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Student body at Phillips Academy aka Andover

What SSAT scores can get you into Phillips Andover Academy?

Phillips Andover Academy SSAT Average Scores are 93% Percentile

Updated 11/2022

Phillips Academy, aka “Andover,” aka “Phillips Andover” or even just “Andover” is considered one of the top US boarding schools in the United States.  Many prospective applicants and their parents are constantly asking throughout the world:

What SSAT score do I need to get into Andover?

Unfortunately, no highly competitive program will bluntly and directly document the minimum test scores publicly because frankly, there are too many factors beyond just the standardized metrics which determine admissions decisions.**  Nevertheless, it doesn’t prevent many people from still inquiring what is enough on the SSAT?

Anecdotally, answers from current and past students are becoming more available in our more “online” society.  Below, we’ll document what is available online as well as give you our thoughts from our experiences.  Several sources have identified in recent years(~2018), the average SSAT score for Andover admits was approximately 93% percentile.

Our first bit of support answered the question on Quora:

What’s the average SSAT score (if there is a threshold) in 2016/17 for Phillips Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, and St. Paul’s School (Concord)?

Justin Chang, Student at Phillips Academy

The median SSAT score for Phillips Academy is 94%

From what appears to be a letter sent to students attending Andover, they divulge this small detail.

The second bit of proof answered the question on the same growing reference site:

What kind of applicants is Phillips Academy (Andover, MA) looking for?

Phillips Academy Is highly prestigious, and prides its-self on being academically excellent. Admissions are very competitive, and honestly there is no way to guarantee acceptance. I would always recommend safety schools, for Andover is the elite of the elite.

The average SSAT percentile for a student offered acceptance is 93. Grades and test scores are heavily factored in, although the admissions committee say sthey have no minimum score they do. Test scores are the first thing they look at, and often the admission committee will immideately reject the application is they see bad test scores.

Lots of extracurriculars really help. But don’t just do ten to put them on an application, what they often look for is a strong passion, so pick something, stay with it, and be phenominal at it. Andover really loves athletes, so on your campus visits schedule an appointment with a sports coach, and show off your skills. Although they are not silver bullets if you have good enough grades, a coach can pull some strings. The school’s motto is,”non sibi” which means not for self, so volunteer work will never hurt, it can show that your not a snob, and that you will be a good addition to the school. Also get involved in as many things as you can that give you a chance to distingish yourself. Also get involved in things like student council to show leadership ability.

Andover really looks for students who have a hunger for learning, so do what ever you can to convey this.

During the interview always be dressed up, this shows that you care. In the interview try show that learning stimulates you. Without “brown nosing” try to convey that you really want to go to to the school. Basically the point is to sell yourself, but be careful you are not just bragging. At the end of the interview they will ask you if you have any questions about the school. Before the interview think some up, they love to see you come with a paper. Asks lots of questions, this shows that you are interested int the school. Try to ask questions about academics are athletics, that will show them that your interested in particular programs.

Since there are many different people from around the world at Andover, try to convey that you are interested in learning about different cultures, and that you are an open minded person.

I hope this helps, but as I already said it is an extremely competitive school so definetly have a couple safeties.

This article about the newly admitted students to PA should give you an idea of what it takes:

At Andover, approximately 75% of the applicant pool is academically admissible. Your stories and personal qualities made you stand out in this extraordinary pool. The profile of the students admitted in 2012 is the strongest in recent history. Overall, 442 students, or 14% of this very talented applicant group, have been admitted. This is tied with the lowest admission rate in the history of the school. Please note that we calculate our admit rate based on the number of completed applications (other schools may use the number of preliminary applications to determine their admit rate). Academically, most of our admitted students rank in the top five percent of their class. The median SSAT total score is 94%. Of the admitted group, 155 students have been awarded $5,478,680 in financial aid scholarships. An impressive group indeed!

     Academically and extracurricularly, our admitted students have excelled in their current schools and contributed greatly to their communities. They have achieved in the classroom, on the athletic fields, on stage, in the orchestra pit, in volunteer capacities and in many other ways. The admission committee had a difficult task in selecting a small number of students to admit from a very talented pool of candidates. We are confident we have chosen an entering class of students who will not only contribute to the Phillips Academy community, but also benefit most from an Andover education.

    Given that PA’s school motto is non sibi, it is no surprise that the most popular extracurricular activity among applicants is volunteer work or community service, which was indicated by 53% of the admitted students. The entering class will bring leadership skills as well. One hundred nineteen students served as class or student council presidents, or school leaders in other ways. Since active citizenship and knowledge of global issues are such an integral part of the Andover experience, membership in groups such as Model United Nations and participation in foreign exchange or language immersion programs continue to be popular with our applicant pool. Similarly, many more of our applicants have indicated a strong interest in environmental issues than in previous years. We already have a very active Eco-Action Club here at Andover and we look forward to expanding its membership with these enthusiastic students.

    In addition to service and leadership, the admitted group brings with it a diversity of experiences, interests and talents. Fifteen percent of the admitted students indicated an interest in math and/or computers, while 42 students noted they have a strong passion for science. Four percent of the admitted group wrote that they love to learn languages. With nine different world languages to choose from at Andover, these students will have a tough choice to make. (Students may fulfill their language diploma requirement in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Latin, Greek, Chinese or Japanese; the world language division also offers two years of introductory Arabic.) Thirty-nine students are particularly interested in creative writing. The English department and literary magazine advisors look forward to working with these budding novelists and poets! Lastly, the staff of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology is excited to get to know the students who listed history and archaeology as their main academic interests.

    The arts and athletics are also well-represented in the newly admitted class. According to our coaches, 177 of the admitted students have varsity potential in athletics. In addition, we have accepted 287 singers and instrumentalists. Thirty of them have been identified as being among the top young musicians from around the world, according to our music department, which reviewed more than 430 CDs and multimedia links. More than 100 actors and actresses and 44 dancers are among the admitted group—surely they will contribute much to Andover’s 35 theatre and dance productions per year. Finally, 78 of the admitted students list visual art among their top interests. We know that they will take advantage of Andover’s extensive art program and the rich resources at the Addison Gallery of American Art.


Seabrooks also appears to be potentially this individual on LinkedIn. If it is correct, the link between Andover and Stanford makes sense.

Bonus Advice from a Previous 2014 Andover Alum

I’m going to speak to my experience at Andover and pull from that.

Also, with questions like these, I hesitate to give a definitive answer, because I’m not an admissions officer, and I don’t know what your chances of acceptance are to those schools. Don’t get your hopes up just because I say “oh yes” or “oh no” because more than not, those schools have been known to surprise the general population.

So with that, I’m going to walk through some of the process at Andover of application and point out a few details. And apparently give a lot of unsolicited advice. I don’t know when apps are or were due but hopefully this isn’t super late.

  1. Written Application

Your grades and SSAT scores seem fine, so skipping over that.

So the first thing that happens is you submit your written application, with recommendations, your scores, etc. In this application, they are trying to get to know who you are. Talk about what YOU are proud of, what you have enjoyed doing, what your hopes and dreams are, and how you have strived to actuality them. Speak to your experience at an online school, what you enjoy and what you feel like you are missing, and what you would like to gain from your Andover experience. This sounds like a lot and definitely don’t shove all these ideas into one essay; focus the most important things into the three (I think?) essays they allow you to write. It seems to me that you are analytical and good at writing, so it seems like you will know what ideas are at the forefront of your mind. Think of questions for yourself like “What kind of person do I hope to be at the age of 50?” or “How do I hope to affect change?” and as you go along and fit your experiences into those topics, you’ll find that it will become easier to talk about.

2. The Interview

Andover has a need-blind system, so unless you talk about socioeconomic class, they won’t during your interview or ask about. That’s a moment to really let your personality shine through. Andover does not accept assholes. There are silly legends about how rich kids with rich parents have not been allowed to come to Andover because they were just not nice. So pair that with your energy and drive, which you display in your written analysis, and talk up what gets you out of bed in the morning. Really, this is a moment to let yourself fit into your environment and get to know the school. Think of it as going both ways. Ask lots of questions about what to expect, their experience with students (your interviewer is likely a professor at the school), what students seem to enjoy, etc. When a student demonstrates strong interest, it really make a difference.

That’s about it! Honestly I think most people have a good chance of getting into Andover. I think particularly having “something” that hasn’t been done before or somehow being “unique” helps, as Andover strives to find diversity not just in color but in thought, according to what they continuously pounded into our brains throughout high school. Play up how your experience has shaped you.

A 93% Percentile does NOT guarantee Andover Admissions

With these confessions from previous students or people intimate with the internal knowledge, we must repeat that the test scores are just one part of the overall admissions process.  While two of our previous students who obtained admissions at the top boarding school scored 99% percentile on the SSAT, they also had incredible complementary facets to their profiles.  They sung operas with world renown artists, they won world championships in academic decathlons under the tutelage of our founder, they had the straight As that Andover regular brags as a standard achievement of their student body and they had the most incredible personalities that could navigate in any social situation.  However, we’ve also had students who ALSO scored a 99% percentile on the exam and failed to obtain the acceptance letter from prestigious boarding school.  You’ll also see other applicants being wait listed, but obtaining entrance in other top boarding schools like ’21 Exeter student Felix Yeung and many others.

Some kids get in with as low as 50% Percentile

A student from Tabor Academy says that he has a friend who’s gotten into Andover with much lower scores.

He answered the question: Can I get into Phillips Exeter Academy with a low SSAT core (74th percentile) if the rest of my application is excellent? on Quora:

ABSOLUTELY. My friend currently attends Andover and had a score in the 50th percentile. I have another friend going to Deerfield with a score in the 60’s and I myself am going to Tabor with in the 70th percentile. Schools rely less and less on test scores.

My challenge for you is to think about why you really want to go to Exeter. I assume the prestige of the school is a factor as well as the good academics and most of all the selectiveness. Remember not to base your self-worth on what the admissions office says (I know it is easy to say as someone who was accepted to their top choice).

My biggest suggestion to you is to apply to a few boarding safety schools like with an acceptance rate of 65% or higher. Then apply to a couple with rates like 60%-40%. Only apply to a few of the top-top boarding schools. This increases all of your chances, I have a friend that made the mistake of applying to all top boarding schools and one medium tier (she had a 75th percentile, straight A’s, perfect student). She was rejected at all and was forced to go to the local private school after wanting to go to boarding school for so long. Point is, scores are irrelevant because we know literally nothing about what goes on in admissions offices.

To provide aid, here are some schools ranked by tier when it comes to selectiveness and prestige. (Not academics, they pretty much all have out of this world academics:

Top tier:

Andover, Choate, Tabor, Exeter, St. George’s, Deerfield, The Hill School, St.Paul’s etc, etc.

Medium tier: Pomfret, Westover, Lawrence, Cushing, Miss Porter’s

Lower tier: Foxcraft Academy, Hyde School, St. Andrews, The Vanguard School


**Despite our claim that no program would overtly document the minimum test scores, Phillips Academy may have one point stated on their admissions pages:

Although the Andover admissions committee has no minimum grade or score requirements for acceptance, the average Andover student maintained an “A” average at his or her previous school and scored in the 93rd percentile on the SSATs.

which supports the claims above by our other sources.  This was posted from the following question on College Confidential:

Are my SSAT scores good enough for Philips Academy Andover?

Also, on the current admissions page, you can see a very similarly worded answer regarding grades:

We captured this from the page: https://www.andover.edu/faq on 8/24/2019:

Andover GPA FAQ

You can see, it’s only missing the part that says “…and scored in the 93rd percentile on the SSATs.

Looking to do SSAT Prep for a top US boarding school within the Eight Schools Association?  Or do you need SSAT Test Dates?  We have all the information you want for the SSAT including what’s a perfect SSAT score to what are average SSAT scores here on SSAT Master. 

For other SSAT Averages of Top Boarding Schools & Top Independent Schools:

What SSAT scores can get you into Phillips Exeter Academy? (famous for Mark Zuckerberg)

What SSAT scores do you need for Lakeside in Seattle (famous for Bill Gates)? 

What SSAT scores can get you into St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH?

What SSAT scores can get you into the Hill School in Pennsylvania?

What SSAT Scores do you need to obtain admissions into Hotchkiss? 

What SSAT scores can get you into the Groton School?

Future questions we’ll answer and post guides for you: 

What SSAT scores can get you into the Kent School?

What SSAT scores can get you into the Choate Rosemary Hall?


Disclaimer: As with all of our guides, they are ONLY meant to be for reference and are by no means definitive.  Our goal is help save you a significant amount of time in your process of trying to obtain admissions to these top boarding school programs.  Through our many years of experience in the industry, we find these estimates to be acceptable range approximations and standards.  

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