Question regarding W.P. SLS

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by TheChicagoan, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Hey all, I've actually been reading things off-of this website for a while now, but it's just now that I've finally decided to register and ask a question of my own!

    So here it is:

    Is there any "concrete" list of what W.P. is basing their acceptance of people into their SLS program?
    Ex: Must have 1 extra curricular, varsity athlete, top x%, etc.

    Also, I took my first ACT in October, and I am currently registered to take the coming up SAT-I this December (It's on the 3rd), so I was wondering if anyone knew any sort of cut-off's regarding ACT/SAT-I scores in relation to SLS, and even later on for the actual application to W.P

    On my (first) ACT I got:

    English: 34
    Math: 29
    Reading: 34
    Science: 27
    Writing Essay: 10 (out of 12)
    English/Writing combined: 33

    Composite: 31

    And I'm planning on taking my ACT more times, I want a 35 or a 36 on it. Same with my SAT-I, I want a 23XX on it.
    I am in the top 10% of my class, I have a schedule this year of 6 AP classes, gym and then Spanish 4. [Only 7 periods (out of 8) because AP Physics B is a period and a half] (No AP Spanish until senior year.) And yes, I have no lunch this year.

    I am well prepared in the sciences (Bio - done; Chem - done; Physics B - attending... etc.)
    As well as the math areas (Geometry - done; Algebra II - done; Trig/Calc. A - done; Calc BC - attending). And then next year, my senior year, my school does a program through University of Illinois for advanced math kids where we take "Multi-variable Calculus" through UofI.

    So, I'm just wondering how my stats stack up really for SLS, and I guess even for the actual appointment to W.P. I'll probably make a new thread like this later on with more complete info, I don't want to do that right now. But I am also well covered in my extra curriculars, leader of 2 clubs, etc - I can add those if anyone here asks of them.

    Thanks,
    TheChicagoan

    P.S - Every class I've taken at school is at the "max" level, as in every class (when available) is honors/AP. Thanks.
     
  2. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    We can compare stats all day. Apply and you'll find out for sure.

    Your ACT scores are pretty good. Room for improvement, but definitely good for a junior. Strong ACT and SAT scores can get you rather far.

    Your academics look extremely strong, no weak points there. Look for leadership positions this year; get yourself at the top of your club, organization, or sports team.

    I think USMA is good about making timely decisions. I applied for SLS on February 1st, and a decision was made the very next day.

    It's important to remember that a good portion of the selection process for SLS will be geographic representation. They're looking to get people in the midwest and far west, who would not normally be enticed to make a big long plane ride to New York, to visit and consider West Point. Diversity outreach also plays a role here. When I went this year, there were a LOT of people from California, Washington, and Oregon.

    Even if you're not selected for SLS, it's important to not be discouraged and stay focused on completing your application as soon as possible. The standards for an LOA are based on a cutoff of the WCS. The cutoff point starts low and climbs up as weeks pass. Get the application done as soon as possible. LOAs aren't everything, but they are nice to have.
     
  3. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Thanks for your reply nuensis. So does "diversity outreach" also apply to minorities? Just wondering, as I am from India, but I was born and raised here in the states. And yes, as my name implies - I am from the midwest :)

    Also, I was wondering if you could fill me in on what W.P. want's on the SLS application, so am I only submitting PSAT scores or ACT/SAT-I scores? Or do they want more for the SLS application.

    Thanks,
    TheChicagoan
     
  4. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    From what I remember, it was just basic information (address, ethnic background, SSN, etc), extracurriculars/sports (a series of checkboxes), GPA, PSAT scores, SAT scores, and ACT scores. So you should have a chance to submit all three of your scores. I submitted SAT and PSAT with my application.

    Though, from what the current admissions website is saying, you will now have to apply to West Point itself before applying to SLS. This is new for this year, so I don't know if the application has changed. More information can be found on the Admissions website.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Even if you do not get selected for SLS right away, don't give up. Talk to admissions (or email a resume) or your local field reps to get a read why.

    If you have SAT's come in after you applied that are better than PSAT's (not uncommon) get that info to them as well.
     
  6. OCDomer

    OCDomer Member

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    The SLS application is VERY basic. My son and I were surprised when we had finished the application last year. We expected to have to supply much more information. Basic personal information, test scores (PSAT is sufficient, SAT or ACT works too), GPA, class rank, basic outline of activities.

    Your test scores and grades are clearly high enough for SLS as they are now. The glaring hole in your stats right now (maybe you just left it out) is the lack of a varsity sport. West Point is looking for well rounded candidates. A strong mind in a strong body. The percentage of new cadets with a varsity letter is very, very high. Club sports outside of school can be substituted if it as a sufficiently competitive level. In addition to fitness, competitive sport develops leadership skills and teamwork.

    The SLS selection process seems to put a huge premium on getting the application completed as early as possible. My son submitted his SLS application on practically the first day the online application was available last year, and we received his acceptance in the mail almost immediately. We were stunned (and encouraged) that it came back as quick as it did. By applying as early as possible you are showing USMA that you are highly interested and committed to the process. That is a good early indicator for them. They want motivated, eager candidates.

    My son's test scores are well below yours, his classes are somewhat below yours (many AP classes, not quite as many as you), he is top 5% in his class. But he is very strong in sports and student government. (4 years of Varsity lacrosse, team captain junior year, all-league junior year, Boys State, three years of student government (ASB) class).

    Our son just received a nomination from our congressman. We don't know if he will get an appointment. If he had your test scores it would be a slam dunk for him. We'll just have to wait it out.

    Good luck!
     
  7. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Well, I hope the best for your son, I'm sure he'll get in!
    I have (as of this moment) 2 years of JV Tennis, and this year (when season starts) it'll be varsity.

    I'm on the "ExComm" of my schools Model UN team - that's just like our group of best delegates/leaders. We just lead/teach the other new students how to win. I've won multiple best delegate awards (thats 1st place), and also a couple 2nd/3rd/honorable mentions.

    I'm the VP of our schools BPA Club (Business Professional's of America), and last year I was 1st in regionals, 4th in state, and 12th at Nationals for my event - Cisco Systems Administration.

    I'm a black belt in tae kwon do - and thats also my job, I work 2 hrs every Saturday teaching class to kids/teens/adults.

    And by-the-way, does being politically involved hurt?help? I would think for the nomination it would help - as I've already met my district's rep. many times, because I'm the VP of the Palatine Young Republican's - which is our local Republican group of highschoolers/people who'll just be able to vote (general elections 2012 are on my birthday, so I can finally vote!).

    Hope to get some feedback,
    TheChicagoan.
     
  8. USMA 2016

    USMA 2016 Member

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    Usma sls 2012

    One thing that can certainly help your chances is applying early. This means the day it becomes available. Last year, I applied the day of and I heard my response back about 2 weeks later. I did not have the most impressive scores, but proactivity does speak volumes.

    SLS is amamzing and it solidified my reasons for attending USMA.
     
  9. Oxford22

    Oxford22 Member

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    Bear this in mind, for SLS also uses a rolling selection. ^^

    On a side note, your academics are adequate indeed. The bar may shift a bit each year, but I wouldn't worry. There were several mid-20 ACTs at SLS last year.

    Now, I do recommend following the advice of the others in pursuing leadership roles, especially in sports, for this will be key for the actual application. However, understand that for the SLS application, these categories will not be as critical as the academics (which you shouldn't need to improve, especially if you apply early). Even the cadets told us SLS selection was pretty much purely academic. This was ostensibly evidenced by an SLS squad-mate who had no sports under his belt though he held a 2400 SAT.
     
  10. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Well thanks for your reply Oxford22, and yours too USMA 2016.
    So here comes another question, what do we do at SLS? I've read random tidbits here and there on the internet, but nothing really "solid" - like a sort of schedule or something. And I would really appreciate if someone could sort of tell me exactly what happens at SLS (besides the classes) and how they felt the experience was (worth it? not worth it?).
    Thanks,
    TheChicagoan
     
  11. Fengawr

    Fengawr Member

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    Sorry to budge in here - but I've got a question to ask as well. I figured once question would be pointless to make a whole new thread about.

    I've taken the PSAT already, but I feel that my scores may not super good. I am planning to take the SAT February or possibly March of 2012. I am planning on applying as soon as the application window opens. I guess my question is that once they make a decision, is that the final decision? Or would it be possible to send in another set of test scores that I will receive later on?
     
  12. SA2017

    SA2017 Member

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    Guest

    Perhaps your PSAT scores are not as rough as you think. (Would you mind sharing?) Don't worry too much. I think the powers that be realize that we will need to take some of the tests a few times. Also perhaps the rest of your resume will put you over the top.
     
  13. Fengawr

    Fengawr Member

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    Actually, I haven't gotten more scores back. I took the PSAT sophomore year and I did quite well on math (only got a few wrong). But compared to some other members of this forum that are applying to SLS, I don't feel that mine will match up.
     
  14. SA2017

    SA2017 Member

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    Wayne gretzky

    Its simple
    You need to send scores to apply.
    In the immortal words of Wayne Gretzky 100% of the shots you don't take won't go in.

    Send some scores
     
  15. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    I must've tossed my SLS information packet; I can't find it anymore. Shame, because it had a full schedule and everything.

    From memory then:

    The first day was mostly processing. Some folks arrived early in the morning, some late at night, and even some on the second day of SLS. It's pretty basic stuff, I was issued luggage tags to mark my possessions and a nametag with my three seminar sessions ("workshops"). I was issued a backpack and went through a line, picking stuff up and shoving it into the backpack. I was given the backpack, two black polo shirts, two PT shirts, a sweatshirt, a water bottle (which was all sorts of destroyed by the end of the week), and a rain poncho. We had lunch and dinner in Eisenhower Hall (I think that's what it was), we didn't move to Washington Hall until the second day.

    We took the CFA early in the week (on the second day, I think). Our results were processed by the end of the week, and we all got a little sheet that either identified areas "at risk" or told us we passed.

    The next three days were pretty routine. We did PT in the morning in our platoons (assigned on the first day, and distinguishable by the different colored West Point PT shirts they give you, I was 4th platoon with green shirts), our workshops in the afternoon (unlike NASS, SLS has really long and comprehensive workshops, I found them to be really nice), and sports in the evening (mostly dodgeball, but my squad did some basketball too). Meals were in Washington hall except for the first and last day, served family style. I'm one of those people who think the food at West Point (and Annapolis) is delicious.

    Somewhere in the week, my squad leader found time to get us to the Cadet Store.

    The last day, referred to as "military day," was spent at the obstacle course and LRC. Lunch was an MRE (do not chew the gum). Good times were had. At the end of military day, we had the opportunity to talk to representatives from each branch of the Army and some admissions representatives.

    The next day we packed everything and were out.



    I'm pretty sure I missed some stuff, and some of the chronology is wrong, but that's what I remember. We also had opportunities to talk to coaches and a sit-down with the regional admissions officer during the week, and at some point we handled rifles and played a video game, but I just don't remember when exactly those things happened. Maybe someone else has that information packet with the full schedule.

    Your squad leader does give an evaluation for the week, but it's just a simple set of checkboxes for leadership ability, athletic ability, etc. Your squad leader is not likely to mess you up with a bad evaluation unless you really make him/her mad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  16. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Thanks for your reply again nuensis. That actually seems really, really fun!

    But just an update on the information that we're to put into our SLS app's - I literally bombed my PSAT and the first SAT that I took (atleast in comparison to my ACT). I got a 185 on my PSAT, and a 1890 on my SAT. Now, those are both the ACT equivalent of a 26... and I got a 31 on my ACT :/

    So, I guess my question regarding my "new" scores, is - Am I required to submit my poor SAT and PSAT scores? Or can I just send in my ACT? (I'm taking my ACT again in February - with high hopes to do much better, I'm really prepping this time)

    Thanks, and I think this answers that other-guy-up-there-who-is-also-worried-about-his-PSAT-scores 's-question (Sorry for that oddly created long verb),

    TheChicagoan.
     
  17. jocomom

    jocomom Member

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    You only need one set of scores. Just send your ACT. The other scores will detract from your package.
     
  18. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Great! That really made me feel better.

    Thanks again,
    TheChicagoan
     
  19. Fengawr

    Fengawr Member

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    185 on the PSAT is bombing it? I received a much more worse score :frown:.
     
  20. TheChicagoan

    TheChicagoan Member

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    Well, it is in comparison to my ACT score. Because my school gives us a chart that displays all of the SAT scores next to the equivalent ACT score.
    Ex: 2400 SAT --> 36 ACT, etc. So my 185 PSAT was a ACT 26. But I got a 31 on my ACT, so I consider it to be "bombing."

    Happy Holiday's Everyone,
    TheChicagoan
     

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