Ask About Exeter!

Hi everyone!

Congratulations on your acceptance to PEA! I am currently a student at Exeter and wanted to start this thread to provide families with answers to pretty much any question they had about academics, sports, EC’s, campus life, affinity spaces, etc.

Feel free to ask any question however detailed!

I hope to share enough information to help newly admitted students and families navigate the upcoming weeks until April 10th!

Go Big Red!!!


I’ll start. Is there a grade bump for honors classes? How much homework/night (for honors/higher level classes) HONESTLY? How competitive is it really?

Is Harkness used for math and science, or do those have a component of lecture?

No bump. Actual time varies by person. Most probably between 2 to 4 hours. DD needs 8 hours of sleep, and she has been able to get that 90% of the days and she does sports all seasons.

Just to add on.

In total, there shouldn’t be more than 5 hours of homework but it really depends on the classes and teachers.

In response to your last question, Exeter is a pretty big school and hardly anyone is taking the same classes, this means you’re really only comparing grades with your classmates, peers, and friends which typically means you’re doing so in a friendly environment.

And to mention, the little bit of competitiveness seems to motivate a lot of students in all areas.

Harkness is used in every single class!

This was one of the things that stood out to me throughout the application process and when deciding which school to attend. Just like you, I expected it to be exempt from science and math because I thought it wouldn’t work.

When arriving at Exeter, I was very surprised by how fluidly the learning method worked in the two classes I was worried about, but my teachers did a great job of introducing it to me and my peers!


What’s the schedule like after April 10th? Information meetings, placement tests, summer events, start of school, etc

Last year towards the end of March, there were a ton of online information sessions and panels for athletics, arts, international students, campus life, boarding life, academics, and much more. These sessions helped tell me what Exeter was all about.

Then the day after you accept your offer of admission and you enroll, you get access to your Exeter email address where the login information can be used to access all student info on a certain website which is super helpful this early on.

Soon after, you’ll be assigned an interim adviser. Their job is to answer any questions you may have and also help you start planning your courses for the upcoming year. Last year our course selection was due on May 6th, and a few days later we received follow-up placement tests for math and foreign language.

Then something that caught me by surprise was the email Exeter sends requesting your official and final transcripts for the end of the year because as they stated “enrollment at Exeter is contingent upon a student having maintained their strong academic record and citizenship within their community.” So in other words, don’t slack off because you’ve already been accepted. :wink:

At the end of May, you receive a housing survey that has you select dorm sizes and makes you list your interests for a possible roommate. This helps Exeter decide what dorm you should be in and your dorm our house information will come out at the end of August which is pretty much the day before preseason athletes move in so that there isn’t much wiggle room for students and parents who don’t like their living situation :slight_smile:

A lot of questionnaires will come out for things like sports, music, art, affiliations, etc., and in the upcoming days, Exeter shares more and more information.

Then sometime during the summer, you’re able to access the directory which is something every student enjoys doing. For some reason, students, including myself love getting to see who is in their grade and dorm.

There aren’t any summer programs because of the summer camp, Exeter summer, but I do know that day students have a meetup a few days before school starts. Some advice for meeting new students before the start of school is connecting online! Last year, we made group chats and followed each other on Instagram (through the Exeter 2026 account) before summer had even started which really helped develop friendships before our arrival on campus.

That’s pretty much everything! I hope this answers all your questions.


Thank you for the detailed answer!


What do the kids wear? Is it very fashion-y for the girls? Does everyone wear sweats? I"m assuming everyone wears duck boots! haha!

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Thanks for being a resource. How did you decide on Exeter? We are trying to decide between Andover and Exeter and it is very difficult. What would you say are the 3 best things about Exeter. Are the students friendly or is it everyone competing with one another?

I had the same question!

Honestly, it’s such a huge mix.

There are guys that wear collared shirts and jeans, but also guys who wear sweats and come to class as if they’ve just rolled out of bed. :slight_smile:

The same thing goes for the girls!

Now there are a few students who manage to look good every day of the week, including during sports but nobody really cares. A lot of people have their own styles and don’t pay attention to what others around them are wearing, and if they do, they take inspo from it!

One thing you will notice though is that in the wintertime, all regard for stylish or "cool’ outfits completely goes out the window! Layered shirts, thick pants, and a huge winter jacket are what’s trending during Exeter winters. :wink:

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Will Exeter re-consider my financial aid and match what Andover gave me?

im in the same predicament lol

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thank you for all your help! My family and I have decided on Exeter after a discussion with friends who know both schools, and we won’t be visiting Andover. Look forward to going to campus as a new lower next fall!


If you don’t mind me asking, would you minds sharing what helped you decide?

Hi, thank you so much! This helps a lot. I have 3 questions:

  1. I was wondering about Exeter’s humanities program, and how interested you feel many students are in pursuing a humanities-based major! I read that Andover was typically arts/humanities based while Exeter leaned more towards STEM but I would like to see if there are people who similarly match my interests!
  2. What are some cons, do you think, about Exeter? It would be great to know all aspects of the school, both positive AND negative, before fully committing.
  3. How is the workload and grading system in terms of difficulty on a scale from 1-10 (in your opinion)?
    Thank you!

It’s a better fit for me as I like the Harkness for Math and Science. It offers some STEM courses that Andover doesn’t, and their Golf, Debate, and Robotics programs are better (those are my main extracurriculars). Plus I like red more than blue :joy:


How about advisors? Are you assigned one during your 4 years? Or many? If you don’t like your advisor can you change?