What kind of students are Andover and Exeter looking for? How would you increase your chances of getting in? Do you have to win national STEM competitions to have a better chance?
Maybe offer a unique “angle” with the objective of convincing the Admissions Office that you can make them a better school via some kind of tangible or intangible contribution. I would add that you intend to take full advantage of each institution’s resources and demonstrate how by naming the specific resource (eg a teacher’s name, a program, a building).
The most obvious angle is athletics. Exeter football, for example, has been downtrodden lately. So, if you can play QB at a high level…I would say you’re a lock to get in.
Winning STEM comps is a good angle if you can follow up with how you can improve/contribute/add value to STEM at the respective schools.
I didn’t apply to Exeter and Andover, but I currently go to a similar school (or rather attend the school through Zoom now). I’ll try to answer your questions.
As for stats, anything above 90% on SSAT is great. The SSAT doesn’t really matter, its more of a box to check.
A healthy mix of talented and diverse artists, athletes, and scholars. And add legacy/donors to that too (there are a lot more legacy kids at these schools than you think). They’re looking for bright students who have done well in school and their extracurriculars. They want students who have a genuine passion for learning, and they also favor extroverted/out-going kids who are very socially adept.
Spend a lot of time writing your essays and make them the best you can. Don’t list your achievements in your essays, rather help the admission officers get to know you better with anecdotes and your experiences. Stay away from generic essays and try to do something unique.
Also, nail your interview by being really prepared. Your interview is basically part bragging session and part explaining why you want to go to that school.
- Depends on your ethnicity and where you’re from. If you are from a very competitive middle school from which many people apply to private schools, and you’re an over-represented group (Asian, Indian), then you will need to really stand out.
However, I’m not sure if this means national STEM competitions. A few of the students in my grade did win national competitions in middle school, but most didn’t. If we look at the “un-hooked” students in my grade (meaning they aren’t a minority and don’t have legacy), most were well-rounded and top students in their grades, but it’s not like every single one won national competitions. I think that the schools are looking for genuine passion and potential, but past accomplishments do matter.
Like I said before, it depends on your ethnicity and school. If you were applying from my school, then winning national STEM competitions was a prerequisite for applying lol. I know national science Olympiad medalists and national MathCounts qualifiers that got rejected.
PM me if you want to see my stats btw.
I see, guys, thank you so much! It seems like all competitive schools are this way nowadays.
I was admitted to both Exeter and Andover, and you definitely don’t have to win national STEM competitions to get in! Offer a unique, personal “angle” and be kind and compassionate (recommendations + essays matter so much)!
With such bright kids asking about the kind of stats required to get into Exeter and Andover, I find it surprising some of these same kids seem to do so little research on how some other boarding schools might also be fantastic options. Would you ever conclude “if I don’t get into MIT I’m not going to college”?
The Exeter and Andover obsession on the Chance Me threads is strange. Is this driven by parental pressure to “only go to the best”? Same pressure some kids feel to become a doctor? If an elite college is your desired destination, do kids realize Andover and Exeter aren’t likely to boost their odds over other schools?
My oldest went to Exeter. Got in because of a sport, and had decent, not amazing, entrance stats. Admissions still cares about some sports. Found friends with some shared interests, but complained about factionalism. Many kids seemed dissatisfied, especially older ones.
Lots of pressure on the kids from parents, and you can see it with many studying all hours of the night. I honestly think more than half are there just to please their parents. There wasn’t a ton of shared school spirit.
Our youngest may apply this fall, she’s not sure, but based on our first go-round, we are hoping she focuses on some smaller schools with a more cohesive and relaxed student body.
@dancingpianist If you’re comfortable with saying, what were some of your accomplishments? I don’t have too many. I do a few extra curricular activities, but have no accomplishments in them. I’m going to attempt to do some things during quarantine that will help me stand out, but it would be nice to know what someone who got into the schools I want to get into did. Thank you!
What grade are you applying to? I was admitted to (didn’t attend) Exeter as a junior. I honestly don’t think that my grades/ECs were that impressive (varsity sports, Model Un, Math Team, etc) but I did have a 36 on the ACT and good subject test scores. My interview seemed to go really well and it was a genuine connection I seemed to build during my visit there with the AOs, faculty, students, etc. I guess they thought I could be someone who could be a contributor to their college matriculation and a pretty decent fit on campus.
I am applying as a incoming Junior. When I applied for sophomore, Exeter, Andover, Hotchkiss and Choate stood out so I’m thinking of applying there, some because of the school culture and some bc of the tour guides/ interviewers/ AOs.
I am also apply to andover and exeter for my junior year!!
@soh3ee Hey! Sorry for this VERY late reply.
Here is a short list of my extracurricular activities, but please remember to think about your own personal passions and interests. I know this might look very intimidating, but your resume doesn’t have to be over the top. Focus on one thing you’re truly passionate about it, and convey that through your entire application.
- Dance (ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop), 10 years
- Semi finalist in the worlds biggest ballet competition
- Active HKYAF dancer since 2012 (musicals, performances, etc.)
- Piano (grade 8) 9 years
- Speech team at school
- 3rd place for Impromptu Speaking
- Community Service
- Clubs at school: Human Rights Group, WWF
- 2019, Summer Internship at an NGO
- Some academic awards from school