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Academic Pressure At Andover vs Other Elite Prep Schools?

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Replies to: Academic Pressure At Andover vs Other Elite Prep Schools?

  • umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Sorry, I meant per day. haha.
  • umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    CaliMex, was that a public school or a private? I heard privates give way more homework than publics.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    @umichwolverine23 I am a little baffled by your obsession with quantifying work load. Most RIGOROUS Boarding and/or private schools have more work than many publics but NOT publics like NYC's gifted and talented schools or Regis or Northern Virginia's Thomas Jefferson etc etc. Some of the best schools in the country are public or test-in.. That being said all privates are not harder than all publics: many New England boarding schools that are more sport focused for example are incredibly weak academically.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 830 Member
    The main point of my post was that ever-present smartphones can actually make homework take longer than it should. This is not a public vs private thing (though from what I hear, teachers in our local, academic test-in magnet public school assign a lot more homework than private school teachers).

    BTW: Why are we equating "rigor" with "sheer volume"? Ugh.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    edited January 6
    But don't a lot of schools make the boarding students put smartphones in the hallway during study hall?

    Also, I think a lot of the work is more meaningful. My public school student is constantly doing multiple choice online homework on his Chromebook (which is being used as a standardized test prep vehicle). My other student (in BS) gets challenging problem solving homework in the traditional pencil-paper-show-work way. Also BS students may have more writing work. So I think the question is about the quality of work vs. quantity. But I agree more than a couple hours a night gets excessive (it also sometimes means that the courses chosen are too difficult for the student). My son, though not at an acronym school, does not have more than 2 hrs a night. His school wants kids to be balanced and recognizes there are multiple ways to learn and develop at this important age. And, it gives the kids time to pursue passions which also require time, practice, and dedication.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 31,920 Super Moderator
    But don't a lot of schools make the boarding students put smartphones in the hallway during study hall?
    Again, the OP is asking about Andover, where there are no mandatory study halls. While Andover suggests that the internet should be limited to academic purposes after 8 p.m., it is not a requirement.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    That's great, but I think having a broader conversation also helps the OP as well as other readers.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    @sunnyschool and the title of the thread is "Academic Pressure At Andover vs Other Elite Prep Schools?"
  • gungabluegungablue Registered User Posts: 83 Junior Member
    It is not at all unusual to do 5 hours of homework nightly at Andover. Homework load depends on courses but since Andover allows more advanced courses for younger students -- this can be quite intense even in 9th or 10th grade as there can be 9th and 10th graders in organic chem and MVC and fluid mechanics. Classes are supposed to have 45 minutes to an hour of homework per class per night, but more advanced classes state that they may have more -- and they do.

    Time management is necessary but also challenging, especially with a lot of ECs. So for example, say a kid is in classes during the day with one hour free at most (that hour can be work duty, or an extra lab, or an extra class and so sometimes not free), and then sports (if intense, like crew, this is 3 to 6 pm), and then orchestra meets 6-8 a few nights per week. So then at 8 pm, after an intense 12 hour day, the 15 yo then faces at least 5 hours of homework. Not much time to catch up on weekends if you are in sports, music/theater rehearsals, academic competitions off campus that you travel to, etc., not to mention the need to catch up on sleep. So yeah, there is a lot of work.

    @sunnyschool -- I agree that speed of the kid matters a lot and it isn't surprising that anyone who takes 30 hours to do a paragraph struggles. But the Andover students I know are really, really fast and really, really smart and are just unable to manage the work load and get adequate sleep. One way to manage would be fewer ECs and easier classes, but for kids who wanted Andover for the challenge, those classes and sometimes ECs are the reasons they are there and not things they want to give up.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    @gungablue thanks for contributing to this thread. This is my kid--who wants to do it all and does.
  • umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    gungablue. one thing I'm thinking of is how difficult it is to take the "most rigorous" load at Andover. I would believe the kids who take the most challenging classes and excel are the ones who wind up at their choice colleges. My younger brother fears that if he takes a more average academic load at Andover that he won't stand out to colleges. He really wants to be able to stand out. I've told him if that's the case, he should look at more "chill" boarding schools like Westminster, Putney, etc.
  • nynycasino1234nynycasino1234 Registered User Posts: 412 Member
    edited January 6
    I will just say many elite prep school, you will find multiple kids who took Math AP BC call in 9th and 10th grades. Students take Multi variable calculus and linear algebra before senior year. Some of these math type like math but love other subjects more and pushe the envelope in humanities. They do research beyond AP science. In addition they participate in leadership role of very demanding extra curricular activities in multiple varied interests outside of math and science club. The circle for this student is not very big, but it is there.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    ^^ Yep that was a shocker to us - how many kids are already in Calculus as Soph, and will take post-Calc classes in 11th and/or 12th.

    @umichwolverine23 - it's important to view this holistically. There is so much at BS that enhances one's life. BS can really be a great place for kids that want a living/learning environment that is more intellectual than public school, and where they can do activities and sports right on campus. But it IS competitive, and there are no guarantees that the outcome (ie college admissions) will be any better than being a superstar in public school.
  • nynycasino1234nynycasino1234 Registered User Posts: 412 Member
    edited January 6
    One goes to elite prep school not only for education but also for friendships, connections, and opportunities even after one has graduated from prep school. Those life long connection helps life time and open door that would be wide open just being among the alumni.

    If one wants only education than they are better of staying at magnet school. Majority of education does not come from classroom, but outside the class room in clubs, very nurturing faculty who are there to help and most importantly kids who are as driven as you are. Love boarding schools, I envy my kids that I did not go myself. Thanks prep school
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 830 Member
    OFF TOPIC NOTICE to Parents: Don't despair if your 13 year old isn't doing Calculus or AP Science yet. I just read an article about how Google, Facebook, and other tech companies in Silicon Valley are finding that liberal arts majors (not STEM majors) tend to do better professionally in their organizations (including in tech jobs!)
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