2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How do y’all feel about MIT going back to test required?


According to this article, MIT is reinstating test mandates meaning that people who were planning on not submitting their ACT/SAT scores are now at a disadvantage if they want to apply to MIT.

How do y’all feel about this?

I think the ACT/SAT was the closest thing to an objective assessment of a student’s academic abilities. Now that most schools are test optional, the admissions process is getting more and more subjective based one someone’s extracurriculars, essays, etc.

For example, Someone who is rejected by one college admissions official because their essay is too “left leaning” for the official’s taste might have been accepted by a different officer who has difference beliefs. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Crappy example but y’all get the point

I think it’s great
Oh no
Poll closed44 votes
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2 years ago

It's wonderful that MIT has reinstated the standard tests. I believe that the ACT/SAT should be required for college admissions because it provides objective scores for a person's skill development. It would also be more equitable for minorities, as many do not have the resources or money to participate in a high-quality extracurricular, which colleges without SAT/ACT value more highly. As a result, canceling the SAT/ACT would widen the gap in college admissions from poor to rich.

2 years ago[edited]

I do agree with MIT's decision on bringing back test score requirements, but your statement is simply not true in some cases. SAT/ACT are standardized tests. People who are wealthy or attend feeder schools are wayyy more likely to excel in those tests because they are able to hire tutors for hundreds and thousands of dollars and are still expected to take the same test as someone who has less opportunities. Also, these tests cost money to take. Someone who is more wealthy has the opportunity to take the SAT/ACT multiple times compared to someone who is low income and can't afford to take the test multiple times.

2 years ago[edited]

Also, extracurriculars are more equitable for minorities and low-income/first gen students as there are a lot of programs available for free to help us out. Colleges care if you, as a student, have made the best use out of the opportunities given to you. If the best you could do as an engineering major is to volunteer/intern at a local repair shop than good for you! If your parents are extremely wealthy and had connections for you to have a guaranteed spot as an intern at Google than also good for you! However, the SAT/ACT is one test given to everyone and has one path. Extracurriculars have many paths you can take.

🎤2 years ago[edited]

I agree that the wealthy taking the ACT multiple times can be an issue however there are waivers that allow low income students to take the ACT/SAT for free.

Even though colleges take personal situations into account, if two students wanted to enroll in MIT and Student A was a low income who worked at Wendy’s vs Student B who was wealthier and got a Google internship, I believe that Student B would still have a higher chance of getting into MIT than Student A.

Even if a student A participates in all the extracurriculars available to them (working at Wendy’s, singing at church for example), that wouldn’t prepare them for MIT like another student doing research and doing CS internships.

It’s kind of a can’t win situation.

2 years ago[edited]

Yea but I have a friend who is lower middle income and she is not eligible for a fee waiver so she only took the SAT twice.

And a big thing to note. Wealthy kids can afford a personal tutor. They can pay thousands of dollars for someone to teach them the material every day and college guidance is almost always available to them. Whereas low income kids rely on hand-me-down SAT prep books from 2012, khanacademy (a great source btw, very thankful that it exists), and a "Good luck!" from guidance counselors.

There was a kid in my school who got into Stanford and his ECs were basically leadership roles in school clubs and volunteering. He's low income btw.

Another kid at my school got into Princeton and he had stellar ECs mainly due to his family being able to fund his independent projects (mom is a doctor and dad is a surgeon).

And what I mean by taking advantage of opportunities is not to go out and pick a bunch of random activities but to really do something surrounding your interests. Have an invention but you have no way to produce it? Use the 3d printers at your local library! Want to take advanced classes but don't have enough money to do pre-college classes? Take free online courses from universities like Harvard and MIT! Want to learn how to code, but classes aren't offered at your school? Utilize free coding websites!

Also, there are other opportunities that are targeted towards low income students like MITES and I know Stanford has a couple. There's opportunities at UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins, etc and Microsoft internships, and NASA internships that anyone can apply to, even RSI.


2 years ago[edited]

That's right, sometimes I imagine all the resources I could have if I were a millionaire or even a billionaire's family. But, at the end of the day, I learned that complaining is pointless. I need to return to reality after my fantasies. The only way to have a better life is to work hard/learn and hoping to become one of them someday in the future.

Free Resources I use: Khan Academy, Saylor Academy, Microsoft Certifications, freeCodeCamp, Replit, Glitch, Stack Overflow. (All are browser based)

Good Textbooks/AP/SAT prep series you can borrow from the library: "Python Crash Course", "5 steps to a 5", "The Dummies", "Princeton Review SAT Premium Prep"

2 years ago[edited]

Oh, I was referring to families who make like $150k or $200k+ a year (obviously depending on family size) since that's what I see in my school and also $300+-$400+ in some cases, but yea it also applies to millionaires and billionaires (I don't personally know any families who make that much money).

And I wasn't complaining. I was just pointing out the economic disadvantages low income students face. I do utilize all possible free resources I can get, but wealthier folks still have access to those free resources AND resources that cost money.

"The only way to have a better life is to work hard and learn to become one of them someday in the future." Lol, okay.


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