From the "official decision thread", it seems that MIT has deferred a few (at least three) applicants with 2400 SAT I plus (almost) perfect SAT II scores. It shows that the SAT scores are not that important at all.
Do you know all these 2400 scores were from one setting or by section (combined from more than one tests)? If all those deferres 2400 scores were from one setting, it is even crazier.
I got a 2390 - first sitting, minimal studying. I wasn't expecting it to really help me get in and I don't subscribe to the idea that "schools will reject 2400s just to feel good." Not that I have evidence to contradict this - I was deferred.
My son got a 2400 in one sitting, first and only time he took the test-no test prep courses, just took a few practice tests, in January of his junior year, has got fabulous grades in a math, science, computer science magnet, research - presented and about to be published, the usual extracurriculars, great volunteer experience even in science none the less, great teacher and research professor recommendations, is just the nicest, most humble great kid that all the teachers love, and he just got deferred from MIT. He certainly never advertised or bragged about his scores (also got 3x800 on SATIIs), but I'm not sure why in all these threads, it's almost like these kids have to apologize for taking a required test and scoring well-like you should be embarrassed. It's almost like you're a target-we'll show YOU for scoring well. It's not like he's obnoxious and took the test 6 times. He just took a required test once because it was required. But just to fulfill expectations, we are sorry, he won't do it again, and yes, you showed us, and we accept our place in your statistics.
I agree with zulu40. It seems as if they're searching for imperfect students, students with a couple B's and a 2200-2300 range SAT score. I am almost considering purposely getting a few B's this semester to test my theory.
I know all of you need to find someone or something to blame for not getting in. The fact is most of the applicants were "qualified" by objective statistics. 2400 by itself is meaningless as a hook in this elite group. Speculate all you like but remember, some poor kid might think your right and screw up their own GPA or SAT's in the mistaken belief it would help. You get in or you don't get in. Celebrate, meditate or wallow in pity. Do whatever you need to do but then move on to more important things in life. There is no great conspiracy to keep any one out. They are choosing who to let in not rejecting anyone.
I've got to disagree with you guys. To get a 2400 you're all very intelligent and I would even go as far as saying very impressive. However, MIT defers quite a few applicants that will eventually get accepted. I'd say at least 5 of my friends here followed this path.
Don't be depressed, I guarantee you the people in admissions did not defer you because you got a 2400. Remember, they're trying to build a community, and you will all have an opportunity to get in, in the regular round.
You go on and try that. MIT probably does not categorize people on their perfection when accepting people (i know many people who got in early and MIT definitely has accepted people from the whole spectrum) so do you think pretending to be less than who you are will get you in? If so, you have my support to try it.
Yeah, I agree. I don't buy into the "Having flaws in your academic record makes you a more interesting person" theory. It's just that the difference between a 2400 and a 23#0 or even a 22#0 is largely insignificant.
I'd go so far as to say that it confuses me why some people think a 2400 may get you some sort of advantage of a 2300 or a 2250. I think it's wonderful that Adcoms of HYPMS and Co. bother to look beyond SAT I scores to determine the abilities and potential of a candidate.
The fatal flaw of standardized testing is just that: it's standardized and it's a test. Standardized means that the SAT fails to adjust for the environment and resources of a candidate, none of which is that particular individual's "fault" and none of which will likely determine how he or she can handle the rigors of an MIT experience. And most high school students can attest to how flawed tests (and GPAs that are a result of those tests) are at determining true intelligence.
When there is a multi-million dollar demand for test prep (especially SAT and AP) that is supposed to "guarantee" results, what do you expect them to think? Frankly, if I were admitting kids to MIT, I would find a score of 120 on AMC 12 and 5 on the AIME far more impressive than 2400 on the SAT or a 5 on AP Calc BC.
And I have good reason to believe that I'm right. Statistically, there is a far greater chance of a 200+ USAMO index (computed as AMC12 score + 10*AIME score; max of 300) being admitted than a 2380+ SAT (though these are sometimes intersecting sets). Let's take two examples. Person A has a 2400 SAT I and a 150 USAMO index (120 AMC12, 3 AIME). Person B has a 2250 SAT I and a 220 USAMO index (140 AMC12, 8 AIME). Empirical evidence points to MIT accepting Person B over A almost every time. Why? Because you can't just read a test prep book and get a 220 USAMO index. For most, it's a result of years of hard work and passion.
This isn't to say that SAT, SAT II, and AP scores are useless. To the contrary, they're very helpful. But they're useless alone, and they're pretty much useless when posted in a way that the people on this forum do. These standardized test scores help Adcoms realize the potential of an applicant in the light of his circumstances.
So if you're wondering whether you should cancel that 3 you got on AP Computer Sci AB that you decided to self-teach yourself freshman year when you felt like you were ready but now feel embarrassed because all your classmates took it junior year and got 4's and 5's, I hope you'd reconsider.
Think of it in SAT terms. One kid takes it freshman year after preparing himself without professional help and comes out with a 2250; the other goes through 3 SAT prep courses and 150 hours of practice testing and emerges June after junior year with a 2400. Which would you rather be?
Or, to make it interesting, let's suppose that you had both of these experiences under your belt. Which do you think is more impressive? (Let me give you a hint: It's not the 2400.)
You all are looking at it the wrong way. In the grand scheme of things, I really doubt that the admissions officers cared what SAT score an applicant had. It comes down to other aspects of the candidate.