I'm worried...

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by mikeandike007, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. mikeandike007

    mikeandike007 New Member

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    I am currently applying to the academies and am worried about my chances to get into the academy.

    I normally get As in Bs in my honors and AP classes, however I have always had issues with math. I am in the first marking period of AP Calc and I have C right now. I am putting my all into it, but it seems like I might get a C or C+ for the first marking period. Is my academy run all over now or do I still have a chance of making it?
    I currently have a 3.87 GPA.

    Any sort of help or advice would be much appreciated...
     
  2. 4for40

    4for40 Member

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    This is not a direct answer to your question but I hope it's helpful all the same. I am also taking AP Calc and not finding it easy - struggling with a high B but will be pushing as hard as possible for an A. I recently purchased Calculus software that enables me to check my work. There is a special calculus bundle that includes a study guide. So far I have found this software very helpful: https://www.maplesoft.com/products/Maple/students/ Good luck.
     
  3. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    Relax and keep trying. My DS took AP Cal and AP Cal BC his sophomore and junior years in high school. He made a C one semester and a D one semester in those classes. He did make a 4 and 5 on the AP Exams. He was asked about the grades in his interviews and used the question to explain why he struggled and what he learned from the grades. He also was able to explain he mastered the material by his AP exam scores. He is a class of 2020 cadet. Do your best, apply, and be prepared to answer questions in areas of your application where you might not be as strong as other candidates.
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You certainly will not gain either a nomination, nor an appointment.... if you don't apply.

    How can we tell you about any chance with your tiny snippet of information? Maybe you are the state star hockey player? Maybe you are the owner of your own small business? Maybe you have overcome every adversity?

    All we know about you is that you are struggling with math.
     
  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    If you struggle with high school math, is usafa the right choice for you? Usafa is 4 years of calculus based courses regardless of your major.

    I certainly agree you can be appointed even with C's in a couple of classes, but I would reflect if it is in your best interest to pursue knowing what the course load is all about
     
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  6. Zandercott

    Zandercott USAFA

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    it's sad so many people make discouraging comments on this forum
     
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  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    How is checking your work not cheating?
     
  8. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    It is a study aide, not used when taking exams, so not cheating. Simply helps reinforce that you are doing problems correctly and/or explains how to solve problems if having difficulty. I used the software in a college level Calculus class when working on graduate degree and it was quite helpful especially after many years of not taking math.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ummmmm... You can cheat on homework, projects, etc.
     
  10. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    I highly doubt that the recommendation to try the software was to encourage cheating in any way. Sometimes not understanding a concept can simply be not grasping the method being used to teach said concept. Therefore, if a software program or study guide can offer another way to learn than why should it be looked upon negatively? I say use whatever sources available to understand the material so it can be applied to homework, exams, projects and future classes!
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I lost more classmates to "understanding materials" in unauthorized ways than cheating on exams.

    "Oh, I realized I didn't understand the concepts at all, so I used my program and 'understood' it better to 100% on my assignment."

    or

    "Well, I didn't understand a lick of this assignment, so I'll just take the zero."


    Which do you think would happen?
     
  12. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    Obviously they were cheating themselves. One must decide how to use the resources available to them for learning and not for cheating. Just because something can be used to cheat by some does not mean that is the choice all will make. Hard to pass a class by cheating on assignments and then failing exams, eventually it catches up to you! Not to mention there is a thing known as honor code which the majority do take very seriously. I understand you may just want to play devils advocate, but OP may really just want to learn the material so he can pass his class with a decent grade, get into his dream school and be able to handle the rigor of future math classes. Encouragement is a whole lot more productive than assumptions and accusations. Have a great night.
     
  13. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    LITS I am sure the suggestion was not to cheat. My recommendation is just to clarify what is allowed with the teacher to avoid any confusion. In many of my graduate physics courses we are allowed and even encouraged to use SOLUTION manuals, because sometimes seeing the problem solved is the best way to learn how to solve it.

    As for chances, as others have said, no it isn't an automatic no, but we can't tell you your chances, no one can.

    Calculus is tough, but if you plan on attending a service academy, well worth the time to learn. Does your teacher offer extra help? Is there a student doing well you could work with? I tutored my little sister over the phone when she was in freshman calculus. Sometimes all it takes is a slightly different explanation so the more people you work with who understand it, the more likely you are to get it.

    My point is, it's not too late. Get creative, get some help, and keep working your tail off.
     
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  14. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Nice try, but USAFA only requires two semesters of calculus and a limited number of classes after those use calculus. I struggled through math in high school, clawed my way to a C in calculus at a civilian school, and I've managed to make it into the top 10% of my class here. If you want to be here, you have to be decent at math, but you don't need math prowess beyond Calc II unless you intend to go into a technical major.

    Before you try and say that a bunch of core classes use math, they do-but nothing too tricky. The five classes that really use trig/calc (Calc I/II, Physics I/II, Engineering Mechanics) are manageable, and the other core classes that require some math ability (aero, astro, stats, ops research, etc) honestly don't require anything more sophisticated than you'd see on the SAT/ACT. I haven't used calculus in any meaningful form since first semester 3* year.

    Don't get too frustrated, OP. If you can turn your grade around in AP Calc, you will likely be just fine here making it through core calculus.
     
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  15. mikeandike007

    mikeandike007 New Member

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    Thank you for those of you that responded... I am going to try my best and doing the best I can. To those of you applying I hope to see you there someday!


    *Edit- I am also an Eagle Scout and a Varsity XC runner so I am not sure if that helps at all...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  16. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    AP Calculus is hardly "high school math".
     
  17. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Both my Sons said our high school Calculus teacher was harder than college.
     
  18. Scratcher

    Scratcher Member

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    Mike. You're just fine. Do your best and get those applications done! Do well on your CFA and SAT/ACT. 13,000 start the application, 6,000 finish the application, and only 4,000 will be fully (medically) qualified. Control what is within your control!
     
  19. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    Again - do your best. My DS had a great AP Cal and AP Cal BC teacher. However, the guy gave the college exams but didn't allow the same two hour time frame to complete them. He also didn't grade on a curve. The class average for Cal was a C and Cal BC a low C. My DS made a B/C in Cal and a D/B in Cal BC. He also made a 5 on both AP exams so he understood the material. He validated Cal I during BCT. Cal II is tough and he has a C at mid-term. He said the material isn't killing him, but time management is tough so doing enough homework to make an A/B isn't there yet.

    Do your best and control what you can control. Be prepared to talk about your lowest grades in high school and do not say "I struggle with math or It was the teacher". Take ownership and discuss why it was hard, what you did to succeed and what you learned from the class. There are plenty of current Cadets who made a C or worse in a class in high school.
     
  20. strakerak

    strakerak Member

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    Took College Calculus 1 and 2 Senior Year. Got a B then a C. Currently retaking it at USAFA and I'm insanely bored (and not doing well)

    You can still get in. Try your best and Calculus isn't the only factor, trust me.
     

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