MIT Essay Prompts: Free Examples of Writing Assignments


Here are some examples of essay prompts that students may use, along with guidance on how to approach them. Keep in mind that the prompts may change from year to year, so it’s essential to check MIT’s official admissions website for the most up-to-date prompts.

Essay Prompt 1:

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. (100-250 words)


In the hustle and bustle of my academic and extracurricular commitments, I find solace in the gentle strumming of my guitar. While the weight of assignments and responsibilities bears down on me, music provides an escape. It’s not a requirement or an obligation; it’s a personal oasis where I create my melodies, untethered by expectations or deadlines. The strings under my fingertips resonate with my emotions, each chord progression a reflection of my inner world. Playing the guitar is my sanctuary, allowing me to find joy in the midst of chaos.

Essay Prompt 2:

Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100-250 words)


As I explore my academic interests, MIT’s Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence beckons to me. The allure of this department lies in its pioneering spirit, where innovation is a way of life. The ever-evolving world of technology has always fascinated me, and I’m excited by the prospect of contributing to cutting-edge research in AI and machine learning. In this department, I see a fertile ground for my intellectual growth and a platform to shape the future of technology.

Essay Prompt 3:

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)


One of the most meaningful ways I’ve contributed to my community is through my involvement in a local after-school tutoring program. Recognizing the educational disparities in my neighborhood, I felt compelled to create a space where students could receive the academic support they needed. Every day after school, a diverse group of students, some struggling academically, others excelling, would gather in a communal room to learn together. I served as both a tutor and mentor, helping students understand complex concepts, complete their homework, and develop study skills.

Beyond academics, the tutoring program fostered a sense of community and support. I noticed that students were not just improving their grades but also forming lasting friendships and gaining confidence. It was incredibly rewarding to witness the transformation in the students I worked with, from timid learners to enthusiastic, self-assured individuals.

My experience with this tutoring program has reinforced my belief in the power of education to uplift communities and create positive change. It has also instilled in me a sense of responsibility to continue contributing to the betterment of society through education.

Essay Prompt 4:

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)


I hail from a close-knit community where curiosity is celebrated, and dreams are nurtured. My family, with its blend of cultures and traditions, has provided me with a unique perspective on the world. In our home, conversations span continents, with stories of my grandparents’ journeys to a new land, my parents’ pursuit of education, and my own dreams of technology and innovation.

My school, a melting pot of talents and backgrounds, has been instrumental in shaping my dreams. The collaborative atmosphere and a focus on STEM subjects have fueled my passion for science and technology.

My dreams and aspirations have been molded by the tapestry of influences in my life. I aspire to leverage my education and passion for technology to bridge gaps and empower underprivileged communities. My world has taught me that dreams can be realized through hard work, innovation, and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Essay Prompt 5

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)


The most significant challenge I’ve faced was during a robotics competition in my junior year. Our team had invested months of effort into designing a robot to compete in a challenging task. As the competition day approached, we encountered a major setback when a key component malfunctioned. It was a crucial piece without which our robot would not function as intended.

The situation was dire, and the pressure was palpable. Instead of panicking, our team sprang into action. We assessed the problem, brainstormed solutions, and worked tirelessly to find a workaround. It meant long nights in the workshop, collaborating with team members, and reaching out to mentors and experts for guidance.

Through our collective effort, we managed to design a makeshift replacement for the malfunctioning component. On the day of the competition, our robot not only performed well but exceeded our expectations. We learned the importance of resilience, teamwork, and adaptability. This experience reinforced my belief in the power of problem-solving and collaboration, two qualities that are vital for success in both engineering and life.


In conclusion, MIT’s essay prompts provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. When responding to these prompts, it’s crucial to be authentic and reflect on your own journey and how MIT aligns with your goals and values. These essays are a chance to stand out and convey what makes you a strong candidate for admission to MIT.

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