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• 5 months ago •
Admissions Advice

How hard is MIT?

Hi! MIT is my dream school but something that really worries me is how hard the classes (especially science and math) will be. I have heard of many geniuses who are struggling to pass classes at MIT, and I am just an average student who struggled in 10th grade chemistry. Does anyone know if MIT is really that hard, and if it is, would I still be able to go?

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• 5 months ago[edited]

CAVEAT, MIT was my top school so I still wish I was accepted. If I work hard at Columbia, perhaps I can attend grad school there. I love the campus and geek and weird vibe of the students. My answer is based on my own experience last application cycle and visiting the school in 2020. Although I wasn't applying for any STEM majors, I realized I would be in the minority as an undergrad since 85-90% of students are STEM-focused.

Like you many people hope to get into MIT but perhaps they are not a good fit for the school. MIT and CalTech, and Columbia Engineering would be the hardest of the elite schools in my opinion (at the CU Fu school, you have to take a Core Curriculum in addition to the Engineering requirements and that is challenging for many Int'l students).

1.) There is grade deflation not grade inflation like Harvard, Brown, or Yale.

2.) During your 1st semester at MIT all classes are Pass/Fail because otherwise, everyone who was used to getting As in HS would be getting Cs and Ds. Just watch the last 3 years of Nina Wang videos. She's a certifiable genius and has had a predictive cycle of mental breakdowns her entire time there.

3.) At MIT and CalTech, perhaps only 1 of your APs in STEM (Math, Science. etc) scores count toward college coursework even if you get a 5. At the time I wrote this, that would only apply to AP Physics C (which is Calculus-based). You get zilch for AP Chem, AP Bio, AP Calc BC, AP Env. Sci, AP Stats, AP CS. To Graduate you have to take from these MIT core requirements

Science Requirement

Chemistry (3.091, 5.111, or 5.112)

Physics (8.01, 8.011, 8.012, or 8.01L; and 8.02, 8.021, or 8.022)

Mathematics (18.01 or 18.01A; and 18.02, 18.02A, or 18.022)

Biology (7.012, 7.013, 7.014, 7.015, or 7.016)

4. Similar to no credit for APs, you will hardly get any credit for A-Levels, IBs etc if you are an Intl Student.

A-LEVELS

Biology: No credit is given for the A-Level Biology exam.

Chemistry: No credit is given for the A-Level Chemistry exam.

Computer Science: No credit is given for the A-Level Computer Science exam.

Geography: A grade of A or A will grant you 3 units of unrestricted elective credit.

Mathematics: In order to receive 18.01 credit, students will need to pass the on-line 18.01 ASE this summer. Students with a grade of A or A, will be granted placement into 18.01A.

Physics: A grade of A or A will grant you credit for 8.01.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: A grade of A or A on applicable exams will grant you 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for each exam

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) Higher Level Exams Only

Biology: No credit is given for the IB Biology exam.

Chemistry: No credit is given for the IB Chemistry exam.

Computer Science: No credit is given for the IB Information Technology in a Global Society examination.

Mathematics: In order to receive 18.01 credit, students will need to pass the on-line 18.01 ASE this summer. Students with a score of 7, will be granted placement into 18.01A.

Physics: A score of 7 will grant you credit for 8.01.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: A score of 7 on applicable exams will grant you 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for each exam.

CAMBRIDGE PRE-U EXAMS

Biology: No credit is given for the Pre-U Biology exam.

Chemistry: No credit is given for the Pre-U Chemistry exam.

Geography: A grade of A or A will grant you 3 units of unrestricted elective credit.

Mathematics: In order to receive 18.01 credit, students will need to pass the on-line 18.01 ASE this summer. No credit is given for Pre-U Mathematics or Further Mathematics exams.

Physics: A grade of D3, D2, or D1 in Pre-U Physics will grant you credit for 8.01.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: A grade of D3, D2, or D1 in applicable Pre-U examinations will grant you 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for each exam.

FRENCH BACCALAURÉAT:

Biology: No credit is given for the A-Level Biology exam.

Chemistry: No credit is given for the A-Level Chemistry exam.

Mathematics: In order to receive 18.01 credit, students will need to pass the online 18.01 ASE this summer. Students with scores 16 through 20, will be granted placement into 18.01A. For scores lower than 16, no placement is given.

Physics: Scores 13 through 20 will grant you credit for 8.01. For scores lower than 13, no credit or placement is awarded.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: Scores 13 through 20 will grant you 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for each exam.

ABITUR:

Biology: No credit is given for the A-Level Biology exam.

Chemistry: No credit is given for the A-Level Chemistry exam.

Mathematics: In order to receive 18.01 credit, students will need to pass the online 18.01 ASE this summer. Students with scores 10 through 15, will be granted placement into 18.01A. For scores lower than 10, no placement is given.

Physics: A score of 13 through 15 will grant you credit for 8.01. For scores lower than 13, no credit or placement is given.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: A score of 13 through 15 will grant you 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for each exam.

5. Lastly the admit rates for International Students had been tracking at 50% less than US Applicants. So if it was 7-8% in 2019,2020 then the Int'l rate was about 3.5-4%. Now in 2021, the US rate is about 4.0% so the Int'l rate is about 2%-2.5%.

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