full name and date of birth for processing.

    That being said, you are under no obligation or expectation whatsoever to send in extra material, so please don’t stress out too much about this. You’re not going to be “penalized” if you don’t send an update!

  54. Paul says:

    Just for easier reference, the fax number is (617) 258-8304.

  55. lisa says:

    can i send in two 500 word essays in response to the (last) optional essay ques?
    Problem is: both convey my aspirations, interests etc equally.

  56. Anonymous says:

    what if an ea applicant’s nov scores will noe be available to him before the nov 30? Will mit get it on time for ea?

  57. job says:

    when do you actually BEGIN making decisions? and do you have a deadline for yourselves to finish this mountain of apps, or is it generally “mid-december-ish”?

  58. N'getich says:

    I am an international applicant and I just feel that MIT is the school for me.I believe I can take challendges, coz I have taken many so far.My extra curriculars are satisfactory(I had only about 5 to write about- a good coincidence!)and my grades are too good- among the top in my country.I have too many academic honors( but I just filled in the ones that the space can permit- bad coincidence this time round).But you know what the bad news is?My sat scpores total to 1780, my subject tests similarly disgusting:Math 620, Biology 670, Physics 660.Do think I should keep on trying or just give up?

  59. English is the official language of Nigeria,can I have a waiver concerning TOELF.I can also provide a sworn affidavit to show that I have been using English Language as a means of communication for the past 18 years.

  60. twardy says:

    Hey, I have taken SAT Physics and I scored 620… I know that it is only a part of whole application and me but I’m curious whether it is enough? Second question: Will January scores be considered for international?
    Tkanks alot:) Hope to get in MIT:)

  61. Waswani says:

    @Ngetich….hey!!!We are from the same country!!
    I think that as much as you need to forward SAT scores,the evaluation is made on an overall,your scores are just part of the big picture.I dont have the best scores myself but am banking on the rest of my application to carry me through!:-)

  62. Oksana says:

    Hi Matt!
    Firstly, thank you that you EXIST to answer our questions:)
    Secondly, here is my question: I read carefully information about application requirements for international students and I know what tests I need to take. I’ve already taken TOEFL. But the thing is that it is impossible for me right now to register for two subject SAT tests. Could I just take SAT Reasoning? Will it be enough?

  63. moni says:

    hey guys…
    first of all Matt I was really shocked to read ur profile to find that u watch bollywood films…and am surprised that so many people at MIT watch them..I am a real fan of them too..
    I have a few questions to ask:
    I am a permanent resident in US but I moved here only this year so I had my schooling up to 11th grade in India…since I joined in the senior year over here I had a few mandatory courses for graduation which did not allow me to take enough APs and even the research courses I am surely capable of. Will the MIT admission staff consider this?? At present I have AP Chemistry and am doing really well in that…I am planning to take the AP Physics and English exams by studying on my own since I cannot do it through my should I put this down in my application,,where?(i would be registering for the exam in march though)…

    My teachers here do not know me very well but I have managed to get my evaluation forms done from my Chemistry and English teachers..but I feel it would add to my application if i could send along the recommendation letters from my previous school teachers…can i do this??

    one last question….in India we did not have different levels of courses like “regular” or “honors”. How should I complete the Self-reported course work section of the part 2 of my application as it is for the students in the U.S school system only ??

    I know I have written way too much..sorry for that but please help me..

  64. VARUN JOSHI says:


  65. Becky says:


    Hi from… MIT! I’m on my overnight visit right now (trying to figure out Linux for the first time in a computer cluster at the moment =P), and falling more and more in love with MIT by the minute. I was wondering if I could possibly send you guys an extra miniature essay (not some crazy 15 page deal; just a paragraph or two) outlining the reasons why I think MIT and I go so wonderfully well together that I’m not sure got across in the rest of my application. If you’d rather I didn’t, that’s fine too, but I really think it would add another dimension to what you guys in the admissions office see of me.


  66. Alex says:

    I filled out the self-reported coursework, but a few of my classes really did not fit into any of the categories and I had no room to put them. So, in my extreme state of nervousness, I did what I do best and forgot, and I submitted my application without adding them. Is the self reported coursework crucial to the process?

    I would also like to thank you for a very professional, yet personal application that makes me feel like I really put my personality on it.

  67. Xaq says:

    This is probably somewhere on the site and I just haven’t looked yet, but does MIT only send application/deferral/rejection letters, or are applicants notified online as well?

  68. what are the average sat I & II scores of the international students at MIT?

  69. Khaldoun says:


    I need your help please…. I am an international student… Lebanese nationality.. however studying in Saudi Arabia… in a British based education system… i hav good academic results throughout highschool… right around the 80 – 90% average score range… (we dnt use a GPA system here)…. and hav good extracurriculars…
    however there is one problem.. i cant seem to find any of my ninth grade certifications and awards… anything i can do for you to overlook this prob???
    also… my SAT 1 score is quite below average in critical reading and writing… are there any exceptions in that matter for international students.. or those with English as a ‘second language’…


  70. worried says:

    In some countries, getting more than 90% marks is very common(like USA). However, in my country, getting more than 70% is considered exceptional. How are you going to compare me with others? I am not responsible for that “bad” marks, but I may be penalized (by you!…I can’t believe it).Of course, my rank was 1 over the past few years, I have 800+800 in SAT IIs and good Toefl Score.

  71. anonymos says:

    hey matt..where are u ….plss respond to the soo many questions that ppl have asked u…the ra deadline is approaching sooon…plsss