The Ultimate Guide to the MIT Application

Mar 19, 2021

 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as MIT, frequently ranks among the top five universities in the country, if not the world. This year,  according to QS Top Universities, MIT is ranked number 1 worldwide.

MIT is established in Cambridge, MA, adjacent to its famous neighbor Harvard University. Due to its honor and reputation, many people think of MIT as a specialized school for the STEM fields

Many students are attracted to its science, math, and technology programs, with nearly half enrolled in the School of Engineering and the School of Science accounting for many more. However, MIT offers a wide range of other programs, ranging from arts, business, humanities to public policy and gender studies.

MIT has many things to offer, and it isn’t easy to get into MIT. For the class of 2024, applications tallied over 20,000. Eventually, though, only 1,457 were accepted. This brings us to an overall acceptance rate of just 6.7%, putting MIT’s selectivity on par with top Ivy Leagues such as Brown and Yale.

But you don’t have to worry, and you’re should fortunate to be here because we at    AP Guru have helped many students towards their MIT acceptances, and we know how exactly it works.

In this guide, we’ll give you a detailed outline, including the MIT application process and what you can do to maximize your chance at acceptance.

Essential Info for the MIT Application

You should know all the crucial information about the MIT application in advance before you plan on applying. Make sure to gather all your materials and meet all the deadlines.

The MIT application: You can find the MIT application here. The application opens in August of each year.

How to submit the MIT application: When you've finished the MIT application, you can submit it by hitting the "Submit" button at the end of the application. SAT/ACT scores, your official transcript must be sent directly to MIT.

When to submit the MIT application: It's essential to remember the MIT application deadline. MIT provides both early action and regular action application submissions. Check-out the below chart of the critical deadlines for each option. It's vital to know every deadline since missing just one could mean your application won't be looked at.

Early Action 

Early Action

Regular Action

Regular Action

If you're applying early action, you'll need to have both parts of the application finished and your transcript, letters of recommendation sent by November 1st. You can still take the SAT/ACT in November. However, you'll receive your admission decision in mid-December.

For those who are applying for regular action, you'll need to have all parts of the application sent by January 1st, and you can take your SAT/ACTs no later than December. You'll get your admission decision by April 1.

So, should you apply for Early Action or Regular Action?

If you apply early action, you do have a somewhat better chance of getting accepted. According to MIT's admission statistics, if you use early steps, you have an insignificantly better chance of getting accepted than if you apply regular action.

Anyway, MIT explicitly states this about its early action cycle: "We do not incline, and there is no diplomatic benefit to be had. We have two cycles for two motives: 1) it helps us spread our work over a lengthier period, giving more time to each application, and 2) it provides applicants with more opportunities so they can choose which works best for them."

Bottom line? Always go for early action because you will get all the materials in before the deadline, but don't emphasize too much about it if you can't since it won't impact your chance of getting admitted.

How to Apply to MIT

There are six crucial steps you need to follow to submit your MIT application. I have mentioned the below steps in the approximate order which you should complete.

Step No 1: Create your “MyMIT Account” 

The first step is simple, and you just need to create a MyMIT account. Once you’ve created an account, you'll be able to complete an application, track the pieces of the application you've submitted, join the MIT mailing list, and get your interviewer's name and contact information.

To create an account, you need to fill out some basic demographic information such as your birth date, home address, and high school name.

Step No 2: Finish Part 1 and 2 of the Application

Part 1 focuses on biographical information, and Part 2 focuses on your test scores, essays, and activities.

In Part 1 is you need to fill out the information about whether you're applying early action or regular action, your parents' profession and education, if you have any siblings and where they attend college (if applicable), and a list of the high schools you attended, among other information. After you submit Part 1, you'll pay the $75 MIT application fee.

In Part 2, you need to enter information about all the extracurricular activities and jobs you've participated in, about your advanced classes, awards you've received, and your exam scores (here, you have to send official copies of these scores).

Mention about all the classes you've taken and the grades you got in them; however, you'll need to submit your official transcript again. Also, you have to mention the two teachers who are writing evaluations for you (check-out Step No 5 for more info) and submit any supplemental materials (see Step 6 No for more information).

Finally, you need to complete MIT's statements. Unlike many other schools, MIT doesn't expect one extended essay; instead, you'll answer five short prompts. Check-out the essay prompts, along with the word count requirement:

  • Explain yourself; for example, your family, school, clubs, community, city, or town. How has that environment shaped your dreams and ambitions? (200-250 words)
  • Select a field of study at MIT that you the most right now, and explain why this research field appeals to you.
  • Narrate about something you do for fun and entertainment. (200-250 words)
  • At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to grow their communities in many different ways, from tackling the world's biggest challenges to showing compassion towards humanities. Explain how you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, community or the classroom, etc. (200-250 words)
  • Tell us about the most meaningful challenge you've faced or something great that didn't go according to plan. How did you handle the situation? (200-250 words)

Once you've completed each of these sections and reviewed them, you can submit them. Part 1 must be submitted before Part 2.

Step No 3: Submit Your Secondary School Report and Standardized Test Scores

First, you have to send your official high school transcript to MIT. MIT also requires one test score, and it can either be the SAT or ACT (the writing section/essay isn't required for either exam).

Step No 4: Fill Out Your Evaluations with the Help of Your Teachers

You'll need two letters of recommendation for MIT, one from a math/science teacher and one from a language teacher. On your “MyMIT Dashboard,” you have to fill out each of your teacher’s names and email addresses so the form can be mailed to them. Your recommendations are awaited the same day as the rest of your application.

Step No 5: Set Up and Complete an Interview

Generally, interviews are not mandatory, but MIT highly recommends them and selects very few applicants who didn't interview, so taking one interview is always the best option. 

After completing Part 1 and 2 of the application, you'll be contacted by an Educational Counselor, who will be taking your interview. The Educational Counselor is an alumnus of MIT who conducts interviews, and there are over 5,000 of them around the world.

You and your Educational Counselor will set up an interview at a place convenient to you. Early action interviews occur in November, and most regular action interviews take place in January. 

During COVID times, the interview lasts an hour and often occurs in a location such as a cafe, restaurant, or library. Some interviews are also conducted virtually over Skype, Google Meet, etc. Check-out the list of most common college interview questions.

Step No 6: Present Supplementary Documents (Optional)

Submitting supplementary documents is an entirely optional step. Students usually do it with fine art or music profile or students who hope to play a varsity sport for MIT. There are five different kinds of supplementary documents you can send.

You can know more about each of these options on your MyMIT Dashboard. Here are the options for supplementary documents:

  • Maker Portfolio
  • Music & Theater Arts Portfolio
  • Research Portfolio
  • Supplemental Recommendations
  • Varsity Sports Interest

Step No 7: Submit Your February Updates and Notes Form

Suppose you applied for Early Action and were selected, or you applied for Regular Action. In that case, you still won't have your admission decision yet, so here you have to submit your February Updates and Notes form by February 15th. 

You will receive an e-mail about this form in which you have to let MIT know what your fall semester grades were and what classes you are going to take up for your spring semester.

Important MIT Application Checklist

A must remember checklist to stay organized and make sure you've submitted all the necessary materials.

  • Parts 1 and 2 of the MIT Application
  • Evaluation A: Letter of recommendation from a math/science teacher
  • Evaluation B: Letter of recommendation from social science/language teacher
  • Scheduled Interview
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • February Updates & Notes Form (due in February)
  • $75 MIT application fee

How to be Excellent on Vital Sections of the MIT Application

How can you have a great MIT application? Because MIT is competitive, your application needs to be strong in all the significant areas MIT evaluates. Let’s go through the five most essential parts of your application and understand exactly what you need to stand out.

1. High School Transcript 

Your high school transcript is the essential piece of your application, so you want it to radiate. Here is to show admissions officers that you took challenging classes and got top grades, particularly the math and science classes.

MIT has meticulous classes, and they're looking for applicants who have already challenged themselves by taking advanced classes in high school. If your school offers honors, AP, or IB classes, you should aim to take at least some of these advanced classes, especially those in the field you plan to major in. If your school doesn't offer these classes, MIT also has suggestions for different ways to challenge yourself.

MIT does not have specific requirements for classes, but MIT recommends the following:

  • One year of physics
  • One year of chemistry
  • One year of biology
  • Math, through calculus.
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history and social sciences

2. Standardized Test Scores

MIT doesn't have a minimum score requirement for the SAT/ACT, but you should aim for a high standardized test score due to extreme competition. Your target should be to reach the 75th percentile score for admitted MIT students. 

For the SAT, a 75th percentile score is 800 in Maths and a 780 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The ACT, it's a composite score of 36

3. Letters of Recommendation

You'll need two letters of recommendation, and they should come from teachers who know you well and write convincingly about your strengths. A powerful letter of rec will include your academic abilities and personal skills; it will also explain why you are a fantastic applicant for MIT.

4. MIT Essays

Remember, for MIT, and you’ll need to write five short essays, each less than 250 words. These short essays will give them a complete view of who you are, so make sure you show your personality and what you care about.

There are three essential things for your MIT essays:

  • Tell them who you are
  • Tell them what's important to you.
  • Tell them why MIT is the best school for you.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Admission Guidelines

5. Extracurriculars

Your extracurriculars are a crucial part of your MIT application. The best way to achieve mastery in your extracurriculars is to emphasize your passion and leadership skills. You have to pursue extracurriculars in a domain related to your future major, continuing and mastering it by achieving leadership roles in them.

Remember, you should choose your extracurriculars based on what you're interested in and passionate about, not what you think will impress MIT. On their website, MIT counsels explicitly against this, as they'd rather have students doing what they love than those spending their time on things they don't care about just to try and look impressive.

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