What Is the Average ACT Score at MIT?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's main building, lighted at night.

What Is the Average ACT Score at MIT?

For students who are interested in getting into one of the best schools in the entire world, particularly for subjects related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), one of the very best undergraduate programs you can truly hope to attend is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly known simply as MIT.

But what is the average ACT score at MIT?

Of course, the ACT is one of the two standardized tests that high school students in the United States have had to take for many decades in order to apply to the vast majority of four-year undergraduate programs.

Without a doubt, MIT is one of the most prestigious and selective undergraduate programs in not just the United States, but also the entire world. It has been home to some of the most influential minds in the world of science, math, engineering, and so much more.

Aerial view of the Great Dome at MIT.

For that reason, the admissions officers who work at the school hold incredibly high standards and expectations when they are deciding who to let in and who they do not offer admissions to.

While the singularly most important factor that any student needs to keep in mind when they are applying to schools is their grade point average in high school, ACT and SAT scores can – and have for many years – also played an incredibly important role.

That remains true even though standardized test scores being sent into schools has been made optional for many schools across the United States as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But we’ll get into that a little bit later. To start off, let’s get started on getting the answer to the question, “What is the average ACT score at MIT?”

Let’s get started!

What is the average ACT score at MIT?

When it comes to the ACT, the perfect score that a person can receive is a 36. This is very different from the SAT, which is out of a total of 1600 points.

That is not to say, however, that the ACT is somehow easier or less demanding. If you are curious about how the ACT is broken down, take a look at the quick overview of all five sections below:

  • 75 multiple-choice questions
  • 45 minutes
  • Tests grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and rhetorical skills
  • 60 multiple-choice questions
  • 60 minutes
  • Algebra I and II, geometry, and some trigonometry
  • 40 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes
  • Four passages (prose fiction, social studies, humanities, and natural sciences) withten0 questions per passage
  • 40 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes
  • Questions on science-based passages presented with graphs, charts, tables and research summaries
  • Writing test is optional *
  • 1 essay
  • 40 minutes

As you can see, the test is long and expects students to deal with many questions revolving around the key subjects that students learn during high school.

When a test is scored out, they are given a score out of the perfect 36, and the score that they earn on the ACT can go a long way in either helping – or hurting – their chances of getting into a top school like MIT.

So, what is the average ACT score at MIT? Brace yourselves because it’s basically a perfect score. IN fact, the MIT average ACT score is 35. That means that the realistic range for MIT’s typical ACT scores is between 34 and 36. It also means that a lot of students that are getting into MIT are earning perfect scores.

Okay. Now you can take a deep breath. If you are the kind of student that is even considering applying to and getting into MIT and fulfilling the other MIT requirements, then there is also very little doubt that you can get the kind of ACT score needed to get into this school.

On top of that, it is important to know that at present, MIT does not actually require students to send in ACT or SAT scores as part of their undergraduate application.

That is – as you likely already know – a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After all, no school would ever dream of asking a student to potentially endanger their health or the health of those in their lives just to take a standardized test.

Here is what MIT has to say about its current policy as it relates to the standardized test-optional policy:

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our office will continue to suspend our usual SAT/ACT testing requirement for the 2021–22 application cycle.⁠ You can learn more about this decision here.

“Updated requirements

  • “We will not require the SAT or the ACT from first-year applicants applying in fall 2021, or transfer applicants applying in either fall 2021 or spring 2022
  • “Students who have already taken the SAT/ACT or who can find a forthcoming opportunity to do so safely are encouraged to submit their scores with the understanding that they help us more accurately evaluate their preparedness for MIT.⁠
  • “Students who have not already taken the SAT/ACT and cannot find a forthcoming opportunity to do so safely are discouraged from taking the test in order to protect their personal health, as well as the health of their family and community. We will not make any negative presumptions regarding academic preparation based solely on the absence of SAT/ACT scores, but will instead make the best, the most informed decision we can by rigorously assessing other academic aspects of their application (such as grades, coursework, and other examinations).⁠”

As you can see, MIT is making it very clear that the school is taking health and safety far more seriously than it is taking standardized test scores. And that is exactly how it should be! All of us have been through a lot over the last couple of years, and everyone has to put health and safety first when it comes to trying to live a relatively normal life in this new normal.

With that being said, if students are able to take the ACT safely, there are some really important reasons why it can be helpful to send in a test score even now. The primary reason for this is because MIT is just so selective and competitive.

Truly, the MIT acceptance rate is amongst the lowest in the world, and any tool a high school student can utilize in order to prove that they have what it takes to succeed at MIT is very valuable.

So, if you are able to take the ACT and do it in a safe way, you may want to consider doing so. That is especially true if your grade point average is not quite as good as you want it to be given the very high expectations that admissions officers at MIT hold.

MIT acceptance rate

So, now that you know just how high the MIT average ACT score is, you may be wondering just how low the acceptance rate at MIT is.

As you may have guessed, it is quite low. It ranks with the other most prestigious private universities in the United States, such as the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and the eight schools that make up the Ivy League.

MIT students walking towards the famous dome.

Currently, the general acceptance rate at MIT for the 2025 graduating class was just 4.1 percent. If you are curious about how the MIT acceptance rate compares to the acceptance rates at the schools in the Ivy League, take a look at the acceptance rates below:

As you can see, MIT is right in line with the Ivy League when it comes to selectiveness. Moreover, in the minds of many, MIT even exceeds the Ivy League when it comes to the level of prestige.

Tips to improve your chances of getting into MIT

Now that you have a good understanding of just how hard it can be to get into MIT, the chances are good that you are curious about any tips that you can keep in mind to help improve your chances of actually getting into the school.

At AdmissionSIght, we know that knowledge is a crucial tool when it comes to students improving their chances of getting into some of the best schools in the country.

For that reason, we have decided to break down some of the best tips to keep in mind when you are preparing your application to send it to MIT.

Let’s get started!

Earn fantastic grades throughout high school

This may seem somewhat obvious, but it is important for any student that is interested in getting into MIT to know that a high school student’s grade point average is very important.

On top of that, it is really important to know that the average GPA that students that get into MIT earn in high school is among the highest GPAs that AdmissionSight has seen.

A teenager studying at home with her tablet.

To get a better sense of that GPA, right now, the average GPA for students that get into MIT is a 4.12. That is incredibly high, and it tells us one really important thing as well.

Overall, the most important aspect of the 4.12-grade point average is that it is a weighted average GPA. That means that students that get into MIT are taking advanced courses, such as AP and IB courses, throughout high school.

These courses are significant for high school students who have goals of attending top undergrad programs because they are styled – in both a curriculum sense and a difficult sense – to replicate entry-level courses at a college or university.

Students who are able to take as many advanced courses as possible in high school and succeed in them (earning A grades) will offer admissions officers at schools like MIT that they are more than prepared to not only manage within MIT’s highly arduous and competitive curriculum but also excel!

Earn stellar letters of recommendation

Another really important aspect of getting into top schools for high school students is securing really strong letters of recommendation from the teachers at their high school.

Just as most universities and colleges have rules regarding what they expect out of these letters of recommendation, MIT has specific requests as well.

MIT’s specific rules regarding the letters of recommendation portion of the application can be taken as a strong signal that the school takes these letters strongly into consideration when admissions officers are making their decisions. To apply to MIT, every student must get one recommendation letter from a science or math teacher and one from a humanities teacher.

A man sitting by his laptop while holding a paper and making a phone call.

When it comes to choosing the teachers you want to write your letters to, you should focus on asking teachers who are very familiar with you as both a person and a student. This means identifying teachers that have taught you in numerous classes. Ideally, those teachers will have seen you face challenges, overcome them, and ultimately succeed greatly in the classroom.

This is even better if these teachers led any school groups or clubs that you took part in as part of your extracurriculars as well—choosing teachers who know you as a person and not just as a student will be best equipped to describe why you would be a great fit as a part of the community and campus at MIT.

Beyond that, you will want to be sure to give the teachers at the top of your list ample time to craft their letters. We recommend that students approach teachers about this important job either at the end of their junior years of high school, sometime over the summer vacation via email, or – at the very latest – near the beginning of their senior year of college.

After all, keep in mind that these letters are an important reflection on you and your entire argument for why you should be accepted into MIT.

Attend some wonderful summer programs

Another great way to make it clear that you are interested in attending MIT – or any top school for that matter – is to attend summer programs that are related directly to the school. Some top schools have a lot of options for high school students to attend, and some have very few.

When it comes to MIT, AdmissionSight has identified four summer programs that high school students can apply to and enroll in that are connected to MIT:

  • Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)
  • Research Science Institute (RSI)
  • Women’s Technology Program (WTP)
  • Summer Science Program (SSP)

All of these programs, except for the Summer Science Program, are held directly on MIT’s campus and give high school students the chance to work and learn within some of the school’s facilities.

Perhaps most importantly, getting involved in any of these programs will be a shining star on your application and will give you an opportunity to meet and build relationships with students and faculty currently working at MIT.

Craft unique personal essays

One of the most impactful and important ways that any student can improve their chances to get into MIT is to write unique personal essays.

MIT asks that all applicants write responses to a series of short-essay prompts with the goal of giving students a great opportunity to reveal more about themselves and show who they are beyond just their great grades, standardized scores, extracurriculars, and more.

A woman seated on the grass while writing on her notebook.

When you are reading the essay prompts on your application, make sure that you are really taking the time necessary to come up with topics that you really connect with.

Now is not the time to try to give the admissions officers what you think they want to hear. Instead, you should be focusing on trying to understand and accurately depict your core beliefs, your passions, your goals, and how all those important aspects of your life have led you to believe that MIT is the school where you want to spend your undergraduate education at.

We can help you beat the MIT ACT score.

There is no clear way to get into MIT. Truthfully, the students that get into this school each and every year are amongst the most impressive students in the world. And while the MIT acceptance rate is around 6.7 percent currently, the school’s admissions officers are picking from the best of the best.

AdmissionSight loves helping the best of the best get into the school of their dreams; it’s why we are so proud of the fact that 75 percent of the students that we work with end up getting into Ivy League schools or other top 10 programs in the United States.

So, if you are looking to get into MIT and think you may need some guidance on how to make that dream a reality, contact AdmissionSight today for a free consultation.


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