Wondering how to approach the essay supplements for MIT? You’re not alone. It’s no surprise that the school is extremely selective, with the admission rate hovering around eight percent each year. If MIT is your dream school, you face serious odds. Read on to learn a little more about the school itself and get tips on how to think critically about your essay strategy so you can give yourself the best chance possible of standing out.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology—more commonly known as MIT—is a world-class private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Students can choose from thirty different departments across five schools, though the university is best known for engineering and physical science programs. The school is internationally recognized as an intellectual leader, and students are encouraged to explore and excel. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1, the intimate educational environment appeals to many.
If you’re interested to read more from a real-life MIT beaver, check out Nanette’s story here to get her perspective on getting accepted.
Now, down to the nuts and bolts. There are five supplemental questions for the MIT application, and each has a tight word limit. The application emphasizes that elusive holy grail in personal writing — ”authenticity.” While it’s smart to encourage students not to “think too much” about their answers and prioritize honesty, putting a little extra effort into planning and drafting your submission is an absolute must.
Without further ado, these are the 2019-2020 application year short essay questions straight from MIT’s site:
- We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do simply for the pleasure of it. (100 words or fewer)
- Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100 words or fewer)
- At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200-250 words)
- Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations? (200-250 words)
- Tell us about the most significant challenge you’ve faced or something important that didn’t go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250 words)
There is also one final, open-ended additional information text box, where you can tell us anything else you think we really ought to know.
This space is a chance to include any relevant information about situations that may have negatively impacted your GPA in high school, or other serious events that may impact their decision that go above and beyond. It’s not a place to copy-and-paste that extra writing sample that you’ve got laying around, just in case. Only write here if you have a good reason. And if you think you have a good reason, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from an advisor or counselor just in case.
So there you have it. Be honest, do your research, and have fun learning about yourself in the writing process. Once you've got a draft, consider submitting it to our essay editing team through the free Student Portal we offer to get even more feedback. The sooner you get cracking, the better!