Phillips Academy Andoverreview by Dartmouth College student. Very strong in math, sciences, humanities. Foreign language program weakest of all departments, but still quite strong in comparison to other schools. Competitive student body, but composed of generally good and decent people. I went on to the Ivy League and feel that I was very well prepared for my college education. Depending on the teacher, some classes were lecture-based and some focused on discussions. Lab science courses usually lecture based, History and humanities more discussion-based. I took classes as small as 6 people and as large as 18 students. Work load extremely heavy (1.5 hours per class, 5 classes, so feasibly 8 or 9 hours of homework.) Faculty is extremely accessible. Tutoring available, office hours 3 times per week (called Conference period) wonderful advising system.
Most students lived in dorms, there was one dining hall, COMMONS, athletic facilities fields and training room were great, gym complex probably needs to be redone. Students are separated into clusters, basically dorms that are close to one another. Students become quite loyal to their clusters. Diverse socio-economically and racially, but still mostly white/asian, and mostly upper-middle class to upper class. Extensive pastoral support if you want it. Always have a house counselor (faculty member living in dorms) and an advisor. I loved the school's culture. People are extremely hard working, driven, ambitious, to the point of sometimes being a bit cutthroat. Andover is a second-chance school, meaning that you probably won't get thrown out for your first offense. Exceptions to this rule: plagiarism, drug dealing, doing hard drugs. Andover definitely makes you work hard. If that possiblity doesn't seem exciting or pleasing, spare yourself four years of suffering and go to Loomis Chafee or something.
Community service is absolutely integral, although there is no community service requirement beyond one day per year. Comm Serv was definitely hugely important and a point of pride was the level to which students participated. Extra-curricular activities take up a crazy amount of time, especially with the athletic requirement. Maybe, 3-6 hours per day, 4 days per week. The balance was great, and I think the environment was designed to produce well-rounded individuals.