Important Classes Missing?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by wegiveaship, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    I am currently a junior in a very competitive small private high school. I have taken a hard corse load every year, but I don't know if it is enough.

    I have taken chemistry and am in the process of taking physics, but I will not have taken AP for either. Also, I will not have taken calculus by the time I graduate. I will only have gotten as far as pre-calculus. I am more of an english/history type, although I have gotten a solid A in every math class i've enrolled in. I have a range of 25-32 on the math section of the ACT and practice tests. (25 was my first). Will this be a problem in the application process? What can I do to fix it? My summer is packed this year and I will not be able to take pre-calc over the summer. Lets say I do get an appointment (big if), would I be at a major disadvantage?

    Thank you,
    wegiveaship
     
  2. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    You will need to be enrolled in a math class all four years in high school and taken calc by your senior year at a minimum.

    Take a look at the stickies above and/or usma.edu

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  3. hamleton

    hamleton Member

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    I will not lie, this will be hard... But, if your school is VERY competitive, the "regular" courses you're enrolled in may be as/more challenging than an honors/AP course at another less competitive high school. Calculus is a big "want" from the Service Academies, but not a necessity. Your main priority should be to maintain a high class rank (GPA is not part of your Whole Candidate Score, Class Rank is), and you are suggested to have at the minimum a 28 on the Math ACT. I was lucky to be offered an appointment because I got a 27 Math ACT score, but my other sub scores compensated for this lower score. You need to study for the ACT, and I mean study... Saturday or Sunday needs to become "Practice ACT Test Day." It'll suck, I will not lie, but if you receive an Offer of Appointment, it'll ALL be worth it.

    Do not worry about being at a disadvantage, you first need to actually get into the academy :) (not trying to be harsh, just listing off the cold hard facts)
     
  4. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    this is what the FAQ page of USMA says, "To prepare yourself for the academic curriculum at West Point, you should complete four years of English with a strong emphasis on composition, grammar, literature and speech; four years of college preparatory mathematics, to include algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and trigonometry as a minimum; two years of a foreign language; two years of a laboratory science such as chemistry and physics, and one year of U.S. history, including courses in geography, government and economics. If your school includes a course in precalculus and calculus in its curriculum, and a basic computing course, these courses will be helpful in preparing you for your first year at West Point."

    I think that states Calculus is not a required class, although it may be a suggested one. I will have taken honors/AP English all years, honors/AP history, chemistry, physics, computer science, 4 years of Spanish, and economics. So all I will be missing is Calculus.
     
  5. njUSNAHopefulMid

    njUSNAHopefulMid Member

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    Just a note.. My friend only got up to Pre-calculus, only took AP literature as his only AP, and played varsity sports only during freshman and sophomore year. He received an appointment in January.
     
  6. MABlue

    MABlue Member

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    All of the SA's offer an introductory calculus course for a reason. Not everyone who is entering has taken calc, or can pass the validation exam. Yes, i'm sure they will always prefer somemone with a calculus background, but OP could definitely show WP he does have math ability with a 32 or better on the ACT. As hamleton said, you need to study for the ACT, to get to a point where you are scoring a 31 or 32 on every practice test. This will also be helpful when you apply to other colleges.
     
  7. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    My son (2012) didn't take Calculus...he took AP stats his senior year (pre-cal Jr year). He did fine. However, your ACT score is too low. I suggest you enroll in a rigorous ACT prep program. The 25 isn't going to cut it, unless you bring something highly sought after to the table. West Point is heavily math/science, and you have to have the ability to do well in those classes.
     
  8. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    They have taken the ACT multiple times, 25 is the low score, 32 is the high. USMA super scores so they will be looking at the 32.
     
  9. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    It's an ambiguous statement...I read it as the 25 was the actual score and the others were from practice tests. Perhaps OP will clarify.
     
  10. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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  11. Fairhope dad

    Fairhope dad Member

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    My S has a 32 super score with a 27 in math. He also took AP Stats, junior year, made a 4 on the exam. Has a 94 average in pre cal this year. If you have a 32 on your math score I wouldn't worry too much. If you don't I would recommend using your summer to take pre cal anywhere you can. My S has a nomination but no appointment. I think not taking calculus hurt his chances.
     
  12. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    Sorry about the ambiguity.... I took the ACT without studying (as a baseline) and received a 28 composite, with 25 in math. I then had various act tutors, studied a lot, and took the test again in February- still waiting on those scores. (The 32 for math was on a few practice tests after the studying)
     
  13. ArmyMom11

    ArmyMom11 Member

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    Another consideration is to look into dual enrollment at your local community college. One semester of math there is worth a full high school credit and so you can take both pre-calculus and calculus in two semesters. My son took college algebra and then pre-algebra with trig his junior year at our community college. For his senior year, he completed calculus 1 and is now in calculus 2.
     
  14. 16maybt

    16maybt Member

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    From 1-10th grade I also attended a small, rigorous private school that offered a non elective curriculum with no AP courses. After tenth grade I switched to a public school and had my first exposure to AP classes. In my case, the "advanced placement" classes were actually easier than my previous education. I didn't have any APs on my transcript except the few that I took junior and senior year and I was still offered an appointment. Don't worry to much about it. Just give it your best effort. When you send in your school profile make sure it explains that your school is rigorous and does not offer APs. That's what I did.

    As far as Calc goes, the academies don't require it but they recommend that you have a solid foundation in Pre Cal. Sounds like your well on your way!! Keep it up. Good luck!
     
  15. wegiveaship

    wegiveaship Member

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    thank you very much! And I may have been unclear, but my school does have AP. I am currently in 3 honors/AP and will take more next year, I am just not in AP physics of chemistry.
     

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