St. Mark's School of Texas review by Dartmouth College student: St. Mark's School in Dallas, Texas is characterized by small class sizes, strong in all areas, but particularly in math and sciences. Most teachers have advanced degrees.
The school is definitely focused on learning rather than exam performance. AP classes rarely look at actual AP problems, etc.
Began discussing admissions at the end.
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Sample insights on college counseling
- “They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...”
- “For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...”
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Sample insights on admissions
- “Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transfered from other New York private schools. The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools...”
- “For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents* let the kids speak on the tour. Don't ask their questions for them because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid...”
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The extracurricular activities were great. There are a wide range of options, particularly given the small size of the school. I participated in policy debate, and St. Mark's has one of the strongest programs nationally. I got to travel all over the country competing.
Quality of School Life
Students live all over Dallas, so some have long commutes which would definitely hurt quality of life. The neighborhood is very nice: Preston Hollow is one of the nicest areas in Dallas. The students are predominantly upper class, sons of doctors, lawyers, business executives, etc, but there is a decent financial aid program, and racial diversity is on the rise.