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Chance me please?

__lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
edited November 2019 in Prep School Chances
Applying to: (by preference)
Exeter
Deerfield
Hotchkiss
Andover
Lawrenceville
Milton
St.Paul's
Groton
Choate
Peddie
Blair
(sorry that's a lot)

-Basic Profile-
Grade: 8th, local public school, applying to 9th
SSAT: 99%
Grades: Always straight As
Ethnicity: Asian
Gender: Female
Location: NJ

Classes:
> English
> Math
> French
> Science
> Civics
(my school doesn't offer any honors classes and no A+s either)
> Band
> Journalism
> STEM Coding & Digital Art

Extracurriculars:
> Flute: 3yrs. in two top bands at school(1st chair), private lessons outside school
> Visual Art: 8yrs. haven't entered any competitions, just something I do for fun
> Creative writing
> Chinese Calligraphy: 3yrs.
> Singing: 4yrs. sang in a choir from 2-3rd grade and 5-6th grade
> Tennis: 3yrs. semi-private lessons, haven't played competitively before
> Track: 5yrs. I started running 5ks pretty early but was only on the school team for one year (elementary school didn't have sports teams)
> Skiing- 7yrs. I've never raced before, this is also a just-for-fun activity
> Community service- I volunteer at a local church on weekends, play with the kids there and help them do art projects & stuff like that; I'm in a community service club at school and leading a project there; I'm also a part of thirty students leading the whole grade in comm. service projects (different from the club); also I'm going to be volunteering at an animal shelter soon

Interviews:
I still have to interview at L'ville, Hotchkiss, and Exeter, but from my past interviews I think the Andover AO liked me the most, the St. Paul's AO liked me second-most and the rest idk

Essays:
I'm not done with all of them yet, but I think I'll do okay on them.

Other:
> I am bilingual (English and Mandarin) and learning a third language
> I have lived and gone to school in China and in the U.S. (moved here in 3rd grade)
> I applied to Exeter Summer and was accepted but couldn't go :neutral: (time conflict)

Thanks!! :smile:
edited November 2019
24 replies
Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
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Replies to: Chance me please?

  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 595 replies14 threads Member
    I think you have a solid chance. More at the larger schools than the smaller. You have a lot of ec’s but nothing that strikes me as a passion. If one of them is, in fact, your passion I’d narrow your ec list so that your passion stands out.

    For example, skiing for recreation and taking tennis lessons for fun aren’t really ec’s that I’d put on an application (imo, maybe someone will correct me). Choir in 2-3 grade is also not relevant.

    Possibly I’m misreading your list. it looks like you have a lot of hobbies and interests. That’s great and as I said I think you’re a strong candidate for the bigger schools. Smaller schools I think need more kids who are pointy and will immediately contribute something to the campus. Like first chair violin or starting varsity players.

    Good luck!
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Hi one1ofeach, thank you so much! I really appreciate your response :blush: I'd say that my passion is flute (it's what I've always said during interviews). Thx!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 595 replies14 threads Member
    Ok. I see! I think because you’ve only done it for 3 years it’s a harder sell especially because you have so much listed. Good that you highlight that during interviews!

    Also if you can find a way to talk about how you are new to flute but have found “your thing” in an essay that might be a good idea!

    Since I’m not your parent what I’ll suggest is that you sit down with them while doing applications and figure out which ec’s to leave off your application to make the important ones stand out. (For instance skiing - so many people from New England grow up skiing, if it’s not a competitive situation is it really an ec?)

    I hope some of the more experienced parents will chime in on that topic for you.
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 115 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited November 2019
    Agree with @one1ofeach. Very solid academics but the EC's are short for school leadership type positions such as an officer in Student Council or NJHS. But, you have a well developed resume overall.

    As you read endlessly on these boards, many of the schools on your list accept roughly 18%. So basically your resume is excellent. You will (IMO) get in to several of these schools. You are now just playing the odds for who they need for their class puzzle piece.

    Chances you get into one of these schools? (based on your evidence) 90%+ (I actually believe it is closer to 99% but keeping expectations in check)
    Chances you get into your #1 choice? 20%

    Basically you are in great shape, not much else to do other than write well crafted essays.
    edited November 2019
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1915 replies34 threads Senior Member
    What are you looking for in a school?

    A large, informal, college-like experience (Andover, Exeter) or a smaller, more intimate and more structured one (Groton)?

    Have you spent a lot of time thinking about which kind of environment will help you thrive and develop into your best self? Where you will be happiest?

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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited November 2019
    Hi @one1ofeach That's a great point! I will definitely consider which extracurriculars to keep and which ones to cut. Also, writing about discovering flute is an amazing idea!! (You may have just solved my problem of being unsure what to write about:) Thanks so much for your reply!

    @PrepDad2018 Thank you soo much!! You have definitely boosted my confidence. In terms of school leadership-- sadly, my school has no leadership roles(as in student council or anything like that) but I'm leading a community service project in the club I'm in (idk if that would factor towards getting accepted?) Thanks for your reply!

    @CaliMex I look for schools that have academic rigor but also a kind, accepting community. All the schools on my list possess these qualities (imo) I think I would want to attend a school with a more college-y vibe since the whole reason I applied to boarding schools is to get a taste of college and be prepared. And I don't think I've spent that much time thinking which environment would best suit me... I am a pretty adaptable person so I would survive in either environment. I would be so happy to get the chance of attending any of these schools tbh. Thank you for your reply!
    edited November 2019
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1915 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Are we correct in assuming you don't need financial aid?
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
  • CaliMexCaliMex 1915 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    You should have no trouble getting admitted to at least 2-4 of your targets. Acceptance rates for FP students are typically higher.

    But if you haven't done the hard work of understanding yourself well enough to know what kind of culture/environment is most likely to bring out the best in you, it will be tougher to pick the right school.

    Some schools have highly competitive, sink-or-swim cultures that some students find thrilling and empowering but others find overwhelming. Other schools are more intentional about creating a tightly-knit community that is highly collaborative and supports students in taking healthy risks, though some kids bristle at the idea of more structure and/or supervision.

    I highly recommend you go beneath the glossy look books and irrelevant "prestige" or popularity rankings to understand where you are most likely to blossom and shine brightest.
    edited November 2019
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited November 2019
    @CaliMex Thanks for your reply! Honestly, I haven't thought about the stuff you brought up since those things are usually thought about when picking a school to attend and I REALLY didn't dare bring my hopes (of possible acceptance) up. But IF I get accepted by multiple schools, these are certainly great points I will be considering.
    edited November 2019
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  • flowergirl1214flowergirl1214 14 replies0 threads New Member
    @__lightgrey__ I think you have pretty good chances at at least 3-5 of your schools. I was very similar to you, over represented minority, good grades, some extracurriculars but no distinguishable passion (on paper)! I applied to a smaller amount of schools (7) and was accepted into 6 of them. I think you look very strong as an applicant, and if you have any questions about exeter specificly feel free to PM me!
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    @flowergirl1214 Thank you sooo much for your reply! I do have questions about Exeter but actually have no idea how to PM someone here on CC (if you could tell me how that would be really helpful) Did you get accepted into Exeter? (if so congrats!!)
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  • flowergirl1214flowergirl1214 14 replies0 threads New Member
    @__lightgrey__ Yeah! Im a freshman (prep) at exeter rn!
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    @flowergirl1214 OMG that's sooooooooo amazing!! I hope with all my heart that I can join you there next year!

    (I have a LoT of questions and you totally don't need to answer all of them)
    1. What traits does Exeter look for in applicants?
    2. Are there specific meanings that your essays have to convey?
    3. How should one act and what kind of atmosphere should one expect during interviews? (formal, informal, conversational...)
    4. When faced with the question "why Exeter", how does one make one's answer stand out? (or is there a way?)
    5. Which part of the application is weighted most heavily?
    6. Did your interviewer show that they were impressed after your interview?
    7. Did it take long to adjust to Harkness and do you feel that it improved your learning experience? (assuming your old school taught class differently)
    8. What did the acceptance envelope look like? (I do realize that this is a silly question lol)

    Thank you so much!!! =)
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  • flowergirl1214flowergirl1214 14 replies0 threads New Member
    1) Exeter wants you to overall be yourself, although it sounds cliche as a tour guide I hear it all the time in the admissions office. They want people who are not only going to fit their diverse community well, but people who are passionate about both learning and who know how to have a little fun. basically what i'm saying is be yourself and you will be fine.
    2) Make your essays unique and personal, write about things that are important to you, they can tell if you're passionate about something. It also makes it 10000x easier to write your essays!!
    3) The main point of the interview is to see what you look like off of paper. It should be semi-formal but flow more like a conversation. Although it can be really nerve-wracking its important to not act super scared (none of the admissions officers bite :)), pretend like its a conversation. Most importantly always have a reason Why? (ex. if you say you want to be a doctor in the future be prepared to say why)
    4) The most important thing when asked, Why Exeter? is to be honest. Why do you want to go to Exeter, thats all they really want to know. There is no right or wrong answers.
    5) In my opinion the interview matters most. It's a great chance for the admissions officer to get to know you, and really see your personality.
    6) I wasn't really sure after my interview, she seemed to REALLY like me, but thats just part of their job. In my case it worked out, but usually it's hard to sense how they feel about you.
    7) For me Harkness was an easy adjustment. My old school had the occasional Socratic Seminar, but nothing like harkness. At Exeter, your freshman (prep) fall is pass fail which can really help with the adjustment. But to be quite honest its totally different for everybody.
    8) Don't worry, its not a silly question at all! In my acceptance package there was a letter to all accepted students, a letter written by a current student that was personalized, a sticker for our car, and a courses of instruction booklet!

    I'm happy to answer anymore of your question that you may have :smile:
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    edited November 2019
    @flowergirl1214 Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I really appreciate it => I will definitely keep all your advice in mind thru the application process! Thanks again!

    Btw I’m going on tour on Dec. 14th (Saturday). Are you going 2b giving any tours that day?
    edited November 2019
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  • flowergirl1214flowergirl1214 14 replies0 threads New Member
    @__lightgrey__ Yeah! I usually tour all three times on Saturday!
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  • __lightgrey____lightgrey__ 10 replies1 threads New Member
    @flowergirl1214 Cool! I'm looking forward to meeting you there!
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1915 replies34 threads Senior Member
    @lightgrey Why waste time and application fees on schools that might not bring out the best in you? It is always better to think long and hard about fit and what kind of environment you are most likely to thrive in *before* applying. Your essays, thank you notes, and interviews will be much more compelling if you are able to explain why a particular school is a great fit for you in particular instead of regurgitating what you read on the website, the BS "prestive" ranking list you saw online, or what you heard on the tour.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 595 replies14 threads Member
    CaliMex wrote: »
    What are you looking for in a school?

    A large, informal, college-like experience (Andover, Exeter) or a smaller, more intimate and more structured one (Groton)?

    Have you spent a lot of time thinking about which kind of environment will help you thrive and develop into your best self? Where you will be happiest?

    I think this is a pretty big deal. Maybe after you’ve visited the schools you can figure out what you want. Even my daughter who could have done well anywhere (fit is less important for her as she’s super flexible) had definite feelings of yes and no about schools after visiting.

    Thinking about the questions calimex poses will also help you write your essays!
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