• by MIT Ivy League and Oxbridge Educated Insiders
  • Trusted by over tens of thousands online subscribers

Xaverian Brothers High School

School rating 4 / 5 by

800 Clapboardtree Street Westwood MA 02090 United States
7th to 12th
Boys only


Xaverian Brothers High School review by .

There is definitely a range of directions students can go in within the more general concepts of science, math, writing, literature, and history. While there are some specific courses such as linear algebra and intro level engineering that I have seen graduates of high schools benefit from, there is definitely more than enough to keep students busy throughout their four years of high school. The emphasis really seems to be on creating a well-rounded student body, as students are required to take classes in all the core subjects. While this may be slightly detrimental to some students that know very early on what they want to do in college, it gives most people a great chance to see the wider spectrum of academics and hone their skills in all areas, from math to English to theology (which is required all four years and, in junior and senior year, really becomes more like philosophy and is heavily discussion-based). There is a sort of relaxed competitiveness about the student body, as students will sometimes compete for grades and leadership positions, but will nonetheless always be willing to help each other with proofreading essays or figuring out calculus homework. While GPAs become available later in one's high school career, students are never explicitly given a class rank, which is probably somewhat responsible for minimizing competitiveness. The Advanced Placement classes tend to be taught especially well as they are taken very seriously by both the students and teachers. If anything, I was overprepared in some of my first year college courses, most notably physics, because of my AP teachers. Writing is another area in which students are very well prepared for college. The ease of accessing teachers in department centers means that feedback on essays or other written assignments in English, theology, or foreign language is detailed and immediate if the student seeks it. Overall, time management is an important skill inevitably developed at Xaverian that is vital for college life. Teaching philosophy was largely up to the individual teacher. Some teachers structured their class as a lecture, talking and writing on the board the whole time, while others were entirely discussion-based. Success in lecturing varies, with some obviously feeling rather boring, but at the same time, some of the (arguably) best teachers at the school were lecturers and managed to present everything in a clear and organized way. In general, though, I'd say there was more of an emphasis on group work and class discussion, often rearranging the desks into a circle to talk about a novel, article, or controversial issue. Class size is relatively small, but slightly higher for more popular courses like AP US History. Twenty students is fairly typical, but my smallest class only had five students. As previously mentioned, teacher availability in department centers is excellent, and students can use these centers to their advantage if they choose. Workload, as time goes on, becomes more and more up to the students. Senior year can be the hardest or easiest year of one's high school career depending on whether they take AP and other challenging classes or opt for more electives.

College Counseling

My advisor was great, always available to respond to any questions about college applications 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

It's not really a difficult school to get into. The only advice on applying would....

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

There is a very strong sense of community at Xaverian, regularly noted by new students and teachers. Students and teachers are always very willing to help one another. Politically, the student community is divided, fairly close to an even split. If our mock election during the 2012 presidential election is an indicator, there is a slight conservative bias among the student population. Usually, though, students are respectful of the opinions of one another, and this split makes for some interesting debates, especially in theology class on various moral topics. Parents and outside tutors aren't really a direct part of the community.....

Popular Comparisons