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Phillips Academy Andover

School rating 4 / 5 by

180 Main Street Andover MA 01810 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Phillips Academy Andover review by .

The school is pretty strong in all subjects, but I would say that the English and History departments are weakest. The student body is very competitive. Andover has a 0-6 grading system which results in many classes being graded on a curve. But when you are in a class with ten people the it gets competitive. Andover is very good at forcing students to mange their time well and it makes students learn which things to prioritize, which is a big part of doing well in college. Also Andover classes are just as difficult if not more challenging than in college and you have a lot less time at Andover to do work. The only thing that is hard about college is the switch to large classes. At Andover you are forced to be engaged by the teachers because you are in a class of 10 or 12 but in a lecture of 250 that is not the case. At Andover it is a mix between lecture and discussion. Unlike Exeter and some other prep schools Andover does not use the Harkness method for all subjects only History and English are taught that way. Math and Science classes are taught using lecture followed by discussion but classes are so small that students can alway ask questions even in a lecture based class. Languages are taught using emersion except for Greek and Latin. 3) Classes are small English and History classes are capped at 13 and most classes are around there. I had classes as small as 4 and as large as 18 though. Most teachers live on campus and only teach two or three classes so they are very available to their students. The recommended amount per class is 4-5 hours times 5 or 6 classes, but it really depends on the class how much work there is. Yes there is extra help from the teacher from peer tutors and there are also math and science study halls with tutors. If students are advanced teachers will definitely give them harder material or they can do an independent study in their area of interest.

College Counseling

I don't know if the end result would have been different without my college counselor....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

My advice would just be to start early because the application is not an easy....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Being a school in Massachusetts, Andover is pretty liberal. While the conservatives are few and far between they are often very passionate and have a few clubs on campus that meet to discuss the more their point of view. Andover emphasizes community so students definitely look out for each other. In most cases Andover was pretty reasonable about discipline. The school has a second chance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol which allows students to make mistakes and seek help without fear of being asked to leave. The other main issue resulting in disciplinary action is academic dishonesty which....

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