CFA Question

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Gianime, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Gianime

    Gianime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    5
    So my portal just opened up today (very excited) and I saw that my Candidate Kit had a green check mark next to my CFA. I took the CFA at SLE in June and didn't as well as I hoped - I'm retaking it in September but I wanted to know whether or not that indicates I passed it? I didn't get any emails saying otherwise, so am I in the clear? I will be retaking it regardless but I just wanted to make sure.
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    179
    Yes, if you have a green check mark you passed. The CFA is a small percentage of the total application, but if you don't think you did as well as you could and want to resubmit it, you can.
     
  3. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    Although the CFA is only 10% of the total candidate score, the difference between getting an appointment and not, in many if not most cases where someone failed to receive an appointment is slight, and way less than 10%. And the other areas are a combination of multiple items that are scored to come to a total. For example, leadership combines athletic team involvement, leadership roles on teams, teacher evaluations, letters of rec, student government, and many other things, and academics combines test scores with class standing. CFA is one 40 minute test for 10% of the candidates total score. To me that is a lot, particularly in a very competive field.

    I am in the relative minority of folks who believe the CFA is a very important component of this process. It is also one that the candidate can control. ACT/SAT scores are way more important, but the difference between getting in and not, for a large percentage of applicants will come down to that CFA score.
     
    Gianime likes this.
  4. 845something

    845something Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    166
    The difference for a majority of candidates is NOT the CFA. Each of the six events contribute to the 10%, with the majority of candidates falling into the normal range (hence the published averages of ACCEPTED candidates). The difference between an average score and an exceptional one (max or nearly so in every category) is around 2% of the total WCS. For the individuals winning districts and truly competing for a national wait list spot, it becomes even more inconsequential (1% or less) as the WCS to compete at that level far out shadows any improvement on the CFA.
     
    jebdad likes this.
  5. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    That is like saying the difference between a ACT score of 30 vs 31 in inconsequential. 1-2% of the total score is big; particularly in a competitive district. If WP is deciding between two candidates, and one has 85% on the WCS, and the other with an 83%, which one would you like to be when there is only one spot? I know where I would like to be.

    I can tell you that I was present when my son spoke with three different Admissions Regional Commanders at West Point last year, and all three confirmed the importance of a candidate distinguishing himself/herself with an excellent CFA, as opposed to "just passing", and that every single point on every ACT sub-score matters a lot, as most of these slots are very competitive, with closely scored candidates. The assessment of those RC's is very different from yours.

    My son worked hard on everything, and ultimately received his appointment in mid January. He was told that, in the end, he was the "clear winner" of our district, and that it wasn't close, but when we first met with RC's the prior summer it was. The solid CFA mattered, and he was told it did, as did his improvements on the ACT. We were led to believe another candidate from our district was likely to still receive an appointment, as her application was also exceptional. In the meetings with RC's at WP, three out of three made a point to emphasize the importance of an excellent CFA score. If a candidate wishes to think otherwise, that is his/her prerogative, and perhaps the other elements of the whole candidate score are so high, or the competition is so low, that it wont matter. I would strongly advise not to take the CFA for granted though.

    There are a number of ways to get in, and any one of them is good enough if you get the appointment. But All of the academies put a lot of emphasis on having well rounded kids, who have strong applications in terms of (1) academics, (2) leadership, and (3) fitness. The CFA is the sole measuring stick on the third component, and contrary to what some here have said, it is not just a pass-fail test; it is scored and weighed for a reason. West point wants strong, fit cadets.
     
    EOD/SEALmom and 1mountaintop like this.
  6. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    126
    845something is someone you want to listen to when it comes to West Point Admissions.
     
    AROTC-dad and jebdad like this.
  7. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,408
    Likes Received:
    1,047
    Judge B., while I see your points, I have learned that anything posted by @845something has far more meaning and accuracy than the average post regarding USMA admissions.
     
    tex2021, Dixieland and jebdad like this.
  8. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    I dont doubt that 845something is authoritative. I still disagree with any advice which leads a candidate to believe that the CFA, or any other component of the wcs isn't important, beyond meeting the minimal standard , and must note that it conflicts entirely with what we were specifically and unambiguously advised by RC's at WP. If a candidate wishes to disregard, I'm fine with that.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  9. raft11

    raft11 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    3
    My question about the CFA is when to do it. The phys Ed teacher that will do it for my daughter said he did one last year in the winter. I feel it should be done sooner as it is yet another important requirement that we can complete and check off. Any input on whe. To do the CFA is greatly appreciated by a rookie to USMA application process.
     
  10. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    I think the sooner the better, as long as you are ready for it.
     
  11. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    25
    raft11, it must have been another post but it was recommended that you have your daughter take it soon in case she is injured and can't perform as well when you need to get it done. My DS took it in a cramped indoor gym quarters the first time and did not do as well as he hoped (stringing all events together is also harder than one would think). The second time was at a HS in great weather and he did much, much better. From my take of it, the Army wants to see you improve and taking and finding out what your baseline is fine then work to improve. The basketball and shuttle require technique and practice. The others require strength and conditioning. While 845something is correct in it is a very small contribution to WCS, I feel brovol is more correct that you need to strive to improve everything you can. I am sure there are kids who have great grades and SAT scores who do not get in because they are not fit. In addition, if the ultimate goal is to get into WP, the first thing is surviving BEAST so why not continue to train so you will be ready when you are called upon. Taking the CFA a second time is minor compared to completing all the other requirements in the admission process.
     
  12. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    541
    The CFA is just a pass or fail issue. You can max out on everything but fail to win a NOM in your district it means nothing. Academics is way more important to increase your chances on your WCS and surviving academics at WP. Again, WP is not your typical college experience, you must want to be there. Your strong comment will cause you to dig deep in soul and your heart to solidify your resolve to be there. WP is a pressure cooker.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  13. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    25
    Seems to be a consensus that the CFA does not matter as long as you pass even if you are below average. Somehow I can't help feeling that if a candidate gets a TWE instead of a BFE they aren't going to look back with regret and say I wish I had done better on that CFA and not wonder if it was the difference between an acceptance and a denial.
     
  14. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    541
    WP looks for a well rounded candidate that has a good foundation on the three pillars, Academics, Leadership and Athletics. The CFA is still a very small small portion. Passing AFPT, IOCT, survival swim, Mill movement and WP athletics are the bigger issues. There are no points for being the fastest just penalties for not passing.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  15. jebdad

    jebdad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    67
    I have a hard time envisioning a member of the panel that reviews the applications standing up to make a case for a candidate and saying "but, but, but...... this person threw a basketball 10 feet farther than this other candidate."

    Frankly, I wish they had a more difficult or a better test to determine someone's toughness and their commitment/drive.. I think the ACT/SAT scores are emphasized too much. I would rather have my leader in battle have a 25 ACT and be as tough as nails than a 36 ACT and not nearly as tough. I know they are not mutually exclusive and there are candidates that check both boxes but there are not enough of those and it seems there is a preoccupation to having a high avg ACT/SAT score for the class profiles.

    A local boy had outstanding academics and was given an LOA early in the process this recent application cycle. Quite a few whispered that they didn't see this person handling the physical demands. Well, he lasted 3 days and came home.
     
    NJ_Dad, EOD/SEALmom and Dixieland like this.
  16. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    541
    That is the job of a NCO CSM. What always amazes me are guys in SF. They are a special breed that can compartmentalize pain and discomfort, they can push themselves beyond their breaking point and still beat you in a chess game. A not to common character trait.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  17. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    There is absolutely a mathematical formula which is utilized by WP admissions to determine a WCS. It was shared to an extent with us by an RC at WP, and the CFA is absolutely computed mathematically. It isn't just a check mark for passing (although there are certainly minimal standards which must be met as an absolute criteria to admission). You get more points toward your WCS the better you perform on the CFA, just as you get more points for a 32 on the ACT than you do for a 30.

    I agree that the academics are a more important factor than the CFA, as they are worth 60% of the total, but that isn't the point.

    The reason the academies (USNA and USAFA use the same CFA test as USMA) have stuck with this CFA for so long, even though it seems goofy, is because it distinguishes those candidates who are committed to doing well on all aspects of the application process, from those who are less so. Those with the vision quest towards gaining a WP appointment will not even need to participate in this intellectual discussion, as they will leave no stone unturned, and will practice the CFA with feverish discipline, as they will with the ACT/SAT, essay questions, nomination applications, and everything else. That's what leaders do.

    There are many who won't be admitted and who won't know whether if they had done one thing or another with more of a commitment, effort or discipline they would have received an appointment. But the guy or gal who does everything at maximum commitment and effort will not have to ponder the question, and will know they gave it all on everything they could control. CFA and ACT are two things that anyone can improve on with effort and commitment.

    There is zero dispute that the cfa is worth 10% of the total score. I honestly can't believe there are so many here that suggest it is of only nominal importance. For those candidates out there reading this, time for you to make a judgement and decision how much it is worth to you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Ted75, Gianime and 1mountaintop like this.
  18. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    541
    brovol, I do believe you have a Cadet in class 2019? So your information is current. Yes there is a 10% percent mathematical calculation to create ones WCS. If a candidate in is a competitive area and the NOM uses a "principle" slate the CFA is just that, pass or fail. The SA is obligated to select the principle. If it is a "competitive" slate then the SA has a little bit more ability to choose. The candidate really needs to focus on academics. If they don't have a good foundation on math, chem and physics, the Cadet will have a very difficult time. For all our readers out there, you will be taking a minimum of 18 credits to 23, 24 depending on your major for the next 47 months. That is a grueling pace.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  19. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    25
    Brovo brovol!
     
  20. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    My son is a 2020. He is at Beast now (for one more week.....yes!).

    I agree with you 100%, if someone has a principal nomination. But most MOC 's use a competitive nomination process, and my analysis is based on a competitive slate, or wait list.

    I always agree with you tugboat, so I won't argue with you here. But I stand by my comments.
     

Share This Page