What are my chances to get into a top high school like Exeter

Hello to anyone reading this. I would just like to know what my chances or in getting into Exeter. As of right now, I am a 7th grader.

  1. I am a straight-A student and have been for my whole life.
  2. I scored the highest Map score in my whole school as a 7th grader with above a 99 percentile.
  3. I was one of the top swimmers in my State.
  4. I play the tenor saxophone currently in my school band.
  5. I participated in my Lego Robotics Team in 6th grade, but due to covid, I could not participate this year.
  6. I have a huge passion for Mathematics and am currently in the midst of learning basic Calculus. I have self-taught myself in topics such as Algebra 1 and 2, Trig, and Pre-calc.
  7. I have also self-taught myself how to code. Right now, I am learning Java through the internet, and classes.

Note - As of right now, I have not participated in any AMC competitions but plan to try to as an 8th grader. I believe that schools such as Exeter do admit many students who score well in these exams. I was too stupid and dumb to try and admit to them though. I am also aware that preparing for the interview is especially important and getting a high test score in something like the SSAT. I was just wondering what other things I could do in order to increase my chances into getting into these prestigious schools. Thanks.


im only an applicant so i cant properly chance you, but you might have gotten something wrong.

interviews are important, yes, but ssat scores? not as much. (they’re still kinda important tho, if you really want to show your academics)
essays are the most important, and recommendation letters next. you could have a terrible ssat score and flunked your interview, but if you have amazing essays and golden recommendations you still have a decent shot.

and by your stats, you seem like a great applicant! i wouldnt worry about studying for the ssat YET, since no one knows if schools like exeter will still go test-optional. i would highly suggest taking some writing classes and learning how to make writing (especially essay writing) interesting for other people to read. something i shouldve done but never got the chance to.

also from my knowledge, amc results help, but there are tons of applicant who have those. applying for schools like exeter are showing them that you are unique, and that basically just means showing them you have something others dont have.

(sorry if this is poorly written im so tired lol)

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It is fine, Thank you so much for the help. If anyone else wants to comment on my post, you are happy to do so. Thanks

Are you still swimming? Try contacting the coach at Exeter. If they’re interested in you, then your chances would skyrocket.

Yes, I am still swimming. Thank you for the advice. Also, how would I include that in my application process? Would it be a recommendation from the Coach Himself to the school to try and get me into the school or some other way.

you’re a 7th grader on College Confidential? i understand you have aspirations and are wondering how to improve your chances for exeter, but seriously…you’re a 7th grader. i guarantee that schools like exeter and andover care more about genuinity and personal character/passion. enjoy doing stuff that you love to do. you should be coming on this forum when it’s time for you to apply for college and when you’re discussing results for pre-college applications/scholarships, not for boarding school admissions.

you seem like a very hard-working character. i enjoyed my seventh and eighth grade with no worries and began my journey in the first year of high school. please enjoy your time right now rather than investing time to browse through this toxic space of College Confidential.

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Well, since you said you were one of the top swimmers in your state, I guess you have extremely impressive records.

If that’s the case, then simply fill out this form Prospective Athletes | Phillips Exeter Academy
The coach may contact you asking for videos of your practice or swim meets. Remember to stay in contact with the coach.

If the coach thinks you will be a great addition to the team, then he/she would definitely advocate for you during the admission process. This would be a huge advantage over other applicants that are not prospective athletes.

As for the recommendations, you should ask your current swimming coach (not Exeter’s) to fill out your “special interest recommendation”. Exeter’s coach could only advocate for you during the admission process, not write recommendation letters.

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I heard that the college forums are quite toxic, but not this one lol.


BS take a lot of work and planning so 7th grade is not too early to be considering schools. But rather than thinking about Exeter, consider the large range of school available. It is too soon to
I know if testing will be required next year. Most domestic students could take the test this year and I would guess that it will be required.

Congratulations on you high MAP score. (But just say 99%, there is nothing higher) Do not assume that a high score on MAP will directly translate to a high score on another test. Taking a sample SSAT is very helpful and probably many tutors in your area offer them for free. It is important to understand the pool of applicants is different and more competitive sometime your scores aren’t what you are expecting. Just as a comparison, my son had 99% in all areas of the MAP for several years but still had to hustle to get his SSAT that high.


i was not referring to this forum per se. i was saying this whole website in general. it’s not suitable for young students.

Thanks for letting me know

This is the prep school subforum. So the OP is in the right place


That’s nice that that worked out for you.

Many of us realized that in order to get into the courses we wanted to in high school, we had to work hard in 7th and 8th grade.

If my kid were still in public school, they would have taken physics and AP World History freshman year. My kid would not have been able to enroll in those classes if they hadn’t performed very well in 8th grade. They would not have been in the accelerated classes in 8th grade if they had not worked hard and done well in their 7th grade classes.

I take it that you have a negative opinion of boarding schools.

I think that the best thing that you can do is make a list of the “top” schools you want to apply to. Make a list of what you like best about these schools. Then look for schools with higher admit rates that have some of these same qualities.

Doing such research will help you develop a deeper understanding of what you want in prep school, and what make the various schools unique. You might even find that you like some of the lesser known, higher admit schools!

This will make it easier to have interesting answers to questions like “why do you want to go to school here?” They’ve already heard, “It’s my dream” and “I like Harkness” a gazillion times.

I think it’s great you are a planner. Expand your list. There are literally dozens of BS schools that would give you the kind of education that will serve you for life. Also, nearly every Exeter applicant has top scores in every category and amazing EC’s as well. Many think that they’ll get in and are disappointed.

Keep doing what you are doing. Create some thing to do during Covid (there are many online activities) and when the time comes apply to a good number of schools.

Look at your list as fulfilling what you want from a school rather than relying on the name of the school.

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I don’t have a negative stance on boarding schools. In fact, I applaud students who go to Andover, Exeter, St. Paul’s, and Lawrenceville. That being said, I did not go around playing and having a relaxing time in 7th and 8th grade as I was preparing for admission into a public magnet school. What I argue is that for a 7th grader to be on a website that posts forums on scholarships and primarily an avenue of consultation for college admissions is rather premature. There are forums for boarding school admissions, but that should be for parents…not a 7th grade kid. Yes, I applaud this 7th grader for seeking out opportunities and consultation here, but College Confidential and the culture associated with it is so toxic. You probably know that as well.

The argument that a student works hard in 7th and 8th grade does not justify being on this forum. You could work and find your passion within the school environment and not have to be searching through this website. That’s my argument.

I may sound insensitive, but I was just trying to offer my personal view.