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Phillips Exeter Academy

School rating 4 / 5 by

20 Main Street Exeter NH 03833 United States
9th to PG
9th to PG


Phillips Exeter Academy review by .

Exeter throughly prepared me for university. For my first two years of Princeton, I had more free time than I had ever had in high school, and found that I had better time management skills than most of my peers. The Harkness method of learning, in which every student is forced to generate their own ideas and questions about every text or math problem, also prepared me exceptionally well for college, in that it felt like a total relaxing luxury to be allowed to just sit and listen in lecture. Plus, of course, it made seminar and precepts feel familiar and not at all intimidating. The average weekly workload at Exeter is very, very high. However, because it is a boarding environment, it feels manageable in that everyone around you is contending with the same amount of work. The dorm faculty is very attentive and very aware of struggling students, so they get help. That being said, Exeter encourages more independence than other schools. There is no study hall, for example. I think that lack of structure was ultimately much more helpful once I got to college, because it was less of a transition. Class sizes are small, with a lot of individual focus on students.

College Counseling

My college counseling experience was immensely helpful. I began meeting with my adviser on a....

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...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

One of the most critical factors in the admissions process seemed (at least to me)....

Sample insights on admissions

  • 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: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • 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 transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Going to boarding school definitely prevented me from having a typical teenage experience. Exeter's rules on alcohol and other substances are draconian, and students must be in their dorms by 8PM for the first two years, 9PM the third year, and 10PM as seniors. Also, at least during my time, the internet was shut off at 11PM. In my dorm, television was only allowed after 8PM for one hour each week. We also weren't allowed more than fifteen miles off campus without permission. I also didn't feel like I had much time to just be young and a teenager, since....

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