2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I apply test-optional to MIT?

I want to apply to MIT, but I'm not sure if I should send in my SAT scores. I have a 1500 superscore (770 Math--730 Reading/Writing), but after doing some research, that would be considered below average. On their website (https://mitadmissions.org/apply/firstyear/tests-scores/), they say they encourage applicants to send their scores, but if I choose not to, they must rely on other academic aspects such as grades, coursework, and other examinations to assess me.

However, I think my other academic aspects make me look better. I haven't gotten anything less than an A+, giving me a 4.0 unweighted/4.585 weighted GPA, will have taken 11 AP classes and 13 AP exams by the end of this year, and have gotten 5's on 5 of the 7 AP exams I've taken so far. My logic is that MIT would have to look at these stats (which I think look better than a 1500) to assess my academics if I applied test-optional.

What's causing me to be torn is the chancing calculator saying my chances of acceptance increase from 17% to 25% if I DO send my scores since my SAT score is above average compared to applicants with my same background, which is 1450. Does this statistic actually hold true?

I apologize if I've come off as vain; that wasn't my intention. I just wanted to give as much background information as possible to show where my perspective is coming from. I also apologize for the length of this! Thank you for taking the time to read this!

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi! In all honestly, I'm not sure how true that number is. It's just a computer-calculated number that certainly has room for error. With this being said, I would personally apply for SAT optional. I say this because, in retrospect, your SAT scores are the "weakest" point of your application (even though they certainly aren't weak!). Your course rigor and GPA set you apart significantly, and meet MIT's requirements. Especially with Covid causing SAT optional, I'm sure the school wouldn't work against you because you didn't submit them.

On the other hand, my devil's advocate counterargument would be that not many people are applying with their SAT because of this new policy. With that being said, submitting your score, even though it is slightly lower than average (not including your background), might make you stand out more than other applicants who have the same academic records as you because of this. Overall though, I really don't think you can go wrong here no matter what you choose. Your application will be extremely strong either way. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!! :)

2 months ago[edited]

Hey there!

Just my 2 cents: since nearly all highly selective schools (MIT included) utilize a holistic review process, they'll consider your application in your unique context. So, if admitted students from your background average a 1450 and your score is a 1500, you would be well above average for your background. In your case, I would submit my score.

My philosophy is that providing more information about yourself can only be helpful to the admissions officers. After all, their goal is to understand you to determine whether you'd be a good fit for their school. Taking a standardized test during the pandemic--let alone scoring in the 95th percentile--is an accomplishment you can be proud of. In my eyes, submitting a score you've worked so hard to earn can only prove your drive and determination. Add to this your stellar grades, and the admissions committee should see you for the academically strong student you are. I hope this helps!

Whatever you decide, good luck with your college admissions journey!


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