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Why did MIT reject this guy??

ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
International applicant from South Korea

SAT I : 2320: CR 740 / Math 800 / Writing 780

SAT II: Math II 800, Physics 800, Chemistry 800, Spanish Reading 710

Major Awards (USAMO, Intel etc.): 2010 Int'l Mathematics Olympiad Gold Medalist, 2009/2010 Asian-Pacific MO Silver Medalist, and many other awards / 3-year consecutive USAMO Qualifier, AMC12A/B two-year consecutive school winner (both tests, highest score 135/132), AIME 13. Scored as 4th individual place on 2010 Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament.

and tons of ecs

The worst part of his rejection is that he is an IMO gold medalist?
Post edited by riders on

Replies to: Why did MIT reject this guy??

  • peckavepeckave Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    This is tough on some really super kids. One can only guess as to what the admissions folks were thinking, but my guess is that they get many (hundreds?)applicants with very similar credentials and they have to probably pick on some very minor aspect of the application to reject these perfect candidates so that they can get someone with lower SAT scores/grades (which are still extremely high (maybe 750 vs 800)), but that the person accepted adds diversity to the campus. Maybe the other person sings, is a cartoonist, playwright, athlete, actress, world class harmonica player or some other talent that no one else in the applicant poll has. It seems to me it takes many different walks of life to make up a diverse community and if MIT accepted everyone who was thier math club and chess club president and had 800s across the board the school would suffer.
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I appreciate your input but the International Mathematics Olympiad cannot be compared with being the math club president. A gold medal in Olympiads such as the IMO and IPHO are the most impressive thing an international student can achieve. Even i tried the problems of the IMO and IPHO and didn't even come close to solving one.
  • iceui2iceui2 Registered User Posts: 887 Member
    Because he's an international student. MIT only takes around 100 internationals, out of 4000+ that apply. And if you add up everyone who has a gold medal in IMO, IChO, IPhO, IOL, IOI, IBO, etc then you get a lot more than 100 people. And I guarantee that you can stand out even without a gold medal at these competitions. I'm speaking from experience.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    you list tons of ecs, but what are they? If they are all math/science related, perhaps they felt he was two one-sided, not well rounded enough. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and obviously whoever read his application felt that this was not perfection (if that's what they really want anyway). Since we can't read the entire application, we can only guess what caused him to be rejected.
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @iceui2 I doubt if every one who has ever participated in an International Olympiad apply to MIT.


    Extracurriculars (place leadership in parentheses): (Founder/Head) Inter-school online math community, (Head) School mock trial club (led the team to win national tournaments), 3-year homeroom class president, Member of school hiphop crew (rapper), etc.. those were the majors
    Job/Work Experience: Internship at a brokerage firm, worked as teaching assistants at math camps
    Volunteer/Community service: Organized classes to teach mathematics to fellow students in school, translated various material in Korean and published them free of charge online to disadvantaged students
  • peckavepeckave Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I think what everyone fails to see in the admissions process at any high academic school, is that it should not be called an application process. An application process would be something akin to applying for a drivers license. Do all the things you need to do correctly and you get your drivers license. For the college admissions process you can do all the things you need to do correctly and still not get in. So the schools, admissions folks, high school guidance counselors, parents and students should think of it as more of a lottery system than a true aplication process. Think about how many people do not get accepted to a high academic college and they are very well qualified. Why don't they get in? I have not seen any studies but I think the growth of people who can be accepted at any college has not grown with the population.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    I mean, this guy was clearly intelligent enough to go to MIT. Most of MIT's applicants are intelligent enough to go to MIT. It sounds to me like there may have been a failing in the Match, or maybe the guy just got unlucky - MIT would like to take many more students than it does every year.

    Anyway, you should read about the Match:
    The Match Between You And MIT | MIT Admissions
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @peckave What i actually meant was... majority of the international students that have applied to MIT say that applying to MIT is a waste of time if you don't have an Olympiad medal. And even the statistics show the same thing... Majority of the International students (mainly Asians) accepted in MIT are all Olympiad medalists or equivalent. How are admission officers going to distinguish applicants with 2300+ on SATs and excellent grades. In this situation olympiad medals or an equivalent award plays a big role.
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @PiperXP How do admission officers find that a particular student is a match or not? Is it by looking at their applications or by the interviews?
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    riders - Where are you getting your stats? Some of my international friends do not have Olympiads.

    As far as figuring out if the student is a match or not, everything that isn't a number comes into play. The student's essays. The teacher recommendations. The interviewer's report. The school counselor's report.

    There's a reason why the application isn't just "list your SAT scores and awards won". There's so much more to a student than that.
  • compaq10compaq10 Registered User Posts: 264 Junior Member
    You have to look at the process on the ad. officers' angles. May be that year they wanted to get more students from India, Vietnam, Singapore, less from China, Korea, Japan, etc for their international student pool.
    They have their own goals to follow, which we don't know. Remember academic standard is one among other goals that they want from students
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @PiperXP By scrolling down the threads related to MIT admissions...mainly the Indian one.
    This particular post stresses out the Olympiad thing.

  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @compaq10 No one from India makes it to MIT without an Olympiad medal as their posts in the Indian thread suggests.
  • PiperXPPiperXP Registered User Posts: 2,856 Senior Member
    @riders - So, you're saying you have no actual data to back up your claims?
  • ridersriders Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    @PiperXP I would have one if MIT would flash the awards and achievements of international students in their website. Also i'm not saying that students don't make it to MIT without medals. Had Olympiad medals been the determining factor, this guy i mentioned above would have easily made it to MIT.
This discussion has been closed.