NASS advice, tips, and suggestions

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by mammothchick67, May 20, 2010.

  1. mammothchick67

    mammothchick67 Member

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    To those that attended past NASS Sessions (and those with knowledge of NASS)-

    Do you have any recommendations for this years crop of NASS attendees? How was the PT? Etc... In short, is there anything you wish you had known before going to NASS?

    Thanks!

    a
     
  2. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    The biggest surprise that many NASS attendees get is that a graded (i.e. it counts!) CFA (Candidate Fitness Assessment) is administered. If you feel you have more work to do on this test - don't go to NASS!

    Another surprise is that you will be exposed to what I call Summer Seminar groupies. These are candidates who are attending ALL the seminars of all ALL the academies. Completely unnecessary! Just a waste of time.

    Recently, Vice Admiral Fowler told a Board of Trustees that the NASS does not increase a candidate's chances of admission and probably should not be attended by any candidate who is sure that they want to attend the Naval Academy.

    I totally agree with that assessment.
     
  3. jbowman55

    jbowman55 USNA Parent 2014

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    I disagree. You can still take the CFA again if your score is not good enough.

    Totally true. And expensive. One of my daughter's roommates didn't end up at any Academy. Weird.

    Daughter went to AFASS and NASS-- it was a great help in confirming USNA was the right choice. Nominating sources asked her to apply to more than one academy and she was able to say firmly that USNA was the only one she wanted and she would go ROTC if that wasn't available.

    Maybe. But most candidates would like confirmation that USNA is the right choice and the time at NASS can give them a comfort level.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Actually, performing well at NASS can provide a SMALL bump in admissions. It's not large as great candidates can't attend NASS for various reasons (schedule, cost, other SS, etc.).

    For this reason, not attending is not a negative. Let me repeat that, not attending NASS does NOT hurt you in the admissions process.

    If you do attend NASS and do poorly -- this can be a result of poor attitude, poor fitness, etc., it CAN hurt you. You are being evaluated. That said, USNA recognizes that the people doing the evaluating were plebes about a week earlier.:biggrin: Thus, it is rare for a bad evaluation without justification to carry much weight. IOW, unless you're a total screwup and everyone noticed, a mediocre NASS performance won't hurt you. Probably.

    My advice:

    (1) Be in shape when you go. Yes, you can retake the CFA. But if you can't keep up with the activities or are always the last to accomplish anything due to being out of shape, that will be noticed. A great CFA later on can make up for it, but you start out with one strike against you.

    (2) Don't be a whiner. No one likes whiners. If you don't like a certain element, keep your mouth shut and do your best. It won't last forever.

    (3) Dont be a suck up. The only thing worse than whiners are brown-nosers (suck ups).

    (4) Do your best at all times. It's easy to tell when people are really trying. You may not be great at everything. Welcome to plebe year! If you give 100% in all you do, you'll be cut a lot of slack.

    (5) If you happen to be great at everything, help out your classmates who aren't as strong. Be a team player and team leader rather than a show-off. No one likes show-offs either.:smile:

    (6) Ask questions of others and yourself. NASS is merely a taste of plebe summer. If you really hate NASS, you probably won't like USNA. If you love NASS, you have a decent shot of liking USNA.
     
  5. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Sure, you can take the CFA again. But don't you think it is better to never have scored poorly in the first place? Plus, the midshipmen who administer the NASS write evaluations of the candidates. What if their impression of the candidate is tainted by his lack of physical prowess? Now you have a poor CFA score *and* a poor evaluation, perhaps one leading to the other.

    If a student isn't sure whether the Academy is right for them, they may benefit from NASS. But it doesn't generally work the other way around. The Academy already "likes" the candidate simply by virtue that they got invited to NASS.

    Sometimes it's beneficial to leave well enough alone.

    I know it sounds like I'm anti-NASS. I'm not! It's just that it does not play a very critical role in the admissions process.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I agree with Memphis. Don't go to NASS because you think it will help you in the admissions process. There are much more productive ways to spend that week.

    Go because you want more info on what USNA will be like. Go b/c you're trying to decide between USNA and some other school (SA or civilian). Go for any number of reasons, but not to impress USNA.

    I will add that there is one exception to the above. I had a candidate who was the #1 person at NASS for either his/her session or the entire program. I have no idea how that's determined but that's what I was told. That did help.:smile: (Ironically, the candidate decided to attend a civilian school.)

    That said, I've candidates who did "very well" at NASS and were otherwise very well qualified and still didn't get in. The NASS performance didn't help.
     
  7. Sutter93

    Sutter93 Member

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    From this board, I found out that they award the Outstanding Candidate Award for each company and the best CFA award. What other awards are there? What does it take to earn one?
     
  8. mammothchick67

    mammothchick67 Member

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    R.e. USNA and Memphis:

    Thanks for your advice thus far. I'm nearly convinced that attending NASS would not be a productive use of time since I am set on applying there. It's the only place I want to go to. However, how would it look to the people at admissions if someone were to not go after already submitting paperwork, payment, etc...? That wouldn't raise any red flags? I certainly don't want admissions to see me as non-committal, even though I know USNA is the only place for me.

    Thanks,

    a
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Actually, if you're set on USNA, I think you SHOULD attend, provided you're in shape to do well. I believe that everyone should learn as much as possible about USNA (or any SA) before making the commitment to attend. NASS i a great start. For most, it cements their decision. For a few, they realize USNA isn't what they want and there's no better time to find out than NASS.

    Thus, unless you can't go for financial reasons, are totally out of shape and therefore won't do well, or have another more pressing commitment, I strongly encourage you to attend -- for your sake.
     
  10. tedsnyder63

    tedsnyder63 Member

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    My candidate is attending all 3 sessions, not as a "groupie" but because we don't have any military background we have much to learn and decide. Has a primary academy interest, but in meeting representatives, including congressional reps, they strongly encouraged candidates to explore all. Applied to all 3 summer programs, and was accepted first to not his primary choice but due to time accepted. Mainly to ensure attending at least one summer program. Then others came in. After much thought and discussion, and due to our lack of knowledge in the academys, rotc and all, we decided to do all 3. It fits our schedule and we are not wealthy but consider this an investment. Our candidate has been doing almost all the research and legwork, and trying to spool us up with the information learned. So its difficult to know USNA is 100%. Or USMA is 100%. Or AFA. I would love to know our candidate is set on a certain branch, and plan A is that SA. Plan B is ROTC, plan C...but not there yet. Consequently we have decided on this course. Still is doing lots of service and leadership activities, good grades, standardized scores, good athlete and hope to be ok for CFA, along with spring sports has been doing specific training for CFA. I just wanted to give a perspective as to why someone may choose to do all 3. Candidate may come back and decide SA not for them, may have a clear vision of which one and which branch, or may be stuck still. Heck, if they can make it through most of June that helps confirm they maybe can do 4 years. We tell our candidate its their decision and life, be as sure as you can this is the path. Don't do it for us. So hopefully this will help.
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I fully agree with tedsnyder! My son was also a "groupie" last year I guess. But he also thought those were the 3 best weeks of his life so far, and it strongly reinforced what he wanted to do. Up until that point, I think we (mom and dad) weren't 100 percent sure if he wanted an academy for him or for us. This gave him a chance to see it, meet some of the people, and decide on his own.

    He'd wanted AF forever, but we wanted him to think about a second choice as well - if it would be ROTC or a different branch/academy. He was determined USNA would be his second choice; obviously, we wanted him to at least see and experience West Point as well. He also had the time constraints where he had to accept WP before he knew about Navy for sure so we finally went ahead and did that. Then when he did get the NASS acceptance, we decided he could try all 3.

    Although we weren't sure that his "getting through" much of June at various SS's would ensure success at an academy, we were confident that if he was too tired, upset, in pain, or unhappy after those 3 weeks, that it would pretty much ensure that he wouldn't be! :wink: Fortunately it didn't turn out that way. But the things he got to do & experience (now that he's going to AF, he at least has a taste for what the Navy and Army do as well) and the great people he met (he still keeps in regular touch with several other kids going to each of those academies, along with a couple of his squad leaders) made it well worth the while. Is it for everyone? No, probably not, and most likely not necessary for everyone. But for him it was great - and not just a "groupie". I can't imagine how you can call any of those weeks a waste of time! Would it have been much better to spend the last week at school, with his AP exams done and his college classes done, so he could hang out and do the "nothing" that they normally do? This was something he'll remember the rest of his life!
     
  12. nordberger

    nordberger New Member

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    contacts or glasses?

    I have to wear either glasses or contacts, is this going to be a problem during the week?
     
  13. globalview2

    globalview2 Member

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    quick question about the CFA.
    My scores are about 65ft b-ball throw, pull-ups not sure, sit-ups and push-ups i have a chance to max, shuttle will do fine, and will for sure max the mile.
    So my question is lets say that I do not do well on the pull-ups, how will this affect me? Lets say I get 4(maybe less maybe more), can I still pass the CFA?
    If you fail one thing does that mean that you fail the entire thing?
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    One of my twins went to NASS and the other chose not to. They both just finished their Plebe year at USNA (Class of 2013).

    When he came back from NASS, I think he said, "I was lucky if I did TWO pull-ups". He's a good athlete but he's 6'4" and skinny as a rail. Not much upper body strength. Fortunately, his squad leader really liked him and it all worked out despite the poor showing with pull-ups. He did well in the other areas of the CFA, however.

    He got an LOA and hasn't look back since. Fortunately, the PRT (Physical Readiness Test) that all midshipmen do every semester does not involve pull-ups. Just a mile run, push-ups, and set-ups. Most people pass it easily. The CFA is more comprehensive.

    I
     
  15. globalview2

    globalview2 Member

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    So he only did two pull-ups and still passed? I will do very well on all other areas except the basketball throw which will be below average.
     
  16. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    Have your shirt tucked in when you get there. It will save you time in registration.
     
  17. RascalFlatts5858

    RascalFlatts5858 Candidate

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    One thing is to keep an open mind during the entire week. I went in unsure and came out determined to go to USNA. However in the first couple days I was a little wishy-washy still. But by the time the week was done and especially after mock sea trials I loved it! Don't formulate opinions right away and experience as much as you can while there even during any classes you think would be boring. Believe me the week goes by fast but it was a great experience for me. You'll be surprised how much you can pack into a single day when you get up at 5:30 and don't go to bed til 11:30. Also just talk to all the other kids there and get to know everybody, its neat to meet kids from all over. I was told I had an accent being from Wisconsin but I know thats not true. :shake:
     
  18. mko1991

    mko1991 Member

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    Same here. Last year I was determined to be a Marine, but thought Subs and SWOs were also BA's after all the service introductions even though the Marines had the best presentation. But in the end, however, USNA wasn't for me and decided NROTC was best for me since I'm 1st gen American and the first out of my family to attend college and wanted to experience the "normal" college life :yllol:

    but anyway, 30 minutes of the mock indoctrination go by really fast if you blend in and don't stick out like a nail to be hammered. (dont eyeball the person yelling at you and dont confuse your sirs and ma'ams when answering while at it....:eek:)
     
  19. WestTexasmom

    WestTexasmom Member

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    dislike the word "groupie"

    Thank you Marciemi for your post!
    My son is attending the seminar at USMA this week, USNA next week and USAFA the week after. He has been solid on his desire to seek an appointment to USNA for several years. I encouraged him to look at other SA's in the process. Financially it is a huge stretch for us, but an investment, as another poster said. I had a garage sale last week to help with expenses, and we've had to make sacrifices in other areas, but I am confident it will be worth it. Being from Texas, even USAFA is 11 hour drive, so it isn't easy to have an up-close view of any of the SA's for us. There may be "jet-setter" types that go to multiple ss just because they can, and don't end up being committed candidates, but please don't assume that anyone who attends more than one is a "groupie", or is any less committed than those who only attend NASS.
     
  20. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    And...just don't flirt with the NASS detailers

    Our sponsor sons and daughters have hilarious stories of NASSters who try to put the moves on their detailers, be the BMOC or act as annoying know-it-alls. Just be professional and leave the social agenda at home, though at this age, that's like telling Mother Nature to take a nap. One of the NASSters a few years back drew a picture of himself as a future mid and gave it to our sponsor daughter NASS detailer, with a heartfelt note that she would remember him when he returned as a plebe. Sweet, funny and totally got him the wrong kind of spotlight. Then there was the one who test-drove this line: "I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?"

    A couple of our recent plebes are on NASS detail, and I have no doubt we will hear some more stories. The detailers enjoy the experience as well, and NASSters should just be open to everything they are experiencing, to get a feel for how they would fit in.
     

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