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Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Reviews

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The Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) is a place that will continue to challenge you to become the best student you can be. You are encouraged to research areas of interest and you grow as a student. The curriculum is demanding but it should prepare for college so the adjustment is not too great.
IMSA gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful people. I genuinely feel that I have made lifelong friends. IMSA prides itself on inquiry based learning. However, when a math teacher just hands you a packet of material you have never seen before and expects you to "figure it out" it is very difficult to do so. And when you ask a teacher a question and they give you another question in response, it is quite frustrating. During free periods you are able to go to the math office or a teachers office for help with homework or an essay. However, I was simply wasting my time. One day I went to the math office for help with a question, I ended up sitting in the math office for an hour testing different number to find a "pattern." Which leads to a culture of academic dishonesty. Where students want an answer instead of understanding the material. As they find no help for teachers. I love the residential aspect of IMSA, I can't say the same for the academics.
I'm just going to give a bunch of bullet points because I want my feedback to be heard but have homework:
- our science classes are overall pretty good
- math class depends a lot on the teacher, some do not teach, some grade waaay too hard
- english is actually not bad
- CS depends on your teacher
- gym grades very poorly but you only have to do it for a year
- food is terrible, it's on a two week rotating schedule so it gets old, fast but its also very bad quality
- we have a lot of clubs and activities
- way too much hw
- a lot of pointless rules, like you can't go back to res halls during day,
internet shuts off at 11:30 even though the hw assigned takes till 2 ect.
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IMSA provides excellent education. The work is rigorous but it is all worth it in the end. The environment is very supportive. It is home away from home.
IMSA is a great place, but it is too restricting of its students with some of the most ridiculous rules that need to be removed
Honestly an amazing school. IN2 and the loft are so modern and under-appreciated. The people here are the best, and so is the culture. The way mods and A-D days are formatted makes the high school experience something special. 5/5
Literally Love this Place the culture and everything is amazing. IMSA has opened so many doors for me it is difficult to describe. I overall am having an amazing experience with the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
Great boarding school. Went on to an elite liberal arts college and grad school at a top university, and the academics at IMSA were probably more difficult than either. Prepares graduates for life in a wide range of fields, not just academia and research.
This is a place that will change your life. You will meet the most incredible friends, mentors, and teachers. For a while it may seem crazy stressful, but not so much more than college. The hardest part of the IMSA experience, and it is quite the experience, is leaving.
It's not a coincidence that so many entrepreneurs have graduated from IMSA ( paypal, netscape,
palantir, yelp, okcupid, YouTube, etc). The school encourages thinking outside the box and using critical thinking to solve hard problems. You aren't afraid to be smart here. Being smart is cool. How many high schools can say that in America?
I loved going to IMSA! The academics are very advanced and I enjoyed feeling challenged, which I didn't feel at my previous school. Lots of opportunities to explore whatever areas of STEM you are interested in - and if it's not in the long list of course offerings, you can do an independent study. Teachers love their fields - most are professionals with industry experience- and they just want you to follow your passions and explore STEM.
i had a very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very bad time.
IMSA started from a truly visionary idea in the early 1980s. Now, under increasingly narcissistic leadership has gone from breaking all the rules to using the rules and buzz words to make what is increasingly fascist seem innovative. The school's recent announcement to offer feepaying places to the super-rich in the name of 'diversity' underscores a tremendous shift in values from community strength to individual power.
I think this school is very good. The teachers are knowledgeable, the administration is improving on many levels, and student life is very interactive. The opportunities at IMSA are great and offer something to everyone (clubs, research, etc.). I think everyone eligible and interested should apply. The only thing to look out for is stress, especially if you are coming from an "easier" school like I was.
As a residential high school, it is above average in the academics and diversity. However, with that it brings along a great deal of stress and some aspects of the school are somewhat toxic.
IMSA is a very difficult institution and challenges its students academically and socially. Even then, despite all the stress I had to go through in this school, it has been the best three years of my life and I will not trade it for anything. This school encouraged me to believe in my capabilities and my potential to make a difference in the world.
I enjoyed my three years at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. It was lot of fun, yet the course was very arduous as well. I believe it prepared me well for college, and if I had a chance to do it again, I would.
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IMSA claims to offer a unique and enlightening learning environment for math and science. While the claims are true, IMSA overloads its students with too much homework, while also expecting them to be involved with as many extracurriculars as they possibly can. On top of this, there have been a growing amount of assaults from adults (Residential staff) on campus, with no repercussions for the staff members. The school does a terrible job of ensuring students' happiness but definitely excels in magically producing funds for its prized IN2 Lab, advertising, and new signs (?)

What I've learned in my last two years at the school is simply this: You come to IMSA for the academics, but ultimately stay for your friends. They are what get you through the school year and you will most likely keep in contact for a long time.
As a recent grad, I felt like I learned a lot about myself by being away from home in such an immersive environment. Admin could be much more receptive to student and staff opinion, though.
I had a great experience at IMSA. It opened so many opportunities for me during my time there and post-graduation. Developing independence, life-skills, and exposure to advanced courses prepares you for the real world
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