Last Updated on April 20, 2023
If you’re one of the many high school students considering applying for admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you may be wondering whether MIT requires SAT scores and what the typical SAT score for MIT is. So, in this article, I’ll answer those important questions and others, including how MIT admissions views SAT scores, what is a good SAT score for MIT, and more.
Here are the topics we’ll cover:
- Does MIT Require SAT Scores?
- What SAT Score Is Required for MIT?
- What SAT Math Section Score is Required for MIT?
- What Is the Average MIT SAT Score?
- Middle 50% MIT SAT Score Ranges
- What SAT Scores Are Good for MIT?
- MIT SAT Scores: Key Takeaways
- What’s Next?
Let’s begin by reviewing whether MIT has standardized testing requirements for admission to its undergraduate programs.
Does MIT Require SAT Scores?
MIT requires every undergraduate applicant to submit either SAT or ACT scores. So, if you plan to apply to MIT, then you should plan to take the SAT or the ACT.
MIT requires every undergraduate applicant to submit either SAT or ACT test scores.
Now that we know that MIT does require SAT (or ACT) scores, let’s discuss MIT SAT score requirements.
What SAT Score Is Required for MIT?
The short answer to the question of what SAT score is required for MIT is that MIT does not specify any required minimum SAT scores. In fact, in recent years, some MIT students had scores in the 500s on Reading and Writing and some had SAT composite scores in the 1300s. Of course, there were also many MIT students whose SAT scores were in the top percentiles.
Though MIT doesn’t have stated SAT score requirements, there are factors that make achieving SAT scores of certain levels important for gaining admission to MIT, such as MIT’s heavy quantitative focus and the typical SAT scores of MIT applicants.
MIT does not specify minimum required SAT scores.
So, let’s discuss what MIT’s heavy quantitative focus means about the SAT Math score needed for getting into MIT.
What SAT Math Section Score Is Required for MIT?
As you likely know if you’re considering applying to MIT, MIT’s undergraduate programs are unusually quantitatively oriented. For instance, MIT requires every first-year student to take (or place out of) calculus and calculus-based physics.
Accordingly, for MIT admissions, your SAT Math section score is a strong indicator of how well-prepared you are to handle the rigorous quantitative coursework at MIT. So, not surprisingly, nearly all accepted applicants to MIT have SAT Math scores of at least 700.
Thus, even though MIT does not specify any required minimum SAT scores, effectively, an SAT Math score of at least 700 is required for admission to MIT.
Nearly all accepted applicants to MIT have SAT Math scores of at least 700.
Now, the point here is not that an SAT Math score of 700 is going to get you into MIT. In fact, most MIT students have SAT Math scores well above 700 and SAT composite scores above 1500. With that in mind, let’s now consider the types of SAT scores admitted MIT students tend to have.
What Is the Average MIT SAT Score?
You may be surprised to learn that MIT — like many other universities — does not release average SAT scores of admitted students. Instead, MIT provides what is known as the middle 50-percent score range.
The middle 50 percent, or “mid-50%,” is the range of SAT scores from the 25th to 75th percentile scores of the admitted students in a particular entering class. In other words, the mid-50% represents the SAT scores of the MIT students who have scores that are higher than the bottom 25 percent of scores in their class and lower than the top 25 percent of scores. So, the range represents the 50 percent of the entering class with scores in the “middle.”
Thus, while MIT does not publish average SAT scores, we can get a good sense of the MIT typical SAT score by considering the mid-50%. In fact, the mid-50% is perhaps even more useful than an average for determining what types of SAT scores applicants need to get into MIT.
Average SAT scores for MIT entering classes are not publicly available. However, like many other schools, MIT publishes the middle 50% score range.
So, let’s take a look at the mid-50% MIT SAT score ranges in the last few years.
Middle 50% MIT SAT Score Ranges
The table below contains the available SAT composite score and section score data for the mid-50% of MIT’s incoming undergraduate classes in three recent years.
As we can see above, the mid-50% MIT SAT scores have been exceptionally high in recent years, with the mid-50% range of composite scores being consistently above 1500. Most notably, the already high SAT Math section mid-50% range was even higher in the MIT class of 2026. A remarkable 75 percent (mid 50% + top 25%) of that class scored 790 or higher on the Math section.
These mid-50% ranges are higher than those of almost any other school, including Ivy League schools.
The mid-50% SAT scores of recent MIT incoming classes were 1510-1570 for the SAT composite score and 790-800 for the Math section score.
So, what does this information indicate about the SAT scores you need to be a competitive applicant to MIT? Is 1510 high enough? Do you need a perfect SAT Math score? Let’s discuss.
What SAT Scores Are Good for MIT?
When it comes to determining what SAT scores you should have for applying to MIT, there are two competing factors.
One factor is that, in a way, MIT admissions officers are not extremely concerned with standardized test scores. According to what MIT admissions says on its website, rather than be impressed by, for instance, perfect SAT scores, MIT admissions officers simply look to confirm that applicants’ SAT scores are high enough to indicate that the applicants can handle MIT coursework. Then, admissions officers consider other parts of applications, such as extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation, to determine which applicants to admit.
The other factor is that applicants to MIT are competing with tens of thousands of other applicants for fewer than 1,400 spots. For example, for the class of 2026, MIT’s acceptance rate was 3.96%. This extremely low acceptance rate indicates that, though MIT admissions officers are not extremely concerned with SAT scores, your SAT score still represents a way to stand out in the crowd of MIT applicants. So, while scoring extremely high on the SAT will not clinch acceptance to MIT, your SAT score is still a key factor.
So, what is a good SAT score for MIT?
Aim for the Tops of the Mid-50% SAT Score Ranges
A good general rule of thumb to use when applying for college admission to a top school such as MIT is the following. To use your SAT scores to boost your chances of acceptance, aim for the tops of the school’s mid-50% SAT score ranges.
As we saw, the tops of the key mid-50% ranges at MIT are 1570 for the SAT composite score and 800 for the SAT Math section score.
Now, clearly, scoring 1570 or close to 1570 on the SAT and 800 or close to 800 on the Math section is not an easy feat. So, depending on your starting point as indicated by your PSAT score, previous SAT test scores, or practice test scores, you may need to do a significant amount of SAT prep to achieve such target scores.
Meanwhile, what if you’ve already taken the SAT and haven’t scored near the tops of MIT’s mid-50% ranges? Or what if you’re not sure you can score close to the tops of those ranges with the amount of preparation you could do before you have to take the SAT? Let’s discuss.
What If Your Scores Are Below the Tops of MIT’s Mid-50% Ranges?
If your SAT scores are below the tops of MIT’s mid-50% ranges, we have to remember that MIT does accept students with scores below the tops of those ranges or below the mid-50% range entirely. Also, standardized test results are just one factor among many that MIT admissions considers. So, your application may be strong enough to get you into MIT with SAT scores well below the tops of the mid-50% ranges.
For instance, have you demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in your classes? Taken challenging classes? Participated in sports or student governance, or done work in your community? These are just a few examples, but you get the point. Just as a perfect SAT score does not guarantee admission to MIT, having scores below the tops of the mid-50% ranges doesn’t mean that you won’t get accepted. Your whole application matters.
That said, assuming that the rest of your application is shaping up well, if you really have your heart set on MIT and want to do everything you can to be accepted, aiming for the tops of the mid-50% ranges is generally a solid strategy.
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For applying to a top school such as MIT, a solid strategy is to aim to score around the tops of the school’s mid-50% SAT score ranges.
MIT SAT Scores: Key Takeaways
When considering what SAT score is required for applying to MIT, keep the following in mind.
- MIT requires all undergraduate applicants to submit either SAT or ACT scores.
- MIT does not require a specific minimum SAT score for admission. However, MIT’s heavy quantitative focus and the typical SAT scores of admitted applicants to MIT make achieving SAT scores of certain levels important for gaining admission to MIT.
- An SAT Math score of at least 700 is all but required for admission to MIT.
- Recent middle 50% SAT score ranges of MIT students have been 1510-1570 for composite, 790-800 for Math, and 730-780 for Reading and Writing.
- If you want to use your SAT scores to boost your chances of being accepted into MIT, aim for the tops of the mid-50% ranges of MIT incoming students’ composite and Math section scores.
Remember, whatever your SAT score goal is, with effective test preparation methods, the right study materials, and dedication, you CAN achieve your goal!
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