CFA question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Mountain_Mom, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Mountain_Mom

    Mountain_Mom Member

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    Youngest son just took the CFA and did well, but didn't max out as he had hoped. Worth training and trying again or is it not weighted at a level to be worth it and time would be better spent on SAT/ACT prep. Thoughts?

    - 2017 Mom
     
  2. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    If it is not his best and he can improve, I encourage him to continue to improve his CFA. Obviously, I don't mean to sacrifice ACT/SAT prep time. Every part of the application is important and carries weight. It's really hard to say that if what he did already is "good enough". You don't know who your competition is for an appointment. It could come down to CFA or it could come down to ACT. So I would say work on both and get the most stellar scores physically and academically that HE can get. I wish your DS the best !
     
  3. BReilly2017

    BReilly2017 Member

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    Keep in mind that I am not a BGO and am just a candidate for USNA 2021 when I tell you the following information.

    To give you a straight answer to your question I would focus on test scores as higher test scores will increase a candidates whole person score more than the CFA. That's just my opinion.

    Each academy weights different sections of the application more than others. I found this report on how USMA weights each section and as you can see on page 25 it says the CFA is only 10% of the total score that is given to a candidate while academics accounts for 60%. That would suggest focusing on improving test scores might be more fruitful in improving your sons total score.

    ImageUploadedByService Academy Forums®1471324198.398933.jpg

    Here is the link to the whole report... It's definitely worth reading on how points are awarded. It goes into great detail on points after page 25.
    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR700/RR723/RAND_RR723.pdf


    Just wanted to say something about the CFA... Might help your son idk.

    You said your son didn't max out the CFA, by that I can only assume that you mean he didn't max out all 6 sections. While that's a great goal and I had the same exact one going into the CFA at NASS, it is unrealistic in my mind to reach the maximums in the basketball throw or shuttle run. That being said, with enough training I think anyone can max out the other 4 events, I almost did (just missed the mile max by 12 seconds).
     
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  4. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    As both replies suggest, therein lies the problem of trying to figure out what/how much each piece of the WCS will count and what your competition will be, therefore establishing which area YOU need to concentrate more upon. There's no doubt that academics is the largest section of the pie for all Academies. In no way can you let down in that area. ACT/SAT scores are of utmost importance as BReilly pointed out. I just want to caution you against taking the stance that ANY part of your application is "good enough". You never know what is "good enough" because of your competition. Your goal for the ACT should be 36, every time you take it. You keep trying to attain that score until you've taken your last one and have achieved YOUR best. I would encourage you to do the same, within reason, for the rest of your application. When it comes down to it, if you have to decide one or the other, ACT/SAT; GPA; Academics should take precedent. But that is one thing that makes for a great candidate and eventually a much needed skill for a cadet: the ability to work at multiple aspects of your schedule simultaneously.
     
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  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    I was always confused as to how much the CFA mattered and it has been reported that the CFA is largely pass/fail so why take it again if you 'passed'.

    A USNA BGO said for USNA it is pass/fail, but you can never be sure what the actual Admissions Committee looks at when they review your file. (I don't discount the broad view of the weighting for GPA/Test scores/ECA's/sports, but I don't buy that it is a hard science). The BGO's comment was that if you are a highly recruited D1 athlete, your CFA score may be less important than if you are home schooled and don't have much in the way of high school sports the CFA might be more important to the Admissions Committee.

    With the exception of the basketball throw and the standing broad jump - the other events are areas that all cadets will be measured/relied upon during BCT, so I would view training to re-take the CFA as not entirely different from preparing for BCT.

    It appears USAFA allows the CFA to be taken multiple times, but view it as much for BCT prep than simply another hurdle to cross in the admissions process.
     
  6. brovol

    brovol Member

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    ACT/SAT is clearly more important, But unless you are literally studying for the test all the time, you should be able to do both. My son did. He had time to work on his CFA, even though he played varsity sports throughout the entire year, was President of NHS, and studied to improve his ACT scores. I helped with his CFA workouts, and it was great bonding, and a good escape from academics. He also had a pull-up bar in his bedroom door, and did pull-ups whenever he had time. Same with push-ups and sit-ups. Those things take only a few minutes. He would do 2 1/2 mile runs typically when he got home from practice. That stuff is good for your mind and soul, in addition to helping your CFA score.

    This issue gets debated frequently, and I argue the CFA is very important, and there is clearly a difference between an average CFA score and an excellent CFA, just as there is a difference between a 28 ACT and a 32 ACT. If academics are worth 60% of the total WCS, and that is split between ACT and class rank (30% each) then each sub-score on the ACT is worth less than 8% of the WCS. Would you think that Math or English, science or reading sections on the ACT are not worth working on? Each is worth less on the WCS. In a close call between candidates competing for a spot a 2% difference between candidates might be a very big deal. And I think frequently there are several competitive candidates competing for one spot.
     
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  7. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    As a current fourth class cadet I cannot speak to the 2021 application process, but assuming it's similar 2020, retaking the CFA is not an option unless you fail it and USAFA requests that you try again.
     

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