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What are my chances and how can i improve my chances of getting into Phillips Exeter?

honnintzhonnintz 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi! I am an incoming 8th grader who has been interested in Exeter for the past 6 years and it’s my dream school. I am mixed race, and from Montclair, NJ. I do very well in school, as I am in the NJHS and on the high honor roll. I do piano, a journalism class on coursera, and ISEE prep. I have ready topics to write essays on. My main focus is on journalism. I am extremely driven and ambitious, plus I have a hunger for knowledge. How can I improve my chances of getting in?
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Replies to: What are my chances and how can i improve my chances of getting into Phillips Exeter?

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5611 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Schedule your SSAT/ISEE and a visit with interview.

    And expand your list of schools beyond Exeter (thoughtfully, not by just picking other well known schools) if you are determined to go to BS. I believe your local public is excellent, so that is a good backstop if you are okay with that.
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  • springfield18springfield18 56 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What @gardenstategal said. Also, if you're going to be visiting a New Hampshire school, add St. Paul's to your list. If your grades and accomplishments are that high, St. Paul's offers a "Ross Scholarship" for candidates coming from New Jersey. Probably couldn't hurt to check out the New Jersey boarding schools as well. Always have options.
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  • honnintzhonnintz 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I don’t think you guys understand the question, or this is a polite way of saying “You’re not getting in”
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  • honnintzhonnintz 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I didn’t ask “What schools are there other than Exeter” I asked how I can improve my chances
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38911 replies6874 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    I don’t think you guys understand the question
    No, we understand it perfectly. And it was answered in post 1: Get a high SSAT score.

    And after you get a high SSAT score, know that there is an 85% chance you will get rejected. Nobody knows what Exeter is specifically looking for next year, but know that all successful applicants will be "extremely driven and ambitious" and "do very well in school." What you have not answered is why you would be an ideal candidate for Exeter.

    The other users are also telling you that if your goal is PEA, then fine just apply to PEA if you have a local back-up. If you're goal, however, is a top prep school, then you need to widen your search. Because, one again, the odds are 85% that you will be rejected by Exeter.
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 42 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 21
    I believe they understood your question.
    Your chance (with 90%+ SSATs) is about 18%.

    The advice, because of the reality of a 16-20% chance (with an "excellent" app) is to not focus on one school. 2,500 will apply for 300 seats. 2,000 will be excellent. Everyone has straight A's, is the leader of a student organization, and excels in the Arts or Athletics.

    If you are aiming "high" consider a pool of similar schools such as Andover, Lawrenceville, and St Paul's. You are one (possibly) of 2,000 highest quality applicants hoping to secure a total of 1,200 freshman seats (estimating) between those 4 schools in my example. All 2,000 are "qualified". You have to hope you are the puzzle piece they are missing. There will be no rhyme or reason you can understand. Students with 99% SSATs and "perfect" apps will be rejected. 800 fantastic students, the top 0.5% of their middle schools, will be rejected and they and their families will be (understandably) shocked.

    So, read the other "chance me for Exeter" threads (so much detail to find), study for your SSATs, and practice your interviews.

    As I have said to others, my own son is doing VERY well at one of these schools and waitlisted at two others. So he could have easily gone 0-3 or 3-0 for acceptance.
    edited August 21
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  • RedLionessRedLioness 89 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Incoming Exeter prep here!

    Your chances, @honnintz , are as low as anyone else's, unfortunately. @skieurope is absolutely right in every point she made. Almost all Exeter applicants are smart and have high grades at their old schools. It's only a prerequisite for admission, imo. And the others are only advising you such because it's standard advice for applicants. It's very hard to get into Exeter, and each year it gets more and more competitive. If you want to go to BS and not just Exeter, you have to have a wide net of different schools, some of which may not have much prestige but are great all the same. And you haven't provided the thread a reason to think that you want to SPECIFICALLY go to Exeter, in which case I'm sure some would change their tune.

    First thing to do is get an actual SSAT/ISEE score. You have to be better than or around (I believe) 92% , which is the Exeter average SSAT percentile, to have a strong chance to get into Exeter.

    Another thing is to cultivate good relationships with your teachers, which will be very nice come recommendations time. Specifically English and Math will be relevant to your application.

    Another thing is to be sure to do good interview prep. Whether you go to the campus itself (which I recommend if you haven't seen it before), preferably during a time where school is in session. Research about Exeter (and you will have to do a lot of research; Exeter is very thorough in giving information on the website) and prepare as many questions as you possibly can.

    that's basically it, really. after that you just have to wait until your M10. Exeter normally releases by early-morning email, from what I understand. Prepare yourself for disappointment, but always hope for a good result!

    Best of luck to you!
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  • honnintzhonnintz 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    THIS IS WHAT I’M ASKING FOR!!! Thank you so much for giving real facts and for LISTENING to the question. I am very close with all my teachers so I know I can get a shining rec from them. Exeter has been my dream since the 4th grade (maybe earlier) and it has been my main goal for the past few years.
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  • honnintzhonnintz 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    skieurope wrote: »
    I don’t think you guys understand the question
    No, we understand it perfectly. And it was answered in post 1: Get a high SSAT score.

    And after you get a high SSAT score, know that there is an 85% chance you will get rejected. Nobody knows what Exeter is specifically looking for next year, but know that all successful applicants will be "extremely driven and ambitious" and "do very well in school." What you have not answered is why you would be an ideal candidate for Exeter.

    The other users are also telling you that if your goal is PEA, then fine just apply to PEA if you have a local back-up. If you're goal, however, is a top prep school, then you need to widen your search. Because, one again, the odds are 85% that you will be rejected by Exeter.
    skieurope wrote: »
    I don’t think you guys understand the question
    No, we understand it perfectly. And it was answered in post 1: Get a high SSAT score.

    And after you get a high SSAT score, know that there is an 85% chance you will get rejected. Nobody knows what Exeter is specifically looking for next year, but know that all successful applicants will be "extremely driven and ambitious" and "do very well in school." What you have not answered is why you would be an ideal candidate for Exeter.

    The other users are also telling you that if your goal is PEA, then fine just apply to PEA if you have a local back-up. If you're goal, however, is a top prep school, then you need to widen your search. Because, one again, the odds are 85% that you will be rejected by Exeter.
    skieurope wrote: »
    I don’t think you guys understand the question
    No, we understand it perfectly. And it was answered in post 1: Get a high SSAT score.

    And after you get a high SSAT score, know that there is an 85% chance you will get rejected. Nobody knows what Exeter is specifically looking for next year, but know that all successful applicants will be "extremely driven and ambitious" and "do very well in school." What you have not answered is why you would be an ideal candidate for Exeter.

    The other users are also telling you that if your goal is PEA, then fine just apply to PEA if you have a local back-up. If you're goal, however, is a top prep school, then you need to widen your search. Because, one again, the odds are 85% that you will be rejected by Exeter.
    you still don’t understand tbh, i don’t think you get what i’m asking, and i say that in the most polite way. i’m not dumb. i know everyone is ambitious.

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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1743 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is Exeter your dream school because you researched and visited dozens of other schools and determined that Exeter has specific programs or characteristics that were not available elsewhere and are indispensable for you to thrive? Or did you fixate on the fact that it is the largest and most well known without bothering to investigate whether there is a school out there that might be a better fit for you and allow you to blossom in ways that you might not at Exeter?

    How you answer the question above will definitely affect your chances. AOs prefer candidates who understand and appreciate what makes their school truly different from the rest.



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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 42 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @honnintz Keep in mind Exeter people tend to be most interested in Chance Me for Exeter threads. We all want to be on your side (BS applications are a stressful and long process and then there is a HARD wait Jan-March). You never know who is reading here and there will not be too many applicants from Montclair NJ. So with your stated interests your screen name could be connected to your application. This is 100% meant as friendly advice. We all write as parents or students or alum because not many people in our local towns understand how massive this all is and we want to help. Feel free to PM me at any point in your application process. To be clear I am NOT connected to Exeter admissions in any way shape or form.
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  • YoungThriverYoungThriver 468 replies45 threadsRegistered User Member
    I’d recommend looking at past decision threads and figuring out what Exeter Admits had in common but, that could only tell you so much. Great test scores, and excellent grades are one thing but, in my opinion (and experience), it’s the essays and recommendations that really pushes an applicant towards success.

    Work on your writing and story-telling skills and craft the greatest personal narrative you’ve ever written. Also, find a way to implement what you’d bring to the school within your essays. That, and glowing recommendations (which you have no control over) would boost your chances.

    Other than that, there isn’t truly anything you could do. Just try your best to demonstrate who you are and why you should be given an opportunity to attend.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1351 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP, folks are trying to tell you the stats are high for all. Even with perfect scores on the SSAT, perfect report cards, sports, arts, and volunteer work there are many other candidates who have the same stats. They don't have room for everyone. It doesn't matter that you have wanted to go there for years. They don't care. They are looking to build a class.
    Being an URM might help, so will being from outside NE. But not that much as there are also many candidates who will fill that pool of candidates as well.
    Your best bet is to prepare for the interview and learn about the school as others have stated. Hopefully, they will find a fit in you.
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