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Did anyone here go to MIT or teach there?

  1. Aug 30, 2004 #1
    Well, I'm wondering if anyone has been there... Right now I'm in Canada, and going into Grade 11 in a couple of days. I'm wondering if anyone can give me an estimate of how hard it is to get it. Maybe an approximation of SAT and actual marks in certain classes? Thanks =)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2004 #2
    Bump. I'd like to know how hard it is to transfer there mid-year (probably damn hard :()
  4. Sep 2, 2004 #3
    i just got back visiting there
    they said scores dont' matter as long as you get above 650 on each section of course higher is better but they don't need you keep retaking it to get another 20 points here and there.

    Then you need good GPA I would say above 3.5 weighted

    then you better be a superstar out of school

    Anyway no matter what you have
    getting in is nearly impossible

    although i hope to get in as I am filling out the apps right now
  5. Sep 2, 2004 #4
    Well, it's different for international students. Why you would give up a good education from Canada to go to Massachusetts, I don't get...

    It may help to check MIT's website. Universities usually have admission information at their websites.

    Getting into M.I.T. is extremely difficult. It takes more than just a good GPA and SAT scores. You're competing against some of the most academically-able people around the world.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2004
  6. Sep 2, 2004 #5
  7. Sep 2, 2004 #6
    That's quite interesting...
    I don't know... I don't believe I'll have too much trouble with my SAT scores. Schooling here is quite easy, and it's really just a matter of doing the work.

    My question for you, Dark Eternal, is what would you suggest that would make me stand out, amongst the rest of the people? I play guitar 'cause I love metal, and it's great. I don't believe in helping my community, so I guess that's out of the question. However, I'm willing to do anything that'll get me into the University. Would you suggest I get at least a bit of community service in? Maybe I can find something I like.

    Also, I'm aware that we need to write an essay concerning our childhood, and where we grew up. On the essay, would you suggest I submit information such as what I did academically, or what I did on my spare time? Are they looking for the ability to communicate academic skills, or are they looking for someone that can resolve their own life? Thanks =)
  8. Sep 2, 2004 #7
    eh, as long as you are an interesting individual it will show. if you're not, sorry, but there's no way you can "make" yourself be interesting, and you had better make it up a GREAT deal with your academics, i.e., fantastic published research etc etc. AP courses, all As, high SAT scores, whatever, big deal. people with those qualifications are a dime a hundred at MIT, so you'd better have something interesting and outstanding in your personality. there are also quite a few people at MIT who had low SAT scores and average grades, after all.

    i play guitar too, so that's cool but not something especially unique. i too only had a bit of community service. for your essay, i would suggest not stressing on one thing too much, and try to hint at everything that won't be already included in the raw facts of your transcript or your grades. make it interesting, funny if you're a funny guy, deep if you wanna do that, but definitely don't make it boring.
  9. Sep 2, 2004 #8
    I'm not trying to make myself interesting. I'm plainly wondering what I should write. I don't want to emphasize on the wrong thing, after all. Thanks for the help, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'll do. I guess I better go do a bit of community service...

    A few more questions though: Do you believe athletics helps in applying? I mean, I'd make provincial badminton, table tennis, and I do quite a bit of other sports too. Ah, and lastly, what kind of extra-circular activities would help more? Thanks.
  10. Sep 2, 2004 #9

    Chi Meson

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    Excuse me if I jump in here, I have an anecdote:

    One of my AP physics students a couple of years ago was the class valedictorian. THe only grade that was NOT an A or A+ in his entire high school transcript was one semester as a freshman (an A-). His SATs were perfect. He got 5s on all of the AP tests he took (six of them, I think). He was a varsity athlete. He wanted to go into engineering since he started high school.

    Did not get into MIT.

    I'm told that past a certain threshold, it's a crapshoot. Go for it, good luck. By the way, I read in the MIT newspaper that there is a general feeling among students that they hate the place once they are in. Consider.
  11. Sep 2, 2004 #10
    athletics should help in applying. not just school athletics, but what you do in your spare time. for the last 3 years of high school my friends and i were pretty crazy about weightlifting, and we'd usually head straight after school to my friend's house and lift weights in his muddy backyard and then shoot some hoops or play football or tennis for a few hours afterwards. so i mentioned this in my interview and when i looked at my admissions record later it seems that the interviewer thought this was a pretty cool point. so it can't hurt, and if you're a varsity athlete or individually ranked pretty high i'd say it helps too. extracurricular involvement in anything is good as long as they can tell you were actually committed to it, i assume. i find resume padders to be pretty annoying and i would think the admissions staff would have learned to spot them by now.

    as for your anecdote, chi meson, i know plenty of people through friends like that. for example, i'm pretty sure the valedictorian or some other bigshot at philips exeter last year did not get in. so i guess it is kind of a crapshoot, but only to some extent. i don't know what was lacking in his case, but i'm sure there was something. like i said, high scores and high grades are a dime a hundred.

    as for the general feeling of hating this place, i think you might be talking about the acronym "IHTFP." there are times when you do feel like it's you against the institute, or you wish you had gone somewhere else, etc etc. but it's usually the night before you have 4 psets and 2 tests the next day and it's 5 in the morning. but i find very few people who aren't happy with being there and i know nobody who is transferring out after one year. if you speak to mostly anyone who goes here, you'll find a lot of people who will joke about how they hate it, but of course they're proud to be coming here. see if they hate it so much they don't put it on their resume, eh? in short, such feelings usually stem from the stress of voluntarily choosing such a harsh workload, when you could be breezing by at some other college, and not from the social environment or things like that.
  12. Sep 2, 2004 #11
    I also know a guy he was named Jesus and he was the son of God and he was perfect in every way and was the smartest person in the world and he applied and he STILL got rejected!!! :rolleyes:

    Most people make it seem like MIT is a ghost school and that no one gets accepted. People do. You can too - just meet and exceed the requirements. Have a personality. A perfect SAT score doesn't mean anything if you have no essay and no extracurriculars.
  13. Sep 2, 2004 #12
    Actually sometimes I think a perfect SAT score is a bad thing

    Many top schools like to wear it as a badge
    see look:
    here is a list of 1600 valadictorians we have rejected

    it helps boast the image of the school
  14. Sep 2, 2004 #13
    you knew Jesus? dude...SWEET
  15. Sep 2, 2004 #14


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    Apply to Columbia.. at least you'll have more chances of getting laid.. As for undergrad education? its all the same in any *University. But once you finish university with GPA of 3.0+ or 3.5+ or better - apply to big shot schools for Ph.D.

    It doesnt matter if you went to Harvard and got your pathetic BA. You are still a nobody! Get broad interdisciplinary education from an affordable university, perhaps double major or whatever - and apply to top schools for Ph.D.

    My $0.02
  16. Sep 3, 2004 #15


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    You're a bit of an America hater Dagenais, so it's hard to take you seriously when you say things like that.
  17. Sep 3, 2004 #16
    Everyone's always hellbent on getting into one of the top 10 schools. What no one tells you is that once you're out in the real world doing job interviews, saying you went to Harvard over a lower university doesn't hold that much weight. It may open some doors if you want to do research, do grad school, or maybe 1 time out of 10 for jobs, but depending on your degree, no one's going to bow down and say "oh he's an ivy leaguer, so we must have him". If anything, they may expect more from you than the average college grad.
  18. Sep 3, 2004 #17
    So true! But, to the less informed, they figure that anyone who has studied at Harvard has to be smarter than someone who studied elsewhere.

    Me, an American hater? Where would you get that idea! :eek:

    Unless you're going to university for pure bragging rights, so you can say to people, "I went to MIT", you could get just as good of schooling in Canada without the international school fees. University of Toronto and McGill University are great schools. Halifax itself, where the original poster lives has five main post-secondary institutions!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2004
  19. Sep 3, 2004 #18
    well if you're talking about education in terms of just classes and such, i'll agree that as long as you go to a good school with a good selection of classes, the physics you learn at one school will most likely be similar to the physics you learn at another. however, places like MIT have great resources and opportunities that other colleges may not; for example, the UROP program makes it insanely easy for undergrads to do research under professors or in a research group. also, there are many tech and science companies in the surrounding areas near campus which originated from MIT, providing internships and networking opportunities. also, at name-brand places like MIT, you get to work with and be taught by a lot of famous and noteworthy academicians. for example, my recitation instructor this semester will be Wolfgang Ketterle, recent winner of the Nobel Prize in physics. last semester as a freshman i worked on a project with Paul Schechter, who is one of the leaders in his field, gravitational lensing. heck, he's got a function named after him, which is always a bonus.

    anyways, my point is although the education received might be roughly equal (although this is definitely arguable), there are other reasons for going to MIT than just its name-brand benefits. you get a lot of opportunities for jobs and research and get recommendations from noteworthy people, and THESE are the things that impress grad school interviewers. is that worth international school fees? i would say yes. after all, if all you want is an education, why not just crack a few books open. like you really need college to learn this stuff? and then try to look for a job, see where that gets you.
  20. Sep 3, 2004 #19

    Chi Meson

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    Actually, I am relieved to hear that. It was, indeed, an article about "IHTFP." They never spelled it out in the article but I figured it out pretty quickly.
  21. Sep 4, 2004 #20
    Financial aid

    The website says that they give 100% financial aid to about 75% of students is this 150% true?
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2004
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