Chance me/ how to improve application

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by wegiveaship, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    Hello serviceacademyforums,

    I am a current junior at a competitve private high school in California's District 2, and have dreamed of attending West Point and becoming an Officer in the United States Army for a couple years now, and have worked hard to hopefully achieve this goal.

    My cumulative GPA for the past two years is 3.55 unweighted, and 3.85 weighted.
    I have always taken a few honors courses, and am taking AP's currently. I do not know what my class rank is as my school does not rank

    I am going to take only the ACT as the SAT is changing.......
    On a practice ACT, I scored a 28 without any knowledge of what would be on the test, and have not even taken geometry or trig. (I am currently taking these classes)
    - I am also working with a ACT tutor to hopefully increase my scores + I have been studying a lot for the real thing

    Athletics:
    -Club Soccer since 6th grade, my travel team was #2 in state for a few years
    -Varsity Soccer since freshman year , hopefully captain this year
    -Jv lacrosse 9th, 10th grade
    -Cross country 11th grade
    -Black Belt in Taekwondo: National Champion forms, gold in Junior Olympics sparring
    + I have been doing many push-ups and pull-ups everyday for CFA. Can run a 6:00 mile

    EC's:
    Member: National Honors Society
    Vice President: California Scholorship Federation
    Expert witness: Mock Trial
    Member: Semper Fi - we make care packages for Marines overseas
    Member: Invenstment Club

    Volunteer:
    Over 125 volunteer hours in my community as well as South America


    Thank you if you have read this far and I would greatly appreciate any help on how to make this application stronger as I know it is extremely difficult to get into a service academy. I have always wanted to serve in the United States Army and has always been a dream of mine to attend The United States Military Academy.

    Thanks again,
    Wegiveaship
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    USMA candidate evaluation is about 60% academics, 30% leadership, and 10% physical. If you school doesn't rank, double check with your counselor as some schools release class ranking to colleges, USMA will use your ACT/SAT in-lieu of your class ranking. So SAT/ACT doubles its importance if your school doesn't rank.

    There are not extra credits, so maxing the CFA will max you out at 10% of the evalaution. Spending hours and hours to improve your CFA score beyond good might not be wise use of your time. Recommend putting your effort in where you can make most improvement value wise. So if you have additional one hour a day to improve yourself, between academics, leadership, and physical, what should you work on?
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Land that team captain slot. With that your leadership might be sufficient. If you can land other leadership roles, do so.

    A word about the CFA. I don't know how you're training but the CFA will have you doing push ups, pull ups, sit ups, shuttle, bb throw, run. If you're not doing all these at once in sequence with the run last, then expect your run time to go up. The BB throw requires skill and prior practice. You don't mention doing sit ups at all. Find the proper form for the CFA and practice.
     
  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Please read the stickies at the top of the USMA forum page for lots of useful advice. Take a look at the class profiles and see how you stack up.
     
  5. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    So if one attends a school that does not rank, GPA/transcript has no bearing on one's WCS? Ie, someone with a 1600 SAT at a school with no ranking and straight C's through high school in regular classes would be a notch ahead of someone with a 1600 SAT that's number 3 in a class of 1000 and took 20 AP classes and got all A's.

    OP, about the CFA here is what a former RC said about it:
    "Take the CFA as many times as you wish. However, bear in mind that it constitutes only about 10% of your overall file strength... once you've passed it, I'd recommend you leave the score alone. Your time would be better spent studying for & retaking the SAT/ACT than practicing for hours a day trying to throw that damn basketball a few feet further (and risking blowing out your rotator cuff in the process)."

    **Edited to remove link
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2015
  6. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Attend a West Point Academy Event or Academy Day / Fair in your area and continue to ask questions. September is a busy month for events.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Perhaps. As a FFR, I usually don't ask my RC specific questions about WCS scoring mechanism. RCs don't disclose all the inside information to FFRs. If I have to guess, there might be system to adjudcate the situation you described. In my opinion, the WCS is designed to minized outliers and focuse on the majority, not outliers. Also, I think it is impossible to have a system that fairly addresses all outliers.

    The problem statement is how does West Point fairly evaluate a candidate from school that doesn't rank when West Point uses SAT/ACT scores and class rank instead of GPA to determine academic performance and SAT/ACT scores?

    Option 1 - use SAT/ACT scores only. Issue: might give advantages to a good test taker that attend a school that doesn't rank. Consideration: How many applicants are great students (i.e. all A's, AP classes, etc) but bad test takers.

    Option 2 - use GPA and/or AP classes instead of class rank. Issue: might give advantages to applicants that attend schools that inflate GPAs or offers AP classes. Consideration: what type of schools offer AP classes.
     
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  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    USMA knows ALL about your school, and pretty much every other school out there. Quit fussing about "oh my! do they know my school doesn't rank students?" This is not your concern.

    The only time such a situation MIGHT come into play is if you are in a brand new school (for instance, a newly chartered cyber school), or if you are a homeschooler.

    You seem to have enough ECs but I do see a lack of leadership. Get on that (and quit worrying about "my school.").
     
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  9. anneluck

    anneluck Member

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    Our school doesn't rank, but it does say "top 5 or 10 or 20%". Hopefully that's equivalent to class rank?
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    anneluck, don't worry about this. When they look at your package, if they have questions, they'll ask you, or your GC, or someone else who knows about your school.
     
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  11. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses!

    Just an add on, could someone tell me how you think I would stack up -chance me- when applying?
    (And yes, I have looked at past class profiles and have researched the school thoroughly)
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    If you've already done that then you have a good idea of the answer. No one here can really chance you. A lot depends on where you live, what your competition looks like, and other factors no one here can know. The best we can really do is point out strengths and weaknesses. Having an answer to the question doesn't really matter. What would you do differently if you had an definitive answer? The only thing you can effect is to put the best application together that you possibly can. If someone were to tell you that you're definitely going to get an appointment, would you slack off on putting the best application forward? Really?
     
  13. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    That is a good point, so could you please point out some strengths and weaknesses?
    -constructive criticism please- Even though I have read all the class profiles a third party is always helpful.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think we did exactly that above. Leadership can be improved. SAT/ACT scores can always be improved. 28 might be good enough but then again it might not. I'm not sure what else you're asking for?
     
  15. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    No, That's good. thank you everyone!
     
  16. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    wegiveaship -- try to go to Boy's State/Girl's State the summer after your junior year (ask your guidance counselor about it -- a school will usually send 1-2 students; if your GC doesn't know about it, you can contact a local American Legion). Also, apply to SLE (Summer Leaders Experience) when you start your WP application. It's open to high school juniors only, done during the summer after your junior year, and would give you a good look at WP from within if you are selected. It is competitive and there are only 1000 students chosen each year.
     
  17. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    Thank you ca2, my councilor knows a lot about Boys State. We have had students go every year, as SLS, I will apply in January.
     
  18. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Be sure to include high school language classes in the mix.
     
  19. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    What do you mean by that Midwest? I am currently in Spanish 4
     
  20. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I would still recommend that you take the SAT at least once, even though the test is changing. There are always some kids who do significantly better on one over the other and there is no way to know if this is the case, if you don't at least try it.
     

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