LEAD Chances-not so good PAR

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Fly_freddie_fly, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Fly_freddie_fly

    Fly_freddie_fly New Member

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    Hello,

    This is my first post. I've been lurking through the forum the past several months as I've been putting everything together. I appreciate all the info I've gathered!

    I'm currently AD-SrA with 2.5 years. I'm hoping I can get some feedback and constructive criticism. I'm applying for the prep school under the LEAD program.

    My high school career was filled with volunteer and extracurriculars. Not so much sports but I stayed fit and had Boy Scouts under my belt as well as band, plenty of church activities and the highest student government positions available through HS.

    I did not focus on academics however. I always knew I was going to be an Airman and didn't bother focusing on academics. I only needed a degree to join the Air Force... Stupid me

    I am 260 out of 480. My GPA is 3.56 (88.6 avg)I passed all of my classes and took a normal curriculum. (Besides a couple higher level classes my freshman and sophomore year)

    My Air Force career is also filled with many large leadership positions and many volunteer activities. I'm a crew chief which kept me very busy and helped me perform really well. I was able to get rank early and win a couple awards since I've been in.

    I took the ACT twice and I currently have:

    Eng-24
    Math-25
    Reading-27
    Science-26
    Writing-24
    Comp-26

    Ok scores I believe for the prep school. I'll take it one more time and maybe I can get a few more points.

    My CFA (mock) looks ok IMO as well:

    Throw:65
    Shuttle: 8.5
    Pull-15
    Push-75
    Sit ups-95
    Mile: 6:07

    Obviously nobody knows if I'll make it or not but I'd like to hear any criticism or feedback ya'll may have. Is my PAR too bad to have a chance? Or did a good Air Force career help...

    Thanks for your input!
     
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  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Getting in is one thing...academically staying is another. Your ACT is very, very low. 24 E is typically considered non-competitive.

    I would try and take some college courses to get up to par. The avg ACT is @31 composite. Profs are not going to slow down the class for you to catch up.

    Remember they don't call USAFA the Little Engineering School in the Rockies for nothing!
     
  3. Fly_freddie_fly

    Fly_freddie_fly New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Is this for prep school as well? I was told I was sitting at or above average by my ALO. I know the range is higher for direct entry but since I'm enlisted I'm applying for the prep school only. I'd drop out of the academy if went there now. Even if I did good in HS I haven't been in school for 3 years so I really need that extra year first.
     
  4. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Freddie, agree with Pima about the ACT. You might also try the SAT. Some people do much better on that test. It is worth a try. You don't want to be just average, you are competing for a spot. Take the SAT and then pick the one you do best and focus on that one. Get a study guide and practice taking timed tests. Get a tutor if you have to. Press on. And, thank you for your service.
     
  5. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    Fly Freddie: Thank you for your service and your desire to attend USAFA and become an officer. I encourage you whole-heartedly to apply. I agree with Pima that your greatest need at first glance is to improve those ACT (or SAT) scores. Find the books/programs, etc. to help you study/prepare for testing. Where your scores sit now are a decent foundation to build on. So don't be discouraged but also don't be satisfied.

    Question: I did a search and couldn't find an answer. Is it possible to apply ONLY to the Prep school? I thought everyone applied to the Academy and then admissions drew individuals from that pool of applicants to offer Prep School spots. Is it different for LEAD applicants?
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You might be sitting at or above average overall, but I do wonder if you are avg academically from the ACT scores aspect.

    It is great that you realize you need to get back into the academic rhythm before entering USAFA.
    ~ You will notice many do not place much weight into the HS class rank and cgpa, because there are over 2K HSs in the nation. It doesn't really mean anything unless you know how competitive the HS is...before you say my HS was.... unless you know how USAFA ranks it than it doesn't matter.

    I agree for an admissions aspect that taking the SAT and ACT again is a good idea, but it might be too late for this years board.

    I am not a huge fan of superscoring, basically impo it is learning how to take the test. Back in the old days you could only take it twice before they would avg your score, and it was best sitting, not superscoring.

    Anyway, I digress. These exams really are meant to determine your academic foundation. My suggestion for you would be go to the base education office and enroll in college classes on base, specifically math oriented...higher levels, such as, Stats and derivatives, or at the very least Calc.
    ~ I understand the cost maybe expensive on an E3 salary, but this being the holiday season, you might want to ask the folks/family for cash to pay for the classes.

    My real questions for you would be where do you stand regarding Wing Commander's support? Are you the only candidate at your base applying? If not, are you the oldest candidate?
    ~ Some Wing King/Queens when it comes to things like this (age requirements) will place that into their equation too when racking and stacking. IE. If there is someone else that is turning 22 this year compared to you not being 21 yet, than they may say this is their last shot and you have 1 more year, and all things being equal, that would push them over to the definitely recommend as their number one, and you as def. rec. as one of my top choices.
    ~~ Selection boards are filled with officers and they can read between the lines when it comes to verbage. They know 1 of my top choices means there is someone else in their submission pool that is their number 1.
    ~~~ It is not personal. It just comes down to age and trying to give that 1 member a stronger shot. If they do this than the thought process is next year because of your age you would be racked as their number 1.
    ~~~~ This practice is very common for schools as officers. IE Xtraining from CSO to UPT. If there are 2 or 3 applying for UPT, and one of them will be too old after that board, than it is not uncommon for them to get the nod. When Bullet was an O4 (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), if eligible to apply for ACSC (PME), you would have 3 yrs to apply. In the 15E community it was well known that you would not be ranked as number 1 until year 3 or at the earliest if you were about to PCS. You just did not expect it any earlier than that because that was the system...you still had time, and if picked up, well...great, but that other member needed full support now because the clock alarm was about to go off.

    Just saying, if you don't get it, it might be more from a bigger picture aspect (age being one of them) than being competitive. Nobody knows the pool size for applicants. Last year they may have had 50 and this year they may have 250. One person could have nobody from their base applying and you could have 3. One candidate could have worked directly for a 2 star General, while your wing king/queen is an 06 and would not know you at all even if they fell over you.

    Just keep applying until you can't. Again, if you are not taking college courses now, I would strongly recommend to start come Jan. The door will close for USAFA earlier than OCS. Worse case scenario you go OCS in a few years. Many prior Es are OCS grads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Yes, get yourself going IMMEDIATELY, enroll TODAY, in college classes (AFCC? not sure if that is still available). You'll probably have to take a math placement test.

    Well, there is nothing one can do now to change your high school grades or rank, but let your experience be a lesson to others who just "blow off" the academics of high school because "they're never going to use it." (Case in point: I use algebra almost every day and I'm just a lowly mom) (Not criticizing you; it seems like you have your goals in order now and that is commendable)
     
  8. ddiamond

    ddiamond Member

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    Freddie, This is my fifth post. Like you, I've also been lurking through the forum the past several months and just joined. Your stellar Air Force career thus far does matter and your senior rater's write-up could help. Also, the prep school standards are not quite as rigorous, but I would still re-take the ACT if you can. Do not worry about it if you can't retake. Here is another thing; go to the base education office and see if you can Clep test some tough subjects. They are professionals and will guide you through everything. It can't hurt, and it will certainly help you along your college journey at USAFA or elsewhere. DO NOT give up or get discouraged though, a keep at it.
     
  9. Fly_freddie_fly

    Fly_freddie_fly New Member

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    Already applied the package is pretty much done. Besides the CFA so definitely on the right track. I was able to schedule one more ACT. Our base education office is by far the worst one I've come across and other people agree, based off of their other bases. Unfortunately they are very very little help but I was able to get any help I needed from other sources. Thanks for the reply :)
     
  10. Fly_freddie_fly

    Fly_freddie_fly New Member

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    In response to applying just for prep school: This option is for enlisted only. There's an box on the 1786 that'll ask how you want to apply.
     
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