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Phillips Exeter Academy

Student rating 5/ 5 by Washington University in St. Louis student
20 Main Street Exeter NH 03833 United States


Phillips Exeter Academyreview by Washington University in St. Louis student. Phillips Exeter Academy is best known for its unique style of Harkness teaching. Each classroom at Exeter is outfitted with a 'specially designed' round Harkness table around which the students and teacher all sit. Class time is solely devoted to discussion and the instructor tends to take a back-seat to the students. Of course, the teacher will intervene on occasion to keep the class on track, but his/her aim is to spark a meaningful and intellectual discussion. Academics at Phillips Exeter Academy is extremely rigorous and are intended to take up most, if not all of your time. Through stress and sometime failure, you learn to become a better life-long student. I have found that Exeter prepared me very well for college.

College Counseling

College counseling at PEA begins during.… Get the real inside story on college couseling at Phillips Exeter Academy, LOGIN or SIGN UP

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

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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*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…"

School Life

While school life is certainly stressful at times, the quality of life at Exeter is excellent. One of my fondest memories of Exeter is dorm-life and the strong relationships that you make.

There are well over 300 student-led clubs at Exeter so there is undoubtedly something for everyone. If you can't find a group you like, you can just as easily start your own! All students are required to participate in some form of physical/athletic activity every semester (with some exceptions). I found that sports were a great way to take my mind off of stress of academics. I was also the editor of a major school publication, which definitely had the most lasting effect on me.