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St. Joseph's Preparatory School

School rating 4 / 5 by

1733 Girard Avenue Philadelphia PA 19130 United States
9th to 12th
Boys only


St. Joseph's Preparatory School review by .

Most faculty at St. Joseph's Preparatory School are excellent, although there are 1-2 poor ones in every department. The coursework definitely prepared me well for college, and I learned a lot in my classes. No class was larger than 30, and my smallest had 8 (AP Chemistry). Homework increased over the years, from 2-3 hours per night freshman year to 4+ hours senior year. All departments are strong, but the science and classics departments are especially so. The students are competitive with themselves, but not with others. Students help each other to figure out problems, share notes and study together. There is no class rank, which reduces the need to compete. Teachers do not "teach to the test," with the exception of AP classes, where emphasis is placed on passing the AP exam.

College Counseling

The college counselors are very experienced and savvy in helping students pick out schools that....

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

The admissions exam determines scholarship eligibility, so take it seriously. You need a 98 or....

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

The Prep is in a somewhat bad neighborhood, so you have to watch your step outside the gates. Inside, the school is building a new cafeteria, the field house is rather new and well-kept, and the former cafeteria will become the multi-purpose room. The classrooms all have projectors to hook up to computers. The food is good and the snack stand is very popular. The student body is not very diverse. It is predominantly white and upper-middle class. A lot of underclassmen take school buses, and they don't leave until 5:20 p.m., so there are always lots of students around after....

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