Calculus or Boy's State?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by JSH123, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. JSH123

    JSH123 Member

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    I'm currently a junior who wishes to be accepted to USMA next year...

    I am currently taking Algebra 2/Trigonometry Honors (I took Algebra 1 honors freshman year and Geometry honors sophomore year). This summer, I have the option of taking Pre-calculus as a summer course so that I can advance to Calculus by senior year. If I do not take this course, I will be taking pre-calculus next year. However, I was hoping to attend Boy's State as I've heard that it can boost your application tremendously. Which would help me to improve my chances of getting accepted to USMA? Should I take pre-calculus this summer so that I can take calculus next year or should I go to Boy's State and take pre-calculus next year? Thank you.
     
  2. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    I would say talk to your regional coordinator at WP and see what is their take. There are slight shifts every year in my opinion. I'm not sure which they value more at the moment. DS did Boys State and they may have helped, but he did not do Calculus. Was fortunate to complete DODMERB and become qualified but was not selected. Now on ROTC scholarship.

    Good luck
     
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Boys State….

    You will need four years of math and you will have it. I think Boys State would be a wise choice. This is recognized leadership program, not mandatory but there is check box for it.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  4. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    boys state

    Unless you have substantial amounts of leadership already I would go with boys state. My dd was faced with same situation and chose girls state. I think she made right decision. She won some awards at gs and boosted her leadership. Many hs students follow the track you are currently on and take calc for first time in college. A good act or sat math score will also eliminate any concerns about your math track.

    Not to mention that she had a great time and learned a lot at gs.

    I need to qualify that dd is a 2019 candidate. So we won't know for sure if plan will pay off for a few more months but she would do it again the same way.
     
  5. JSH123

    JSH123 Member

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    I have a 700 on my SAT math section. Do you think this is sufficient enough of a score for me to skip out on Calculus in high-school?
     
  6. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Math…..

    You will need math all four years in nigh school.


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  7. 845something

    845something Member

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    Having calculus or not having calculus is not the right question. WP is not going to say this applicant has it and this one doesn't so let's take the one with it. Here's the factors that will play out:

    The minimum requirement for academic qualification is pre-cal or trig...so:

    What is your current rank in your class. Does taking summer pre-cal affect that rank, does taking calculus affect your rank on your 7th semester transcript...is it a positive or negative effect?

    Academics are 60% of he overall application assessment, with your class rank contributing roughly a third of that versus the other 2/3rds being your standardized test scores. Does any potential change in RIC have a significant affect on your overall academic assessment. Is that difference more or less than what you would get by being in boy's state? If you are already strong on leadership, it might not.

    For the above piece, you really need to talk to your RC - after you have entered in your initial application. Until they see what you have to offer, they will be able to better advise you. Right now, their focus is the seniors applying.

    The final piece is what is your preference. Do you want to give up taking calculus on the chance that you might get accepted to boys state? This of course depends on the deadlines for summer school and boys state...neither of which should be imminent. Where will you be happier - remember, this would be your last "free" summer if you are accepted.

    There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions and that is often the hardest part to get through to a candidate. You can do everything to increase your chances, but that may not be enough in any given year in any given district, so you have to do what is right for you and be content with your decision at the end of the day.
     
  8. EagleScout13

    EagleScout13 USMA Class of 2017

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    Boy's state is only a week. Why can't you work it out with your summer professor that you will be gone for a week and work ahead so you do not fall behind? Unless, of course this is a high intensity summer couse like they do for STAP here at USMA and it is only a three week course where you meet 4 hours or so a day.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    JSH123, where I live, Boys' State spots are extremely competitive and attendees are selected by school faculty and local American Legion members. Have you already been selected?
     
  10. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Also, will you be applying to West Point's SLE program for this summer? If so, and you are selected to go, there is another week that you won't be able to take the Calc. class.
     
  11. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    OP, you didn't say whether you'd be taking pre-calc at a local community college or university, or within your school district. However, as a college professor, I would strongly discourage you from planning to take a summer course in which you will not be present for an entire week, for the following three reasons:

    1. Summer courses are usually highly condensed; therefore, one calendar week of instruction is often two to four weeks of traditional school-year instruction, and that's a LOT of stuff to miss.

    2. It is highly unrealistic for you to expect your teacher or professor to offer individual instruction to essentially repeat what s/he teaches during the week you missed.

    3. In my experience, students who miss one week of classes tend to take significant hits to their course grades and GPAs. As others have noted, academics is over half your WCS (whole-candidate score).

    Talk to your regional admissions rep for some information that will help you choose between them - but don't plan on both.
     
  12. Iowa 73

    Iowa 73 Miner

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    My DS did both last summer. He told his pre-calc instructor up front, and arranged to take the test that he missed as soon as he got back. He missed a week of instruction, but still busted his butt and got an A-. I would try and do both.
     
  13. JSH123

    JSH123 Member

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    Thanks for your inputs. It turns out that i can move on to calculus senior year without taking pre-calculus during the summer. This means that I will be able to do boy's state without a problem. However, this means that I will have algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2/trigonometry, and calculus by the end of senior year. Will not taking pre-calc be a problem?
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Calculus isn't an easy step, and if I remember correctly, pre-calc was the stepping stone to Calc. It COULD make things more difficult for you... you you could be a calc wiz kid!
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Back in my day, just before the extinction of the dinosaurs, there was no such thing as pre-Calc. When you were ready you went straight to Calculus. Toughest Math classes I ever took were Calculus in high school and freshman year of college, but I got A's and B's in them. I also thought "When will I ever use this stuff" and then I took a 400 level macro-economics course! :eek:

    Certainly from the academy's perspective not having pre-Calc will not be a problem provided you do well in Calc and it doesn't bring your GPA/class rank down. In fact if you do well, having Calc can be a plus and you might even be able to test out of some level of calculus at the Academy. It's up to you to weigh the risk/reward equation for yourself.
     
  16. fern2019

    fern2019 Member

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    Would not having a math class senior year be a bad thing?
     
  17. AZ2018

    AZ2018 New Member

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    Pre-Calculus / Calculus

    I recommend you apply to Boys State and go if given the chance. I think it is an important differentiator. If you get into Boys State, I would look for an online Pre-Calculus class through a local junior college or other outlet (center for talented youth, etc.). The SAT Math does not include Calculus so it is better if you do the Pre-Calculus in the summer or even Sr. year if you have to. A 700 SAT is great but I'll bet you improve your score if you take the SAT as a Senior also. I think you can do both if you are resourceful. Given the option, I would recommend Boys State. Even if your high school doesn't elect you to attend Boys State, I would contact the local American Legion group to see if another high school didn't fill their allotment (it happens).
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Yes. That would definitely be a bad thing.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I disagree a bit. I think Boy's State is great and everyone who can attend should, but the poster needs to consider what part of his "resume" needs work. If it's academics because he is already strong in leadership, then doing the pre-calculus over the summer may be wiser. If leadership is weaker, by all means attend Boys State.

    I really wanted to emphasize your last sentence as that is how my son got to go. He was reluctant to attend at first but he really enjoyed it once he got there.
     
  20. wyeast

    wyeast Member

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    Boys State all the way
     

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