A CFA Question

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Tominator93, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Tominator93

    Tominator93 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    Right now, I'm all set to take the CFA this Sunday. Unfortunately, I'm not where I'd like to be in terms of performance. On my most recent practice CFA, I achieved the following numbers:

    Dead-Hang Pullups: 5
    Shuttle Run: 10 seconds
    Sit-ups: 61
    Push-ups: 45
    One-Mile Run: 7:19

    A weak performance, I know. And with the CFA looming on the horizon, I have a couple of questions. First, would scores like these likely even warrant a passing grade? (I understand that this can be difficult to gauge, as the CFA grading rubric is somewhat shrouded in mystery.)

    Second, assuming that a performance like the one above would net me a passing score on the CFA, what are the possible repercussions of having a passing, but lackluster CFA on my admissions file? Could this possibly sink my chances of getting an appointment, even if I'm strong in Academics, leadership, and extracurriculars? (Here's a quick resume for reference:
    3.7 GPA, Junior-year of almost exclusively college courses, senior-year classes will likewise be conducted primarily at a junior college, 1340 Math/Reading SAT [I expect I will score at least 1400 on my second attempt] Eagle Scout, Troop SPL, and hold a paid position as a college math tutor.)

    Finally, should I plan on retaking the test? I'm training hard each day, with the understanding that if I plan on going to West Point, I had better be darn sure that I can perform near the maximums before R-Day 2012, and as such, I expect to continue to improve in the coming weeks and months. However, I got the impression from my admissions contact that a re-test is something that is generally not done. Is this impression an accurate one?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
     
  2. Stopper8293

    Stopper8293 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a fellow candidate, I highly suggest that you retake the test. Your goal should be to beat the averages for each exercise listed on the CFA PDF file. Your academics and leadership sound outstanding, however, from what I've heard over and over, well-roundedness is key. To be well-rounded includes having solid CFA scores. I know other candidates who have beaten the averages on each exercise and have still taken the CFA again with hopes of performing better.
     
  3. Tominator93

    Tominator93 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thanks for the input Stopper. I've heard similar things, (my field admissions officer told us to consider the average tables minimums) however I've also heard contradictory reports as well. I've heard statements ranging from "the CFA is pass fail" to "the CFA is worth 10% of a candidates evaluation" to everything in between. However, it seems hard to get anything concrete. Anyone here who might be able to shed some light on this?
     
  4. AcademyBoundLaura

    AcademyBoundLaura New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have also heard many things, but I'll tell you what my reading of the situation is based on what I've heard and a morsel of my own personal speculation. I attended SLS at West Point, and when I asked my cadre member, she said that the CFA is NOT pass-fail. They have the averages posted that everyone recommends beating to be competetive, and this is the most specific data I've found on the matter from USMA. However, clearly when they post an average, while half of the CFA-ers scored at or above that magic middle number, the other half of participants were below this number. Despite this, what I've heard from Academy officials and my liason officer for USAFA, is that same legitimate tune of being well-rounded, covering the bases, etc. After all, with so many candidates, the application process becomes a game of the candidate striving to give the selection board no reason to not pick him/her.
    I've also spoken to a current West Point plebe-no-more third-classman-to-be who attended my high school, and her opinion was that it's ok to be "weak" (below average) in some areas, to just do your best. When I sat down with her over spring break, she mentioned that some girls still couldn't do a pullup. Now, I know that's not a concern for you, but bear with me :) . For girls, I evaluate doing a pullup to be like an upper-range average, since we can do flexed arm-hang or pullup, and there were cadets after beast that were still below that average in an area of the CFA, and they clearly made the cut.
    Now, the percentage part is accurate. The CFA, while important, has small weight relative to academics; its one part of the package.
    TBC...
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    Just a dad of a plebe, but my suggestion would be to use the search function and reread threads on CFA. And to consider the source of most things you read.

    Short version:

    - CFA is not pass fail, it is points with a failing minimum. Failing can keep you out.

    - Whether it's 10% of your score this year only admissions can tell you. Not other candidates, not parents, etc. But it is part of your score, and the one most in your control at this point.

    - You may hear of people getting in with minimums, but they are normally recruited for other reasons. If you don't have one of those hooks, you are probably not going to be competitive with minimum scores. But only admissions knows, that's who you should be talking with.

    - Your nom may also use your CFA for scoring. IN competitive districts you may be putting your nom at risk

    - *If* you got in with those scores, you would be a very sad & tired plebe at beast most likely. The CFA is not just to rank people, it's to make sure they can handle CBT & the rest of the training. And pass the APFT, etc. I'd have to look, but I don't think you would pass the APFT with those scores. If you did improve to the minimums you'd get a very low grade.

    Sorry to sound harsh, but that's my read. If you were my son, I'd say:

    1) Now what are you going to do about it.... you still have time to improve.
    2) See if Admissions will let you submit an improved CFA. (USAFA will not, I believe USMA will if it's improved)
    3) Start a situp / pushup program ASAP, there is no reason not to max these
    4) Also focus on pullups. But don't stop running! :)
    5) Coming from behind and making improvement through hard work usually is viewed very favorably. Asking "Is this good enough" may not be. :wink:
    6) Think how you would answer the question: "How will you keep up with the 18 year olds you will be leading?". And your squadmates?

    But overall, talk to admissions or your MALO. Their read will be more accurate & relevant than most of what you'll read here. (my post included!)

    Again, nothing personal and apologies if the input sounds harsh, it's not intended to. It's good to be asking "is this the best I can do" as part of your fight to get in. Don't give up, or take this input negatively. Your question asked for input, but you really knew the answer already. So the real question is what you do with the information.
     
  6. AcademyBoundLaura

    AcademyBoundLaura New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, strike the TBC. "hawk" just said it all :)
     
  7. Tominator93

    Tominator93 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    With respect to a pushup/situp program, I wholeheartedly agree. In just the past month of weight lifting, running, and calisthenics, I've improved dramatically, which is why I'm confident that if I took the CFA after another month of conditioning, I would get much better scores. I just wanted to find out if I would be better off NOT taking the CFA now if taking it meant that I wouldn't have the chance to take it again later.

    Thanks for the advice hawk. I went and contacted my MALO right after I read your post.

    I found out that I will be given the option of whether or not I want to submit my set of scores after the test. I took this to mean that if I'm not happy with my scores by the end of Sunday, I'll have the chance to nullify the exam, and by extension have the opportunity to make my own arrangements to retake the test.

    Though your advice of "talk to your MALO" should have been glaringly obvious to me, it was spot on. Thanks again for the input!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  8. Longhorn

    Longhorn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    CFA - Transfer of Scores between Academies?

    Is it directly transferable if you have a "NO Risk" certified CFA from a West Point SLS CFA,will this directly transfer to USNA upon informing them to transfer or will Navy have a different standard after evaluating the resultant scores?

    I appreciate the experts review of my question.

    Thank You
    2016 WP Candidate
     
  9. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    1
    I understand I am not an expert. But if there was one thing that was answered EVERY SINGLE DAY at SLS (1st session) was that the CFA WAS INDEED TRANSFERABLE TO USNA AND USAFA - JUST ASK YOUR RC/ADMISSIONS OFFICER!

    I am serious - on the 1st day, that question was asked twice (back to back!).

    But if you want to wait for an expert's answer, okay.
     
  10. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    Unless something has changed this year, you can have CFA's transferred by calling Admissions and asking them to fax it to the receiving institution. Routine, they know exactly what to do.

    One big warning- USAFA normally does not allowed improved CFA's to be submitted, so make sure it's one that you are willing to live with!

    Last year USAFA only gave practice CFA's at their summer program. But both USNA & USMA were very quick in sending CFA scores.
     
  11. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ops, I mean "admissions", not RC/AO. Thanks, hawk!
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    Not an expert, but the CFA is the same. You can download the tests and compare them. Average scores are different, and how they may impact your admissions decision could very well vary.

    Ex: Navy supposedly did not really care about the BBall throw. But their previous year averages were higher on several CFA areas.
     
  13. krovax

    krovax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    those scores should be close to the scores for passing if they arent already
    at SLS a lot of the people got scores near those and still didnt get flagged as at risk(except maybe the shuttle definitely improve on that)

    and as someone else said before the push up and sit ups you can max fairly easily with a month or two of training. there really is no excuse for not maxing or at least near maxing on those two

    i didnt do so well in my SLS CFA either and after just another month of training i improved most of my scores drastically so dont give up and keep working hard
     

Share This Page