Baffled by my SAT Scores

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 160thWannabe, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    I am a Junior and an applicant for the USMA Class of 2018. On January 26th I took my first SAT and I received the scores last night. I earned a 590 in Math, 610 in Writing, and 750 in Critical Reading. I am dumbfounded that I did so poorly in the first two sections and so well in the second. But, more importantly, I am wondering how this will affect my SLE and USMA applications.

    Combined, my SAT score is 1950 which I think should be pretty competitive for SLE. The problem is, I believe I read somewhere that West Point looks primarily at the Math and Writing sections, which is bad for me considering that I did comparatively worse in those sections than in Critical Reading. Combined, my Math and Writing score is 1200 which hits the bottom of the spectrum for the average SLE attendee (according to the SLE FAQ, the average attendee scores between 1200 and 1300). So even though I got a 1950, am I less competitive than most attendees?

    Finally, it may be worth to mention that I almost completely meet the rest of the criteria for the average SLE attendee. The average attendee is in the top 20% of their class, is a member of the National Honor Society, participates in school clubs, participates in extracurricular activities such as Boys State and Student Council, and has at least one varsity letter. I am in the top 5% of my class, am in the NHS, was founder and president of an ultimate frisbee club, am a Boy Scout and a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, and I earned a varsity letter in Cross Country. So, I believe that I am meeting the requirements for SLE acceptance, except that I have no idea whether my SAT scores will benefit my application or sink it.

    I look forward to hearing your feedback, and sorry about making this so long.
     
  2. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    SLE

    This year SLE is off to a rough start and I don't know how things will pan out.


    In the past SLS was more competitive than getting into WP. And historically 40 to 50% went on to get a appointment at WP. However, it is not a factor getting in to WP. So if you don't get into SLE its not the end of the world. Attendance will be much less. What is more important is finish up you Eagle Scout and work hard on those standardized test scores. You're are correct math is a score they weigh more heavily at WP. You will need to take it as many times possible.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  3. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Do you have the source for this?

    My thoughts: ~15,000 applicants (open a file) for a USMA class, ~1200 slots a year in an entering class.
    On top of that, to be accepted, you have to compete and receive a nomination and pass a medical exam and fitness assessment.

    For SLS, 1000 slots determined by test scores, class rank and a questionnaire and the ability to afford a flight to New York City. I guess that less than 15000 will apply for SLS.
     
  4. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    SLE

    The Far West RC had announced this during a service academy night. “It is more competitive to attend SLS than WP.” SLS in the past was 3 sessions of 300 kids. So every year 900 kids had the chance to enjoy the 6-day experience. Even though, SLS does not count towards an applicant WCS, on average, 40 to 50 percent will gain acceptance into WP.

    Yes, I scratched my head at that too. But, most of 15,000 applications never are completed. Class of 2016, 1337 offers were extended from a pool of 2629 that were 3Q’d and nom source. That’s a better ratio than 3000 kids applying for SLS.

    This year, the SLE program is in jeopardy from the sequestration. It could be reduced, I don’t know why, since the kids pay $450 to attend. But for now the selection process has been delayed.

    SLS- Summer Leader Seminar
    SLE- Summer Leader Experience


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  5. hmza

    hmza Member

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    SAT scores

    My son's 1st SAT scores were not stellar and he had a rude awakening. DS asked me if he could prep for the test. He bought the study materials from the college board and also did an online prep class. The study materials gave him practice tests to work on and feel that is how he was able to do well on the math portion- practice, practice, practice. The online course helped with the time management and techniques for test taking. He is horrible with the critical reading portion but you blew it out of the water on your first go! He ended up taking the test 6 times. West Point only counts your best score.
    Also the scores West Point is most concerned with is math and critical reading. Your CR score is great but of course your math score needs to improve as high as you can get it- preferably 700 plus. West Point cares more about the math score.

    Take the ACT as well. Math and English are what the academy looks at with your math score being more important. Scores should be over 30.

    DS was not selected for SLE last summer. His combined SAT math/c reading was only 1190 when he applied. He has since brought his scores up to 1400 (math 770, CR 630). He received an LOE after his last SAT test taken in November.

    It is not an end all if you do not get selected to SLE! BTW, DS did get accepted to NASS @ USNA. Enjoyed the experience and they got more stuff to take home than what is give out at USMA but West Point is still his 1st choice.:biggrin:
     
  6. FallenAngel77

    FallenAngel77 Member

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    +1 to HZMA's comments. DS's math SAT was significantly lower than your's the first time out. But he kept trying and retaking the test and got it above 600. He did not get into SLS, but he is graduating from WP on May 25th! SLS is not the goal in and of itself. It is merely a step. P.S. DS had no problems with math at WP. Good luck.
     
  7. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

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    Did you try the ACTs? I did a lot worse than you on the SATS, but took the ACTs and blew it out of the water with no preparation. I submitted only my ACT scores to USMA and still received an appointment.

    If I had to do it again, I'd study for hours and hours on ACT practice tests to really master the material to maximize my score (even though I was higher than the average USMA candidates accepted).

    Never lose hope, you can achieve anything, it is just a matter of willpower.
     
  8. CGBear87

    CGBear87 Member

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    No. They are talking about the Math and Critical Reading sections. The writing scores are required and will eventually be used for Whole Candidate Score... not sure if/when they will use Writing for the SLE app. Improving your math score will really help though. Keep on it until you get it above 700. Good Luck.
     
  9. AcademyHopeful_50

    AcademyHopeful_50 Member

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    All academies (and colleges for the matter) only look at math and READING. Not writing.
     
  10. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    Wannabe,

    My son had a 72 MATH PSAT but scored 620 (I think) on his first SAT attempt. The very next SAT jumped to 690 without additional prep. He did get an SLS invitation with those earlier scores (admittedly, the PSAT number had to help). For your first test, 590 is fine; just prep for subsequent attempts and get the score up to improve your superscore.

    Don't sweat it and don't over analyze. Even if you never see an invite, based on what I've seen on these boards, SLE this year is likely to be scaled back in size due to budget constraints. So not getting an invite probably means nothing to your overall USMA chances.

    What you have posted about yourself indicates that you have balance and have many of the qualities that the USMA is looking for. Focus on remaining academically strong, finding opportunities to serve and lead, and maintaining athletics.

    Remain Calm and Carry On!
     

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