Is Class Rank and Test Scores the only academic determinant?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by queserrva, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. queserrva

    queserrva New Member

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    Hello everyone!
    This is my first post here, please don't flame me if this has been asked a million times. I was speaking to an admission representative today, talking about their criteria standards. I knew that they weighed it as 60,30,10. But what the representative told me was that within the academic portfolio, all they care about is class rank and test scores. He told me that they do not take into account for the difficulty of classes or number of AP courses. This came to me very surprising. I think that it is not fair at all to a student that has a very stressful workload versus another with a laid back schedule. Can anybody confirm this?

    Thanks
     
  2. candidate2014

    candidate2014 Member

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    When I was at SLE they said they definitely take into account the difficulty of the course load. It would not make sense otherwise!
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    How can West Point tell the difference between Honors English at one school vs another school's Honors English?

    Should West Point penalize a student that attends a very small school that doesn't offer any AP classes?

    My understanding is that class rank also carries relative weight of what percentage of seniors goes onto college. So being #1 at a school that sends 90% to college is different from being #1 at a high school that only sends 50% to college.

    Is it wrong to assume that high schools are not stupid enough to have a class ranking solely based on GPA?
     
  4. queserrva

    queserrva New Member

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    Thank you for replying. From my understanding, my high school solely bases class rank from our GPA.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If so you seek a balance between taking classes to get high GPA while taking some hard classes. Yes your primary goal is to get an appointment, but you do have to prepare yourself academically. A empty victory if you get in but struggle academically or fail out. Without a solid academic foundation a high chance of failing out as you won't have time to catch up. Free timid very precious at WP.
     
  6. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    AP Classes.....

    It’s a catch 22 in a sense. Don’t think all that time spent enduring AP class work was all for nothing. (more on this latter) Yes, there are high schools that do not offer the opportunities you had such as AP level classes. Therefore, in WP eyes it doesn’t matter. What is more important is class ranking and then GPA. But if you don’t have a high GPA you class rank will be lousy. This will also be reflected on your ACT/SAT test results. Now we start to see how important it is, and how difficult it is to pull all three together. Sometimes high schools don’t rank their pupils, however, colleges (especially the Service Academies) will look at educational list that rank high schools by school districts, city districts, county districts, state districts, area districts i.e. Western States. and compare them to school across the county by city populations. So they can figure where you compare to how well you’ll do at WP.

    So back to all those AP classes. Lets say, for example, you receive the QNS (Qualified Not Selected) letter. What do you do now? How is that Plan B going? I hope you have been working on it too. WP and the other service academies set a standard that is high enough for you to qualify for at least the top 10% colleges from coast to coast. If you do decide to reapply, you will have a better understanding of the process. And you’ll be a year older, a year wiser, hopefully continued with you education and take classes that reflect a Plebe year course work.

    You get my drift? Your continued educational process is an investment in yourself!

    Push Hard, Press Forward


    Prove to West Point you have the grit they’re looking for!
     
  7. USAF-RETIRED

    USAF-RETIRED Member

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    Nationally Ranked School All A's for 4 Years 94 GPA (not in the top 30%)

    DS has 2190 SAT Score 770 CR 680 Math 740 Writing. 32 ACT Score 3.8 GPA at the Number One High School in the 7th largest city in the U.S. Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report Top High School List. 98% of students go on to college. Senior schedule is 5 AP Classes, Cross Country, and Science with Lab. His class rank with a 94 GPA barely breaks the top 35%. According to what I am reading he will be penalized? Say it isn't so! If he was home schooled would he be 1st in his class? I have to believe that it's more sophisticated that simply comparing class rank. Not all schools are the same. Has anyone out there experienced this?
     
  8. 845something

    845something Member

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    This is why there are RCs. It is their job to take this extraneous information into account when no one single algorithm can and apply it equitably throughout the district, state, region.
     
  9. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    @retired

    What you and DS has experience is very similar to what my DS experienced two years ago. Their stats are very close. Since we live in a very competitive area he received the dreaded QNS letter. He attended a prep school and that made the difference as well as meeting with his RC. I would encourage you to look into a prep school as a Plan B if he is not selected this year.

    Please feel free to ask questions about options available such as AROTC, prep schools and so forth.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    There are unknowns and limitation on what the admissions office can do. With unlimited resources and time they can dig deeper and I have seen them doing it. But they can't. Not saying your DS is the case, but should the admissions office care about candidates who might have scored good based expansive prep course. I know of a $3000 prep course.

    As for home school and no ranking, the admissions office give more weigh to SAT/ACT.
     
  11. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Your son will not be penalized for going to a very competitive school. The guidance counselor will send in the school profile which shows the classes that the school offers as well as the % of graduates at go on to 4 year colleges. From the information on the school profile, WP will determine how competitive the school is. WP likes to see that candidates are taking the hardest classes that their school offers, which appears that your son is doing with 5 AP classes. But they also expect them to do well in those challenging classes - ie earning A's or B's.

    I know someone who had this exact same situation and the candidate was told that their class rank would be adjusted to a more favorable one.
     
  12. lemlac

    lemlac New Member

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    Our experience for USMA from watching our son apply and prepare for 4 years, is simply, get the high SAT, ACT score. , it's academics first, unless you are a recruited athlete or in the underrepresented groups(racial, gender).

    They have over 15,00o apply and, as it was put to us at an academy recruitment meeting, they are just looking for reason to toss the application so they can weed them down to meet that 1400ish class number.'

    We were told point blank, that if you are not an recruited athlete or in the racial minority or female category, you need at least a 32 on the ACT to be considered.(that is current criteria--it could change if the number of high test score students goes down)

    You also have to consider where you live and how competitive the area. The academies like to choose students from all areas of the country, so if you are from South Dakota, where not many might apply due to the population, you may be given a look should you have a slightly lower scores.

    Also, you need to consider that they are looking through so many applications and the more boxes you can check, the less likely you will be thrown out as they edit it down to make a reasonable number.
     

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