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Chances of getting into the top boarding schools?!

rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
Hi,

I am currently in 7th grade and will be applying to some of the top boarding schools next year for High School. (Such as Phillips Andover and Exeter, Choate Rosemary Hall, The Lawrenceville School, Deerfield Academy, St. Pauls, etc...)

I didn't do that well for my SSAT... I got the 88th percentile.
I got Math 68 (and I'm actually quite good at math, I take Geometry), Reading 89, and Verbal 99.
I will be retaking it for the 3rd time in October in hopes of making it into at least the 95th percentile.

My school grades are all A's... My lowest grade is a 94.
And I don't know if this will help but I'm in Gifted...

For extracurriculars:

I am in Model UN and my resolution got picked.
First chair cello in my school orchestra and also in string ensemble.
I've played fencing for 3 years.
I've also been in Girl Scouts since Kindergarten and am currently working towards my Silver Award.
Since I write poetry, I am trying to win some sort of contest/award (because I know boarding schools really like those labels) or get my poems published.

If this is not good enough, please help me out on how I can get accepted into some top boarding schools. I really want to get accepted. Not only for myself, but also for my parents. I owe them so much and if I got accepted, they would be so proud.
edited May 2013 in Prep School Chances
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Replies to: Chances of getting into the top boarding schools?!

  • confusedonhadesconfusedonhades 10 replies2 discussions New Member
    I guess the first thing I would ask is why do you consider these schools the top? You seem to have an interest in fencing, is that why you consider the schools you chose the top? Also when you say that boarding schools really like those labels I'm not positive on what you mean. I understand that boarding schools like to see commitment to activities, however you don't have to be an award winning poet to gain entry. Is there a reason you took the SSAT two times before(maybe for practice)? Maybe expand your net of schools you will apply to, look at some "hidden gems" like Cate, St.Andrew's, Hill, etc. The answer your most likely going to get here is no one can tell you if your going to gain entry or not(trust me I know) so the best thing you can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst because the schools you are mentioning have very low admit rates. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic so I'm sorry if I'm coming off that way, but I know that when I started this process last year I would've appreciated some of the advice given to me by various CC members much earlier than when I received it.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    I understand what you mean, but the schools I apply to aren't really my choice. This is what my parents want me to get into...

    And I took the SSAT 2 times because my parents felt that my scores weren't good enough.

    And I what I mean by the schools "liking those labels" is that they like someone who really stands out. I figured that by winning some awards might impress them... I'm not a varsity lacrosse player and definitely not an amazing piano player but all of the other kids that get accepted have something *special. Do you get what I'm getting at here?

    I might be applying to The Hill School though since it is nearby where I live...

    Anyway, thanks for replying and helping out.
    edited May 2013
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  • confusedonhadesconfusedonhades 10 replies2 discussions New Member
    I'm sorry that the schools you apply to aren't your choice, maybe you can talk them into letting you apply to some that are your choice. Now mind you, I don't know how this might go because the boarding school process was driven by me so I chose my schools. However, make sure that you would genuinely want to go to these schools if you were accepted no need to be unhappy for the next four years because you don't like your school. I see what your saying about the special thing because that's how I felt at first. Then I realized not everyone who gets accepted has a hook(something special), they may have just been the type of person the school was looking for. I highly suggest applying to Hill I was accepted there, but ended up choosing somewhere else. They are really nice people who seem to be a close knit family. Are you considering Hotchkiss(just saying this because I like promoting my future school haha :) )
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    I'm not quite sure yet which schools I will be applying to, but Hotchkiss will probably be one of them.
    I guess it's okay I mean I'm fine with applying to Andover or Lawrenceville, like I really DO want to get accepted there. I'm honestly fine with whichever school my parents want me to apply to. I had quite an interest with Lawrenceville due to the fencing team they have but these days I'm considering all options. I'm lucky if I get accepted to any school to be honest.
    And that's great that you got accepted to Hotchkiss! It's obviously really hard to get accepted into since it's such a highly rated school.
    Do you mind if I ask what you need to get accepted/what you did?
    I'm really afraid about my SSAT scores and whether I should take them in June, (in order to raise the 68 I got in Math) or in October... I'm afraid about taking them in October because by then I will be in 8th grade and have to take the Upper Level version of the SSAT which is probably harder than the Lower Level.

    How was the whole interview/application process with the boarding schools anyway? What do they look for specifically?
    edited May 2013
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  • confusedonhadesconfusedonhades 10 replies2 discussions New Member
    I'm not going to say that you shouldn't be worried about the SSAT because it is important, but if you don't do as well as you hoped it's not the end of the world. I took the SSAT twice and ended up getting a 77%( due to my 51% in math). All I mean to show with this is you don't have to have a score in the 90 percentile to get admitted. I don't think there was anything I "did" to get accepted. I just continued the activities I have always done and shared my passion for them with the schools. Luckily all the passions that I have, each of the schools placed an emphasis on so it was a good match. The whole process was a bit stressful but applying to 4 schools and writing all the essays a month before the due date will do that to you. So my biggest piece of advice is don't procrastinate work on the essays little by little. While we all would like to think the boarding schools are looking for bright intelligent kids that's not it. They are looking for kids who fit the spot they are trying to fill. So if you are a basketball player(varsity level) and they are looking to fill a spot like that then you'll probably be looked at different than the kid who plays trumpet when they aren't looking to fill a trumpet spot.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    I get what you mean now... I guess I'll just continue with my activities and hope that's what the schools likes... For my SSAT, I honestly don't know what to do...
    edited May 2013
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  • confusedonhadesconfusedonhades 10 replies2 discussions New Member
    In my opinion your SSAT is very good especially because you aren't taking it for real yet. I'm sure the Upper Level test is harder, but you have to remember that you also learn more. As long as you study and prepare I think you'll do great. Schools understand that some are just better at taking tests than others.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    I actually did take it for real... It wasn't for practice I took the SSAT for real two times already... haha...

    I hope it doesn't leave a bad record if I retook more than once...
    edited May 2013
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  • confusedonhadesconfusedonhades 10 replies2 discussions New Member
    Oh I didn't mean you took practice tests. By real I meant you sent the scores to the schools, unless you did that already. Lots of kids retake the tests and the schools know that. The schools received my scores from both my SSAT'S and didn't find any fault in it. It's a more common practice than most think.
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    Oh no, I didn't send my scores yet. I'm applying next winter.
    edited May 2013
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  • hotchkisshopeshotchkisshopes 4 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    I got into Hotchkiss this year! So maybe I can help you out...

    I only took the ssat once, but I got a 713 in reading, 773 in verbal, and 794 in math. My essay was pretty good and it was about a lesson I learned from a book. I wrote about a lesson I learned from Fahrenheit 451,which showed I do "higher level" reading.

    I've gotten all A's with no minuses all throughout middle school at a good public school. This isn't so important but I also got student of the month every year at least once. I was in the Gifted program for regular academics and for art. I took geometry in 8th grade which is the highest you can go in my school system.

    My interview went REALLY well, and the interviewer was not shy in communicating that to my mom (because they interview your parents after they interview you).

    One of the best things you can do for yourself is show that you are committed to something.
    I did 8 years of soccer and was nominated for the EDP Talent Identification program.
    I did 8 years of tennis with various championships in doubles at my tennis club.
    I did 3 years of school track and held school records in various events.
    I did 5 years of clarinet and was first chair in the school band. I also did jazz band which is for advanced players.
    I did 7/8 years of private piano lessons.
    (I sent in recordings of my clarinet and piano playing.)
    I did 5 years of Girl Scouts and am working toward my silver award.
    I joined the Peer Leadership Corps at my school (community service).

    As you can see, I had a wide range of ec's and showed dedication throughout. That helps A LOT!!!

    A lot of these schools care about writing too, so I wrote some nice essays and had good recommendations. Your poetry should definitely help, so don't be afraid to send it in as an extra co potent of your application.

    Well...that was my whole app. Good luck! Feel free to ask questions! And if you do go to prep school, go to the one that "feels right". You'll know it when you go there whether a school is right for you.
    edited May 2013
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  • weiqianweiqian 2 replies0 discussions
    Wow! My stats weren't nearly as impressive or well organized.

    rareparadox, I think you're going to be fine. :) If my experiences help you at all, I was in the 2300's for my SSAT, and had plenty of extra curriculars with awards. I was rejected at two schools and waitlisted at two. So...... but don't be discouraged by my failures! :p

    You'll have plenty of time to retake the SSAT, although your current scores are pretty good. I used Kaplan, and did lots of practice tests.

    You're EC's look fairly good too. These schools are super competitive, but stats aren't everything. Make sure your essays are well-written and meaningful, teacher recommendations and the interview are also big components. Just make sure to spend enough time on each part, and let your personality shine through! (As cheesy as it sounds)
    edited May 2013
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  • hotchkisshopeshotchkisshopes 4 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    According to boarding school review, Andover, Exeter, sps, hotchkiss, choate, and Deerfield all have an average ssat score of above 85%. They also say that lawrenceville has an average ssat score of 75-85%, but not sure how accurate that is knowing the caliber of a school like lawrenceville. These are the exact stats they give, but once again, not sure on the acuracy.

    Andover- 94 percentile
    Exeter- 94
    Deerfield-87
    Choate- 85
    Hotchkiss- 87
    Lawrenceville- 84

    Your verbal score is obviously very very high and your reading is better than mine was, so it shouldn't really be an issue. You're in geometry as a 7th grader which is VERY impressive. Just do some more practice problems, and you should be set for next time you take it! And even if you're not entirely happy with your math score, the fact that you're way ahead in the math curriculum will balance it out.

    Hope it helped!
    edited May 2013
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  • rareparadoxrareparadox 20 replies6 discussions Forum Champion
    hotchkisshopes,

    Thank you SO MUCH. This was exactly what I needed to help me calm down. I see it is quite similar that we both are in Girl Scouts. :)

    and to weiqian,

    I think I will be fine in the essay + interview process (is that the most important part?) Writing is more my thing rather than math. And I am also more of an out loud, talkative person so the interview should be the more relaxing part for me.

    Thanks SO MUCH though. Seriously! Your guys' posts made me feel so much better and I private messaged you both!
    edited May 2013
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  • weiqianweiqian 2 replies0 discussions
    Me? I didn't get any messages...

    If you're more outgoing, then yes, definitely, your interview will go great! The people really try to make you feel comfortable. I wouldn't say one part is necessarily more important than another, in order to have a strong application, its best for each part to be equally superb, which I'm sure you'll be able to do! :)
    edited May 2013
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