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Academic Pressure At Andover vs Other Elite Prep Schools?

umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
I've heard that Andover's academic rigor and workload is extremely intense. How much more intense is it than other elite Prep schools like Deerfield, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Middlesex, etc.? Don't all these schools give out similar workloads? Also, how is the workload and pressure at boarding school different from elite private day schools like Dalton and Trinity in NYC?
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Replies to: Academic Pressure At Andover vs Other Elite Prep Schools?

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,060 Senior Member
    IME, kids at day schools often have tutors. Less so at BS unless a subject is particularly challenging. Kids at day schools may have more parental pressure but also more involvement in activities unrelated to school.

    It's very hard to compare one school to the next. It depends on the student's aptitude, course choices, organization, competitiveness, etc. Every school you have mentioned is very selective and will have a very capable and ambitious student body.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,889 Senior Member
    edited January 5
    I havent heard that at all: I know a fair number of kids at a variety of prep schools and Andover seems to be very manageable. It is my opinion based one conversations with kids and parents of past and current students that Groton and Exeter are the two schools with the biggest workloads. Dalton is closer to Exeter/Groton. Collegiate may be more demanding that Trinity in workload. Keep in mind that schools treat sports differently and having to do a sport (20 plus hours a week) or at minimum, fitness/gym, while doing all that work can dramtically change the math of the workload.
  • umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Really? Everyone was telling me Andover is 5 or 6 hours of homework a week. I'm surprised it's considered reasonable.
  • BigBlueSwimBigBlueSwim Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    5 or 6 hours a WEEK would be very reasonable. My DS has on average about 3.5 hours each day of HW and/or studying which is not terrible, but made harder since he also is a varsity athlete and a member in the school's music ensembles which practice 2 nights a week. Cannot speak to the workloads at other school.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 34,599 Super Moderator
    My DS has on average about 3.5 hours each day of HW and/or studying which is not terrible, but made harder since he also is a varsity athlete and a member in the school's music ensembles which practice 2 nights a week.
    And keep in mind, as I said on another thread, the HW expectations can go up in later years. For a Senior taking Multivariable Calculus, Fluid Dynamics, and a few other classes, 5+ hours would be closer to the norm.
  • BigBlueSwimBigBlueSwim Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    Absolutely^. The 3.5 hour average I gave above is for all seven days.
  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 514 Member
    How do you manage this 5 hours of homework if the internet is shut down at 11:00? If you do sports and you don’t get back to dorm until late, then how do you get the 5 hours of homework in? Also, do you turn all your assignments in via an online platform?
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,889 Senior Member
    @Golfgr8 I cant speak to PA but many kids turn their lights back on after lights out. They use their phones for internet access.Lastly the 5/6 hours of work is often whittled down a little during the day between classes.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 34,599 Super Moderator
    edited January 5
    if the internet is shut down at 11:00?
    Unlike some other schools, Andover does not shut down the internet at night. Only 9th graders have an official "lights out" time of 11:00; 10th and 11th graders (in the Fall) have to be in their rooms by 11, but do not need to be in bed.
    How do you manage this 5 hours of homework
    That's an average per school night, but some can be done/should be done on the weekends. Additionally, there are free periods during the day when one can/should get some of the HW done. Even with sports, I did a fair amount of HW while traveling to away events. Some EC's, like theater, have a bit of a "hurry up and wait" aspect which let me get some HW done. Time management is crucial.
    do you turn all your assignments in via an online platform?
    Not all written assignments are collected. Assignments can also include non-written work. How assignments are turned in will vary by instructor, but online submission is common.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • BigBlueSwimBigBlueSwim Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    PA doesn't turn off the internet in their dorms and lights out doesn't mean you are not able to silently work on your computer in a dark room until much later. Time management is extremely important when handle the workload at many BS and using any free time between classes, during weekly conference times as well as working during your lunch block to whittle the amount of work down is necessary.
  • umichwolverine23umichwolverine23 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Hey BigBlueSwim, how far along is your daughter at Andover? Is she only a Freshman, because I heard the academic workload increases significantly every year you're there.
  • BigBlueSwimBigBlueSwim Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    edited January 6
    In most cases you don't need the internet to do homework. The internet is actually just a distraction.

    1 hour of free time per day during school hours (official free or class lets out early or whatever). Between 8-11 is 3 hours. That's 4 hours. Wednesday and Saturday have more free time (especially if u do work on the bus). Sundays are free.

    This is typical - most kids do sports/dinner/hang out between 3-8. If the homework is really bad, they skip hang out time between 6-8 and get started early.

    OP, did you really think 5-6 a week was unreasonable or did you mean to say "per day"? Because 5 to 6 hours a week is very light no matter what high school you are in.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 882 Member
    We asked a kid about the workload at one of our most academically challenging local schools.The response was priceless: “Five hours a night if I have my phone with me. Three hours a night if I’m disciplined enough to put it in my Mom’s room to charge.”
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 932 Member
    I'll give an example (from another school)...So one girl in my DS English class was stating she is "so tired" because she spent THIRTY (30) HOURS on a paragraph assignment! My son said it took him a half hour; 45 min max. He got an A-. So some of it is working hard vs. working smart; and some could be language proficiency in this case (the girl is not native English speaker). Now, I did notice the girl was on the winning Math team so she must be smart. But taking 30 hours to write a paragraph is not going to work forever. So my point is, some of this depends on difficulty of classes, study habits, and how smart and efficient the student is with school work. And, sometimes you can't get an A in everything as I suspect some students are conditioned to do. That is why colleges like kids with extracurriculars.
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