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Tests & scores

Note: These testing policies do not apply to the 2021–22 application cycle. To read about our current policies given the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.


How we use test scores

Standardized tests are required for anyone applying as a first-year student to MIT. However, they are not the only factor, or even the most important factor.

When we receive your application, we review all of your academic information—grades, scores, classes, etc.—to ensure that you are prepared for MIT. In part because of the strength of our applicant pool, the majority of our applicants are very well prepared to succeed at MIT.

What this means is that you shouldn’t stress out too much about your scores, because we admit people, not numbers. With that said, tests are certainly important, and you should prepare for them as best you can.

Testing requirements

For all applicants:

We require the SAT or the ACT. We do not require the ACT writing section or the SAT optional essay.

For non-native English speakers

For non-native English speakers, we strongly recommend providing the results of an English proficiency exam if you have been using English for fewer than 5 years or do not speak English at home or in school, so that we may consider that information alongside the SAT or the ACT. We accept the following English proficiency exams:

On writing

While MIT does not require the ACT writing section or SAT optional essay, MIT does value writing and communication highly.

MIT believes that students in any field should learn to write prose that is clear, organized, and eloquent, and to convincingly present facts, data, and ideas. As such, all MIT undergraduates must fulfill a communication requirement that integrates instruction and practice in writing and speaking into all four years and across all parts of MIT’s undergraduate program.


If you take the same test multiple times, we will consider the highest score achieved in each section. We do this in order to consider all applicants in their best light.

Students are free to use the College Board’s Score Choice option and the ACT’s option to submit the scores of your choice as well.

Testing deadlines and reporting scores

In order to apply for first-year admission, you must take the required tests on or before the November test date for Early Action or the December test date for Regular Action. We will also accept English proficiency testing scores for Regular Action applicants through the January test dates. These are the latest scores that will reach the Admissions Committee in time for review.

Applicants can self-report their SAT, ACT, and English language test scores on their application. Official scores sent from the testing agency are not required for the application, but will be required for verification once a student is admitted and enrolls at MIT.

It is important that you register for tests with the same name as you have indicated on your application. Your record and test scores will not be linked in our system if the names do not match.

Registration codes:

  • SAT: MIT’s code is 3514
  • ACT: MIT’s code is 1858
  • TOEFL: MIT’s code is D021

Note: All standardized tests not listed do not require school codes, and instead use a school search tool to send scores through their official testing websites.

Competitive scores

We do not have cut off or recommended scores for the ACT or SAT as scores are evaluated within an applicant’s context. To view test score statistics from the most recent admissions year, visit our admissions statistics page.

We do have minimum and recommended scores for our English language tests. These minimums are in place to ensure your level of English proficiency. Because English is the language of instruction at MIT, all students must show that they will thrive in our community.

TOEFL Minimum: 90 Recommended: 100
IELTS Minimum: 7 Recommended: 7.5
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic Minimum: 65 Recommended: 70
Cambridge English Qualifications (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency) Minimum: 185 Recommended: 190
Duolingo English Test (DET) Minimum: 120 Recommended: 125