Interesting Fact about USMA and the SAT/ACT

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 160thWannabe, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    So I'm a cadet with the Class of 2018 and as a member of the Cadet Public Relations Council I ended up sitting at a table with Colonel McDonald (Director of Admissions) and MAJ Smith (Great Lakes Regional Commander). We were discussing admissions with a bunch of educators in the Thayer Hotel and COL McDonald mentioned something that I thought might be worth sharing. Turns out that USMA Admissions acquires all of the essays from the SAT and ACT and has the English Department review them all. I didn't know about this as a candidate and I don't know if this is common knowledge or not but I figured that some of you would want to know. I'm mentioning this so that maybe it'll push some of you guys to try that much harder on your essays. Best of luck, and in anticipation of this weekend, BEAT NAVY!
     
  2. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Thank you for this info. So must a candidate complete the essay portion of the ACT or SAT everytime he/she takes those tests or can a candidate just do the essay portion once?
     
  3. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    You just have to do the essay portion once.
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My kids would have been in trouble; they considered the writing portion of the SAT to be a total waste of their time. No kids born in the last decade of the 20th century would ever take a pencil to paper to write anything. So, in true fencerfamily fashion, they just wrote about what a waste of time this was for them instead of answering the question "What makes you happy?" ("Not wasting my time would be right up there with my own box of Fruit Loops.")
     
  5. ClimberGirl

    ClimberGirl Member

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    This is fascinating. Thank you for the information! I am a candidate for the class of 2020 in the Great Lakes region. Interestingly enough, I retook the ACT in September and when I got home I found my Letter of Assurance from Colonel McDonald in the mail.
     
  6. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Do mind sharing your ACT score as sort of an unofficial guide?
     
  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Question for OP. Do you know if the English professors also review the candidates essays contained within the USMA application?
     
  8. ClimberGirl

    ClimberGirl Member

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    Absolutely! Before my retake (what USMA used for my LOA)
    Math: 27
    English: 27
    Reading: 24
    Science: 25
    Writing: 26
    (I understand that these are not high scores for the standards of USMA, so I think my community service and athletics played a large role in my LOA)
    My retake for ACT scores
    Math: 29
    English: 27
    Reading: 28
    Science: 28
    Writing: 27
     
  9. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Great. Congrats and Godspeed to you!
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am not calling you out, but rather trying to make sure some applicants don't get mislead or misunderstand the situation. I seen it time after time where candidates with weak or marigninally competitive scores think that they can ignore their weakness and make it up by improving in other areas like by doing more community service or playing more sports. So your message without a full disclosure or better context reinforces such belief. My personal opinion that doesn't work. If I have take a guess you being a female plus other factors lead to your LOA, not community service and sports.
     
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  11. ClimberGirl

    ClimberGirl Member

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    Though you might have a point about test scores, I am ranked first in my class at school, unweighted GPA of a 4.0 (weighted GPA of a 4.39), I have taken every AP and Honors class at my high school as well as over 30+ college hours. I would not consider my academics weak, especially not after working to get my scores up and my transcript.
     
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  12. Mom517

    Mom517 Member

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    These women are elite!!! They don't just want a seat warmer just because they fill a quota. So to imply, she got in with low test scores just because she is female is obnoxious. It also goes against the "whole person" consideration the SA states they use. The entire decision cannot just be based on one 4 hour test on one or two days. The SA's know by now that it is not an indication of how someone will perform once at the academy, or to lead men/women. If that was the case you wouldn't have 36's or 1600's washing out every year. The commitment and drive that is needed to go to school, hold down a job, be a solid member of a team, going out into the community to serve, and taking 10,000 hours to fill out these applications is a much better indicator. So congrats, kick *** and prove these guys wrong!! You deserve to be there.
     
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  13. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Boy, I am hesitant to chime in on this issue, particularly with the abundance of political correctness, and frankly I like the concept of a diverse military and men and women working together successfully and productively, as they do in any other work force. That being said, the question may be, "would some of the women who are being admitted, or who are receiving LOA's, be receiving the same if everything on their application was exactly the same, except that they we men? And conversely, would some men who are not being admitted or receiving LOA's, but with very competitive applications, be admitted if they were women with the same application? If there is a systematic, or nonsymptomatic, process which takes some over others for no reason beyond gender, OK. Some may believe however, that we should call it what it is; something other than an equitable methodology. Do the ends justify the means?

    I have a son who is seeking appointment. If I had a daughter who was interested I would tell her that now is a great time for a young lady with a great résumé to seek appointment since there seems to be an affirmative push to admit women. I would tell her there is no shame to take advantage of the circumstances of the day. But I have a boy who has a very solid application, and I see numbers of others being admitted early which appear at least on the surface to be far less impressive than the kid in my house who watches his portals daily. And while I understand that there is a lot more to the evaluation than what gets posted on this forum, it take more than a thin skin to avoid scepticism about the objectivity within the process. Jaded? No, not really. But there is a tendency to question, at least during the weak moments.

    No process is perfect, and I am certain all those who have and will receive appointments are deserving. Sincerely. It's just that there are many others who may be at least equally deserving and will not end up with a spot.
     
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  14. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    This thread has gone very off topic.
     
  15. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

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    I would have gigged them for misspelling Froot Loops
     
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  16. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I have a son like yours. He was told from the get go that he was a great "reapplicant." He got his "no," and immediately started the reapplicant process...he was in for the next year. Sometimes it depends how bad they want in.
     
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  17. USMA_ljm

    USMA_ljm Member

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    Completely agree with Brovol as well. I certainly understand the need to attract more diversity to the ranks, just hard to swallow when you're on the white male side of the situation and your son has worked since 6'th grade for the goal. I wonder what the academies do to encourage high achieving diversity candidates to apply, it would seem this would be what you want to do to bring up your numbers over other methods. I'm not complaining, just commenting.
     
  18. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Please don't misunderstand me; I harbor no sense of rejection based bitterness, and my son certainly understands the facts of life, and that competitions aren't always unhandicapped. Frankly, we are still reasonably optimistic he will receive an appointment, and if so he looks very forward to attending an academy and serving in a military which are diverse, and as representative of America as possible. He is glad the academies are not male only institutions. Women are equally capable of the same successes as men and should enjoy equity in all respects.

    I am not antagonistic to there being a process of soliciting and encouraging women and minorities to attend the academies. Just saying that there does appear to be an advantage, currently, for those those under represented classifications in the assessment process. It is what it is.

    But as it has already been suggested, I have probably digressed enough. No intent to offend. Honestly. All those who get admitted are enormously deserving, and worthy of the pride that they and their families share.
     
  19. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You are implying that I am implying. Re-read my posting

    "So your message without a full disclosure or better context reinforces such belief. My personal opinion that doesn't work. If I have take a guess you being a female plus other factors lead to your LOA, not community service and sports."

    So the "other factors" that was not disclosed were.

    We can even further break down as to what type of high school hopenhack attends as to being the #1 at a high school that sends only small percentage of graduates to college carries less weight than a high school that sends the majority of its graduate to college. What is an "Honor" class? Every could be 1 or 10. The admissions process can be very subjective and emotional. Regardless what we think, the fact is that the Whole Candidate Score is based on a formula. Most cases, a candidate with the WCS gets the appointment over a "whole person" candidate with a lower WCS.

    My point was about doing a full disclosure. My intent was to make sure other candidates understand that "community service and sports" won't necessarily mitigate average SAT/ACT scores, not to imply that hopenhack got in because of her gender. The Whole Candidate Score is based on a formula, not a wishful thinking. Yes the admissions office has some latitude to adjust the whole candidate score, as I understand it, but no matter how a candidate might be a "whole" person that doesn't change the formula of the whole candidate score.
     
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  20. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Yikes. This has become way off course. Please please do not share your stats and on the other hand compare yourself to some else. You'll drive yourself crazy. And doing yourself a huge disservice. WP does not have quotas. The have a class composition admin builds establishing goals. Way different. WP for the first time building Class of 2019 raised their goals of female appointments. In comparison to other SA, WP was behind.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     

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