Bad CFA vs. Outstanding Grades

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by EastTXEagleScoutDad, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. EastTXEagleScoutDad

    EastTXEagleScoutDad New Member

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    9 days left for my son to get his MOC Nomination Packet submitted. We did a "run-through" of the CFA today...not very good: 54 feet Basketball Throw, 0 Chin-ups, 9.75 Shuttle Run, 41 Sit-ups, 35 Push-ups, 9:10 Mile Run. My son is of slender build, just not athletic. In contrast, his ACT composite score was 35, SAT 2200, GPA (USAFA recalculation) is 3.92, AP Subject Matter Tests: Biology M - 800, Math 2 - 750, AP National Scholar: (8) AP Exams - (6) 5's (2) 4's, National Merit Commended Scholar; Class size = 631 - ranked #2, National Honor Society - President, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society - President, Key Club - Vice President, appointed to TX Bank & Trust Student Board of Directors, Delegate @ the Texas Boys State, attended the 2012 USAFA Summer Session, Eagle Scout. So...any opinions regarding MOC or USAFA appointment possibility?
     
  2. Bill1899

    Bill1899 Member

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    If you look back in the threads to around March of last year you will see people talking about getting rejected for low CFA scores. USAFA seems to be getting tougher because new cadets are having trouble with the altitude and hard workouts. From what I heard at SS last year, I don't think your son would be competive with the scores you mention but there still is plenty of time to get in shape before the 1/31/13 deadline. Good Luck.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As Bill said, you have a few months to get the CFA improved to a good score. Your CFA has nothing to do with your MOC nomination package.
     
  4. EastTXEagleScoutDad

    EastTXEagleScoutDad New Member

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    Not real sure about that. His MOC Nomination Packet does require the CFA scores to be reported as part of the packet's information...don't know how much consideration is attributed to the CFA by his MOC when considering all the other information requested and the required essays.
     
  5. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I wouldn't submit any scores to USAFA until they were brought up. A month is a lot of time to improve if you work out consistently. I went from being able to do 3 pullups to 9 pullups in a month and that's just one of the scores I've managed to improve. If your MOC requires CFA scores, perhaps you should have your son call their office and have him check to see if he can submit unofficial results.

    Best of luck!
     
  6. EastTXEagleScoutDad

    EastTXEagleScoutDad New Member

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    I do agree that his CFA scores are not competitive. He's not a wimp by any means, just not athletic. He does jog periodically, he exercises on an elliptical and lifts weights...but not with frequency. After Summer Session 2012 he was somewhat disappointed in that the impression he received from the cadre and speakers giving presentations was that most cadets are encouraged to take an easier Liberal Arts degree route...get in & get out...be a pilot or an officer. His passion is Computer Engineering, in particular the design & testing of advanced computer and cyber warfare technology. He has an interest in becoming a part of the US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). His desire is to serve his country and to also receive a world class education in what he perceived as a top-ranked technical university.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Can stellar academics and ECs make up for a marginal CFA? Yes. I'm living proof of that! (Don't take my PT as a role model though! It caused a LOT of problems.)
    Also note, when I say "marginal" I mean a couple good scores, a couple bad scores, and a middle-of-the-road. Right now your son is pretty much in the "all bad scores" range.

    If you or your son know any physical trainers, get them to help design a good workout program for him. Alternating days between cardio and muscle building workouts is a good general method. Running 3-5mi on cardio days is good for lowering the run time and increasing endurance (don't forget to do some shorter runs to develop a good pace). For push-ups and sit-ups, I recommend 3-4 max sets, based on the 2-minute PFT limit, with short breaks in between. Since he can't do a pull-up, getting that first one is an important start. If he is struggling with that, do the 1 with whatever poor form it takes (confidence builder). Then, do sets of negatives (start up, and lower as slow as possible). Once he can do at least 1 good one, start doing pyramids to increase the numbers.
    (NOTE: I'm not an expert, but that should get him moving in the right direction. If you have a trainer available, talk to them about specifics.)

    If he is having trouble building muscle, consider a dietary supplement with a good amount of protein and carbs. (I don't mean "MEGA-ULTRA-UBER-SUPER PROTEIN X 7.0," but something that will provide that little extra boost of actual nutritional value.)

    DO NOT submit official CFA scores until he improves! The CFA is a one-shot deal, unless the academy asks for a second (improved) score.
     
  8. dcmom3

    dcmom3 Member

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    I did not see a varsity sport listed. His test scores are great with the exception of CFA test scores. CFA scores did come up during DD MOC interview.
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Each MOC is free to require anything they want to in their nomination application. It's just weird that they would basically require an applicant have their academy application completed prior to their consideration, when the academy doesn't require their application to be completed until January. I would contact your MOC's office for clarification. If that's their rule, then that's their rule. But I'd get it clarified from them. Not this forum.
     
  10. EastTXEagleScoutDad

    EastTXEagleScoutDad New Member

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    His MOC does not require the Academy's application to be completed prior to submission of the MOC Nomination Packet. The Nomination packet consists of 10 pages, with the last page being his CFA scores. That particular page states, "In order to qualify for admission to the Service Academies, you must take the CFA. You must also submit a copy of your CFA scores with this Academy Nomination packet to Congressman XXXXX's office. Upon completion of your CFA, transfer your scores to Table 3, below, and return with your nomination application." Table 3: Your scores as submitted in your CFA (scores are listed by activity). So...my DS will take his "official" CFA early next week & hopefully will do better than the test run.
     
  11. EastTXEagleScoutDad

    EastTXEagleScoutDad New Member

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    No varsity sports. Very active in Scouting (Eagle) with multiple leadership positions including serving on staff at BSA National Leadership Training courses for the last 3 years, Jazz Band guitarist @ school, UIL Computer Science Team captain, HOSA Debate Team, various school leadership capacities. Works part-time @ Jersey Mike's Sub Shop. I'm sure his CFA scores will be an issue, though.
     
  12. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    There is no turning the clock backwards, but if he went to SS, he must have known of the requirements for the CFA. They do a practice CFA at the Summer Seminar. Two years ago, when my son was preparing to apply, we made at least bi-weekly trips to the park to practice the entire CFA. He didn't enjoy it at the time he was doing it, but was glad when he ended up with decent scores. I would say he did at least 10 practice runs before the actual CFA.
    Now four years ago, they gave second chances for the CFA as my daughter had a second chance to improve her scores. Those days are long gone however. There are just so many competing for so few slots.
    Best of luck to your son.
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If he submits scores like those, it will be bad for his chances of an appointment.

    I would ask if you can submit scores from a "CFA" done to all the standards, but submit the one for the USAFA admissions packet at a later date. There are multiple nomination sources, but only one application...
     
  14. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I agree. Better to lose one source of nomination than a possible admission to the academy altogether.
     
  15. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Dear ETESD -- Your son is obviously very talented in many ways. I don't know as much as many posters in this forum, but I'd like to mention something my daughter told me as she went through BCT this past summer. She is an IC and has worked out 4 hours per day, 6 days per week for the last 10 years, and and she maxed most of the CFA. She said that BCT was the hardest thing that she has ever experienced. She was constantly sore and tired and pushed to her limit, and then some. So the CFA is not just a requirement for the application; it is a really important indication of how successful the applicant will be during BCT. My daughter said the kids who were not as fit fell out during BCT training, struggled and got discouraged, and were the most likely to out-process. So I'd echo the advice already given and have your son work hard on the CFA and in the long term work even harder to get into shape to get ready for BCT if his heart is set on going to USAFA. Just my input for what it's worth.
     
  16. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    I'm going to bring up a concern that I would have as a parent. Let's say your DS gets in. There have been situations were extremely smart leaders have been dis-enrolled as a junior or senior because they cannot pass the physical standards. If that happens, you have to pay back the cost of education. :eek: The Academy doesn't want to see anyone fail. They will have multiple times to test and give them every opportunity to succeed. But the harsh reality is the Academy is looking for super smart leaders who are athletic. Therefore there will be people who get into Harvard and Stanford with ease yet they could not get into the Academies. The USAFA is looking for a particular skill set and athleticism is a prerequisite.

    Don't give up and he should keep on practicing. Even if he falls short, the worse case situation is he will be turned down and become a stronger young man.

    All the best!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    IMPO, the reason I think your MOC is asking for the CFA scores is because if your moniker is reflective of where you reside, you are from TX. TX is considered to be a competitive state for noms. The MOCs "talk" and share the wealth. IOTW, they don't like to give more than 1 nom to anyone candidate out of the 3 MOCs available.

    Go out and buy a door frame pull up bar, have him start working on that ASAP.

    The AFA is very concerned about the CFA because unlike their sister services they have an alt. issue that the cadets must get accustomed to at first. This means that at 1st they see cadets scores drop until they adjust to the alt.

    The CFA is not a max everything, but 1 thing, yet you still pass. It is bust 1 thing and you bust the entire exam. They have been known to allow some candidates to re-take the exam, but it is not common place, so he really needs to be sure when he submits the scores he is comfortable with them.

    This is also true for the PFA and AFROTC scholarships. It will impact him in the likelihood of getting a scholarship too.
     
  18. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    My DD is a teammate of my good friend melindaching's daughter and has had the same workout schedule for most of her life. She can do sets of 20 chinups all day long and as part of her training she ran several times a week for years. She took the CFA when she first arrived at AFA and she was tossing her cookies for several days afterward. She also thought that BCT was the hardest thing she ever did. She lost lots of squadmates before BCT was over. The altitude at the academy is a workout killer. If your son is having problems with the CFA here in Texas he is going to get creamed in Colorado.

    When my DD was still in the application process we went to a service academy meeting hosted by several congressman. A parent asked an academy representative about her son's chances of gaining an appointment as he was not playing any sports. His personal achievements were awesome, much like your son's. The rep told her that his chances were slim as sports are a big part of academy life.

    I would be concerned if your nominating source is asking for a copy of his CFA scores. They will be comparing his scores to other candidates.
     
  19. icarus

    icarus Member

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  20. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    +1 :thumb:

    Spend the money on a trainer. It is a small investment with potentially very large returns for your DS.
     

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