Can we stop yet?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Lee2015, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Daughter has taken the SAT a multitude of times. Taking for the last time on Saturday(?). I know the consensus is "take it as many times as possible to improve your scores", and I agree---but, can we stop now?

    SAT super scored:
    cr/680
    m/680
    w/740

    ACT (took only one time): 32 composite
    cr/34
    e/32
    m/32
    s/30
    w/29

    gpa: 4.0
    rank: 14/330

    Like others posting stats here, daughter has numerous EC, Volunteer hrs (300+), AP courses, and 3 yrs cross country. Went to SLS, NASS, & AIM and passed CFEs--exceeded expectations.

    Those scores are it for nominations, but daughter can continue to retake for possible appointment considerations. I'm not looking for absolution, just some thoughts and highly respected opinions from forum members. I have heeded much of the advice given from ya'll and it has paid off tremendously.Thanks so much!
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Lee,

    I've been an AF Admission Liaison Officer (think Blue and Gold Officer) for a LONG time (more than 15 years.)

    In that time, I have told a candidate ONCE: "...stop taking the tests, you're fine, work on other areas." That was actually last year.

    My candidate scored 760M, 760V, 700W.

    That is the ONLY time I've ever done that.

    Your daughters scores: 680M, 680V and 32M, 32V are superb!! Are they enough to "guarantee" her appointment?

    I have no idea.

    But I do know a huge number of candidates at USAFA score over 700. And "all things being equal" a 700 will trump anything less.

    This is a long winded way of saying: "nobody can tell you this is enough or not...you (really she) need to make that call and then live with it."

    I would DEFINITELY speak with her BGO about this. They will have a better "feel" for what it takes, than most anyone else except the admissions committee and they will NOT tell you.

    I will say this: I'd love to have her as one of my candidates! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    To piggyback a little on steve's comments with a "WHY". A candidate's primary competition, is their own state and district. You are competing for slots available for your district and state. While your daughter's scores are indeed superb, who's to say that another candidate in your district/state isn't ranked #2/340 in their school, and is averaging 32's on their ACT and 710's on their SAT. Maybe they are also captain of multiple varsity sports teams; volunteers for 2 organizations; is class president and president of certain clubs, etc... They possibly get the slot over your daughter.

    On the other hand; it's possible that your daughter's scores, gpa, ranking, EC, sports, etc... all results in a higher overall score than any other applicant in your district or state. In which case, assuming she received a nomination, she could get the appointment for that district/state slot. Therefor, she wouldn't need to continue testing.

    And of course, if you don't receive the primary available slot in your district/state, then you are in competition in the "General Pool" along with ALL other applicants in the country. What are their scores, gpa, ec, sports, and ultimately overall score given by the review board?

    This is why it is totally impossible to give any direct advice on questions such as yours. And especially questions such as: "What are my chances of getting an appointment". Your chances are DIRECTLY PROPORTIONATE to your competition. And unfortunately, we don't know who your competition is. Even an ALO, who could have lets say 10 applicants worth anything, doesn't know the details of all the applicants that all the other ALO's in that state have. I will concede, that in a state like Wyoming, where only about 15+/- qualified applicants a year apply, that it is easier to know (If the ALO wanted to), what the competition in the state is. But even for a small populated state like Wyoming, it would be difficult to actually compare. Especially considering what the board is grading on. They look at the "WHOLE PERSON". What the board might think is exceptional, might be different than last year or what others might consider exceptional.

    Best of luck to you. All I can suggest is: If you can afford it, KEEP RETESTING!!!. Only you can say when enough is enough. later... mike....
     
  4. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Steve, thank you. She is truly amazing and more precious than gold!!

    I hear ya on that one! :eek:


    I will read your post to her and then she can make the decision. And . . . . she may be one of your candidates! She is applying to USAFA, USMA, USCGA, and USNA (I didn’t want to be a repeat poster, so I just posted here). She also has an AFJROTC nomination--I know that's a long shot.
     
  5. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    That’s the operative phrase! My wallet feels like a running spigot :jaw:!!


    Christcorp, I do appriciate your contribution! Maybe daughter will get the incontrovertible 2400 SAT score on Saturday—there’s always hope!
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I think you need to weigh the risk vs benefits.

    Her scores are very high. The 32 ACT is just over a 700 SAT and her SAT's are nearly 700. When they get that high the odds of her scores going down are greater than the odds of a rise. She needs to get over a 720 on each the Math and CR for the rise in her scores to matter.

    55% of students raise their scores between junior and senior year. 45% of scores either drop or remain the same.
    It's much more likely for a lower score to rise significantly than a high score.

    So, go ahead and have her take the test one more time, then stop. There would probably be no point in going further.

    The risk - while getting a lower score does not hurt a candidate; there is a cost. The cost to your wallet, for sure. But also consider all those Saturdays she is spending testing. If she is giving up other activities - sports, volunteering etc. The benefit to her to continue her other activities may out weigh the time spend sharpening the #2 and studying for it.
     
  7. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Then I'm guessing that USNA is the first choice - already an indicator of superior intelligence. :smile:

    Statistics show that those candidates who get appointed to USNA and any of the other service academies, overwhelmingly choose USNA.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    :biggrin:
    Guess I didn't help USNA there...'

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    Appointee to: USAFA '83, USNA '83, USMA '83
    (But I will say, the appointment certificates: USMA was the NICEST, CLOSELY followed by USNA...the USAFA one...not so nice)
     
  9. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    How did you receive an appointment to three SA's?
    I was going to divide up my possible nominations to USNA/MA/AFA, but since I got a LOA from USNA (and it IS my #1 pick), I figured I would run with it.
    Did your senators back in '79 allow nominations to multiple academies?
    Or is there something I overlooked?
    Just curious.
    Elias
    USNA Candidate '15
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Actually it was "simpler" than that...

    My father was an active duty AF officer (his dad: USN and USA). I had the following nom's:

    1. USAFA - MoC, Presidential
    2. USMA - Presidential, Senator
    3. USNA - Presidential

    One thing to mention...this was my SECOND attempt. The previous year I had basically the same nom's...no, I didn't have a Senate nom, just Presidential's to USMA/USNA.

    Second time was "the charm" for me!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Jumping in here . . . you do need to weigh benefits vs. costs (literally and figuratively).

    Scores are good. Good enough for an appointment? Depends on what else you have going for you, your grades and classes, class rank, the competition, etc. I suggest you ask your BGO. He/she has a better idea of how those scores are in relation to other candidates in your area and what else you have going for you.

    I realize there is a monetary cost involved as well as the candidate's time. And, if he/she isn't studying, the scores aren't likely to improve. I "quit" when I had scores that I thought would get me in (they did). I wasn't a quitter, but I didn't see the benefit in continuing to get marginally higher scores.

    Let's face it, the difference b/t a 650 and 660 isn't likely to carry the day. 600 vs. 700 COULD be a different story. But you have to do something to change your score other than hope that it goes up. Is that extra effort worth it? As noted, it depends.
     
  12. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Perhaps she could focus her studies on only the math portion of the SAT, which is (from what we hear) more important to the NA. That way it doesn't feel like so much of a PITA.
     
  13. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    I wish my daughter had your daughter's college boards scores, they are terrific.


    RGK
     
  14. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    The one question I would ask is if the candidate has done anything that would help improve the score. covered new material, used a prep guide, had a bad test day previously. If not, then it's the odds are not great for further improvement.

    Should they try to improve??? different question, with a slightly different answer from another parent- Most top tier schools use 700/700 as a significant breakpoint between average applicants and exceptional.

    This applies to admission for some, scholarships for others. I can tell you that breaking that level combined with high AP scores changes the tone for college applications. Special invitations, waived entrance fees, streamlined applications (no essays), etc. We've seen it, sure wish I had these opportunities as a kid!! :)

    So it makes a huge difference to your civvy college backup plan (you do have one?)

    And can only help with the academy decisions, even just the fact that the candidate is still trying & fighting to improve.

    Can't speak for USNA, but at USMA SLS, there was a q&a question around what does it take academically to get in the running for an LOA for those not targeted for other reasons. There was a specific math/cr SAT level mentioned, along with decent CFA, complete transcript, etc. Pretty sure it was 700/700

    This does not mean you can't get in, or even get an LOA with less. But it does appear that there some tipping points, and the magic 700/700 appears to be a common one.

    And yes, depending on circumstances, that bar is lower for individual candidates. You'll most likely never know. There are many LOA's posted here already with lower scores. But nearly all had many other things going on.

    I've had to bite my tongue each time I've paid for SAT's, sending scores, etc. And even the occasional application fee to backup schools.

    But we've spent way more on academy summer programs, candidate visits, etc. We view it as an investment, as it's really impacting our kids's career. This is not just a school decision, it's a major part of his life!
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    ^
    Note - the OP's daughter has > 700/700 in her 34 R, 32 E, 32 M ACT's.

    Once you reach that goal - the benefit of time, expense and energy of re-takes is unclear.
     
  16. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Had not picked up on that, here in the SE ACT's are not the norm. If the acads use the same conversion, I'd say you are probably right!
     

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