The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, holds a central place in the world of academic excellence. This institution has etched its name in history as a place for groundbreaking research, pioneering discoveries, and launching some of the world’s brightest minds. Furthermore, students from all over the world wish to join this prestigious educational institute.
As a seasoned professor, I have witnessed thousands of students struggling with the administration process and have millions of questions in their minds. Therefore, this blog is organized to guide you through the MIT GPA requirements and other challenges, especially to answer the question ‘How challenging is it to get admission into MIT? Moreover, a higher than 4.1 GPA will allow you to get into MIT because it is highly competitive.
MIT is known internationally for its cutting-edge programs in the physical sciences, engineering, and other disciplines. Even though most students dream of becoming alums of MIT, very few get past the admission process. Moreover, this institute is famous for its incredibly competitive and selective admission process.
If you are thinking about applying for MIT, you need to look at their acceptance rate to set goals from now. The acceptance rate at MIT is only 6.7%, meaning only seven people among 100 applicants get admitted. So, from the admission rate, you can get an overview of how challenging the selection process might be.
Three things are critical for MIT admissions; work on these three things, and you will surely get into MIT. The first one is GPA requirements, which you need to work on starting now because you need to score higher and maintain it. Furthermore, you must take some tests, including SAT and ACT, and focus on the application requirements.
The MIT official website does not say anything officially about the GPA requirement; however, it does talk about the GPA of competitive applicants, which, according to them, is at least 3.5 unweighted GPA with As in math and sciences. Realistically speaking, with the MIT competitive selection, a 3.5 GPA won’t do it; you need at least a 4.17 GPA, preferably higher.
Furthermore, it would be best to get As in nearly all the advanced and easy subjects to compete with other applicants. Likewise, you must take challenging classes like AP or IB courses to prove that college-level studies won’t be complex for you. So, you need to study hard and get the highest grades in all the subjects to increase your chances of getting selected at MIT.
Most students confuse the holistic process of MIT selection and think the school will consider other things with the GPA, so GPA will not matter much. However, a holistic approach is used between the high-achiever students who have already earned top grades in high school. So, this means GPA is the first thing you must worry about.
How Should I Make Up for My GPA as a Senior?
One of the main concerns of the students who are already seniors or juniors is how to make up for their GPA now. Focusing on getting As in your advanced courses would be best because it will increase your chances of getting selected. Furthermore, it would be best if you got a remarkable score on your ACT or SAT because these tests are also crucial for MIT admission.
Furthermore, it would be best if you still worked on your grades and got help from tutors but ensured that your grades in the advanced subjects are high. Moreover, set goals, make a timetable or a scheduler to plan your study hours, and track your progress because it helps tremendously.
SAT or ACT Score Requirement
ACT and SAT are two primary standardized tests for college admissions in the United States. MIT requires SAT and ACT for both prospective first-years and transfer students. Moreover, both paper and digital SATs are accepted by MIT.
MIT also focuses on the ACT writing section and the SAT optional essay. Moreover, it highly values writing and communication. Furthermore, the university does not prefer one test over the other if you score exceptionally high.
The SAT consists of three tests, and the ACT has a total of four tests. SAT has a reading test, a writing and language test, and a math test. On the other hand, ACT includes a reading test, an English test, a math test, and a science test; however, both tests also have an optional essay test.
You can take either SAT or ACT to apply to MIT. It would be best if you scored well to have a robust application. Moreover, I have observed that students do not choose their tests on time, which creates confusion during preparation.
Knowing what you are preparing for makes the preparation easier, and you can start early, practice, and identify your weak areas on time. Similarly, I always emphasize taking the test multiple times, starting from your junior year; this prevents wasting a student’s time as they can have plenty of time to retake even if they do not score well on their first attempt.
SAT Highest Score
The highest score on the SAT is 1600; however, 1535 out of 1600 is the average composite at MIT. This puts the MIT SAT score requirement at highly competitive. Moreover, the 25th percentile is 1500, and the 75th percentile is 1570, which means if you score 1500 on SAT, you will be placed below average while 1570 moves you up to above average.
Additionally, there is a chance to improve your SAT score if your current score is below 1570. MIT believes in the score choice policy of the ‘highest section,’ which means super scoring. Furthermore, in superscoring, you can appear for multiple SATs, and your highest score will be chosen by MIT when you send your application.
MIT will consider your highest section score across all SAT dates you submit. So, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to improve your SAT score from average and below average to above average. Furthermore, once you appear for the test, the next time should be easier as you know what to expect.
I always recommend retaking the SAT to those students who score low in the SAT. If you have an opportunity, why not avail it? However, it would be best to be determined and not shy away from hard work.
Another bonus point of super scoring is that you can focus on one section, score the best in that section, and then focus on another section the next time. Superscoring will force your application reader to focus only on the highest score in each area. Moreover, let’s analyze SAT scores by portions in a table.
|Portion||25th percentile||75th percentile||Average|
|Reading + writing||720||770||745|
ACT Highest Score
The highest ACT score is 36, and the average score at MIT is 35, so you can guess how competitive the ACT score is at MIT. Similarly, the 25th percentile score is 34, while the 75th percentile score is 36. Officially, MIT sets no minimum score requirement; however, most applicants score 35, which means an applicant with a 34 score will not have a chance until they are extremely impressive in something else.
Appearing for the ACT has a considerable advantage and immediately affects your application. You can repeatedly appear for the ACT and send only your highest score. So, you have many chances, and unlike the SAT, you do not have to submit records of all the times you appeared for the test.
MIT offers super scoring on ACT as well. So, preparing for the test and retaking it repeatedly is advised until you get a perfect score of 36. Likewise, you can focus on one subject, like if you have a lower score in math, give more time to math to get the highest marks, and then focus on other sections in another retake.
Additionally, MIT also has an SAT subject test; however, among SAT/ACT, GPA, and SAT subject tests, this test is valued the least. Therefore, if you must choose, focus on your GPA and SAT or ACT preparation.
MIT Stands on Standardized Testing
MIT briefly suspended the standardized test requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 and 2021 application cycles. However, they quickly changed this policy because the institution found that evaluating applicants solely based on high school grades, coursework, and other factors wasn’t sufficient to predict their success at MIT.
MIT stands on standardized test requirements, unlike other institutions that went for test-optional policies. So, if you aspire to become an MIT student, you must score well on these tests along with a perfect GPA.
What is the lowest GPA MIT will accept?
There is no minimum GPA limit, but it is a highly selective and competitive institution with a GPA of 4.1 or above, with As in math and sciences, granting you a higher chance of getting selected.
What is the SAT score for MIT?
Those who want to get admission into MIT should score between 1520 to 1570 on the SAT.
In short, it is not difficult to deduce that it is extremely hard to get into MIT, and you need at least a 4.17 GPA or higher. The school is highly selective, and the main things you should work on are your GPA and SAT and ACT scores. Furthermore, my words of advice are to have a clear goal, narrow down your plan, and start working to achieve your goal as early as possible.
There is no doubt that this university is competitive and hard. However, this should not discourage you from working hard because you can achieve everything in the world with hard work and determination. MIT is just the beginning, and you are destined to do great things, so good luck on your path to success.
Disclaimer & Thanks: Before I end this article, I would like to thank Connor Gillivan, who helped me collect data related to MIT for this article on “How Hard is it to Get into MIT? What GPA Do You Need?”. Connor is an incredible guy, and as an MIT graduate, he knows the ins and outs of MIT. His knowledge helped me collect facts about MIT and interview multiple other students.