ACT ..score needs improvement

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by renee99, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. renee99

    renee99 Parent

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    My ds wants to go into the foreign Service. He has just discovered the USNA so to speak. (none of us are military)
    His GPA is 3.7 unweighted, he is 12 out of 228 class rank, president of Jr. Class for Student council, plays soccer and tennis, NHS, accepted to NASS... But here is the downfall... He's only scored a 25 on ACT. Hasn't taken the SATs yet, but will this weeknd.
    He will most likely get a congressional nom (long story) He is very respected among his peers as a leader in and out of school. Good chance he'll be chosen for Boys state. Also going to Spain on the Rotary Student exchange program this summer as well.
    He's taking extra classes to up his ACT score...what do you think?:redface:
     
  2. WIT84

    WIT84 Member

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    Extra Classes? Is he enrolled in a ACT prep course? If you look at the USNA Class of 2016 profile, looks like he hits on a number of the key attributes of an appointee. He may be a candidate for the NASS as well with those scores.
    We used a private tutor to help my DD improve her scores, definitely was worth the investment. She has offers to attend a number of really great schools plus an ROTC scholarship. Good luck.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Two different issues. If your son truly wants to go into the Foreign Service, he should not apply to USNA as there is no way (to my knowledge) to transition directly from USNA to the FS. He would have to wait until he finishes his USN/USMC service commitment.

    If your DS is separately interested in USNA, he has plenty of time to raise his scores. I recommend a prep program if you can afford one. If you can't, I suggest he get books from the library or do on-line free tests and practice, practice, practice. He should also determine which test he's better at (most people tend to do better on one or the other ) and then retake the test as many times as he can stand and/or you can afford b/t now and the end of 2014 until he gets a score with which he's satisfied.
     
  4. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    foreign service

    renee99, sent you a pm.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Classes to up the ACT scores are a good idea. He should still try the SATs at least once as some folks do better on one than the other.

    I have to agree with usna1985 though. If his desire is to enter the foreign service I'm not sure USNA is the best path for that. One of my son's roommates was an NROTC midshipman on scholarship who also wants to enter the foreign service. He concluded an active duty obligation to the Navy was not his best path to achieve his goals so he decided to drop from NROTC. YMMV.
     
  6. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    I'll offer one contrarian thought re: foreign service. An Academy diploma, commission, ring, and handful of years of military service and leadership training could readily pave the way to a stellar foreign service career. Many USNA alumni have are among the top grad programs at Hopkins, G-town, Harvard, etc. From my point of view, I could hardly imagine a better path.

    Re: the ACT/standardized testing ... while there is no guarantee that in any given testing, one can or will improve scores, it is often, perhaps nearly always possible to improve one's scores with MULTIPLE testings. And for USNA, as is often noted, the more the better as the ONLY scores that count are the top scores.

    I've never seen any studies, altho I'm confident they exist, to illuminate the realities of those students taking prep courses. I'd think that they tend to do better, and perhaps significantly so. Again, I simply do not know, despite all the claims of those offering such courses.

    Yes, yours needs to bump his up significantly. Good luck! Go get 'em!
     
  7. renee99

    renee99 Parent

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    thanks for help!!!!

    Thank you all for such good advice! We are such newbies, but I've been diving in deep to help explore (I know Iknow parents have to back off..:redface: But, JUst to clarify:
    ~ He did get accepted to the first session of NASS! YEAH!!!!
    ~ He is involved in tutoring and prep classes
    ~ He is fully aware of the 5 year post committment and wants to serve our country... (even though no one is military other than his grandfathers- we are a very patriotic family)

    It's strange, b/c he works really hard in high school, but b/c he is coming to the game late he never signed up for Precal so next yr a senior he'll take precal but unfortuantely he won't be able to take HS CAL (not sure if that will hurt him?) He makes great grades b/c he is a hard worker with great organizational skills and study habits (sure not from his mother HA)
    Honestly, though, If you scored intergity, I'd give this one a 36 perfect score and believe me I have 4 boys and I can't say that about the others:biggrin:
    Sometimes I just wonder, though, is this just a pipe dream for him, though.
     
  8. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Renee99,
    Two thoughts, one about the study courses, my DS is learning they are teaching him "how" to take the test (strategies and techniques) not necessarily all about the material, which he is finding really cool.
    And two, I think for all of these kids, a SA is a dream, and the process being what it is will tell most just how much they want it. Because as we all have learned or are learning...this is not a "general online application" that you cut and paste and insert your tenth college choice.

    Good luck!!
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Renee99,

    In many ways it's a pipe dream for all. A lot has to do with the competition one face's in their congressional district and across their state that year. Even the very best don't make it sometimes because of the competition they face. What I will say is your son should pursue the dream if that's what he wants. and also that he should pursue backup plans to include the various ROTCs and in particular NROTC in his case. Plan C might be to pursue NROTC as a college programmer (without a scholarship). Good luck. Hope your DS's dreams come true.
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Sounds like he's doing the right things.

    Curious ... you note he's a 25 ACT. Assume that is his composite? What are his individual math and Eng/Verbal scores?

    It looks like he's currently about 100 or so SAT-equivalent points below the mean math score of non-priority candidates. Said another way, a 32 (give or take a point) might be about average on the ACT, looking at the SAT profile scores. Of course it is more complex than that, noting the disparity and much heavier weighting of the math score.

    The tests are significantly different in what they portend to measure with ACT being intended to assess curriculum-based knowledge and reasoning. And one is not equivalent to the other; only the percentiles are analogous.

    The good news is that the ACT could conceivably be taken 5 or 6 more times before his app deadline. One deadline is 08 March. Keep him going. That could well be his make/break issue as it's the most heavily weighted factor in assessing candidates.

    Generally, I'd not be overly concerned about the pre-calc vs. calc ... EXCEPT if it is combination with a low math standard score. Together they could be trouble.

    What's the scoop on your confidence on his getting a Congressional nomination?
     
  11. renee99

    renee99 Parent

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    Thank you all for your insight and comments!
    One of the staffers for our congressman is the one who suggested dh go for a SA ... We just had assumed it was only for geniuses! Also, Up until this year he thought he was interested in Foreign Mission work ( he has a heart for service ) He has a lot of drive and love for others.~

    His ACT Math was a 26 and English was a 25
    He's taken the ACT 3x's so far.
    I was surprised about his English.:confused::confused: B/c he wins test in High School in English, goes to RAlly and State, last year was the 10th Grade English Student of the year in our High School and Yet only did a 25? I am just curious as to why he isn't performing better? Maybe it's test fatigue? I'm stumped? Thanks again! I love this forum!:smile:
     
  12. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    The ACTs might not be for him then, try the SATs. The competitiveness of the school might be another issue, at my school even though I'm in the standard English class (which is a little silly, although I'm taking AP next year) I scored a 770 on the reading and writing on the PSAT.
     
  13. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Well, keep working and if he can get his math ACT up to 28 or above, it would help, for sure. And of course his English, too. Sounds like he may have an inside track too.

    As has been suggested, if he's not already done so, might try the SAT. My own observation is that lads like yours tend to score better on the ACT, but each is different.

    Good luck! Keep us posted!
     
  14. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    Is there any chance DS could take calculus at a local college during the summer?

    Also strongly support trying the SAT sometime soon if only to see if he can do better there than on the ACT. NAVY will slice and dice his SAT and ACT scores to give him the advantage of his absolute best scores regardless of exam.

    Is there any opportunity for him to get into an AP grammar course? It could stand him in good stead on the exams as well as in college.

    As an aside: a few years ago one of the local mids spent senior summer on a Navy staff in Europe. As a result he had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting between "his" admiral and Turkish counterparts to discuss US relations with Turkey, use of the straits to/from the Black Sea, etc. He was one of NAVY's four Rhodes Scholars that year with the long range objective of gravitating to Foreign Service. Also, moreso in the past than currently, military officers often served as representatives of the US to foreign governments. We do still have officers who have become ambassadors; eg, ADM Crowe (Great Britain), ADM Preuher (China), GEN Powell (SecState).
     

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