Letters of Recommendation

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jlwilkes101, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    Long story short, I do not feel comfortable asking my chemistry teacher for a recommendation. I know people on here have said that a teacher would not say negative things if they knew your goal was to go to west point, but... she would. I was unable to attend SLS (or any of the other summer seminars I was supposed to) because she was the only one of my teachers unwilling to accomodate my leave of absence, and I couldn't afford to let my grade drop in her class as signifigantly as it would have if I left. Additionally, I recently got a concussion and had to miss school, and she emailed me with the message that now was not the time to slack off. At the time, I was unable to even leave my room because of sensitivity to light...
    Anyways, would it be harmful to my application to ask my physic's teacher for a recommendation next year? The problem, of course, is that he wouldn't know me as well (not that my chemistry teacher actually knows me, of course). And it would delay my application, which I know isn't good. Ideally, I would ask my biology teacher from sophomore year, but I keep hearing that I can't :frown:
    And as for the English and Math teachers, do those have to be from junior/senior year as well? I know I want to ask my English teacher from this year, if it was possible I'd want to ask my sophomore year math teacher. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    You can get SOEs (teacher recommendations) from any Math, English and Physics OR Chemistry teacher from 9th through 12th grade.
     
  3. Granuaile

    Granuaile Prospective - 2017

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    Whoa... She sounds TERRIBLE.

    If I were you, I wouldn't risk asking her. You can get to know your physics teacher next year if you work at it by going in to get extra help ALL THE TIME and just generally talking to him, talking in class, spending time with him (does he supervise a club you could join?), and stuff like that.

    Of course, make SUPER sure that you do your absolute best in physics concerning classwork and all. You're right, you can't ask your bio teacher. Getting a fabulous grade in physics is probably the best thing you can do for a good letter of rec.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
  4. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    I could be over reaching here, but when the academy begins to check into a prospective cadet. I would they go the the student's school and check them out. To that end don't you think, they could end up talking to a teacher you may not want them to talk to. Just a thought. I know of a few instances, where my DD graduated from this here. University checked into students and spoke with teachers that students, didn't want them to. Some were affected, by this.

    RGK
     
  5. lokichaos

    lokichaos Member

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    No USMA does not go to your school and talk to your teachers about you. They just ask for the evaluations from them. I am also applying for USMA this year and I originally asked my 9th grade math teacher to do my letter of recs, but they were REALLY bad, as in grammatical errors bad. So I talked to my current math teacher as a junior. I was doing bad in his class but by the end of the year I pulled my grade up to a A-. He did a really good job on the letter of rec, despite me thinking he didn't like me. You should defiantly go with the person you are more comfortable with because USMA does an email evaluation where the teacher fills out a form, as well as one over the phone. By the way did your SSK open yet?
     
  6. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Over the phone? You are not even required (it is optional) to put the phone!

    The SOEs (or Teacher Recommendations) are a 12ish question form, in which the teacher only marks from 5 through 1 (strongly agree to strongly disagree, or vice-versa).
     
  7. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    BillSL is right about the SOE being a form.
    There is a box at the bottom where the teacher can write a few comments, but it is not what you traditionally think of when you think - teacher recommendation.
    Your 3 chosen teachers will not send in a letter.
    You send WP their email address.
    WP will email them the SOE.
    They will fill it out and send it back electronically.
    You will not see them.
    So - a teacher with bad grammar (which is kind of disturbing) won't have to write anything unless they want to enter a few comments.
     
  8. lokichaos

    lokichaos Member

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    I had heard, maybe I am wrong, that having your teacher do one over the phone it helps when the admissions team when they are giving points to you for the SOE part of your file. Maybe my source was wrong but thats just what I heard, and I was having the teacher write a Letter of Rec for my nomination.
     
  9. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Hmmmm......
    I have never heard of a teacher requested for a SOE being called by USMA.
    Doesn't mean that it has never happened but it is not standard practice.

    Think of it this way.
    14,000 applicants x 3 SOEs per applicant = 42,000 SOEs.
    I doubt that WP will place 42,000 phone calls.

    Thanks for the clarification about who the letter of recs were for. That makes sense that those are for your MOCs.
    There is a difference between the SOE and recommendations for the MOC noms and this thread has some muddy references about recs.
    People may assume a rec reference means something different than the poster meant so thanks again for clearing up what YOU meant. :thumb:

    A word to all:
    Don't rush the MOC applications. It's not like the WP application where sooner is better.
    You can update your WP file, but you usually can't update your MOC file. Once you mail in your MOC nom application - you are done with it.
    You may have some activities, leadership positions, awards, etc that happen your first month or so in school. You will want to put those on your MOC nom application.
    With your WP application, you can send in an update if you have completed your file.

    Just keep up with all of the MOC deadlines and don't let them slip by you! :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  10. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    Buff is correct. For the MOC applications, I delayed mailing them until it was close to the deadline. I checked and rechecked the materials I was sending and worked on my essay until it was perfect. Don't rush to send those in unless it gives you an advantage.
     

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