Prep Expert Guide: How To Get Into MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the top ranked schools in the country, and for good reason.
MIT is home to prestigious schools like their Sloan School of Management and other world renown programs. It’s ranked fourth in the nation for research, first for engineering and technology, and third in the US overall.
Located in beautiful Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is also desired for its proximity to art, history, and cultural hubs.
With its abundance of accolades, it is no surprise that MIT consistently receives greater numbers of applications year after year. Last year, MIT received 2% more applications than they did in the prior year.
However, while there are thousands of students who are vying for the opportunity to attend this university, most people who apply are not accepted.
For their graduating class of 2026, MIT accepted only 3.96% of applicants, making it one of the more selective colleges in the nation.
If you have your heart set on attending this school and becoming a Massachusetts Institute of Technology beaver, you shouldn’t let the low acceptance rate deter you.
With the right preparation and resources, you can step up your application and potentially find yourself on MIT’s campus one day.
MIT entry requirements
The best way to make sure you have a good chance of getting into MIT is to prepare early. Familiarize yourself with the entry and application requirements so you can make sure you check all of the boxes they are looking for in applicants.
When you apply to MIT, they will consider the following criteria:
GPA and courses
The average GPA for students who attend MIT is 4.17. If your GPA is significantly below this number, your chances of admission will be low.
In addition to checking your GPA, MIT will look closely at your transcripts to see that you are taking challenging courses.
Ultimately, MIT wants to know whether you have what it takes to handle the academic rigor of their university. By earning a high GPA and taking advanced courses, you will let them know that you are capable of success at their school.
SAT or ACT scores
Although MIT was test optional for the 2021-2022 school year, the institution is going to require students to submit SAT or ACT scores for the 2022-2023 year.
Fortunately, MIT superscores the SAT and ACT, which means that they will only consider your highest scores for each section of the standardized test you take.
If you choose to take the ACT, MIT does not require you to take the writing section. However, they explicitly state that they “value writing and communication highly,” so we recommend that you complete this section of the ACT if possible.
While there are no minimum requirements for the standardized test score you should reach, you can get a picture of the scores you should aim for by looking at the scores for accepted students in the 75th percentile at MIT.
Based on the accepted applicant test scores from the 2021-2022 year, if you’re aiming to be in the 75th percentile or above for MIT, you should have a 1570 on the SAT or a 36 on the ACT.
MIT requires students to answer a few short essay questions as a part of the application process.
While the questions change each year, it’s a good idea to get a picture of the types of questions they will ask. The questions for the 2021-2022 were:
- Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (250 words or fewer)
- Pick what field of study at MIT appeals to you the most right now, and tell us more about why this field of study appeals to you. (100 words or fewer)
- We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (200–250 words)
- At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200–250 words)
- Tell us about a significant challenge you’ve faced or something that didn’t go according to plan that you feel comfortable sharing. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
Letters of recommendation
MIT requires students to submit two letters of recommendation from teachers. It will be best for your application if at least one of your letters comes from a STEM teacher.
Make sure you ask your teachers at least two weeks in advance for any recommendation letters you need.
Improving your chances of admission
To improve the likelihood of getting into MIT, there are a few steps you should consider taking:
Get involved in extracurricular activities
MIT wants well-rounded students who are involved in their schools and their communities. Sign up to volunteer with an organization you value in your community, take on a leadership role in a club at your school, or participate in a sport.
Remember that depth is more important than breadth when it comes to your activities. MIT doesn’t want students who show up once or twice to 30 different activities. They want someone who is deeply committed to fewer activities.
Get involved with an extracurricular activity as early as possible and make sure that you are pursuing leadership opportunities within this activity so that your application will stand out.
Take advanced courses
You won’t be able to earn a 4.17 gpa without taking higher level courses at your high school. Sign up for AP courses, dual credit courses, and other honors courses that will give you a weighted gpa and look great on your transcript.
Build relationships with your teachers
Make sure you are building relationships with your teachers. We’re not saying that you need to eat lunch in your teachers’ classrooms or spend time with them outside of school. However, if your teachers don’t know anything about you, and you don’t put any effort into your performance in their classes, you will not get good letters of recommendation.
Over the course of their careers, teachers have thousands of students in their classrooms. Right now, your teachers could have as many as 150 or more students that they see and interact with each and every school day. If you aren’t taking the time to connect with them and make yourself memorable, your recommendation letters will be generic at best.
If you want glowing letters that will get you into MIT, make sure you are able to show your teachers that you are a hardworking student who is passionate about learning and goes above and beyond in class.
Like many other colleges and universities, MIT has two admission cycles: Early Action and Regular Action. The deadline for Early Action is November 1 and the Regular Action deadline is January 1.
While MIT states that there is no strategic benefit to applying during one cycle over another, applying early will give you the opportunity to see if there is anything you might need to do to make your application more desirable if you are waitlisted the first time around.
Applying by November 1 will also increase the likelihood that you will be eligible for scholarships and other financial aid.
Earn high scores on the SAT or ACT
To get into MIT, you are going to need to have impressive standardized test scores. This means that you should plan to take the SAT or the ACT more than once, and you should work with a tutor or take a prep course to give you the best chance of reaching your target score.
We recommend taking your first SAT or ACT in the fall of your junior year. This way, you can see your scores and learn from your mistakes before taking the test again in the spring and then ultimately in the fall of your senior year.
Because MIT superscores the SAT and ACT, taking the test multiple times can also help improve the composite score they receive for you. Essentially, MIT will take your highest score on each specific section. This means that you have the ability to earn a great score when they add up your top SAT Math score and your top SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores or the top scores for each ACT section.
How Prep Expert can help
As much as we wish we could wave a magic wand and guarantee your acceptance to MIT, we can’t.
What we can do is help you earn great SAT or ACT scores and an impressive GPA so that you can wow MIT admissions officers and significantly improve your chances of getting into MIT.
MIT is highly selective, and if you don’t get accepted, there are many other great colleges and universities that you can attend. However, you can give yourself a better chance of admittance by completing one of SAT or ACT prep courses and working with our highly qualified private tutors. We also offer college admissions consulting.
Sign up for a prep course or start working with a Prep Expert private tutor today when you visit our website.