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Phillips Exeter Academy

School rating 4 / 5 by

20 Main Street Exeter NH 03833 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Phillips Exeter Academy review by .

There is definitely an amazing depth of courses offered in the sciences and math departments at Phillips Exeter Academy. There are few high schools in the country that can offer multivariable calculus, linear algebra, game theory, group theory, number theory, as well as organic chemistry, and fantastic resources for independent research. Personally I felt that the huge volume of high level courses encouraged people to be competitive to reach the next level, but it was not a pervasive spirit of cutthroat academics. As a student your peers are very open and supportive, and possibly one of the biggest resources you can have, which is saying a lot because the teachers take it to the next level. Class sizes are between 8-12 and the Harkness method means that you spend a significant portion of each class period advancing and defending points, often debating with the teacher as a peer. Teachers live on campus and generally are available to meet for lunch or any other mutually free time to discuss the material, suggest helpful tips, or just shoot the breeze. Exams are important but making good points and thinking on your feet in class are the most important. Workloads can be a little heavy at some points, especially for students adjusting to private school for the first time, but you quickly develop strong study skills and learn to manage your time and settle into a comfortable equilibrium.

College Counseling

Junior year I walked into the college counseling office for the first time, and sat....

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

I believe the SSAT is the test to take, take it early, take it once.....

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

Housing is great, dorm life is amazing, you meet the best friends of your life there and become so close with them. Living a dorm with mixed classes for 4 years means you get help form the upperclassmen and act as an example/mentor for the younger kids. The social events are frequent and well funded/attended. School cafeteria know as the dining hall is first rate, not always up to home cooked meal standards but it has decent variety and specials and is free, all you can eat open all day. Exeter, NH is a small, quiet New England town, there....

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