On Track for class of 2015

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by gbland7424, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. gbland7424

    gbland7424 2015 Candidate Parent

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    This forum is a great tool! My son is very interested in attending the Coast Guard Academy in 2011. He is heading into his Senior year of High School and has the following accomplishments:


    Current GPA 3.6

    ACT Scores 24 ( will take again in September)

    Team Capitan Varsity Basketball

    AAU Basketball Team Capitan

    Started his own Auto Detailing Business

    Certified Life Guard

    Active in his Church Youth Group

    Traveled to China during his 8th Grade Year

    Current Schedule includes AP Calculus and AP History, Leadership, AP English
    AP Chemistry. Has completed 4 years of Spanish and is ranked in the top 20% of his class.

    He is the most athletic member of his two Basketball Team and is a leader on and off the court. He is very interested in the Academy after being contacted by the coaching staff and wants to make this happen.

    Many of you have taken this journey and I would like your input on what he should focus on during his Senior Year to enhance his chances.

    Thanks for your input and guidance.
     
  2. officer

    officer Member

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    Looks Good. It's great he's taking the AP Calculus and AP Chemistry too. Just keep practicing the ACT or SAT (they only need one, but you can take both). I think Superintendent Burhoe was really emphasizing to his 2011-13 classes about how high the 2014 SAT's were, (I hope just ribbing them a bit--they're all great classes) so take practice tests at home. See if coaches would be willing to write references about his leadership activities. They do a holistic evaluation, so be thorough in his portfolio about all his areas of growth, etc. Good luck, and welcome to the best forum ever! :smile: -officer
     
  3. palimom

    palimom Member

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    Officer:
    Why was I under the impression they needed BOTH ACT and SAT? Is one preferable to the other? And is it better to take both?
     
  4. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    It's definitely one or the other...benefit is some do MUCH better on the ACT vs SAT (and vice versa). Google the differences on the two tests to see which test your child should focus his attentions on.

    And remember, CGA does not factor in the writing section for the SAT, just Math and CR.
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    You can take either test, multiple times. Submit the one where you score the highest, either SAT or ACT.

    They will "superscore" the highest test scores from the same test type taken at different times, but will not combine ACT and SAT scores.

    For instance, if you take the January SAT and score 650M/700V, then take it again in Sept and score 700M/650V, your "superscore" would be 700M/700V.

    I believe that all ACT scores are converted to SAT equivalents using the official ACT concordance you can see here: http://www.act.org/aap/concordance/
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not yet, however it MUST be taken as part of the test.
     
  7. palimom

    palimom Member

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    Much appreciated info, thanks
     
  8. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    Our daughter used one of those ACT/SAT study books that came with a CD for practice tests. She spend many hours at the computer reading the book and taking the practice tests and was able to boost her final score ACT score by 3 points. We also hired a local college prep councilor who gave her some ACT/SAT test taking tips over a 4-hour one-on-one session. For our daughter, the ACT seemed to produce higher scores than the SAT -- your mileage may vary.

    Everything I am hearing is that competition for USCGA seats will be very tough. Anything that can be done to boost that ACT/SAT score is time well spent! Becareful of places that want to charge you thousands of dollars for a special ACT/SAT prep seminar. Like exercise, its the TIME you spend, not the money for a personal trainer.

    Good luck!
     
  9. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Good advice. Be careful, but also talk to those who have sought out SAT/ACT prep and had good results. For our second child we forked over some pretty serious (though not in the thousands by any means) dough, but the 300 point improvement on an already decent SAT score made it all worthwhile.

    If anyone is in the Norcal/Socal area (or Korea, Turkey or Canada!) pm me and I will send you the info for the prep we used. :biggrin:
     
  10. YankeesFan

    YankeesFan Member

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    As a recent high school graduate, I can tell you that almost all of my friends gained no benefit from the SAT courses they took. Mostly because it's impossible to stay awake with a less-than-enthusiastic teacher. :eek:

    I actually never took the SATs and instead took the ACT twice. The first time, I took the ACT without studying/knowing the layout of the test as I was curious as to my 'true' intellect (I like to experiment I guess). However, after taking a practice test (they're free and usually at your school's guidance office), I was able to boost my score to a 31 from the original 28.

    As such, I highly recommend taking a practice test from time to time. I don't advise the prep classes, as half the test is knowing the layout and time management. The other half is the knowledge that your student likely already knows.

    -Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  11. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    As an adult, and one who shelled out some dough for the prep, I would LOVE to believe that we could do as good a job as the test prep company we used. The sad fact remains, for us that just wasn't true. Our daughter took her first SAT unprepped, did well enough for most schools, but needed a tippy-top score for her dream school, so out came the checkbook...

    Test taking is a skill, and the strategies for improving ones score are not necessarily solely related to ones knowledge base. What does factor into an improvement in score can be a student's test taking strategies and skills. We felt the biggest benefit for our daughter were the full length (old editions ) SAT tests she took (6 of them over 6 consecutive Fri/Sat sessions) which made the actual test date (her second attempt) far less stressful. To boot, her future college coach required her to take the SAT a third time, and we saw more improvement again.

    As much as I don't want to go this route with child number three, I can pretty safely say we will in order for him to be competitive with his peers. It seems most do prep, so not prepping can be quite the disadvantage. Then again, if we can figure out how to do this ourselves with the same result, I'm sure I could find a way to spend the extra dough....:wink:
     
  12. ScottW

    ScottW Member

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    The SAT tests more problem solving and "figuring out" skills whereas the ACT tests knowledge. Like in my case. 25 on the ACT math and a 710 on the SAT math. Big difference in score because the test is a big difference
     
  13. MDtrack

    MDtrack Member

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    If you're trying to improve either act or sat scores and not trying to drop a lot of money on a tutor picking up a review book with 5 or 6 practice tests is a real good idea. I did that with the act and it boosted my score up about 4 points and it has good pointers for test day.
     

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