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Are MIT courses much different from MIT OpenCourseWare? I am curious, because as a high schooler, I have some intent to study from MIT OpenCourseWare.

Will this allow me to be more comfortable if I am admitted to MIT?

Also, how are MIT courses so different from those at other places? I heard that these courses are hard..

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I am voting to close. While I think there is a useful question here, the current one about how to use on-line resources to prep for undergraduate study does not seem to be on topic. –  StrongBad Sep 24 '12 at 7:48
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2 Answers

MIT OCW doesn't offer "courses". It offers "courseware" — basically textbooks with videos.

Real MIT courses have live instructional staff who answer questions, run recitation sections, and offer feedback (in particular, grades) on your solutions to the homework and exam problems. Real MIT courses have deadlines that force (well, encourage) you to actually work on the course material regularly. Real MIT courses also have a community of other students, all following the same lock-step schedule, that can work together to develop ideas, internal feedback, social outlets, and later professional contacts. Real MIT courses give you an official record from MIT of your performance in the class.

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it is a watered down version. also answers are not available and you can't get support.

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I agree that answers are not available and you can't get support, but what is your basis for saying it is a watered down version? My understanding is that OCW is a record of how the course was actually taught (copies of problem sets and other handouts such as notes, sometimes recordings of lectures). It may be an inferior format compared to taking the class in person at MIT, but the actual substance is the same. Am I wrong about this? –  Anonymous Mathematician Sep 23 '12 at 13:09
yes it is wrong actual course has more. recitations problem sessions etc. also if u are doing a self study questions without answers are useless u can't learn well or see if you are really learning. –  teenage mutant ninja turtle Sep 23 '12 at 16:59
MIT courses are more advanced. I got a database class at a midtier U.S institution according to us news rank. MIT course was way more advanced they were coding a db from stracth, however in my institution we were focusing on sql using a programming language. Also MIT course is more advanced then Gatech or UIUC UWA. They usually cover at freshman level what other do at sophomore level. –  teenage mutant ninja turtle Sep 23 '12 at 17:06
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