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Standardized Test Requirements

Standardized tests are required for any freshman application to MIT. While your scores are only one component of your application, they are important, and you should make sure you're prepared for the testing process.

Testing Requirements
Standardized Test Requirements
All applicants must complete one test in each category

SAT/ACT/TOEFL
Math Subject
Test
Science Subject Test
 

For native English speakers: We require the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Plus Writing with the writing test. We do not prefer one over the other. In addition, we require two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2), and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m). We do not have a preference as to which science you take or which level math you take.

For non-native English speakers: You have two options: 1) take the tests required for native English speakers (see above), or 2) you may take the TOEFL and two SAT Subject Tests, one in math (level 1 or 2) and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).

If you have been using English for less than 5 years or do not speak English at home, we strongly suggest that you take the TOEFL.

How We Use Scores and Score Choice
If you take the same test (SAT, ACT, or an SAT Subject Test) multiple times, we will be using the highest score achieved in each section. For example, if you take the SAT Reasoning Test in 11th grade and score 750 math, 700 critical reading and 650 writing, and then take the SAT again in 12th grade and score 700 math, 650 critical reading and 700 writing, only your best scores from each sitting (i.e. 750 math, 700 critical reading and 700 writing) are used in our admissions calculations.
Testing Deadlines and Reporting Scores
In order to apply for freshman admission, you must take the required tests on or before the November test date for Early Action or the January test date for Regular Action.

Your scores must be reported to us officially from the testing agency; scores you list on your application and scores appearing on your school transcript will not be considered official. Our SAT and TOEFL code is 3514 and our ACT code is 1858.

Please allow plenty of time for your scores to arrive at MIT. It takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for us to receive SAT scores. We recommend that you list MIT as a school to receive your scores when you take the test. If you take the January test, you must list MIT as a school to receive your scores or we will not receive them in time for our review.

To clarify: you may take tests that occur after the application deadline. November tests, which are given after the November 1 Early Action deadline, are eligible for Early Action consideration; January tests, which are given after the January 1 Regular Action deadline, are eligible for Regular Action consideration (as long as MIT is designated as a score recipient). These scores will reach the Admissions Committee in time for review; students who take these tests are not at any disadvantage.

It is important that you register for tests with the same name as you have indicated on your application or MyMIT account. Your record and test scores will not be linked in our system if the names do not match.

You can get more information and register for the SAT tests online at sat.collegeboard.com, for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) at www.ets.org/toefl, and for the ACT at www.act.org.

When to take which tests

Obviously, it's vital that students take all tests on or before their testing deadline (November test date for Early Action and January test date for Regular Action). Beyond that, however, choose your test dates strategically! For example, if you will be completing high school physics, chemistry or biology before your senior year, it's very wise to take the appropriate SAT Subject Tests(s) right afterwards, in May or June, while the material is fresh in your mind.

Most applicants do take at least one science subject test during senior year, after completing only a portion of the given course; our Admissions Committee recognizes this and judges the scores accordingly. As a general rule, however, it's best to take a subject exam just after you've completed a whole course.

The content of your math courses should determine whether you take the Level 1 or the Level 2 Math test and when. (The two tests are weighed equally in the admissions decision.) Before you choose the dates for any of your tests, particularly the math test, be sure to get advice from your guidance counselor and your teachers.

Competitive Scores

We do not have cutoff or recommended scores for the ACT Plus Writing, SAT Reasoning Test, or SAT Subject Tests as scores are evaluated within an applicant's context. To view test score statistics from the most recent admissions year, visit our admissions statistics page.

For the TOEFL exam, the institute minimum required score is 90 (recommended: 100) on the iBT and 577 (recommended: 600) on the paper-based exam.

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