CFA at NASS

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bops98, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Hi! I'm new to this thread. I believe I'm a very competitive candidate for the Class of 2020 - I have a 4.3 weighted GPA and 3.95 unweighted GPA; strong extracurricular activities such as science fairs and writing competitions, as well as decent sports experience (not quite varsity level, but involved all 3 years). I am also in a few leadership positions; I volunteer and am involved in many clubs. I'm a very strong musician, as I'm in two bands and have ranked in the top 15 (for my instrument) of my state. I also have a good SAT score. However the only thing I'm worried about is the CFA. Here are my scores:

    Basketball Throw: 44'
    Pull-ups: 1
    Shuttle Run: 9.3 s
    Sit-ups: 96
    Push-ups: 75
    Mile-run: 8:34

    I am extremely worried about the basketball throw, the pull-ups, and the mile run. I do not understand how I have so much trouble on the b-ball throw and the pull-ups because my arms are fairly strong (as you can tell by my push-ups). I'm a terrible runner - a few months ago I started out nearly at 10 minutes - and I've been practicing since but I've been hitting a plateau in my improvement.

    I know I will be tested at Summer Seminar. Will I be tested at the beginning or end of the week? I would love to pass it on my first try because I do not think it would be comfortable for me to ask my BGO to test me. Please help, thank you so much.
     
  2. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    You will be tested during the beginning of the week. I did not attend NASS, but I attended AIM and the kids that attended NASS who were at AIM as well spoke of being tested early on. USNA only posts the maximums for each event on their site. I did some research and I found CFA instructions from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. West Point produced the document, which has become the standard for USMA, USNA, USAFA, and USMMA. It can be found here:http://www.usmma.edu/admissions/application/candidate-fitness-assessment-instructions. This document posts the averages for females as: 41ft BB Throw, 3 Pull-Ups (If applicable), 19.8 sec Flexed Arm Hang (if applicable), 10 sec Shuttle Run, 68 Sit-Ups, 33 Push-Ups, and an 8:06 mile run. According to these averages, you are fine now. Keep in mind, this document could be a bit dated and it was created by USMA, so those averages could just be for them. It is a Pass/Fail test for USNA and emphasis is placed on Sit-Ups, Push-Ups, and the 1 Mile Run. If you are worried about your scores, conduct practice CFA's to acquaint your body with the physical fitness required for the test battery. It is never too late to start working out. At USNA, midshipman workout all the time, almost all doing 5-6 days a week. You could also start practicing for the PRT. It is not conducted at NASS, but every midshipman takes it multiple times a year. Minimums for the PRT for females are : 62 Sit-Ups, 24 Push-Ups, and a 13:30 1.5 Mile Run. A tip to decrease your mile time is to do interval training. Do a minute of sprinting, one lap or so of jogging at an easy pace to recover at , then repeat. Do it for 20 to 30 minutes a couple times a week. It will get your lungs accustomed to the effort required for a faster mile time. Also, do one or two long runs a week to increase your overall stamina. Hope this helps and best of luck!
     
  3. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Thank you so much for your advice! I know that I have to work on my mile run (I'm a terrible runner). I've read in a few forums that there have been females who were not able to do even 1 pull-up, and got over 8 minute mile runs, and they passed. The scores I posted above are not scores done with continuous events, so I predict they're even a bit worse. Have you seen any cases of people who have passed with my scores?
     
  4. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    Hello bops98,



    Congrats on getting into NASS! :thumb: It's great that you are thinking about your CFA now, and you still have plenty of time to improve on it before applying for the Class of '20. Here are a few CFA tips which I have learned from others and through personal experience:

    1. (Basketball throw) Use your whole body in the throw. By leaning back and using your legs and abs to add force to your throw, you can gain at least 10-20 feet. The BB throw is naturally awkward, and every bit of leverage will help.

    2. (Pull-ups) Hang an exercise bar in your bedroom doorframe (these are easy to find for about $20 on Amazon). Every time you go through the door, do a pull-up. Work up to 2, and then 3. Keep going until you reach your goal. DON'T overdo it, though. ;) Repetitive motion injury isn't fun, trust me. :frown:

    3. (Running) Swing your arms around hip level, not shoulder level. If you hold your hands up and pump your arms, you are actually wasting a good deal of energy. I did this for the LONGEST time, until an ex-Army friend of mine finally suggested that I drop my hands. The results were amazing! :D

    4. JMPO, but I don't think it would be wise to use your NASS scores on your CFA unless you are 100% sure that they represent your best effort. If I were in your situation, I would train for the whole summer and take my "official" CFA afterwards. I think you will be surprised at how much difference a few months can make, just like I was. :cool:

    (I'm not sure why you would feel awkward about asking your BGO to administer the CFA? Regardless, you could have a JROTC instructor or Phys Ed teacher at your school administer the test if you are uncomfortable.)


    Good luck to you! :) Keep up the hard work!
     
  5. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    I have seen applicants with less than great scores pass, but only Admissions can determine if you pass or fail. Minimums exist for this test, but they are a closely guarded secret, just like the magical algorithm that spits out how many points you get when you application is ultimately evaluated for an appointment. I second the advice of wildblueyonder. I wouldn't use your NASS CFA scores unless you are confident that you won't score too much higher. Candidly, a lot of kids show up out of shape or not in military shape at NASS. Don't be discouraged if you don't score too well at NASS. A lot of people will be in the same boat. That is why they allow you to retake it and the vast majority of those low scorers train and end up doing fine on their real CFA. Two things to be wary of when you take the CFA are weather and exhaustion. Fatigue will get to you a little bit as you move through the test. Don't expect to get a PR in the mile. Like I said earlier, it helps if you take practice tests, it really does. Your body gets used to the exertion levels, so it is not so overwhelming to the body. Weather can make the CFA difficult as well. Hot and humid weather like what you will experience at Annapolis could make things a bit more difficult if you are not used to it. Also, I urge you not to wait until the late fall or the winter to do your CFA if you want to retake it. That is flu season and when snow starts falling. A snow storm or sudden illness could delay your CFA. Also, sometimes people break a leg or something bad like that before their CFA and that leaves to a whole other set of problems (dealing with both medical and physical qualification). The CFA is something that is easy to knock out. It only takes around an hour. Most people aren't a fan of fitness tests (or any test for that matter), but you will be subject to them for the next nine years at a minimum (4 years at USNA, 5 years in the Fleet).
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Your mediocre CFA results will hurt you more than the average candidate because of your lack of varsity sports experience. As has already been mentioned - I think the physical aspects are going to be the biggest challenge for you and is the area in which you should strive to improve.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I think your NASS scores "count" regardless. However, you have the opportunity to retake the CFA as many times as you want until Jan. 31 to improve your scores. So they are only in the system until you replace them (if you do).

    It is your latest scores (not the best of all scores) that count. IOW, each time you ask to retake, your old scores are wiped clean and you start anew.

    I suggest you consult a track coach for advice on running. Technique does help. Some people will never be great runners but most people can improve with proper training.
     
  8. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    I'm at NASS right now. On squad leader did tell me that because he wasn't a varsity athlete they put more emphasis on his CFA. I actually did better here than at home. Even if you're in one of the last platoons you still have a ton of people cheering you on. The entire thing was super motivational. The two weeks before I left I made my mom park in the driveway (she usually parks under the pull up bars) and I would do a pull-up then negative and then pull-up again. Have fun at NASS. We did the CFA Sunday afternoon.
     
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  9. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Thank you so much for all your responses! I was actually more worried about the fact that they're testing me at NASS, because I had never heard of it before. About a month ago I found out and I descended into panic mode, because I assumed that most people at summer seminar will be already physically prepared. I honestly doubt I will get my highest score there since it's hard to obtain significant improvement in a week, but I didn't want to feel left behind. Most people I know who were accepted got the CFA done in their first try - but according to your responses it seems like a lot of people improve their CFA over the summer?

    Also, thank you wildblueyonder, for the advice. I actually think that might help me quite a bit because I rotate with my hips but my hands are as high as my chest!! :)
     
  10. USNA2020

    USNA2020 Member

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    The scores you posted are definitely passing, if you are a girl. Can't tell for guys because the requirements are different, but I'm a girl, did worse than you, and I passed. That being said you should always work to improve your CFA score and not just do the bare minimum. If you're a guy, I'd work on pull-ups because the minimum might be higher than 1, and if you fail pull-ups you fail the whole CFA.
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Do they ever indicate whether you've PASSED or FAILED the CFA? I thought they just indicated that it was completed.
     
  12. USNA2020

    USNA2020 Member

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    They will tell you if you are "AT RISK" or "NO RISK" and if you are at risk it means you did not pass.
     
  13. kl3661

    kl3661 Member

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    They also tell you if you pass or fail

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  14. TexasBG

    TexasBG Member

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    Ok, sorry honest truth here. You are very strong in most areas, but your Mile-run: 8:34 is a show stopper (my opinion). You do not say if you are a male or female. But with 1 pull up my guess is female. 8:34 is probably a failure on the CFA (Admissions does not publish mins). Good news is 1 pull up is actually good I(your other scores are good). I guarantee if you try really hard you can get a 7:3o'ish mile, which is a nice score for a female (<7:0 better). Plebe summer is very heavy join running, in fact all 4years are very heavy on running. 7 year BGO advice, based on experience only (nothing official). Good luck..
     
  15. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Thank you for all your responses! Yes I am a girl, and yes, I admit I have to work on my mile run. I'm steadily improving, but at a very slow pace - I hit 8:20 just yesterday. When do most people submit their CFA's? Would it be alright if I submit it August or even September? I'm almost done with the rest of my application - I just need the CFA and the medical exam (I applied for nominations but of course, haven't gotten back a reply yet).
     
  16. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    from your avatar i assume you're a girl so my advice for you would be to just max out the girls requirements and dont bother going over the max for the guys max
     
  17. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Oh, I don't think I would be able to max out the guys' scores even if I tried!!
     
  18. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    wait, then why did you have a 75 pushup? the max for girls is 50
     
  19. bops98

    bops98 Member

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    Those are my individual timed scores - in other words, events have been tested separately (which is why they will be less than the scores I posted). But for now I can do about 70-75 pushups in 2 minutes.
     

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