Phillips Academy Andoverreview by MIT student. Phillips Academy's (Andover) academics are the world's best. Most colleges included. Classes are relatively small (13 to 18 usually, although I've had advanced Spanish and math classes as small as 5 or 6) and there's always a dialog between teachers and students. In every classroom questions are encouraged, and most days have a conference period (conference is the new recess) in which students can meet with teachers for extra help, or for any other reason. Classes are, however, intense. The average courseload is 4 to 6 classes (6 is the maximum, 3 is the minimum, I would say most students take at least 5 most terms). The workload is demanding, and I would say took much of my spare time during the week. This means it's often hard to fit too much in outside of class and work, but a sport andor a couple extracurriculars are manageable. This also means that college will be a breeze. Of my friends in college, the only ones I know who have survived a similar workload are those who went to Andover. While I admit that I exaggerated, and that MIT is not a breeze, I feel that I was extremely well prepared.
I was a day student at Andover, but I do not feel that it distanced me from campus life. I ate two meals a day on campus, and participated in weekend activities, including the not-bad-for-highschool dances and impressive semiformals. Our single prom, senior year, is a spectacular event, as well. Facilities are impressive, too. Visit campus or read the brochure to be wowed. The town is incredibly safe.. a suburban haven, but students often mention the Andover "bubble", a disconnect with world news that comes from students working more than reading the paper or cnn.com. The same problem exists for me at college, although to a lesser extent. All in all, Andover is more like a college than most colleges. It's large, green, diverse, with excellent professors, brilliant students, and great athletics. Students have some independence, but not enough to worry parents, and come out prepared, if not for the real world, at least for anything college can throw at them. If a student can manage the workload, he will have a huge leg-up after graduating.
In academic competitions, Andover is again one of the best. Personally I was most involved with the math program at Andover, and the excellent teachers really helped me excel in the math competitions. Other academic areas are similarly successful. As for athletics, Andover is again excellent, but you should read another review for particulars. Andover doesn't have, however, a lot of the common clubs you may find even in public schools. We had no FIRST robotics, no JETS, etc., that my friends in college participated in. While at Andover I didn't feel that these were lacking, and I don't feel that I missed out, now.