OML scoring system: about SAT or ACT

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by educateme, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I read somewhere that the max OML score is 1000. Out of that, 250 is for SAT/ACT. I wonder how these 250 points are allocated.

    Do they convert SAT CR+M linearly (proportionately) into 250? meaning, 1600 CR+M is 250, and 800 CR+M is 125, etc. Or, is it 250 (max score) for anything over 1400 (just an example), 200 points for 1300 or higher, etc..... For all I know, his score may already be good enough to get the max point. Or, NOT......

    My son took SAT in May. The score was good, but he is taking Oct SAT again to increase it further. The Oct SAT is not going be considered for the Oct selection board but it will go into his ED application to his dream school. I am wondering if there is a reason to take Nov SAT, which is too late for the ED decision, but may still help him win the national scholarship in the Dec board, if he does not get it in the first selection board in Oct.....

    Of course, if he does not get accepted into this #1 choice school in the ED round, he may take another SAT in Dec anyway for the RD round, but this is too late for the Dec selection board.

    Does anybody know how SAT scores are "translated" into that 250 points reserved for SAT/ACT in the OML scoring guide?

    Also, do they still consider only CR+M or are they starting to use the 2400 point system? I recall somebody mentioning the 2400 (CR+M+W) scoring base from this year, but I am not sure.....
     
  2. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    That doesn't sound right. Having standardized test account for 1/4 of your ranking??
    The SAT/ACT score figures into your whole person score on your application. It also factors into the scholar ranking your interviewer and the board members give you.

    My understanding of the scoring system is 200 points for interview. 200 point from each of the three board members. 200 points generated by your application and whole person score. I'd have to dig into the reg a little more to give you more detail.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    SAT is ONLY a part of the PAR. GPA, class ranking, course rigor and school profile also go into the equation. If you get a 2250 on the SAT, but never took an AP when it was offered you will get marked down. It is the WHOLE picture from an academic review.

    No EC's, low PFA and you can have a 2400, but not get a scholarship.

    It is called WHOLE CANDIDATE SCORE for a reason.

    My bet is you may be missing a link...the SAT is 25% of the PAR, not 25% of the WCS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  4. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    From the AROTC website, Guide to Army ROTC Scholarship Process:

    Each student can achieve 1000 Whole Person points during the interview evaluation process. Your 1000 point Whole Person score is a merit based score made up of: 1) 250 points for your ACT/SAT score; 2) 200 points for your scholar/athlete/leader evaluation based upon your athletic,scholastic, and leadership achievements; 3) 200 points from your interview; and 3) 350
    points are determined by the board of officers. Student’s scores are then placed in an order of merit list (OML), in descending order, of their Whole Person point score.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So the Army is stating that the gpa means less since it is placed in the other section. Curiousity, what is in the 350 for board members? Can they come back and give higher points to the applicant with a stronger gpa, but lower SAT to offset the score?

    It seems to me that you can still get a great SAT 2400 and not get the scholarship because there is a lot of subjective wiggle room regarding the other break out issues.
     
  6. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I was going through the notes I had on the conversations I had with AROTC advisors last year. One of them shared interesting stuff. Based on his "observation" the year before (before the number of AROTC scholarship went down precipitously), he said something to the effect that the selection ratio during the first board meeting was 15%, and the last board meeting was 60. The OML cut off score for the first board scholarship winners was 570, and the last board, 500. Granted, note that these were when they had 5-7 boards. This year, there will be only three. However, the number of scholarships can be 50% of lower compared to the class of 2013. So, let's say, the selection ratio remains about the same: 15% for the first selection board.

    Now that I know that the max OML score is 1000, the cut off score of 570 for the first board and 500 for the last one seem "awfully low". Based on everything I heard/read, getting max 200 for the PMS interview is quite common. In fact, one retired PMS I know who gave my son a mock interview told me that my son would have no problem getting max interview points (200). For candidates with SAT CR+M over 1300 or so must be getting max score (250) or fairly close to it (given that composite CR+M of 1300 is 90% score among all test takers). Even if I were to be more stringent, CR+M 1400 should already enable the candidate to get the max score on this (250) given that CR+M 1400 is already at the 96% among all students. So that's already 450 points. It seems fairly easy to reach the OML of 570: even for a year when the competition was not that tough, this seems really low. That's why I am thinking either this advisor I talked to had wrong information, or I was high on something or the other and I misheard him.

    OR, DID THE OML SCORING SYSTEM GO THROUGH A DRASTIC CHANGE?

    Did anybody else hear about OML cut off score for the scholarship winners?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  7. Centhea

    Centhea Member

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    I'm disturbed by this thread. I think that applicants should do the best job they can at SATs, GPA, interview, AP classes, ECs and leadership, then submit their applications and let their package speak for itself. Trying to figure out the scoring and OML process is "gaming the system" and the board process should be protected from people gaming the system so it can be as unbiased as possible. Your source for information on the board process may well have violated a non-disclosure agreement by telling you what he did.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't think it is gaming the system per se, just trying to understand the system.

    Even if you know the break down, there still is that one more factor for the Army and Navy, it is tied to the college.

    I would hope that instead of concerning about the ROTC system, applicants spend time investigating if the school is a match to their SAT/GPA. Stinks to get that scholarship, but not the school because you placed a high reach on the list.

    I think it would be interesting to see the breakdown of the 350 points the board awards. You can have a great SAT, but if you boff the interview and the board places you in the bottom, you have a high chance of not receiving a scholarship.

    I would think the same would be said about the EC portion because that may be subjective too. For example, if you are Captain of the LAX team, is that the same amount of points as if you were on the LAX team and Class treasurer? It would be interesting to see that break down.
     
  9. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I am tiny little bit offended by this sweeping judgement of "gaming the system". Gaming the system accusation applies if students and/or parents do things that are patently orthogonal to the original intent of the institution & the spirit out which the whole scholarship concept was born, or say/present things that are not based on truth.

    For instance, if a student applies to ROTC scholarship without a clear understanding and intent to follow through the whole 4 years of training & post graduation commissioning, but plans to drop out after one year (thereby getting 1 year's education free), that would be gaming.

    It would be gaming if a student tells the PMS who interviews him that his military career goal is a long term one, when he clearly intends to get out as soon as he can after the minimum obligation is met, because he felt that he could get more brownie point to present himself as a potential long term career military man (I know one student who "gamed the system" like this).

    It would be gaming if a student tells the interviewing PMS that he intends to major in one thing while he intends to major something different only because that major is perceived favored (I heard even in Army, there is a slight preference for science/engineering and special languages). I know of another student who did this.

    We are not talking about any of these "gaming stuff". Here, in this thread, we are talking about what is the best way to put the best foot forward for a genuinely dedicated and enthusiastic candidate so that they can maximize the odds of getting this scholarship.

    My son worked HARD all three years of his HS life to pursue all things military. The whole ROTC thing and future military career have been the most serious thing he has committed himself to in his short life, more than his college plan.

    He has earned every right to explore the best possible angle to position himself to shine and get this wonderful scholarship. He was a die hard military man already in his heart. I, as a parent, figured, if he is so intent on serving this country, why shouldn't he get financial assistance to make his dream come true when the government is willing to give it to worthy candidates.

    You call it gaming, I call it smart planning. We are not trying to learn how to circumvent the process and pervert the original intent of the system. We are trying to "learn" how the system works so that we can present the best that is true and based on serious, genuine intent.

    My son's best friend is part of college class of 2013. He did not understand how the whole ROTC scholarship selection was done. He just read what was on the easily accessible Army ROTC scholarship web site, where they simply say, deadline is Jan XX, and you need to present YY documents, and fill out ZZ forms. So he submitted his application in Dec, thinking he beat the deadline.

    Little did he know that SAT has such a heavy weight - if he had known, he would have taken another one, he says so now.

    Little did he know that the selection board started to meet in Sept, and little did he know that out of the 7 school of intent, most of them already had their quota filled by the second board last year (that was Nov board something like that, I remember).

    I know this, since several schools he picked are also the schools my son is putting down, and I called them and asked the question of "last year, after which selection board were you more or less done".

    He also did not know that in putting together the list of school of intent, he had to balance it with several considerations - as in, put at least one safety school among the top 3, don't give the impression to the PMS of a school that you are just using that school as a ultimate safety with no intention to come by putting it at the bottom, etc.

    So, here is the kid who "NOBLY" did not do any gaming. This fall, he has joined the battalion he wanted without scholarship, and it's totally unclear whether he will get any campus scholarship at all since his stats are well below the level other cadets are in that battalion. He is a great kid, dedicated future military nut. He could have gotten a good scholarship somewhere if he had some insight onto how this whole thing work, or if his parents had assisted him with a bit of advice. I consider this to be a result of "lack of planning".

    The issue is, ROTC selection board process is very much a mystery. As such, there is a huge difference between people who know how this works and those who have no idea. The results can be very start, as illustrated by the example above. Learning how the system works is, in my mind, does NOT equate to "gaming the system".
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The problem with forums like this is it is difficult to have a follow up or understand the intonation of the tone.

    I have known Centh going on 2-3 yrs. (First met on a different forum). They are the salt of the earth, and only has good intentions in their heart when they post.

    I know you may not see it, but I did get her point. Instead of caring about the point system, just strive the hardest you can. Nothing more can be asked of your son. When you start asking about break downs it falls into 2 categories typically..

    1. Am I on par, above or below for other candidates?
    2. Will my score hurt or help if I am short in other areas?

    Like, I stated forums can ruffle feathers quickly because we are talking across a computer and not face to face.
     
  11. educateme

    educateme Member

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    This would be absolutely the final word on the whole thing for the college admission in the RD cycle: do your best and see what comes out. You can even choose to apply as many schools as you have the time to put together the application or money to pay for the fee.

    The reason the "careful planning" matters for AROTC scholarship application is because the kids who are gunning for the first or second selection board are asked to pick 7 schools well before they were accepted anywhere or, in some cases, even finalized the college application list. Then, there is the added complication of certain schools whose slots are already more or less filled during the first or second board - so you can't say, I will get school acceptances first and then pick scholarship candidate schools for later boards. Finally, there is this looming possibility that in the end you may not get into the school you have the scholarship for, and the scholarship transfer to the school that did accept you may or may not happen.

    The stake for a four year scholarship is anywhere between $50K (lowest tuition in state public school: tuition, fee, books, and stipend) to $240K (expensive private school: tuition & fee, stipend, books, and in some cases, free room and board the college provides to the scholarship winners, etc).

    For me and my child, this whole thing deserves "careful planning" all the way and all the intelligence gathering work it takes to crack the code. Two things we are not thing:

    (1) doing something shady (like misrepresenting his intention and sincerity)

    (2) making decisions solely based on money. For my son, for a choice between a dream school vs. scholarship, I am willing to let him choose the former. However, I will do my best to provide him the best support possible so that he can get the scholarship to his dream school. That said, there are a lot of families for whom the money is a real deal breaker due to their financial constraint, and for that, this "careful planning" is an even more important issue. And, they will be all the wiser to do everything they can provided it's within the boundary of what's legit and honorable.

    Some people do much more research when they buy a $1000 flat screen TV or $25K car.
     
  12. Centhea

    Centhea Member

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    There is a whole lot of difference between knowing the basics like applying early and ensuring you have a complete application done and confirmed and wanting to know exactly how much the different scores are worth. My point is that in order for candidates to compete well they should do their best. You were trying to figure out whether or not it's worth it for you son to take the SAT again in November and December. I think it's obvious that he should keep trying to improve the scores that will contribute to his receiving the scholarship, without having to know whether in the long run it comes out to 10 points out of 1000 or 1 point out of 1000.

    Yeah, the process is a mystery, as are a lot of college acceptances, as are a lot of military promotion boards, as are determinations of leadership positions, as are a lot of things in life. I guess it's just the way I look at things: Do your very best in everything you do. Fortune favors the prepared mind.
     
  13. educateme

    educateme Member

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    yes. you are right. The big picture is, do you best, which I completely agree with.

    It's partly my personality and partly a habit formed at work: long term strategic planning - leaving nothing to chance for business results.....

    Furthermore, I am a bit feisty today. I took a day off to wrestle with my son's school officials. I believe I discovered an error in their computer program that generates GPAs. When I set up a spreadsheet to calculate his GPA, it came up almost 0.3 higher than what was generated by the school (I did all this because when I saw his cumulative GPA, something told me that this was not right - so I set up the spreadsheet to confirm. Lo and behold, I was right). On a 4.0 scale, this (0.3 cumulative GPA difference) is a meaningful difference for a kid aiming for competitive schools. And, on top of that, relatively speaking, GPA is his weakness (in terms of a balance between GPA & SAT), so the last thing he needs is to have this number pulled down further. I wouldn't be so hyper if this was 30 or even 50 point difference in SAT.

    I brought this to their attention several weeks ago. Instead of either proving that I was wrong, or admitting that they were wrong, they gave me a series of reasons why this has to be handled by a committee who decided on the weight for the AP, Honors class and the number of credits for each course. I said, the error has nothing to do with these rules and course weights. Somebody, in all likelihood, entered a wrong digit (typo) when they were entering the course credit or the weight, etc into the programming model. All it takes is 5 minutes for me to sit down with the person who set up the programming model and confirm either way: I am wrong or there was a typo/entry error in the school model.

    I was doing my best to be polite, and they were telling me that it would take months for the committee to decide what to do. Meanwhile, there are 355 kids in his senior class who will all start sending their transcript soon enough (especially kids applying to ED/EA). Since the system generated correct grades my son earned, it's not just that somebody entered a wrong grade just for him. The error has to be systemic and affect ALL the kids.

    Meanwhile, I was trying to be as polite as possible (after all, these folks will write guidance counselor rec letter for me son, so let's not antagonize them) while I was arguing my point with three guidance counselors who kept saying "I am not a math or programming expert, we need to bring in a committee". I was just about ready to pull all of my hair out.

    I told them that the ROTC scholarship board paperwork would be frozen on Oct 10 (OK. it's Oct 18th for the first board, but I am leaving some margin for them), and this has to be resolved by then. I left with their agreement that it will be resolved by Oct 4th. We will see what happens.

    If I am right, god knows how many kids in the previous class of seniors were short changed...... (this school does not do ranking. only GPA reporting).

    Sorry for being hyper and thanks for hearing me out. I needed to vent somewhere......

    But seriously, all the students and parents need to check the paperwork put together by the school. There is no guarantee there is no error in their work, and the kids will end up paying for their errors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  14. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    From someone who actually works in the business, with regards to the GPA error, if they have a faulty program that is consistent across all students, the .3 difference in GPA will wash out with regards to rank/percentile in class (which is very important to AROTC in evaluating the scholar because grading is not consistent between schools). However, as I think we both suspect, they probably committed a data entry error, which will harm your son's rank/percentile in class and thus harm both his AROTC application and college applications if submitted as currently computed.

    I would be asking to talk to the person who does the record keeping/calculation and ask them to redo/recheck their work and explain the process. The school should be willing to do that for you. Should not require a committee.

    In my daughter's experience, we called the academic office at her school and had them compute her unweighted and weighted GPA for us, so we could fill out forms correctly. The unweighted was easy to verify. However, the school's weighting system boosts Honors and AP grades not only based upon the level of class, but how many of them a student was taking simultaneously. Difficult to compute, but increidbly fair in handicapping the student who loaded up on classes.

    If you think that is complicated, they explained the process whereby they handicapped students who were at the school (a boarding school) anywhere from 1 to 4 years when determining class rank (although they only recognized val and sal - and those had to have been there at least 2 years). IIRC, they calculated rank in each year and took averages of rank. I think this tended to favor 4-year students where getting the #1 or #2 rank was not as competitive (against a smaller class), as I remember Vals and Sals tended to come from 4 and 3 year students during our 4 years of attending graduations.
     
  15. mariner116

    mariner116 Member

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    And if all that does not work. Your next two options are:
    - A member of the school board. They are your elected representatives and need to know if something as serious as a GPA error is being made that is not being adderessed promptly by the administratio.
    - And if that does not work, you local newspaper would, I'm sure, find the story interesting.
     
  16. educateme

    educateme Member

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    this is exactly what I have been requesting and they have been dragging their feet telling me that the person who set the programming up told them that he made no error. However, the guidance counselors admitted as much that since they have no idea how the computation model was set up, they are in NO position to confirm whether this person is right or not. I told them that if I sit down with this person for 5 minutes, I can easily determine whether I made a mistake or whether there was an error in the program. If this does not get resolved by Oct 4 as they said, I will have to take more time off to deal with the bureaucracy.

    By the way, this school does not report ranking. They only show who is the val and sal. For the ROTC application, they generated rough ranking position for my son since it was forced upon them on the form. However, for the college application, they don't report ranking (colleges don't force them). As such, if there is a systemic error that pulls everybody's GPA down, everybody suffers since only the actual GPA numbers are shown on the transcript, with no ranking info to put it in perspective.

    I still believe it's much more likely that there is a systemic error that affects everybody since his grades all correctly showed up in the computer generated printout which also shows his GPA. If there was an input error for his grades, the grades should have also been wrong.....

    By the way, I think even for ROTC, the raw number of GPA matters. I understand that one of the interview scoring guideline gives the student points for GPA 3.0 and SAT above 1100. This particular cut off does not matter to my son. However, if somebody's GPA was recorded to be 2.9 on a transcript while his true GPA was 3.2, this makes a difference. For some kids, this may have made a difference between getting a scholarship or not: who knows in this competitive year with a reduced number of scholarships and an increased number of applicants.

    I am now checking every number and data this school generates that has any bearing on my son's college application and scholarship application. I think it's advisable for other parents and students to do that. Over the years, I heard some other parents talking about gross errors in the school profile that was sent to the college admission officers together with the transcript that put all of their students in a disadvantaged light.

    What happened was, the school profile put a wrong number of AP classes offered. They made an error and put a number much larger and provided a list of advanced classes in a certain area (science) the school no longer offered. As a result, many hardworking students looked like slackers: only a few APs when SO MANY were offered by the school, and no advanced classes in a certain area while the school was giving them ample course choices. We all know that in competitive colleges, this really matters: course rigor, they call it. This went on for several years until one parent insisted on checking all data and number that were printed on the school profile, and brought this to the attention of the school officials.

    I know schools do their best and teachers do their best. However, in an overworked understaffed and underfunded environment, human errors to occur. Since it's our kids who are paying for these errors, it's up to us to make sure that they are not short changed after all the hard work they put in.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I do not know about the AROTC, but for the AFROTC they at times re-weight the scale themselves to their standards. This occurs because for one school the scale can be a 7 pt scale with AP being 4.5 w, and another school could be 10 pt on a 5.0 scale. Obviously, you can see that wgpa scores can be all over the place if you start mixing the pt scale and the w scale.

    They try to place all students on the same playing field.

    Also, you have proven a point which I stated on another board, ALWAYS check your records before you submit the file.

    For our DS before we submitted his paper work, I asked for an extra sealed transcript to see what was being officially sent from the school. We had found no errors, but at least we knew it was current and included everything. I.E. in their transcripts, they also place all EC's including clubs in the transcript. I recall one kid saying they were going to pad their hs ECs by adding clubs they were never in...his thought, how will they know. I told him, the reason they take attendance is not to waste paper, but to place into your transcript, and if the college sees you and the school are not matching up it will hurt you.

    I don't know about your school district, but in our school district we actually have a position on the BOE to bring this to, not from a tattle telling position, but from a computer glitch position. It will take a couple of hours at the BOE to get it rectified, but it is done that day and you can walk out with a new SEALED transcript to submit to the colleges. I think it probably exists because of your exact situation where kids need it corrected now due to ED/EA deadlines. Call your BOE and ask them if they have a dept like this. I think ours is officially called academic student liaison. They also deal with SATs, and TAG placement, but hopefully you get the idea of what the dept does so if you call the BOE you might be able to find what they call yours easier.

    Good luck.
     

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