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Good enough for Andover so far?

mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
edited January 14 in Prep School Chances
Hey there. I was wondering if I have any chance of making it to a top boarding school like Andover, Exeter, Choate ect. I'm in the 7th grade now, but I want to start thinking about how I'm going to most effectively plan my next year out right now. I don't have test scores, essays, or recommendations, so just give me feedback on what I have now.

Grades/Test Scores:

Expect scores that are 85% or higher on the ssat. For grades, in 6th grade, I would always get As and high Bs EXCEPT for art. I tried to force myself to be artistic, when I clearly wasn't, resulting in a 77. Social Studies was also really bad for me in Quarters 3 and 4 because of a bad teacher, which ended in me getting a high C. In 7th grade, I have gradually improved my grades to 95+, and I am confident I will only continue to grow!


--- I have been doing voice for as long as I can remember. Got into State Honor Choir in 5th grade, but I now prefer me singing as a hobby.

--- FLL Robotics team in in the top 6 out of 360+ teams, and we many awards, and win Inspiration award at State.

--- I was in Musical Theatre. I had a minor role, but Musical Theatre gave me more confidence to perform in front of others and taught me sooo many good lessons.

--- I love creative writing. I won an award an Scholastic writing award (regionals).

--- I worked with my principal and helped design and launch a business fair for kids at our school all by myself. I did everything from organizing volunteers to creating posters to creating a business guide for the participants.

--- I ran a successful Fiverr account with over 50 customers.

--- I've volunteered a lot in my local community.

Other Info:

State or Country: South Carolina (underrepresented?)
Current School Type: Public
Ethnicity: African American (hook!)
Gender: Female
Grade Applying For: 9
Financial Aid/Full Pay: Paritial

Main Questions:

Are my ECs looking okay so far?
What can I do to improve overall?
Is SC underrepresented?
Which EC is helping me the most?
Will a sport help a lot?

edited January 14
9 replies
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Replies to: Good enough for Andover so far?

  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 128 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited January 15
    @mssweeteaa Good for you for planning in advance. Most posters here only arrive in the application process.

    The SSAT expectation seems high vs your grades. Have you sat for the elementary level test? Without hard SSAT data you really need to keep those grades up as you plan to.

    The school fair you organized is interesting if you add another adventure/project to show a pattern.

    Chorus, robotics, theatre all seem exploratory vs real dedication.

    So, I suppose that is my point, What do you do? What do you love? What makes you awesome? A little here, a little there is not ideal for Andover. You don't have to be a one trick pony, "I only play violin", might be too limited. You need to say, I do these things but THIS is my passion and where I shine and will continue on in HS at a high level.

    A sport (or instrument) will really only help if you are at a high level. It is similar to your ECs.....I joined the track team in 7th grade is not a resume highlight. I placed 4th in the 400m in SC middle school state championships is a highlight.

    So, keep working towards your goal. You have time to fill in your application details. Just be honest about your own interests if you decide to show additional dedication and leadership to your ECs. Good luck.
    edited January 15
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 742 replies17 threads Member
    Agreed. There’s no point adding a sport if it’s not a sport you love. It’s unlikely you’d get to recruited athlete level in a year. Well more like impossible.

    Ssat do matter. There’s a post right now of someone who waited till January and got a 20%. So make sure you prep for the test and take it early so you can retake if necessary. Very few kids who are top students expect to do badly but many do.

    State choir in 5th grade is irrelevant. Choir only matters if you’re doing it now+ 8th + continue in highschool.

    If you love musical theatre get more involved.

    What’s your volunteering? Make sure this is deep not “I walked one saturday for cancer.”
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  • mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I am really passionate about entrepreneurship, and I would like to start a tech startup when I grow up. I organized the business fair because our school did absolutely nothing to support entrepreneurship. If I need a recommendation from my principal, he will have great things to say about me planning this. I really hope my essays and my ecs show a spike in this! :smile:

    Robotics was the thing I spent the most time on because I really enjoy STEM. I am really proud of my achievements. I also really like singing, but you were right when you said it was more exploraty.

    For my volunteering, I did a lot of graphic design for a
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  • mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Sorry, just realized I didn't finish my sentence. I did graphic design (posters, flyers, info sheets) for a girls coding group that previously was the same club that got me into STEM. I also went to teachers for the past two years to help them out in their classrooms on Tuesdays. Last year, I helped out the digital design teacher, while this year I am helping an outdoor ed teacher. Next year I plan to ask a special needs teacher! (I did this because of a school program).
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 742 replies17 threads Member
    This is just my opinion and might be "wrong" but for my kids I want them doing community service that is actually service. I realize that kids get credit for service hours doing all sorts of things but if I were you I would try to get involved in something that actually serves people who need help and ditch the fluff community service that you have been doing. Work at a food bank every weekend, babysit at a women's shelter routinely. Something that actually helps people in need vs you're doing something "for free" so it's "community service."
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  • mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Volunteering at a library would be considered community service, right? I've been thinking about working their for a while, and this might be a sign it's time to me to ask if they have volunteer spots open.
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  • mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the honest feedback.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 233 replies11 threads Junior Member
    @mssweeteaa I just want to call out how wise and mature and thoughtful you are, asking for feedback and then taking it (and thanking someone for it). I, for one, am your fan, and will be happy to cheer you on as you go. Follow your heart and your gut, and share you brilliance with the world in a way that will ultimately change it, even a tiny bit, for the better. The application will take care of itself when you live your best, brave life, as you seem to be doing.
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  • mssweeteaamssweeteaa 14 replies5 threads Junior Member
    You just made my day! :smile: Thank you so much.
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