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Chances of getting into Phillips Exeter Academy

fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
Hi!
My name is Anna and I'm from Russia but I currently live in Slovakia (eastern Europe). I attended a British International School in Bratislava from grade 1-7, and then transferred to a German School in grade 8. Now I am a 10th grade student and I want to apply to Phillips Exeter Academy. I am very nervous because I think that my achievements aren't enough compared to all the other applicants. So here's a brief overview.

- I speak Slovak, Czech, Russian, English and German fluently. (5 languages)
-My french is good, but not fluent. I am currently mastering French and Italian.
-I play the piano for 8 years now and last year I finished music school.
-I took the Grade 1 and Grade 2 royal ABRSM music theory exam and got 95 percent.
-I won a short story competition at the english school twice in a row.
-I won a Shakespeare competition where I had to read a monologue.
-I volunteered at a nursing home until it closed, I interned for Habitat for Humanity and I currently teach maths to a man with Schizophrenia.
-I attend Model UN and Model EP.
-I walk dogs on weekends.
-I enjoy playing tennis.
-I am very passionate about medicine and I plan on going to medical school and becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.
-My grades were excellent back at the British school, but my grades dropped significantly the first year I came to the german school, because everything was in german and everyone was fluent in german and I knew absolutely no german.
-My grades were:
5 A+
6 A
3 B
(Overall GPA 3.9)
-I still don't know how my SSAT's are going to go.

So overall what do you think my chances are of getting into PEA?
19 replies
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Replies to: Chances of getting into Phillips Exeter Academy

  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    International applicants are very hard to judge! You seem very qualified. I would apply to more than just Exeter though. If you really want to come to school in the US there are many great boarding schools.
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach I am also applying to Andover and Groton. But I got 64 percent on the SSAT so I think I have zero chances of getting in. I took the SSAT again, but I think it won't be better. I made another post where I updated my credentials and stuff and I really want to know what my chances are...
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  • stalecookiesstalecookies 100 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I suggest that you use the following tool: https://ssatpracticetest.com/content/schools

    Look at the ones where scores like yours are at least "almost there" on the chart.

    There are many wonderful schools that would consider themselves very lucky to have you if you are not accepted at PEA, or Andover, or Groton. Some of them aren't even in New England! You sound like you're a wonderful, interesting person and that does count. :)

    So, look through those other schools. Think about why you want to study in the US - your reasons beyond "prestige" and "Harkness". Believe me, those "second tier" (or worse) schools have a lot to offer - if you're the right fit.
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @stalecookies Thanks so much! Your advice really helped. But based on my credentials do you think I have a slight chance of getting accepted into PEA? I looked into other schools but I really clicked with Exeter. I went there for a visit a few weeks ago for my interview and I fell in love with the place even more. Is there any chance whatsoever? Thanks!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1837 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I think you have a very good chance based on where you are coming from. If you were a US student with those scores the chances would be very close to zero. But I would doubt that have many kids who come from your region so that is a huge plus.
    Also your grades seem very low but I do know that English schools don't inflate grades as many schools in the US do. Still, that looks low given the possibilities. I'm sure Exeter knows the curve of British schools.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 345 replies15 threads Member
    @fluffypancake78 I think you have a really interesting background! And going from British school to school in yet another language makes me think your application on paper passes the "do I want to have coffee with this person" test. Meaning, based on what I read here, I think you would be an interesting person to have coffee with because I already have questions I think you would be uniquely qualified to answer. (Just an example: I could ask you about the differences in the curriculum, or about the challenges of learning every subject in one language and then switching to another -- switching languages is never as simple as word-for-word translations, so I would want to ask you about that.)

    Whether I "think you have a chance" rests on: what you would be like once we did have coffee. For instance, how you would respond to my questions above -- nuanced, insightful, and richly? or in a simple: yep it was hard -- would be the key to evaluating your "chances" in my opinion. And clearly, I don't have that information so therefore cannot even begin to speculate.

    SSAT -- not ideal. And it may be low enough to knock you out. But I don't think it necessarily is. Also: you took the Feb 8th test, correct? I am guessing you will see an automatic bump, even though you seemed to doubt that happening. If you bump up in to, say, 75-80 territory, which is fairly common on second exam sittings, then you will be in a whole different situation. But I don't think where you now means it's impossible, assuming great interviews, essays, life story narrative, etc...

    Grades -- I'm not sure I agree that they are "very low." Are they your big strength? No. But I think they are not going to keep you out necessarily, given you have a very good reason for a few B's. You know yourself -- ask yourself: are you truly a top student who has been identified as a top student your whole life in classrooms? Has it been a lifetime of being considered the smart one or the gifted student? If so, then you can be confident your recommendations will reflect that and a few B's when taking every class in german I think would be well-explained.

    If you hear nothing else from me, I hope you hear this: If you find yourself without any acceptances at all it will be, from where I sit, due to one major issue: you only applied to 3 schools. Any one of them might take you, but the numbers are just not in your favor (or anyone's favor) when they only apply to 3 schools with those acceptance rates. The "go big or go home" strategy is absolutely anyone's right to choose, but the consequence can often be "go home," and it's a mistake IMO to think that it's an unavoidable consequence due to "a low test score."

    I hope you get good news in a few days on your new SSAT score and I am cheering you on for M10!
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Calliemomofgirls I cannot begin to described how much you helped and all the other people saying I might have a chance. Thank you for your support. I am going insane from waiting for the test scores and decisions, it’s a very stressful time. I will keep you posted on the SSAT scores and decisions in March.
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Calliemomofgirls I got 76 percent on the SSAT! Does that increase my chances and what should I expect?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 345 replies15 threads Member
    That’s definitely an improvement. What were the sub scores for both? (Thinking to what the superscore might look like).

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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    81 verbal, 73 reading, 60 maths.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 345 replies15 threads Member
    What about the first test?
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    80 verbal, 62 reading, 37 maths
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 345 replies15 threads Member
    Ok so superscoring won’t help. The good news is that your new score has no major red flags like the 37. Sure they are softer than these school’s averages but if the rest if your application is really stellar, scores are high enough to be potentially overlooked. You know yourself best — have you always been considered the smart kid in class over the past nine years? Will your recommendations reflect that? Are you the kid who tends to get selected for school leadership honors, or other awards and honors? If so, the scores might be an anomaly that is overlooked. If not, then the scores might confirm a profile that might not be a good fit, in the schools’ eyes.
    I think you’ll just have to wait and see. But to answer your question — I think at least you have a shot. Your scores are definitely in the range to get into a number of great schools. Only applying to a couple could be the downfall.
    Wishing you a successful M10!
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Well in my old school everyone always thought I was smart and used to call me "too school for cool". The first year at my new German school was certainly very rough, and no one really noticed me. The second year I was really motivated to get good grades for Exeter and gave it my all. Now everyone thinks I'm super smart and intelligent which I don't necessarily agree with. The problem with my recommendations is that the teachers don't speak English, so the recommendations were translated. My English recommendation was very good. The principal recommendation was okay but she isn't that familiar with me. My math teacher wrote a couple of sentences, but it's his first year teaching me. All recommendation say I'm a very qualified and hardworking student who is a perfect fit for the school. The principal also remarked the progress I made without knowing the language.
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  • enpassant2019enpassant2019 61 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited February 27
    In your case, first I will say exactly what everyone else said: interesting multi-lingual, multi-cultural background with one glaring weakness - SSAT.

    Now I will offer you a contrarian advice: in your case, submit both SSATs. I know it is not super-scorable. I know the first one was not so pretty. That's not the point. You need to shake it, not fix it. Seeing only 60, they may think you are a 60 kid. But seeing 37 and then 60, they would think you are incalculable. If 60 is not good enough anyway, you might as well be deemed incalculable. Especially if you got an A in math.

    Showing both would also reveal your character: a bit of uncoached naiveté as well as candor - very rare quality in this supercrazy competitive admission scene. It is a fresh change. When everyone tries put her best step forward, you are putting all steps forward.

    It really is a pity that you took SSATs so late. Had you prepared a bit earlier, you could have achieved much higher scores. Do you know why I just said it? No, not because I am an expert in test prep but because you look like a very nice person. Got it? I AM ALREADY LOOKING FOR REASONS TO ACCEPT YOU, WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW YOU SHOULD MAKE THE AO THINK ABOUT YOU. Be a nice person (which you are). That's so much more attractive than some numbers. Character rules.

    Schools like PEA can afford to accept any low scores they wish and reject any number of perfect scores they wish, without affecting the average score of the admitted class. So good luck.



    edited February 27
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @enpassant2019 Thank you so much! Yes, it was quite an unfortunate situation with the SSAT's. I was under the impression you could only take it once per school year, so I decided to take it in December so I had more time to prepare. Only while speaking with the other kids taking the SSAT did I find out that you can take it more than once. And since I only had 2 weeks to improve, it wasn't enough time so the next and final one I could take was the Feb 8. I am not getting my hopes up and am preparing for the worst, but I will definitely try again next year. Getting into Exeter is my biggest dream and I really hope I emphasised that enough during my interview. I have been thinking about Exeter every day for the last 2 years, and if I don't get in I will try again next year because this is something I'm not ready to give up on.
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  • fluffypancake78fluffypancake78 19 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Got rejected from every school. Never mind, going to try again next year but some easier schools.
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  • stalecookiesstalecookies 100 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Got rejected from every school. Never mind, going to try again next year but some easier schools.

    There are still schools offering rolling admissions (taking applications). Look at some of those.

    There are many lesser known private schools that offer unique opportunities. Think about what's truly important to you (beyond prestige) and focus on that in determining which schools to apply to.
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  • TrebuchetTrebuchet 25 replies0 threads Junior Member
    If this is any consolation: There are a couple of stories I see about universal rejection that make me angry at the whole process and this is one of them. I am very sorry @fluffypancake78 . It's not just the stats, it's also an indication from your tone in the threads you'd be a good member of any school community and class participant. Rejected not even waitlisted? What the @#$@.

    I'm trying to send my daughter to a school that has people of your description, I don't care if you missed one or two more questions than you should on the Math SSAT v. the people who prepped for years. Holistic admissions...really?

    @sadpotato your story was another. I hope you had better results this year, I hope a glimpse I saw in another thread was wrong. I am rooting for you.
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