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What are my chances?

HappyCriaHappyCria Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
edited February 26 in Prep School Chances
Hi everyone! I know that this will not affect my application, but I'm torn by doubts; so whoever has time, please chance my application. I'm a Russian female, currently living in Slovenia, and I'm applying to Exeter and Andover to repeat 9th grade. I don't require financial aid.

SSAT: 92nd percentile overall, 90% reading, aced the math, and completely botched verbal with 83%.

Grades: This year I have a 4.0, but last year I had a few B's here and there.

Courses: Modern World History, Literature I, German III, Algebra II, Writing I, and Physical Science (also PE, Drama, and Technology, but I doubt that they count).

Extracurriculars: Art, History Bee (made a school club to practice, team captain, they sometimes call me "the Maxim gun" because of my answering speed), Student Council (was vice president last year, lost elections for president this year, but still am an active member, we do lots of community service there, and I made lots of effort to raise school spirit). I also do a bunch of other ECs, but I didn't put them on my application because I felt like the three that I mentioned were something I'm actually interested in.

Awards: Second place individual and third place team competition in the European round of history bee, went to the International History Olympiad and got first place in Art History. First place in Central European History Bee, team and individual. Presidential award for academic excellence three years in a row, frequent Success Orientation awards. A bunch of awards on the regional round of World Scholar's Cup.

Essays: I think they turned out pretty good. For Exeter I wrote about losing student council elections and what I have learned, and also about creating a Knowledge Bowl team (unfortunately we didn't go). I used a LOT of imagery, and had an art history theme running through both of them. I'm not sure about the topics that I chose, though. For Andover, I wrote about observing the Bayeux tapestry and thinking thoughts about it, and how history is supposed to be learned through debate. Again, I tried my best to write it well, but I'm afraid that the admissions team will think that I'm too focused on art history. Also, my writing sample for Andover is about Candlemas Islands and my imaginary future as an ornithologist (i have absolutely no idea who I'm actually going to be).

Recommendations: I haven't read those, but I'm sure they are the best part of my application. The teachers that wrote them have known me for at least three years. My writing teacher also teaches history, and supervises student council, so she's seen the best of me, and once said that I'm her favorite student. My math teacher knows my curiosity and creativity, and he probably wrote about all the instances of having heated debates about imaginary numbers. My PE teacher knows me for 5 years, so I assume she wrote a very heartfelt and insightful recommendation.

Interviews: Both were great. For Exeter, I was prepared well, and focused on my quirky side, as well as my inclination to art history. The interviewer seemed very engaged in the conversation, especially when I was telling about my studies of Esperanto, and the one time I wanted to decorate a cake with a chocolate drawing of Darth Vader, but he turned out looking more like Yoda. I also asked some specific questions about the courses in the end, so I think I made a good impression. The interview in Andover was about the same, but I also talked about the poems I wrote besides everything else, so I could've made an impression of a more literature-inclined person. Both interviewers were really nice, but the one in Andover made it in more of a question-answer manner. Also, I did the interview for Andover two weeks after the due date, because I couldn't connect to the interviewer.

Strengths: everything mentioned above
Weaknesses: lack of legacy, no sports or instruments

Extra information: I come from a small international private school (100 people ages 3 to 18), so I had limited choice in courses and activities, but we're a very tight-knit community, and that definitely showed in my essays. Also, about a month after the due date at Exeter I wrote a letter about painting sets for numerous school plays, it was very detailed and portrayed my love for art history. I don't know if they will consider it, but i hope they will.

Replies to: What are my chances?

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Wow, I think you sound great. Love the art portfolio. I can't chance you since it depends on how many applicants they get and what buckets they are trying to fill. My thought would be that you would be highly considered based on your merits.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 43,609 Super Moderator
    Love the art portfolio.
    I did too. Sadly, the link is not allowed, so I deleted it.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    @skieurope Well, it was good while it lasted.
  • CC4lifeCC4life Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    @HappyCria I think your chances are pretty strong. Overall, I don't think ANY school will automatically rule you out because of a few B's but it will definitely be a weakness when being discussed in an Adcomm. Overall, being an international applicant who is full pay will definitely help, however, keep in mind that at schools like Andover, Exeter, Choate, Lawrenceville, etc. Geographic diversity is, IMO, overrated. These schools have THOUSANDS of applicants and you would be hard pressed to find someone at those schools admitted only, or even mostly, for geographic diversity. Again, that is just my opinion. It can definitely be a tipping scale between two equally qualified applicants, but it is probably not a hook. Anyways, make sure to let us know how you did on M9. Good Luck! I'm rooting for you.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    edited February 26
    @HappyCria: I agree that you are a very competitive candidate for admission to Exeter & Andover. Curious as to whether or not you are applying to other US boarding schools. If not, why just Exeter & Andover ?

    What do you want & expect from your boarding school education & experience ?
  • HappyCriaHappyCria Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    @Publisher: I didn't apply to other boarding schools because those two were the most Harkness-led. Additionally, I found out about Exeter in December, so there wasn't much time. Otherwise, I would just take more online courses, so rejection to both schools isn't a tragedy.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 1,691 Senior Member
    Best of luck!
    (BTW:Slovenia is so beautiful... you’re so lucky to get to live there).
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    edited February 27
    Focus on Harkness table presence in American boarding schools may be a bit unwise as most US private schools utilize methods (small class sizes, individual attention & various seating arrangements, for example) to encourage vigorous classroom discussion.

    I think that a valid reason to apply to the most elite US boarding schools--which includes Exeter & Andover--is to attend small classes with very intelligent, accomplished & highly motivated students. Another reason is that these schools have high endowments enabling them to provide students with superior resources academically, athletically, artistically & in many other respects.
  • CC4lifeCC4life Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    If you end up being unhappy with your options on M9 and find yourself applying again, which I hope doesn't happen but nevertheless, I suggest you check out other boarding schools that also focus on harkness. Some options are St. Paul's (founder of harkness method literally went to school there), Lawrenceville (probably the second biggest harkness user after Exeter, in my opinion), Stevenson school, and Hotchkiss to name a few other schools.
  • HappyCriaHappyCria Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    Thanks for the school advise! I'll try my best to improve my application tactics if I don't get into the Phillips academies.
  • ffsophiarffsophiar Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    Wow, you probably have a better chance than me. Not very hopeful, but maybe we’ll see each other next year!
  • lightningqueen12lightningqueen12 Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    Good luck @HappyCria!
  • HappyCriaHappyCria Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
  • HappyCriaHappyCria Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    Stats update: waitlisted at Andover, accepted to Exeter.
  • ImWaisianImWaisian Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    @HappyCria PM me about revisit day? I'm a new prep too and I'm really excited!
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