I ran though both the Caltech and MIT official EA 2016 threads and found clear and interesting differences between the two.
For each Accepted, I collected the following data if available:
1. Highest SAT/ACT score. ACT is converted to SAT as: 36/35/34 -> 2390/2340/2280
2. Sum of SAT2 Math and a highest science SAT2
3. Unweighted GPA, scaled to 4.0
4. Weighted GPA. I assume an A in AP/Honor/Regular course weighs for 5.0/4.5/4.0 points. I excluded 4.8+ scores to avoid inflated scoring system.
5. Number of AP courses completed. Most people got 5's and 4's
8. Major Award / Specialty. I categorized them into three levels: National level, State level, and Recruited Athlete. I ignored common things such as AP scholars as almost everyone has it. Examples are: Intel finalist is considered at National level, USAMO Qualifier at State level, etc.
Later I will post the collected data after some formatting. Here are my observations:
For all the EA accepted, the average for each school:
SAT 2340 2284
SAT2 1592 1546
GPAu 3.959 3.947
GPAw 4.447 4.337
# AP 7.318 5.865
Female/M Ratio 0.909 1.643
% Awardee 0.273 0.256
Academic-wise, there are clear edges led by Caltech over MIT. What surprised me were
1) MIT shows a heavy preference toward female applicants, whereas Caltech shows a quite balanced female/male admission ratio
2) Higher percentage of Caltech-admitted have won recognizable award than MIT's (including athletes)
Tizil7: but what kinds of other parts of the application does MIT give to other than these solid achievements? Essay? Leadership? Extra-curriculum? They are schools for future engineers/scientists, not for future politicians/journalist/lawyers/artists, in most cases.
Thetangs, agreed. All I am saying is that, MIT might give slightly more importance to these extra things. Note, "slightly". Your statistics speak for you, both schools have very similar academic stats. Though Caltech's slightly higher stats make me state that observation.
@thetangs: From what I've read, MIT is more focused on the "person" than on the "numbers" (not that the numbers aren't important). So, it's sort of a mix of extracurricular activities, essays, interviews, grades and test scores and other factors that I can't remember.
Caltech isn't that numbers-driven. The numbers are a prerequisite for even being considered, but once that's aside, it's more science- and math-driven. If you're a pro dancer who also likes science you might catch the eye of MIT, but you're more likely to look attractive to Caltech if you've done a ton of science extracurriculars and research, even if that makes you less well-rounded.
you guys should read my posts in both of the official 2016 RD threads for caltech. I most definitely don't have astronomically high grades or SATs, nor did I do research or compete in any competitions. Yet somehow (I still don't know why) I got into Caltech in RD...