Chance Me: Phillips Academy (Andover), Phillips Exeter Academy, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss, etc

Hi! I’m a Chinese female in 7th grade looking to apply to some of America’s top boarding schools for the fall 2022-2023 school year.

So, to start off with some basic information, I currently go to a public middle school in New Jersey. I will not require financial aid and most students in my town and surrounding areas will not be applying to BS.

Next, grades. I currently have a B in Language Arts, an A in Math (ADV), an A in Science, an A- in Social Studies, and both an A and B+ in Physical Education (my school has two P.E. classes).

As for test scores, I have not taken the SSAT or ISEE yet, however, I do plan on taking it in the next couple of months (depends on the testing dates). On my SAT practice test, I scored a 1230 which places me in the top 80th percentile (if I were taking the actual test, of course.)

I’m taking plenty of extra-curricular activities which include swimming, piano, tennis, tae-kwon-do, and more.

Adding on to my EC paragraph, I’m on a swim team in my local fitness center, I’ve been playing piano for around 8 years, and I’m about to test for a first degree black belt in tae-kwon-do (which has been postponed for about a year due to the pandemic.)

If I do get into a boarding school, however, I plan to focus on design/UX/data science as I will most likely be majoring in those subjects in college.

So, to conclude this post, I politely ask you to chance me based on the information given. Thank you!

Hi! I recently took the SSAT practice test and I scored around a 2025 which puts me around the 88th percentile.

You sound like you will be a wonderful applicant. If you want to make sure you will attend boarding school, apply to some schools that are a bit less selective as well.

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I would recommend being very careful with your grades this semester and next.

Take a sample SSAT. SSAT and SAT do not have a relationship and cannot be used to predict scores with each other. The math is significantly different. The reading passages are somewhat similar. But the vocabulary section is not present on the SAT and is troublesome for a lot of people. The scoring method on the SSAT also trips people up.

Finally, if you want to attend boarding school perfection on all fronts will not guarantee admission to the list of schools you mentioned. They have many qualified applicants who are turned away. Really research your options— there are a lot of terrific schools out there.


Hey! Thanks for responding, and I’ll make sure to apply to a couple less selective schools.

(This is a new account, I recently lost the old one.)

Hi! Thanks for honestly reviewing my resume, and I’ll make sure to apply to a couple more boarding schools. As for the SSAT and SAT, I’ve already taken both of them (in the practice test form, of course) and got a 2025 (around the 88th percentile (?)) on the SSAT. I’m currently trying to raise my LA percentage, so watching my grades shouldn’t be a problem. Once again, thanks!

(This is a new account, I recently lost the old one.)

As part of SSAT registration, you can purchase their test and prep tools like quizlets for various sections. You may be able able to purchase before registration. I think they are good, better than several of the practice books I saw. SSAT is tricky to understand because the percentile is based on the group taking the test etc. my son found that he had wild swings in his score on practice tests and a big jump on his actual score between tests. So practice and take two for sure.

You need to add more schools if it’s boarding or bust. My asian daughter had straight As at her private middle school and similar SSAT scores, great interviewer, had a lot of art ECs, great reccs and was WL at the one school that overlaps with your list. That AO was really pushing for her all the way to the end, but the WL didn’t move (it all tuned out fine though). If you are OK staying at your current school, then aim high (that’s what we did for this kid) and be OK with the strong possibility of staying at your current school. Good luck!

I don’t want to be the one to say it but it seems like I must. A 2025 is not the 88th percentile. An 88th percentile is around a 2190.

I have no idea where you’re getting those numbers from.

i calculated these numbers off of an offical ssat practice book i purchased a couple months ago. my numbers may be off, but i took the test again and got a 2065.

your numbers are off. a 2025 is a 60th%. a 2065 is a 69th%. This is from trusted sources that have proven accurate.

you may be referring to the middle school curve. you are taking the upper level test, do not use the middle school curve.

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If op is in 7th grade maybe she is taking the lower ssat? That could explain the scoring and percentile difference.

OP are you sure you’re taking the upper ssat? The one you need for admissions once you hit 8th grade?

Oops. Haha. I see you already pointed that out :smirk:

Different test AND different curve!

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i was using the middle level test, thanks for pointing that out.

You need to realize that admissions to your target boarding schools is not simply based on GPA and SSAT scores. There are some factors about YOU that AO’s look for such as communication abilities, what makes you interesting or unique, what you can contribute to the school, how will you be a part of their community.

Frankly, I had a very honest conversation with two AO’s from two different schools. They sniff it out. You need to be genuine and someone who will contribute somehow to the school community - it’s not just about how smart you think you are. Also, how will you embrace the entire community not just the people you think are worthy of you.


yeah, i get that. i just dont really have anything else except for test scores or extracurriculars right now, and it’s pretty hard to show my personality through a post. but im usually nice, and i enjoy learning, so it should be fine.

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You need to carefully think about adding schools to your list. You are in the MOST competitive pool - Asian ethnicity females. Your chance of getting into those schools hovers at 10% (yes based on this years stats it’s a little worse than that but I expect some small adjustment next year). That’s not a good chance, no matter how lovely you almost certainly are as a person.

There’s a thread with this years admission rates and a thread with hidden gems. I think reading both would be good.

Otherwise keep up the good work in school and focus on something you can truly say you are passionate about.


i think i can raise 10 by at least 4. im at the drawing level of a high school junior, and my grades next year should raise by a significant amount as covid will be over and i’ll be able to physically go to school. but i’ll make sure to check those threads, thanks!

This is the same with many applicants. Try to raise your grades this year if possible. This year’s grades factor into what classes you’ll get placed into next year.

Quick question: Is advanced math a High School level class?

Also, are you recruitable for swimming or tennis? Could you send in a piano recording of a well-played Concerto? Any one of these will help you a lot if you’re good at any one of them. Look up on YouTube to see what schools are playing. Try to do things at their level or higher. For sports, look at their varsity stats. Can you hit those for swimming or tennis? What about the JV stats? Are you as good as someone on JV? Remember, these things will help you significantly if you don’t think you’ll get their average GPA and SSAT scores.

You seem like a good candidate and would strive academically at these schools.However,schools don’t admit an academic profile.You need to add more schools. Don’t make the process even harder by adding schools like Loomis or Taft. While they are great schools, they are just as competitive as Andover or Deerfield.Become realistic with this process, you could be the most well rounded student and still get rejected everywhere.Also find schools that actually fit your personality.Schools like Exeter and Andover are not for everyone.The admissions committee will see that.You have a lot of time to find schools for you and fall in love with them.

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