Competitive?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AFA2016, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. AFA2016

    AFA2016 Member

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    Alright guys, I'm sure you are tired of reading these but here goes---

    I'm a Junior:

    SAT:
    English: 680
    Writing: 640
    Math:590

    GPA: 3.7(unweighted)
    GPA (weighted): roughly a 105
    I'm taking 4 AP classes currently, 6 next year, and 6 pre-ap freshman year, 4 pre-AP sophomore year with 2 AP.
    Rank:30
    Class size: 636
    Percentile: Top 5%

    Activities:
    Varsity Drill Team(JROTC)
    Varsity PT team(JROTC)
    JV Cross Country
    HOSA club
    National Honor Society
    High School Aerospace Scholars

    Leadership:
    Public Relations officer HOSA
    Vice President of FRIENDs (community service organization)
    selected for Girls State this summer

    Community Service:
    Volunteer at local hospital
    enough hours for Presidential Service Award


    OK, that said, should I be shooting for the academy? I've read a few of these and there have been a lot of recommendations for prep school. Any advice would be much appreciated:smile:.
     
  2. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    If you are interested in becoming an officer in the Air Force, then definitely shoot for the Academy if you feel you want that experience vs. a typical college with ROTC. You can't apply for the prep school, from what I understand the AFA recommends you for it if you've applied for the academy and they want you but feel you need a little more work on the academic side.

    Here's a few quick tips, I'm sure others will add on too. Take the SAT again, prepare for it with a course or practice tests etc. Try and get that math score up. Take the ACT if you can also--some people do better on it. You didn't say how your grades are this year in your AP classes, but if you're doing well that's great. Keep your grades up--an upward trend in grades/GPA is good. Work hard on athletics--make varsity cross country a goal, team captain would be good too. I don't have experience with JROTC to know what varsity PT is, but I'm guessing its some sort of athletic competition. Do you do any sports outside of school? Soccer, softball, etc.? Look online and find out about the Candidate Fitness Assessment--you could start working on those events so that you do well come time to take the CFA officially for your application. Make sure you continue your leadership involvement in your clubs--maybe President of FRIENDS or HOSA next year. Girls State is a big plus--you've been selected, make sure you attend!

    Those are just some quick thoughts. Good luck!
     
  3. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    2 things jumped out at me that you could work on:
    1) Math SAT Score - average for the USAFA is in the mid 600's - you need to improve your score; try the ACT's you may do better
    2) Athletics - have you run x country for 3 years? what about doing track? Can you join track for spring? are there any sports you do that are not school related that would strengthen this component? you will need to really work on the CFA and score well if you are weak athletically on your resume.

    otherwise on paper you seem competitive. if your dream is to go to the academy - then apply! you have time to work on any weaknesses

    realize that we are all just giving our best opinions - only the admissions office knows what they are looking for. Good Luck!!
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am with super girl, that Math SAT is low. Remember the nickname for the AFA is the "little engineering school in the rockies". In other words Math is a big deal!

    680 is the avg M SAT. You are very low for that portion. The good thing for you is your V is above the avg (650), AND the AFA superscores. Take the SAT again, but this time divert all of your studying/practice testing to the Math portion only. The reason why is you can get a 560 on V, but the board would still only see 680.

    Also take the ACT because some students do better on the ACT than the SAT.

    The AP issue is a tricky one because there is a difference on how they view your curriculum rigor based on the APs. APChem, is going to be viewed differently than AP Human Geography or AP Western Civilization. You want to have the "foundation" APs; lit, eng, USH, Govt, Calc, and the sciences. They are not just looking at the letters AP and giving more weight for the rigor because it says AP in front of the class. APArt is still an art. AP Western Civilization and no APUSH is going to be weighted equally.

    Additionally, I prefer when students do not do the weighted gpa, because the AFA will re-weight to their own system. Some schools APs get 4.5, some get 5.0. some get 6.0, plus point scales (93 or 90 is an A). Thus, if you state I have a 4.43 wgpa, that means nothing because nobody knows the factors I just referred to regarding how the weight is calculated.

    The AFA will also look at your school profile...how many go Ivy, 4 yr Private, 4 yr IS/OOS, 2 yr, tech or nothing. The more that go Ivy from your school, the more they view your rank and weight differently because it tells them the school is competitive academically.

    EX: You are top 5% in your class, but historically, 25% go Ivy, 60% go 4 yr, and 15% go 2 yr. That tells them your school does not inflate grades.

    For you the low M SAT, high gpa, and you're in Aerospace Scholars, can leave them questioning if the school is inflating grades. They than look at the school profile, and see my example. They can just say, okay it was a fluke that they didn't break 600...maybe they bubbled wrong on the math portion. Now if only 1% go IVY, 25% go 4 yr, 50% go 2, and 24% go tech or nothing, it will appear to them that the school inflates the grades.

    I also agree athletically you look a little weak. Even if you got a job as a lifeguard this summer, you can show that you have more sports in your ECs

    It is important to understand that although this yr has been incredibly competitive, next yr they are intending to appoint even less than this yr, which means it will be more competitive for 16.
     
  5. AFA2016

    AFA2016 Member

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    Thank you for all your advice. The math score is not completely reflective of my best efforts because I had a bad experience with my calculator dying in the middle of the test....on the bright side I just took the march 12 SAT and am feeling much more optimistic about my score. I simply posted what I had so far and I can see what I need to work on now. Athletically, I have some work to do and thank you all for the suggestions. PT is a "physical training" team at my school that competes within jrotc in things like pushups, sit-ups, etc.

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  6. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    Competitive for admission?

    I am a sophomore, am homeschooled, have all A's, and take French at the local high school. I am fluent in German (at a 7th grader's level), took one year of Latin, am in Italian 1 and Spanish 1 (languages are my thing, in case you couldn't tell). I am taking the equivalent of honors classes, some of which are AP. I am in trig and took chem last year and am doing bio this year, next will be physics. My SAT scores are currently 590 for math, 620 for verbal and 710 for writing. I have 2 varsity letters in swimming (at the local hs), and having a good chance of 2 more and becoming captain. Even though I make New Hampshire State Championships in swimming, my times aren't really that fast, and New Hampshire is a small state. I swim on a club swim team year round as well. I am on crew too, but you can't be varsity freshmen year, because we all start as novices, and it hasn't started yet this year. I have life-guarded the past 2 summers and am hoping to teach swim lessons this coming summer. This summer I will hopefully be finishing my Girl Scout Gold Award Project and I joined Civil Air Patrol last fall and am now a Senior Airman. I am definitely interested in a military career, and have loved the orientation flights that I have gotten to do in C.A.P. Do I have a good chance at getting into USAFA?
     
  7. JT20

    JT20 Member

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    Yes, you seem like a strong candidate. Since it is only your sophomore year, just keep the grades and activities up. Look into the Summer Seminar program that takes place in between the Junior and Senior year of high school. Also, practice for the ACT and/or SAT tests. It would be wise to take this as many times as possible. As far as chances, no one can really answer that. You look alright on paper, but that is just a part of it. How will you do in interviews with your ALO, Congressional Nominators? Is this something you really want? There are many factors. If you have any questions, send a message. I am a sophomore going through the exact same process.
     
  8. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    Thanks, good luck.
     

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