advice for starting young

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by academy hopeful, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. academy hopeful

    academy hopeful New Member

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    I've recently decided that I'd like to attend USMA after visiting my brother at USNA and reading the forums for while now. Im currently only a freshman in high school and taking the hardest classes that are avaliable. I was wondering if there any certain classes i need to take and how high my GPA needs to be?
     
  2. armybratkl

    armybratkl Member

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    Hi!

    First of all, I think it's awesome that you've started looking for your future this young. I wish I had myself. Kudos to you.

    For grades: as high as you possibly can. Aim for the 4.0. The higher it is, the better your class rank will be, and the more options you will have when the time comes to apply to colleges and for scholarships. That being said, I do not believe there is any minimum gpa. If I remember correctly, nearly all of those attending West Point graduated in the top 25% of their class. I have a 3.496, 19th %, and a LOA, but my LOA is only because I got a 34 on my ACT. However, I am disqualified from many scholarships that I could use towards a civilian university because of my low GPA. And if I hadn't slacked in 9th and 10th grades, I could easily have a 3.8 or higher. So, aim for the 4.0.

    For classes: focus on math and sciences. You want to take at least Pre-Calculus by your senior year, and Calculus if you can. Take at least one year of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; two years of each if you can. Take a foreign language, and stick with it throughout high school. Take four years of English classes, focusing on composition and reading comprehension. Another course that is often recommended is economics, so take that if you can as well.

    Good luck throughout high school. :thumb:
     
  3. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    Like armybratkl said, it's awesome how you've started looking for your future this young...I also started when I was a freshman and since then I have learned more than I could ever imagine in the short span of 1 1/2 years on these forums...and Iwould just like to reiterate how good a source this is for answering almost all of your questions about the academies and ROTC programs, about military service as an officer, and more.

    Armybratkl has about answered your questions, I see, but I would just like to add that as you seek to have the best academics possible before applying to the academies, also remember about physical (participate in sports, etc.) and leadership (through positions, tutoring, volunteering, etc.) aspects of your life, as these are also necessary when applying to the academies.
     
  4. mmartin14

    mmartin14 New Member

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    Way to be motivated this early! Like armybratkl and 2012Cadet said, keep your GPA up! I've got an appointment already because of my GPA and test scores. I've found that if you keep a high GPA your frosh and soph years, its much easier to maintain your junior and senior years.

    Figure out what you're good at, and excel in it! This is not to say that you should slack in your other classes, but if you're really good at science, double up on some classes. If you're more of a foreign language person, take more than one! Whatever you like, push yourself to do the best you can.
     
  5. academy hopeful

    academy hopeful New Member

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    more questions

    thanks for the help and replies. I also have another question. My grades were a bit rocky in the 1st quarter of this year and i should get about a 3.2 gpa this semester. Can i still recover from this?
     
  6. momoftwins

    momoftwins Founding Member

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    I agree that it's great you are motivated early to apply to USMA. You can absolutely recover (and a 3.2 isn't at all terrible) from your 1st semester grades. It's great when you have a goal that can help you create strong focus on your academics.

    Focus on your classes. GPA is important, but class rank is also critical. Position yourself to become a member of National Honor Society. Find an activity you love and obtain a leadership position. Participate in team sports. If you're a scout, try to become an Eagle Scout. You may also want to get a baseline SAT/ACT in the next year or so. Yes, it's early, but there are many who believe practice on these exams will only help you when it counts. Also, look at the possibility of applying to Boys'/Girls' State and/or SLS for the summer after your junior year.

    In terms of classes, I can only add Computer Programming to the list already provided, but will stress that math, chemistry and physics would be critical.
     

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