1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The MIT interview

  1. Sep 8, 2011 #1
    Any of you guys been through it (other than Vanadium and twofish) or conducted it? How was it like? Do you feel that it really has the ability to get things to turn around completely? Like, increase or decrease your chances of admission? Or is that a real crap shoot even *with* the interview?

    I'm not very worried about it. My interviewer only *just graduated* and he looks like an awesome dude. I just e-mailed him. :)
    I'm just hoping this thing can actually turn things around for me. I don't have the most illustrious grades or extra curricular activities. I never built no (functional!) bat-a-rang/batmobile!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2011 #2
    I just had my interview yesterday, and he told me the interview is just one piece of the application. He also said MIT has NO benchmarks, and that they look at EVERY word you write. So even if got like 600 on a SAT subject test, or something like that, it won't disqualify you from being accepted.

    Good luck in your interview!
     
  4. Sep 8, 2011 #3
    Getting MIT is a real crapshoot. The problem is that there are just too many good applicants and too few places, and even if you have a totally decent application, you still may not get in, because at the end of the day you have N spaces and 3*N good applicants.

    Don't worry too much. If you get in then you get in. If you don't get in, then you don't get in. If you don't get in, and you wonder why you didn't get in, it might be that you were just unlucky.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2011 #4
    Depends on the topic. If you get below a 650 in math, then you almost certainly are not getting in. Last year MIT admitted 4 people with less than 650 and no one under 600. Conversely, even if you get a perfect score, admission is not guaranteed.

    If it's reading or writing, you still have a shot. See

    http://mitadmissions.org/apply/process/stats

    Also there is a reasoning behind this. One thing that is good about MIT is that it doesn't have weed out classes, but that's because the weeding is done up front. If you get below 650 in math, then you are very unlikely to survive 18.01 and 8.01, and unlike a lot of other places, MIT doesn't admit you to toss you out later.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2011 #5
    Where did you do it? While my interviewer is from the same country as I, he's doing an MS at MIT, so we'll have to do this via Skype. :D

    Haha, yes. What lowers my chances considerably is that a US citizen/PR is 3.05 times more likely to get in than I. :))

    It goes something like that. I'm more worried about what my principal will write though. I've been to that school only since March but I'm well acquainted with him (I work out some math problems with the dude) but every time I go in, he asks me which year I'm in and what my name is...*facepalm*
    Either he wasn't very impressed or there's too many persons coming and going that he can't keep track of 'em all. In any case, I'm screwed!

    Another question, which you may or may not be able to answer: is the high school transcript *very* important? I never cared much about them and usually wrote out funny stuff in my exams...I am confident I can get a few A+s/As for my last semester though. So, if that thing is of capital importance, let's hope this pulls me through.
    Me taking only my finals seriously doesn't really give out a good impression, I guess
     
  7. Sep 8, 2011 #6
    You can take a look at the stats....

    US Citizen/PR - 1595 admissions out of 13979
    International students - 147 admissions out of 3930

    At this point, I wouldn't worry. Worrying is only useful when you can change things and what is done is done. Just see what happens.

    Also, I'd make sure that your backup plans are also in place. One of the things about MIT is that it's part of a US university *system* and while it's a random shot at getting in at one school, you should have a decent change of getting in somewhere. In a lot of countries, if you don't make it into the top school, then you are totally doomed for the rest of your life, but one good thing is that that this is much less true of the US, which is a good thing.

    If you don't get into MIT but you get in somewhere, you are still in the game so I wouldn't worry. If you don't get in anywhere, then you have big problems.

    That's not going to help you. Anything that determines admissions is already in the application so anything new is not going to make a difference.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2011 #7
    I did the interview 2 years ago (graduate in 2010) and my guy was okay. I guess I should also note that I was accepted into MIT (but declined). I doubt the interview can really help you all that much. When I was there, it felt more like a "check-mark", where it can only hurt you (i.e. you have an extremely bad personality and cannot interact socially).

    It's hard for a person to get to know you within 1-2 hours and I'm sure almost all interview recommendations have the interviewer rooting for the interviewee. There's not much said in the interview that isn't already said in the application (extracurriculars, passion, etc.).
     
  9. Sep 9, 2011 #8
    Those stats are what I used to get to the 3.05. ;)

    Well yeah, and right now, I can still get to change something and that's the plan here. I'm only sending in the application mid-November, when I get the grades for my last semester. So, in that case, better grades can only help me? Right now, I'm getting teacher recommendations.

    I have a safety plan but it's going to be a painful three years if it comes down to it. The majority doing Maths and Physics ended up there either because they didn't have the grades to get into their program of choice (engineering or finance) or because they want to teach. (there's *big money* in the extra-classes business here)

    The places that I think I might get in comfortably enough aren't willing to offer financial aid and I don't think it's worth me going into such massive debt. (~$40±10k x 4)

    The places who do though, are just another crap shoot. Maybe not as much as MIT, in the case of Amherst. Word on the street is they're looking for a more diverse student body...

    The cool thing with college education in the US system is the generally wide array of course choices. I can major in Physics and still take courses in macro/microeconomics as well as creative/scientific writing.

    Well, that's a bummer. Maybe I'll make a new friend though. :D

    I'd say a face-to-face conversation is better than reading a few papers.

    Why did you decline? Where are you at now?
     
  10. Sep 9, 2011 #9

    chiro

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What country if you don't mind me asking, are you from Thy Apathy?
     
  11. Sep 9, 2011 #10

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The first couple of years after they made the interview optional, MIT published acceptance stats of interviewed and non-interviewed students. Maybe they still do. At the time, the acceptance rate for interviewed students was around twice what it was for non-interviewed students. So while sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn't, on average it's a net plus.
     
  12. Sep 10, 2011 #11
    They still post them on the http://mitadmissions.org/apply/freshman/interview". If you decline an interview, your chance of admission drops by almost a factor of 10, from 12.4% to 1.4% (though applicants who had interviews waived are also in that 12.4%... not really sure how large that portion of the pool is these days).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  13. Sep 10, 2011 #12
    I'm pretty sure there's confounding variables..
     
  14. Sep 10, 2011 #13

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Yes, there certainly are. So?

    Unless you're arguing that Thy Apathy shouldn't interview, I don't see the point.
     
  15. Sep 11, 2011 #14
    I just found that statistic to be interesting, since interviews were still mandatory when I applied to MIT. I only remembered that statistic because it came up when I was chatting with my course 6 p-set buddy who is now an EC. I wasn't arguing for correlation between the two; I have no idea how the crapshoot that is MIT admissions works.

    I'm all for applicants doing interviews; it provides a bit of a sanity check for the applicant to talk to someone who has been to MIT. I somewhat wish that I had done one back then; I didn't because I lived more than 100 miles away from the nearest EC.

    Good luck with your interview, Thy Apathy.
     
  16. Sep 11, 2011 #15
    ^^ So you have no evidence that taking an interview is a "net plus" as you so claimed.


    After a lot of experience talking to different admissions, many people seem to use this analogy to describe interviews: "it can be seen as an optional essay where you get to express things outside your application." That's the design anyways, but you spend almost all the time in the interview explaining stuff already on your application to some alumni, who has no idea who you are. And MIT is well aware that because they're alumni and not professional interviewers, there is no standardized basis to understand the results of the interviews. Thus, on a logical perspective, it would be inane for MIT to put much weight on a subjective medium.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  17. Sep 11, 2011 #16

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I have evidence, which I described and apparently is also on MIT's web site. I don't have a rigorous proof. There is no way to "prove" anything with admissions. You can't run a controlled test.

    MIT takes the interview seriously. It may be "inane", but that's what they do. Perhaps when you've had more than a couple weeks college experience yourself, you might come to a different opinion.
     
  18. Sep 11, 2011 #17

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I have evidence, which I described and apparently is also on MIT's web site. I don't have a rigorous proof. There is no way to "prove" anything with admissions. You can't run a controlled test.

    MIT takes the interview seriously. It may be "inane", but that's what they do. Perhaps when you've had more than a couple weeks college experience yourself, you might come to a different opinion.
     
  19. Sep 11, 2011 #18
    The interview was taken at his office place, which was pretty cool.

    But yeah, I would highly suggest the interview regardless if it helps your application because you can ask questions about the dorms, Boston, weather, etc. because, if accepted, you will be living for 4 years and if you're not going to like the location then you should probably not be going to that college :eek:!
     
  20. Sep 11, 2011 #19
    I'm pretty sure I've had more than a couple weeks college experience. I'm graduating this year.. And as far as 'evidence' goes, feel free to snoop around Collegeconfidential and ask some of the MIT alumni/ECs there. There are a few people who are actually part of the admissions (or at least know more information) and who regularly visit the MIT subforum. And going off that statistic alone isn't going off much. Sorry bud.
     
  21. Sep 11, 2011 #20

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I'm sorry - it must be another Anonymous who just started college. He was deciding between Berkeley and Princeton.

    I am an MIT alum and an EC. I've been on a first name basis with the last four deans of admission (even before they were called that). You've...read posts on Collegeconfidential. I'll let the readership here decide who to believe.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: The MIT interview
  1. Mit ? (Replies: 48)

  2. MIT transfer? (Replies: 9)

  3. Getting in to MIT (Replies: 4)

  4. Mit Admissions? (Replies: 24)

  5. MIT essay (Replies: 6)

Loading...