LOA and CFA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by wiscyellowjacket, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. wiscyellowjacket

    wiscyellowjacket Member

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    Here is my situation: I am a Junior who has always dreamed of going to the Naval Academy. I have good grades.. 3.989 GPA (Unweighted) with AP and Honors classes, my ACTs are 36 Science, 35 Math, 32 English, and 31 Reading. I am active in sports (Swimming and XC), clubs( MUN, Student Council Forensics), and I was class president Soph, Junior, and will be Senior years. I also volunteer at church, food shelters, and Habitat for Humanity. I am really hoping to get a LOA for 2015, but I am attending the summer seminar, and was wondering of the CFA there can casue me not to get a LOA. That is if my CFA is not super string can that hurt me??

    Thanks

    Go Navy, Beat Army!!!!!! :thumb:
     
  2. sturner11

    sturner11 Member

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    If you cannot pass the CFA within the deadline you will not be going to any Service Academy. Period. The Military is a very fitness intensive environment.

    But if your participating in sports, why would you have any trouble with the CFA? Any half decent athlete can do well on the CFA with a few months of hard work.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First of all, focus on getting an appointment and not an LOA. This year, I had 3 LOA candidates who didn't get appointments.

    As a general rule, LOAs are based mostly on academics. However, if you attend NASS and do very poorly, it could impact you. As stated above, if you don't pass (really, if you don't do well), it will prevent you from getting an appointment, regardless of whether you have an LOA.

    You have 5-6 weeks to get in shape before NASS. I suggest you use that time wisely.
     
  4. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    wiscyellowjacket: Your goal is an appointment, not an LOA. Do not worry about getting an LOA. Work toward getting an appointment. Few LOA's are awarded and no matter how stellar your test scores and how many things you are president of. The wise applicant seeks an appointment, Should an LOA come your way, well, that is like the cherry on top of the sundae. It would be a good idea to get the best CFA scores you can at summer seminar, however, you can retake...........read some of the other threads om this forum for advice on how/when to re-submit scores.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Dadandgrad

    Dadandgrad Parent

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    Agree with the previous posts. I'd like to add that you can "study" and prepare for the CFA just like you study and prepare for other tests like the ACT/SAT. Hit the gym and practice the events, especially the basketball throw. Good luck!
     
  6. wiscyellowjacket

    wiscyellowjacket Member

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    ok...well i don't think I will have any problem passing the CFA...just wondering... Is 10 pull ups...80 situps 65 pushups...630 mile 9.1 shuttle and 62 ft bball throw passing?
     
  7. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    Yeah you're fine with those scores. No one really focuses on getting an LOA, those are really hit or miss. Just focus on the whole candidate package and aim for an appointment.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, on one of the stickies above, I've posted the "average" scores from about a year ago. However, I would not strive to be average.:rolleyes:

    Also, USNA doesn't care about the BB throw. Focus on crunches, push-ups and the run. Not saying you don't want to do well at everything, but those are the events most important to USNA. Be forewarned, however, that if you're applying to more than one SA, the others may focus on different CFA events.
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    My recommendation to ANY candidate with reservations about the CFA is to not attend the NASS. Getting selected for the NASS already means the Naval Academy considers you a viable prospect. Don't spoil it by revealing to them that you are not very physically fit. Instead, bypass the NASS and work on improving your CFA. Do the CFA on your own schedule.

    Many candidates do not realize that they will have to do the CFA at the NASS. And it counts.

    The dirty little secret about the NASS is that it sometimes does more harm than good. If you think there is the possibility you could spoil a good thing - then DON'T go.

    Not attending will not hurt you.

    I currently have twins at the Naval Academy. They were both invited to the NASS. One twin went and the other did not. They both got LOAs, nominations, and appointments. In fact, the one twin that went to the NASS didn't like it very much. He considered a waste of time but that's mostly because he already knew a lot about the Naval Academy. (I'm a grad and he has already heard all the stories.)

    The NASS is more about YOU finding out if the Naval Academy is right for YOU - not the other way around.
     
  10. Ahart7

    Ahart7 Member

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    So your saying dont go if your not ready? because i was accepted but will be far from peak physical condition. This is due to the fact ill be freshly cleared from shoulder surgery, not becuase i didn't put in effort/not physically fit.

    I was told to go anyway, and since i mentioned it on the medical forms it should be ok, but could there be any downsides to this?
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    If you are just off shoulder surgery and you have doubts about how well you would do physically - I would NOT go to NASS. That's just my opinion, however.

    The Naval Academy already thinks highly of you. Leave it at that and start working out so that when you do the CFA on your own, you can get a more impressive score than what you would get at NASS. Plus, what if you re-injure your shoulder?

    Sure, you can always retake the CFA and submit an improved score, but that will only be after you have made a negative impression to the midshipmen who will be conducting the NASS and will also be submitting a report on you.

    The bottom line is that the CFA is not that big of a deal. Of all the things you will be doing in the admission process, it does not carry as much weight as many of the other things. They do not advertise what is "passing." It is just a metric of general physical fitness.

    For instance, my sons are very tall and lanky. Pull-ups are very difficult for them. No difficulties with anything else, however. They are outstanding athletes. They were both very accomplished baseball pitchers in high school. The twin that attended the NASS told me that he was lucky to do 2 pull-ups. And yet, he got an LOA.

    I think the fact that they were 4-yr varsity athletes in high school trumped the poor CFA score. I think a poor CFA score hurts you more if you did not play any sports in high school.

    How many pull-ups do you think a 270lb, recruited offensive lineman can do? He's probably lucky to do ONE. But that will not make any difference to the Academy because they already know he has other athletic attributes.

    Once you get to the Academy, the PRT (Physical Readiness Test), which every midshipman must pass, consists only of running, set-ups, and push-ups. No pull-ups, fortunately.

    I think you got some bad advice "to go anyway" if you are convinced that you will do very poorly from a physical standpoint. Be thankful that the Naval Academy thought highly enough of you to invite you to the NASS and I would graciously turn it down because of some "conflict".

    Many candidates turn down NASS. Sometimes they turn it down because of the expense of travel. My other twin turned it down so as not to leave their summer baseball team without TWO of their best pitchers. One went to the NASS while the other stayed back and pitched for the high school's summer baseball team. Ironically, the son that did not go to the NASS got his LOA in the mail a couple weeks before the twin who did attend.

    In some ways, attending the NASS can hurt your chances more than help. You don't get "brownie points" for just showing up. You have to show up and impress them. If you're convinced you will not impress them - don't go.

    There are always some Plebes who do not do that well during PEP. Some are put into "remedial" groups. If the Academy had known of their physical ineptness BEFORE they received their appointment, they probably would not have received an appointment. But once you're there - you're there!

    Keep working out. Strive to get an appointment.

    Remember, most people who get appointed never went to STEM or NASS.
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    No disrespect to Memphis intended but.....
    my feeling is that if USNA accepts you to attend NASS and you think you would like to go to USNA then you should accept the offer.
    I don't *think* the Naval Academy requires NASS participants to meet any specific physical requirements. IIRC, I have heard of kids attending in prior years while on crutches.

    I think if you have reservations about the physical part - PT - of NASS then you should call admissions and speak with them. Make this decision between you and admissions.

    Finally - I can't and won't speak to Naval Academy admissions - you would have to ask them but USMA will offer an LOA pending a "good" CFA. I do believe that USNA also offers the opportunity to retake the CFA during the application process.

    Finally - if you are active in swimming and cross country - why do you think you won't pass the CFA? If you are in good shape and a varsity athlete (esp in a cardio sport) then with some practice passing should not be difficult.
     
  13. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    I know someone who hurt their shoulder right before NASS. They took the CFA their and scored well in all events but pushups (due to the shoulder injury). A quick letter was sent, and he took the CFA a little later. His NASS CFA didn't count against him. Have you been keeping up with cardio? Ab work? Or did the surgery put your entire body out of comission?
     
  14. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Son was accepted for NASS last year. A few weeks before his session he suffered a broken bone. He was advised not to go, even though he could, as it could only hurt him because he couldn't participate fully. We were advised that he would be marked as a "shirker" even though he was physically unable to perform.
     
  15. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I'm going to agree with JAM here as well. My son was amazed at NASS how many other candidates had never HEARD of the CFA, let alone practiced it or even gotten in shape. There were people unable to take it at all and people who couldn't do a pullup (guys) or whatever. He had practiced it (a lot), but the surface they used for the shuttle run was slippery and he fell on both attempts, giving him a much lower score than he'd wanted in that section. He still passed, but retook it later in July when he'd had a chance to work out more, and raise his pushups/pullups (his weak points) some more and dropped 2 seconds from his shuttle run (yes, a big difference). He still received a LOA in July (actually a couple hours after he resubmitted his new CFA scores!) - way ahead of many others and he was not a recruited athlete.

    USNA allows you to retake the CFA as many times as you want (AF and WP do not). As far as I know they don't hold a lower score against you if you then improve - and to the OP at least, your scores are not low. To the additional poster with a shoulder injury, explain that and when you resubmit your scores later in the summer, there is a comment (extenuating circumstances) section where you could explain the injury and thus your improvement in that area. For the most part the boards don't meet until late in the summer and only a small percentage of applications are 100% complete even by October. I just can't see them holding a lower CFA against you, any more than they'd hold a first-attempt lower SAT score against you that you then improved.

    I think there is so much to be gained from summer seminar, that unless you have been there several times, and know 100% that USNA is what you want, that you would get a lot out of it. The experiences you'll have, the behind-the-scenes look at the academy, and the friends you'll make I think far outweigh worrying about a CFA that you can always retake.

    And I'm going to be the lone dissenter here and express my opinion that it's fine to strive for an LOA. Over and over people on these boards say that it's not the goal; that the appointment is. Okay, fine, I agree, but what is the harm in striving to have the application complete as early as you can, as competitively as you can, in order to increases your chances for the LOA (and ultimately admissions)? I think as long as you realize that only a small percentage of applicants get one, and accept that if you don't get one that you just need to continue working on your application to keep it as updated and as strong as possible, that it's not a bad interim goal to have! :thumb: Everyone says that once you get to the academy it doesn't make a difference if you had an LOA or not. Well, of course not!!! But during the months of Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb when my son KNEW what he was doing while others were hoping/praying for an appointment, it sure made a lot of difference to him then. Doesn't mean he thinks he's better than someone who didn't get an LOA - just thrilled that he didn't have to go through the stress of waiting. I see nothing wrong with making an LOA your first objective, especially if it motivates you to get everything completed more quickly. I can't speak for Navy admissions either, but can say that for West Point this year in our region we were told by the RC that we had 27 candidates who would have received appointments if their applications looked in October the way they did in March. All of whom ultimately did NOT get an appointment. If striving for an LOA will help you get everything done by October instead of January, then go for it! Good luck!
     
  16. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Marciemi, if you don't mind me asking, what were your son's stats like? I honestly think I might have a chance of getting an LOA (ranked #1, 35 ACT, two-time MVP, captain, etc.) but I have nothing to compare myself to.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Advised by whom?
     
  18. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    Sorry to crash your lonesome party, but I AGREE with you.:biggrin:
     
  19. Ahart7

    Ahart7 Member

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    The only thing I'll be behind on is pullups. I was just cleared Friday to work on everything Except pull ups. My pushups and situps will be competitive and my mile should be average at worst ( I expect to run slot at AF SS)

    And the doctor told me that I have the same chance of injuring my shoulder again as anyone else there. I'll be completely healed.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Here are my suggestions:

    If the injury is such that you won't be able to participate in many events such as marching, the mini-Sea Trials, CFA, etc., then I suggest you don't go. You won't get the most out of it and you do risk getting a low evaluatio b/c they can't tell whether or not you are able to do certain things. If you can generally participate, but may not be able to do one or two things, see below . . .

    Contact CGO. Tell them you're thrilled to be accepted, want to go but believe you will have limits (whatever limits your doctor has given you). Ask whether they advise attending.

    Could doing this be held against you? Possibly but unlikely. The above poster who said that not attending NASS will not be held against you is right. Lots of folks don't go for lots of reasons, including financial -- not attending is definitely not an negative. What isn't good is to go to NASS and perform poorly.

    And I can't see CGO holding a medical issue against you in terms of an appointment. You'll be required to get a medical exam as part of the admissions process; if that checks out, your medical status in June 2010 won't be an issue.
     
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