College Freshman courses

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by anne99, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    We have read here and elsewhere that if you've taken an AP course in a subject in high school and are able to level up in your freshman year of college, you should do that. DS specifically asked his USNA Admissions counselor and he said that unless you are absolutely sure that you will do very well in the class, you should not level up. He said "you may not be challenged, but you'll have a better chance of getting a good grade." He added "if you level up and get a sub-standard grade or drop the class, that doesn't reflect well for the admissions board."

    DS is able to level up in World History, English Comp, Chemistry and Calculus. But he is going to a relatively challenging college (Texas A&M in Nuclear Engineering).

    Opinions?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It's hard to argue with a USNA Admissions counselor.... but let me try.. :D
    I wouldn't think leveling up in World History or English Comp is going to impose any great difficulties... if the term leveling up even applies to these topics.
    I can't speak to Chemistry but College Level Calculus I found to be much faster paced than AP Calc and might pose some difficulties while transitioning to college.
    All that being said, I think it's a decision your DS has to make. He has to own it.
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Agree with Kinnem. The admissions counselors are a direct source of info. And unless you DS feels like they really have a true understanding of the material I would follow their advice. Is he also doing ROTC in the Corps? If he is that even adds to the plate along with reapplying. A solid GPA and high grades in Chem and Calc will really help with a reapplication.
     
  4. Norfolk63

    Norfolk63 privateer

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    The college advisor told DS that AP Calc in high school covers 75% of the course content of the college Calc course. They advised to start at Calc 1 in college even if you scored a 5 on the exam.
     
  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    What's the question?

    The USNA Admissions Counselor is advising on the safest course to demonstrate academic success for an individual that will be attending college while attempting to earn an appointment to the US Naval Academy.

    Are you asking if that is good advice?

    Or are you asking a group of complete strangers what classes they would recommend your college bound student should take because you believe he is more than capable of 'leveling up'?

    What do the counselors at Texas A&M suggest? Assume they at least understand his academic profile.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The advice I've always heard from USNA Admissions for college students is to take the plebe courses. Period. That doesn't mean take the most advanced level of each course that you can find in college. It means to take calc and chem and English and history. Obviously, if you feel very confident in your abilities in one or more of those course AND believe you can handle an advanced level while transitioning to college, go for it. But if you do poorly, no one is going to say, "Well, if he/she had taken Calc I vs. Calc II, he/she would have had an A."

    You may be confusing college courses with h.s. courses. USNA counsels h.s. students to take the most challenging courses they can handle and likes to see students doing well in AP classes because this means they are likely to be better able to handle USNA's tough course load. Different story for college students.
     
  7. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^ I agree. Also makes a difference if you previously got a TWE when applying in h.s. or just now realized as a freshman in college that you want to attend USNA. If re-applying, you need to work on the parts of your resume that got you the TWE in order to be successful when reapplying. I would also agree with following the advice of the USNA admissions counselor. That is the official source of input versus what you may have 'heard' or 'read' from other random people, some of whom my have no idea what they are talking about.
     
  8. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    Thank you for the advice. What I've heard and read may have been from people who don't know what they're talking about, true. But some advice comes from various BGOs. Ultimately, it's up to my son to decide. He did receive a TWE for Class of 2020 and is reapplying. He has not met with college counselors yet. His first meeting will be when he signs up for his first semester. He will be in the Corps, so you're correct in that he will have an extra load on him.
     
  9. GAUSNA2018

    GAUSNA2018 Member

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    From a former college reapplicant and now mid, I suggest following the admissions counselor's advice. Even though I had the AP credit for the same courses, I retook the courses in college. That way next year at the academy, he will be able to validate the courses there which will give him some free time down the road. It just turned out to be better doing it that way.
     
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  10. HopefulDad3210

    HopefulDad3210 Member

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    Wow. The humanities are taking a beating today. "if the term leveling up even applies to these topics". That's cold ... and perhaps a bit narrow-minded.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Jeez. First in general the liberal arts are "easier" than calculus for most people. However, I meant by leveling up not applying that the OP would move on to some topic other than world history, lets say. Maybe they move on to African History or something. It's not like Calc II follows Calc I or anything like that.
     
  12. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    Well....
    USNA had my DS take a battery of math tests on line. He had made a 4 on the AP calculus exam and is very strong in math but still felt the on line USNA exam was no cake walk. Don't know what they will recommend for him yet but since I day is in two weeks I guess he will find out soon... On the same subject my oldest DS is a math major at Baylor about to be a Junior. He had similar credentials on AP calculus in high school. He made a 5 on the AP exam. He decided go ahead and retake Calc 1 at Baylor and not use the AP credit. This proved to be a good decision because it was a pretty easy A in his major and they did get into some new material toward the end of the course that the AP class had not covered. Just considering the load and stress at USNA it might be wise to start off with at least a class or two that wont tax you as hard. Having said that, my DS that is about to report did his best on those math tests so if they recommend him to bump up he will, but if they let him choose he will likely repeat calc 1.
     
  13. hopefulcandidate

    hopefulcandidate Member

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    I'm sorry for bringing this thread back but I just have a question.

    So it's better to take a history class instead of a physics class in college if I'm reapplying? Given that I'm already taking calc 1, English and chem 1.

    And what kind of history class would that be? World history or US history?

    Thank you for your help!
     

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