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good math/science grades but bad english/history grades?

kcb452kcb452 Registered User Posts: 206 Junior Member
so everyone knows that MIT likes people who are good at math and science, but i'm wondering how much low english/history grades hurt you? i have solid B's in my english and history courses through high school. i've always taken them AP or honors, even though i'm not really that good at them. but see, i have 730 CR, 690 writing. and i made a 750 on SAT 2 lit. which kinda makes it seem like i'm just lazy... which i sort of am when it comes to subjects i don't like... and it's really the essay writing that kills me. because i'm a horrible writer.

but i have high A's in all my math and science classes.

so the question is, how much does MIT care?

do people with high grades all around have alot better chance of acceptance?
Post edited by kcb452 on

Replies to: good math/science grades but bad english/history grades?

  • opqpopopqpop Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    MIT (As most top tier colleges) cares about a VARIETY of stuffs, not just your grades. Of course people with high grades all around will be at an advantage than those that don't, but remember your EC's, Character Qualities, SAT, Interview, and Essays also play a role in your admission.
  • tongchen1226tongchen1226 Registered User Posts: 698 Member
    i thought 750 on SAT 2 Lit was an excellent score, but B's in english/history definitely dont help. how were your AP scores in those subjects? 5s could probably make up for the Bs.
    if you really have trouble with essay writing, i certainly hope that doesnt get carried over to your personal essays...
    yes i agree with opqpop. i think MIT values character qualities over everything else. again, character can be seen in infinitely many ways. i really cant answer your questions.
  • jessiehljessiehl Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
    i think MIT values character qualities over everything else.

    Eh, not really. It values academic ability/achievement first, because without that, you won't make it through. Once you have that, character qualities matter (since they also help in making it through).

    I'm going to defect from what will probably be the conventional wisdom on this thread and say that while some Bs will not hurt, there's a point where enough Bs will hurt you, and that includes Bs in English and history.

    The idea that scientists and engineers can get away with being bad writers isn't true. Scientists and engineers have to write papers, grant proposals, reports for their supervisors, etc.

    Looking lazy is bad. Looking like you won't apply yourself to do something you dislike is bad...it makes you look spoiled, and like you have no clue about how the world works. More immediately, there will be times at MIT when you have to take subjects or do assignments that you dislike intensely, and if you won't apply yourself to them you're unlikely to pass.
  • CalAlumCalAlum Registered User Posts: 1,367 Senior Member
    I agree with the above post. Higher grades all around will improve your chances of acceptance. Plus, the admissions department at MIT is not only recruiting for the physics department; it's also recruiting for the Sloan school and for other departments in which excellent reading and writing skills are essential. And in any case, the point has already been made that scientists and engineers also must be good communicators.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    yes, and also it should be considered that many engineering/math/science majors from MIT end up in non-technical jobs like Wall Street where being strong in english would be an asset.
  • fesagofesago Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    I'm in a similar situation. English is my worst subject, followed by history.
    However, I still chose to take them as AP courses. Bad thing is I got 2 C's in them (APUSH and AP Eng. Lang ... B's in the rest of the courses).

    I'm not "bad" in history, it just doesn't appeal me as much and I don't put most of my effort into it. English ... well ... my excuse is I came to the US (from Colombia) with no knowledge of the language at all when I was 11. I don't think I have a problem communicating, instead my problem deals with reading comprehension: it was in 9th grade that I was finally out of the ESOL program, and basically it was in that grade when I really started to learn how to analyze passages, pieces of literature, etc.

    I'm hoping my interest for math and real passion for programming will somewhat cover those faults as it is noticeable I've put a lot of time/effort/attention to those subjects. In fact, I am taking advanced differential equations at a local university (FIU) ... although I have no doubt a lot of applicants have gotten to where I am or even ahead.
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    ^^well, that's a completely different situation. I'm sure anybody will understand that taking AP english when it's not your first language is quite a challenge.
  • metaldragon2400metaldragon2400 Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    fesago what school do you go to? I guess that you're in Miami since you're near FIU.
  • rainynightstarzrainynightstarz Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    fesago : 11 years old is pretty young compare to some other people that I know(who got A in really hard AP lit). most people get out of the English as second language classes in 2 years. Were you deferred during EA or a RD applicant?
  • fesagofesago Registered User Posts: 115 Junior Member
    I am an RD applicant.
    Yes, I live in Miami, currently attend the following school:
    School for Advanced Studies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    rainynightstarz ... I didn't really understand your post; at least the first part.
  • peterpan_kpeterpan_k Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I came to US almost two years ago right from Asia and currently am taking AP english lit, but I don't find it particularly difficult...theres just tons of work I have to do, but I still get B+/A- (which isnt that great but I'm satisfied. lol) I guess your school gives harsher grades? or simply your teacher is being mean like mine?
  • rainynightstarzrainynightstarz Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    ^ that's kind of what I meant . Being an immigrant isn't an excuse for getting like any C's in English class.
  • tongchen1226tongchen1226 Registered User Posts: 698 Member
    yay fellow immigrants!
    as pessimistic as ive always been, ill say that dont hope too much for MIT. but then, i didnt have much hope in my self or two of my other friends, one of which came two years ago. all three of us got in, so im sure MIT'll look into your whole history and look at the kinds of opportunities you've encountered and how youve seized them.
  • samps004samps004 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    juuuuuust apply & see what happens, k? k.
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,636 Senior Member
    I went to MIT a long time ago and admissions are a different ballgame today. However, I was a "B" student in honors English (few high schools offered AP classes in my day) with middling SAT verbal scores. So, if that is where you would like to go to school, apply.

    As an engineer you do need good reading and writing skills. But, reading and writing in an engineering environment can be quite different from what you see in an English class. You need to be able to write VERY clearly what you have done. If you can't do that, it is a big handicap. When you are researching a new area, your reading skills very much come into play.

    I'd write a paper for high school English class, have very few marks on it, but get a "B". One time I asked the teacher why the "B". She it was not very interesting and like an engineer would write, therefore the grade. I took the "B" on that paper as a compliment.
This discussion has been closed.