ACT versus SAT question

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by hopeful1998, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. hopeful1998

    hopeful1998 Member

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    My DS is an official candidate and just got his June ACT's back. The great news is he finally got the scores he wanted and has worked so hard for - 34- math, 35- English, 33 superscore and composite. We recently got advice to also take the SAT as well, even with the ACT current scores. This person is a USNA grad and ex-BGO officer - he is very knowledgable and supportive of DS. He believes a strong math score on the SAT could add points.

    My question is: Should he? Does this mean that USNA prefers the SAT? Would taking the SAT II subject tests suffice? FYI, he has 6 varsity letters, eagle scout and boys state. We were feeling pretty strong about his position until we heard this little piece of information.

    Advice please?
     
  2. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    A 36 or an 800 math will give him more points than a 34 math, so imo he should retake the ACT and/or take the SAT. I know a guy who is also applying to USNA that has better ACT scores than your DS and is taking the ACT again. But, if you are wondering if having an 800 math SAT and a 36 ACT adds points to your DS, I don't think it would. Your DS should try an SAT practice test and if he's good at the SAT he should take the real thing, if he's not he should stick with the ACT and try it again this Fall. USNA doesn't have a preference for the ACT or the SAT.

    The Naval Academy(and the other service academies) doesn't factor SAT II's into the admissions process.
     
  3. hopeful1998

    hopeful1998 Member

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    That is very helpful, Thanks! Happy 4th!
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    SAT II stuff doesn't count towards anything at USNA. Those are great scores. Bottom line is, do everything in his power to get the best Whole candidate score. It wouldn't hurt to take the SAT. Maybe he does score slightly higher. Since USNA superscores, I would take both tests and see if one format does better than another for your DS. Sounds like an impressive resume, also realize that your DS will be competing directly on a slate. As impressive as his scores and resume are, many will have similiar resumes. The other day I read a story about a young woman who grew up in refugee camps in Africa and just earned her citizenship while at NAPS. Oh and she was carrying a 4.0 in the advanced pipeline at NAPS and was holding a leadership position. I point this out because nearly all candidates who make it through the process are impressive and each has their own story. Where one candidate might only have a 28, they might work 40 hours a week and help their parents pay rent. Another might have perfect SATs, another could be all American swimmer, the list goes on. There is so much in the process you can't control, but taking the SAT/ACT is certainly in his control. I always tell kids to take it until they score a 36.
     
  5. hopeful1998

    hopeful1998 Member

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    Does this mean that they would take a math score from SAT and mix with an ACT English score to create a superscore?
     
  6. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Yes, they will do that. However, your DS will need about a 760+ for the Math SAT to be better than the 34 Math ACT.
     
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  7. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    34M/35E is really, really good. Boys State and Eagle Scout and all those varsity letters, awesome also. Should be a really good WCS.

    The maddening part of the whole application process is that you just don't know who you are competing against. Taking the SAT might not be a bad idea, maybe he does better. Another strategy might be to get the ACT score report back and analyze the area(s) where he missed questions, and try to just study those types before taking again.

    Keep in mind, the difference between a 34 and a 36 on ACT Math is typically 3-4 more correct answers out of 60.
     
  8. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Do you know if USNA values 36's considerably higher than 35's?
     
  9. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    No. I'm not an admissions officer. It would make sense that they would have a scale for determining the academic portion of the WCS. Higher is always better, no? How much more is the question. OP's candidate has very high leadership quotient with Boys State, Eagle Scout, and multiple sport letters (sport letters go into leadership category in USMA WCS, I can only assume similar treatment at USNA). Two more points on ACT Math would certainly help if he can get them. You never know if you are competing against someone with a 36 or, for example is also a state championship-caliber athlete. The WCS calculation is a closely guarded secret. I really have no problem with that. It simply boils down to doing the best you can do in all of the rated categories, Scholar-Leader-Athlete. If you've done your best to max out, that's all you can do. As I've learned here and said before, you could be a rock star in all categories, and the stars still have to align for an appointment. The better you do, the more gravity you have to pull them into alignment.

    I have a nephew applying for the Class of 2020. He wanted Navy initially and went to both USMA (where his cousin, my son, is a cadet) SLE and NASS. Liked both. Not sure how he will rank them and whether his Iowa rep or Senators will allow multiple noms. He has a 36M/35E. Took Math as a junior that my DS took on the advanced math track as a plebe. Good sporting resume also. Seems likely on paper, but you never know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  10. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I would take the SAT and also sign up to take the ACT again. Why not do everything possible to improve the score?
     
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  11. hopeful1998

    hopeful1998 Member

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    This is all very helpful - and ds said he was willing to continue retaking until the fat lady has indeed sung her final note. It is cruel to think that a star waterpolo player could steal it all away from him, but that, my friends, IS LIFE! And, there is more than one way to become a Naval Officer :)
     
  12. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    A recruited athlete would likely not be given a principal nomination, so it is unlikely that a recruited athlete will take your son's spot.
     
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  13. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I have seen some MOCs only accept SAT scores --- not sure why but they can run the process however they want to. Might want to check on that to make sure.
     
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  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Frenzy, the thing about this process is it is not black and white. It's a whole lot of gray. Actually it's two separate processes when you consider the application and Nom. I was a blue chip and had a principle. Plenty of athletes win slates too. All you can do is your best in this process as so much of it is out of your control. Remember USNA has around 30 teams, there are a lot of athletes especially for the size of school.

    Principal noms are fairly small in numbers. the OP's DS could live No. Va. I wouldn't be surprised to see dozens of kids with scores similiar to that. Location does play into this. Also, this isn't just about USNA, it's about what his plan B is also. What happens if he isn't medically qualed or doesn't get a Nom? What happens if he blows out a knee (knock on wood, wouldn't wish this on anyone!) in January of next year and he had an LOA?

    OP, his resume is impressive. I wish him the best of luck. Hope it all works out for him!
     
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  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good point 08. I know some schools this also used to be true, not sure it is now or not.
     
  16. hopeful1998

    hopeful1998 Member

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    OP is from southern california - in what this mom from Tennessee calls a " surfer district". There are amazing athletes in our CD - that's where my comment came from. Most of the academically inclined here aspire for Ivy leagues.
     
  17. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Just curious, but do you know if there is a reason why a MOC or senator would "waste" his or her principle nom on a recruited athlete? The recruited athlete would receive an appointment without the principle nom, so why not give the principle nom to someone else? Is there some advantage to making the recruited athlete the principle nominee?

    Along with that, another reason that it would seem advantageous to not make the recruited athlete the principle nominee is that USNA probably(key word probably, I'm not sure if this is actually true but I'm guessing it is. My apologies if it is incorrect) really, really wants to retain a recruited athlete and USNA will probably do everything possible to make sure a recruited athlete doesn't flunk out. That makes it less likely for a recruited athlete to flunk out compared to a non-recruited athlete. It helps the MOC/senator in a way if the principle nominee flunks out because that opens up another nomination slot.
     
  18. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I have read that California is one of the most competitive places in the country for service academies.
     
  19. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    OP, I was a Cali kid too. It is competitive, extremely competitive in most districts.

    Remember a MOC can do anything they want when it comes to noms. They rank or designate how they wish. Don't assume all these athletes are on some type of pedestal. Very few athletes fall into the coveted blue chip realm. The whole notion they will find you a Nom, applies to an extremely small amount of athletes. The football team alone brings in 30-40 direct entry guys a year, you think they find noms for all of them. No, very few fall at the top of the recruiting list and some of those guys have impressive stats that stand on their own. I went to a going away event a few weeks ago... One young man was a football recruit. Didn't sound like he was at the top of the recruiting list. Went to a top school and a dang impressive resume. Actually the most impressive resume of the 5 appointees there and the lone recruited athlete. The scenario of flunking out or not, I don't even know where to start. A MOC wants their appointees to graduate, not flunk out. I have never looked at statistics of flunking out, but seen plenty of athletes and non-athletes get walking papers. The part that most folks don't realize is there are nearly as many former athletes as there are athletes in the Brigade. Because there are no scholarship caps, USNA tends to bring in much larger recruiting classes than regular schools. This also means that teams lose a ton of athletes as players realize the time commitment or they simply aren't good enough. USNA has a huge academic support model and one of the reasons I find the school so amazing. The athletic dept doesn't have some huge academic program to help athletes like other schools do. The coaches, academic advisors for teams and officer reps do track athletes, but they use the same resources available to all Mids for their academic help. Extra instruction, tutoring, study groups, resource center are available to all Mids.
     
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