Got Nomination but....

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by buster_sit!, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. buster_sit!

    buster_sit! Member

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    My son got a Congressional Nomination (not primary) to USAFA, USNA and West Point!! USAFA has recently asked him to redo his Physical Fitness Assessment. When he did his first one, he abdominal cramped in the sit up portion which affected the remainder of the test. Needless to say he did not do well...even though he was a starter on his HS football team, and they were training for their championship (which they WON) game. He has now jumped to hockey, which is also extremely physical. We know he HAS to retake that PFA, but are worried that he may not do well again. He lifts weights every morning and practices on the ice every afternoon. There is little "down time" to rest up for the PFA. He is 6'3" tall with a muscular large frame (215 lbs).

    I am worried that this may make the USAFA overlook him as being not good enough, even though he is very physically fit and healthy and very active.

    I want to get someone's thoughts on this? Do you think they are looking for overall improvement, or are they looking for much higher scores?

    A three sport athlete is exhausted after all the workouts, games and practices. His PFA may look "bad", but is his overall picture taken into consideration? (I really wish they would post the minimums they are looking for!)

    Thanks for your honest input. We were so excited about the nominations, and then discouraged about the retake request. Any advice is appreciated!
     
  2. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    PFT

    Hi
    If he wants to be at the service academy (regardless of which one) he needs to do well on this test. Nothing he is doing in high school sports is as important as this. If he needs to take a few days off to get the score he needs, so be it. My DS who was a drafted athlete had to retake his as well. Do what ever is necessary to get ready and get a good strong score.
    Regards
    John
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They are looking for passing scores. May be time to decide to take a few days off for rest regardless. We're talking the rest of his life, or at least the next 8-10 years, and a couple days break for hockey seems to me to be small in comparison. I would expect his coach would understand.

    OTOH maybe he just wasn't properly hydrated that day. Maybe it was something else. I'd present the above to him and let him make his own decision. But get that retake done! :thumb:
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    FYI. Normally, the CFA is done one time and that's it. If it isn't good enough; combined with the rest of your application, you get a TWE (Thin white envelope) that says: "Thanks, but no thanks". (Actually, it's a lot more polite than that.

    Once in a while, the academy finds a candidate who has a really good application, but they didn't do very well on the CFA. While not normally done, the academy occasionally will request that the applicant "RE-DO" their CFA. Only the academy can request this. The applicant can't ask to re-take it.

    In other words, if the academy is asking that the CFA be retaken, then they definitely think highly of the applicant. Normally, they'd just say better luck next time. So being offered to take it again is a definite POSITIVE. Not a guarantee of an appointment, but VERY POSITIVE.

    As for "Not doing well again". That's out of anyone's control but the applicant. If you don't get a passing score, it won't be waivered and you won't receive an appointment. Just like a nomination. You could have a 4.0gpa in ALL IB/AP classes; a 36 in ALL ACT scores; and 800 in ALL SAT Scores, be #1 in your class, bla bla bla bla bla....... If you don't get a nomination, you DON'T get an appointment. So; make sure he does well in the CFA. If they think so highly of him to allow him to redo it; (Because he didn't do well the 1st time); then at least get the average scores. You know what those are. (If you don't, click on the link in my signature block and download the brochure. It's in there). If you got the average on everything, then obviously that would at least be passing. Again; it's the CFA score combined with the rest of the application. The rest must be pretty good because they're given another chance at the CFA. If the rest wasn't good, they wouldn't waste their time. Best of luck to your son. Mike....
     
  5. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    FWIW, it sounds like

    your son is an all-around great kid, student, and athlete. However, if he can't do what he needs to on the CFA its all for nought. Many of us have 3-sport athletes, my son happens to be a national level player in his sport, and all-state level in another. BUT, I can assure you, the CFA is designed in such a way that you MUST train for it. Like the Academy wants all-around Leaders, one must be an all-around fit person of strength, coordination, endurance, and fitness to do well. It isn't normal to be throwing bballs, doing pull-ups, sit-up, push-ups, sprinting, and also running miles. These are case-specific events one much be ready for, and performed in a row. Taking a rest is a good idea, but so is training for these 'ups', and running. If one doesn't, being all-world and failing the CFA is going to be a big fat waste of an otherwise great candidate, to the AFA. Good luck, this is the future.
     
  6. mdanderson

    mdanderson Member

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    The CFA is only part of a candidate's score. My DS (class of 2013) did not do particularly well due to injury and performed lower than the average on two sections. He still received an LOA (and was NOT a recruited IC) I have a son who is a current candidate, and the same thing occurred. He maxed some of the components, did poorly on the run--yet received both a nom and early action notification yesterday. CFA does not make or break a cadet's appointment--it is just part of the package. As CC points out, they clearly feel your son is qualified in other areas. My 2013 grad was always fond of the term "technically" when referring to decision making in general at the academy--e.g."technically" passing all of the sections of the CFA is required for an appointment. In reality there are always exceptions, while there are some things that are truly black and white within the process; it does not seem that this is one of them. Has he spoken to his admission counselor or ALO to receive a bit more insight on his particular situation? That might really help to clarify things. Good luck!
     
  7. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know Member

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    Failing the first CFA is not a good thing. If you were permitted to do a retake, read your "Instructions to Candidates" You will find the information you are looking for there.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    He just needs to re-do it. This is part of the journey of discovering how badly he wants this. He is obviously a good athlete. I was a basketball player. In season I could run up and down the court for days... ask me to run a few miles it sucked. Out of season no problem. Athletes bodies adjust to things like skating, swimming (have you seen a swimmer run in season? Most hate it!), or any other sport. Injuries happen, its part of life. He will get injured during indoc and other physically demanding training events. He isn't going to sit on the sidelines for small injuries during those, you take care of your body and keep training. He has the core fitness, study the tips out there push himself mentally and at the end of it if he can say he gave 100% that is all that can be asked. Good luck to him!
     
  9. buster_sit!

    buster_sit! Member

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    Thank you!

    A giant thank you to all of your for your insight on this matter! His ALO said that this is a good sign that they want him, and want to see how much improvement he can show. She too said she has never heard of a second chance on this test. She said that all of the other attributes rounded out make him a prime example of what they are looking for, and they most likely are checking to see if his scores were truly reflective of a cramp.

    He is training the heck out of himself as he has to complete the test prior to January 31st. He has already (in 4 days) shown good improvement.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    My DD had to re-do her CFA four years ago. Her original scores were not up to par. In fact, the way her letter was worded, we didn't know she had to retake the CFA. We called her counselor and clarified. She resubmitted her scores and they still weren't great, but she did show improvement. She received her appointment and will graduate in May. It can be done =)
     
  11. buster_sit!

    buster_sit! Member

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    That is the best post I have read all day! Thank you for the words of encouragement. I am sure you remember all too well how trying all of this can be. You don't know when and how to be excited! I am afraid to assume anything. My DS has so many irons in the fire because of the uncertain nature of this whole process. He has been accepted into a great college program and has been interviewing with ROTC groups to go that route in case he does not get an academy appointment. It is such a whirlwind of activity...always wondering if he is doing things correctly and if we have missed something. But, as I said, I am sure you remember those feelings well! Thank you again for your positive words of encouragement!
     
  12. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Back when I applied to USMA, about a week after I finalized my application and received my congressional nomination, I received a letter from West Point stating that I was an amazing candidate and, essentially, that they really wanted me. However, my CFA scores were abysmal at the time and they made it clear that I would be given one more shot. My scores improved exponentially after working hard for a couple months. But they still weren't good enough. Granted, it was known had I improved enough I would have obtained an appointment. The moral of the story is that he can still get in, as a matter of fact they want him or else they wouldn't request a retake. Just make sure he's used to lots of cardio by the time he takes his retake, as that is the point of the variety of events in short succession, and most of military PT in general.

    PS, I eventually found my way into an SMC and a 4-year scholarship....so theres always a way, trust me! :thumbsup:
     

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