BEAST I Grades

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by PotentialParent, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    During my NC's phone call yesterday he mentioned that he got his grade for the first half of CBT. He was not that happy about his grade. I was wondering who gets to provide input into this grade? He thought it was mostly his Company Commander, who is a Junior (COW). This is not to question or complain. Just looking for information on the process. As a parent, I think getting a "B" is ok, and probably sending a message that he needs to engage more in the process.

    Any information on how this and other grades conttribute to their standing would also be appreciated.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Unless the army has gone topsy-turvy, his CO is a firstie. The majority of his grade input comes from his squad leader. His platoon sergeant has input, and PL has oversight. Grades are apportioned so that only a certain percentage of each squad can receive an A, only so many B's, etc. This forces the leadership to grade relatively within the squad, rather than against the whole company or regiment. It protects new cadets from the subjectivity of the masses and prevents them from being graded against someone in another company who had a totally different leader and CBT experience. It also prevents grade inflation.

    In the end, as I've said elsewhere, CBT grades are probably the least consequential grade at West Point, unless maybe they've started giving a penmanship badge
     
  3. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    Thanks Scoutpilot,

    I am sure the Army is still on solid ground, and my lack of listening skills and knowledge is the issue on the details. Thanks for the information.
     
  4. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    Mine also told me that he got a B. I don't know that they give out C's and D's. B isn't that great but is passing nonetheless.:rolleyes:
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    On my soapbox:
    Parents - your kids are in college and the military now. Their grade is between them and West Point. It does not belong to you, has no reflection on you and is not yours to worry about!

    That said, IMO:
    An A in Beast is Amazing. Really, it is. Many are prior service or prepsters who knew what they were doing when they got there.
    A B in Beast is Fantastic!
    A C is Beast is Good!!

    Yes, they give C's in Beast. A C is average and many, many will get C's. If you are a parent and your child didn't tell you their Beast grade or told you it was a C; don't despair.
    A lot of times a NC will get a C is they got sick/injured and missed some components of Beast.
    I never heard of a NC who made it to A-Day who 'failed' Beast. Some components of Beast are required for Graduation. If any of those are missed due to illness or injury, they will be made up later. For instance, if a NC sprains his ankle the day before the Marchback; he will make it up. Most commonly they will be assigned Cadre for Beast later in their WP Career.
     
  6. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    JAM on the soapbox a little to quickly on this one. I was just looking for information. AND you know what....if my son wants to discuss his grades with me....well then we will discuss it...Really did not appreciate your two cents.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I don't think your desires to be informed or concerned are misplaced. This is your child, and I wouldn't expect you to divest yourself of your parental instinct to be concerned. Just rest assured that your young one is doing just fine and will have many more consequential grades in the years to come. The Beast I grade is of little concern, so now YOU can send your son letters to let him know that you're proud and that he has nothing to worry about. I know he's an achiever and used to getting an A in everything, but the B is above average. When you're in a pool of achievers like a WP class, being above average is something to smile about.
     
  8. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    It was probably my word of "mine" ... I am cool. It's good to know that a B is an excellent grade for Beast 1. Son will be happy to hear this. I'm not only his parent, I'm his messenger.:shake:
     
  9. Gray Hog

    Gray Hog USMA Alumnus

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    If your son wants to share and discuss such things with you, I think that is great. It speaks highly for the relationship you have with him.

    It is hard for high-achievers, who are used to success, to accept anything less than a stellar evaluation. Reminding him that he is now among a group, which is comprised entirely of high-achievers, will likely be of little help in getting him to feel better about getting less than he had hoped. It is a bit like telling him to start accepting that he isn't as good as he had believed himself to be.

    Instead of focusing on the singular grade itself, I suggest focusing on the fact that he has many, many more opportunities to excel in the coming months and years. This one evaluation is hardly significant and it is impossible to extrapolate future performance (over four years) from a single data point following one month.

    It is like predicting a baseball season based upon the season-opener. There are a LOT of games ahead--different opponents, home and away, day and night games, different positions to be played on the field, etc.). I wouldn't give up hopes for being season MVP and possibly winning the pennant just because he is batting below his average from the minor leagues in his first few at-bats in the bigs!
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    PP - sorry. Iwheel - yeah, LOL.
    I know you guys were only trying to get perspective.
    Your kids know how they are doing. Everyone has their own goals. The prepster Eagle scout wants an A and the math geek who was on the third string track team is thrilled with a C.
    Some who did well first will be challenged during second and vice versa.

    For those parents who didn't hear or whose kids got a C - chillax! It's all good.

    Wait until the first grades come out - the 'perfectionists' go nuts when they no longer have straight A's.
    If your kid is still there - be proud!! During the A-day parade you can't tell who got a B and who got a C.
    If your kids are doing well, encourage them to help their classmates.
    Winning Honor Company is really cool - and some of them will have C's.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Because of the system, the same percentage of them will have C's as every other company.
     
  12. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Gray Hog, that was a great post! I need to print that out to use in my letters! Thanks!
     
  13. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    DS son also shared his grade with me and it was a surprise to him...C+: :eek: ....(so he said...maybe they don't even have + in the grade system?) :eek:
    I didn't say anything here because, I realised it was insignificant. Immediately upon being told the grade, I told him to not despair and just continue on positively, it's just an accomplishment finishing Beast.
    He of course was incensed about the grade and went on to explanations/excuses for the grade. He said his PL and he had a major argument right before the grades were assessed and his PL was mad at him for making a suggestion in training. His PL asked him if he wanted his stripes and to take over as PL...of course he said no, and realized his huge breach of etiquette. I made sure I pointed that out to him...But, he then said his PL was given a grade at the end also, it was a "D" Who knows if that's true and it's as insignificant in my mind also.

    Who knows what the truth is and all I stand on now is, just get finished and shut your mouth!

    We ended that portion of the discussion with him saying..."yeah, I guess you're right Dad", I think a lesson was learned. :smile:
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Jumping in from the "squid" perspective (and plebes don't get "grades" during Plebe Summer), one of THE hardest things for mids or cadets is first semester academic grades. USNA -- and I assume USMA -- gives Cs and Ds with frequency -- and even Fs. And these are students who are studying like crazy, giving it their all, getting EI, etc. At USNA, you can have a 3.25 and be in the top 15% of your class. Think about that for a minute. 85% of the class has less than a B+ average.

    For kids who've always earned As and maybe an occasional B, this is a rude awakening. It was for me when my first semester came in as a 2.63. Yep, I still remember it.:wink: I was shocked. My parents couldn't believe it, especially b/c they knew I was working harder than I'd ever worked in my life, academically speaking.

    To an outsider such as myself, it seems that the Beast grades are good prep for Ac year and probably do cadets/NCs a favor by showing them early on that not everyone gets As. Or Bs.

    For parents who don't have a SA background, realize that your cadet is very unlikely to replicate his/her h.s. academic success at USMA no matter how hard he/she works. Some will, but most won't.

    Finally, let me say that it is REALLY hard for a mid/cadet to show those first SA grades (Beast or Ac year) to parents who are used to seeing all As. I was so ashamed of my C+ average in my first set of grades, even though I knew I'd worked like a demon just to get that. I know my parents were disappointed, even though they never said so. Thankfully, my grades improved over time -- but a lot of my classmates worked just as hard or harder, and were just as smart or smarter, and yet still struggled.
     
  15. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    Come on. Th Academics can't be that hard. I am sorry I still couldn't believe it. Why would they give so few "A"s?
     
  16. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    It's not that as much as the saying that'll come as a surprise to many of them - "Come first grading report - 50 percent of the class will be in the bottom half of the class!" :wink:

    Just a shock because coming in pretty much nearly everyone was in that top half; many top 10 percent or higher.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I think the issue here, as some have stated, is being “concerned” about one’s cadet’s grades/performance. Now, your offspring has gone from the big fish in the small pond to the small fish in a big pond. Not only is it a completely alien environment, it is an extremely difficult and stressful environment. There are many ways to successfully graduate and become an effective officer. Each individual has to find his best route. Some blend everything relatively well. Some focus on academics; some, athletics; and some, leadership and professional aspects. Very very few will do it all extremely well. They usually end up in England on a scholarship. A huge part of their maturity both as an officer and as an individual is to be able to sort through everything, establish their priorities, and live with the consequences.

    So, to discuss grades is fine. To be “concerned” could cause undue stress and pressure which might even cause one to venture down a path for which they are not best suited. And the closer one is to their offspring and the more they discuss it, the more apt it is to be perceived as “concern”. Sometimes, “Yes, son” is the only appropriate response, no matter the original subject.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  18. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    One of the consistently great things about this forum are the thoughtful posts by so many folks, from varying perspectives. I always get information that makes me reflect, and hopefully move forward in a smarter way. As one that tends not to get overly concerned about the small stuff, the insight gained from some of the details in the above posts is very much appreciated, and I always love baseball analogies!!
     
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Because they don't GIVE anything. Cadets earn what they earn. Most cadets get a C+ on the APFT!
     
  20. newenglander

    newenglander New Member

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    Is it possible for a New Cadet to be dismissed from West Point due to BEAST grades? If so, what grade is required to pass BEAST?
     

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