Ranking

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by civic29, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Since WestPoint carries over the 60/30/10 ratio of fitness/leadership(military)/and fitness what do each of these entail? Academics is class work of course but what about military? Is the APFT the fitness portion?


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    In your Plebe year, in addition to academics (calc, chem, english comp & lit, psychology & IT/computing), you will have a military science class, and PE classes (boxing (or combatives for females) and military movement; PE classes are 1/2 semester each). Your overall QPA (quality point average) will be calculated from these classes Plebe year (1st semester and 2nd semester). Grades with a + will be slightly higher; those with a - will be slightly lower (ie B+ = 3.33; B = 3.0; B- = 2.67). Overall ranking in your class is based on the QPA.

    This past weekend at PPW the Dean explained that ONE cadet in the class of 2018 had an A (4.0) in academics, military science and PE. S/he is currently #1 in the class. An additional THREE cadets earned all A's (assuming some were A-). Approximately 1/2 of the class made the Dean's list with a 3.0 QPA or higher. The class of 2018 had approximately 1160 cadets at the end of 1st semester (this # is based on what my DS told me so it may be +/- x # of cadets).

    See pages 15-16 on this link for specific required classes each year.
    http://www.usma.edu/curriculum/SiteAssets/SitePages/Course Catalog/RedBook_GY2017_20140925.pdf
    Note this is the Red Book for class of 2017 but should be similar for 2018.

    My DS took 18.5 credit hours 1st semester and is currently taking the same amount 2nd semester.
     
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  3. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Wow, only half of the cadets are average a B or above? That is quite amazing considering West Point cadets are among the smartest students in the country.
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Member

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    When it comes down to it GPA is all relative. It is why comparing your GPA to someone at another school is somewhat pointless. It is why common benchmarks like the ACT/SAT and AP test have importance. It is why class ranking is a more meaningful measurement/comparison.
     
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  5. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Don't forget that all cadets are balancing 18-21 credit hours each semester, including academic classes, military science and PE classes, in addition to being on a sports team, or doing intramural athletics, or drill/parade practice, plus any other clubs. The work load at WP in unlike* anything at civilian colleges considering everything cadets are responsible for (including SAMIs (room inspections), time for homework and additional instruction, etc). (*those at SMCs or in ROTC likely have a similar workload; I'm saying you can't compare a cadet's GPA/class load to a non-cadet at a civilian college, who may be taking only 12-15 credit hours per semester and may or may not have the added responsibilities of sports/job)

    There were quite a few cadets separated at the end of 1st semester, and not just Plebes. Cadets from all classes went before academic boards of review.

    In high school being an A student, or at the top of your class, or an AP Scholar, or a Varsity athlete, etc may get you an appointment at WP, but being able to multitask, organize, and stay on top of the stress of everything and your responsibilities, will determine how well you do.
     
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  6. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I agree with you to a certain extent, but I don't think the class rank system is completely fair. I have gotten 2 B's in my entire high school career(everything else is A's), I've taken 3 AP classes and 6 honors classes, my GPA is 3.85 unweighted and 4.3 weighted yet my class rank is only 66/426, which as you probably know, is below average by service academy standards. My class rank isn't "mediocre" because I haven't worked as hard as my peers and I'm not as smart as them, but because there are A LOT of really smart people at my school. Last year, 25%, yes 25%, of our seniors scored a 30 or above on the ACT. I don't know if you understand how amazing that is, but it's really, really amazing. 25%. Last semester I got all A's(my school works on an 18 week course system) yet my class rank actually got worse, by two spots. That in my opinion is completely ridiculous. I did as well as I possibly could have done, and my class rank went down. I've basically gotten to a point where no matter how well I do, no matter how hard I work, I can't improve, and that in my opinion is wrong.

    Sorry if it looked like I was ranting, wasn't my intention. I wasn't trying to insult your opinion either, just stating my point of view. And I don't want to sound arrogant or anything, but I honestly believe if I went to an average high school, educational wise, I would live up to the service academy's standards when it comes to class rank. But I don't, and I can play the if game as much as I want and it won't change anything. My class rank is going to be below par, and there's nothing I can do to change it. Which as I said earlier, is wrong in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  7. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Do you know if it is common for cadets to flunk out of West Point? And by flunk out I mean getting such horrible grades that you just get kicked out.
     
  8. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    The greatest percentage of "separations" from WP are academics. When a cadet begins to show signs of struggling, he will be given plenty of opportunities to seek help way before separation process begins. You must understand, WP does not just willy nilly separate a cadet, the Army has quite the investment in the cadet. And truly wants them to find success.

    Its not uncommon for a class to lose 250 cadets by the time they commit. Commitment is the point of no return after their Yuk summer.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
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  9. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Common? I don't know the numbers. There were cadets from all class levels academically separated in January (more Plebes than other classes). I do know that cadets up for the academic review board after 1st semester returned to WP in January, then met with the board. I know of one Plebe who filed an appeal, was in limbo for another couple of weeks, and ultimately was still separated. I know of another Plebe who wanted to leave and attend a civilian college. Until you get there you won't actually know what it's like, and I am only going on what my DS and others have told me as I have no direct experience as a cadet.
     
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  10. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    If you have done everything in your control to get the best grades (and ultimately the highest ranking) possible, then your worrying isn't going to change anything. Assuming your high school is highly competitive, offers many AP classes and has a high percentage of students going on to Ivy/4-yr colleges...do you want your 3.85/4.3 gpa compared to the 4.0 student that goes to a rural high school with no AP classes offered and only half of student go on to community/4 yr colleges? Your ranking will be taken into account when admissions look at your high school profile, as will the rural student's. You need to focus more on what you can control, making yourself the most competitive candidate you can against those in your district and state (and possible the NWL), and less on the "what ifs" of your competition.

    If you are this stressed now as a high school junior, it is going to be a very long process for you in the coming 12 months.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I am not a West Pointer, but all the SA are similar in the fact school profiles are looked at. So if you do in fact go to a school that is that competitive, they know this and it is factored in. So if you high school is sending kids off to Ivies, other top tier schools and the such, then they will know this. When I was at Navy, I had 5 classmates who had all graduated from Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax, VA. One of them had near perfect SATs (I think they missed 1 question if I remember right) and some crazy GPA, yet was around 25th in his class there. The SAs know this. I went to a small high with a class around 180, our school wasn't that fantastic, but not horrible either. I think we had 25 people with scores of 30 or higher on ACTs. You can only control what you can, so don't worry about the class rank thing. If your school profile is that strong, USMA will know.

    No its not common for Mids/Cadets to flunk out. But, school isn't easy either. Plebe year is a hard adjustment at any SA. The time demands of school, military, physical demands, etc is alot, but manageable. It takes some longer than others to adjust to the rigors and really learn how to study. I nearly flunked out my Plebe Year and made the Dant's list my sophomore year. Chemistry and I had a contentious arrangement, but physics and I have a very solid relationship. My room mate at USNA was a pure genius and finished in the top 10 of our class. She wasn't top 3 because her PE scores weren't perfect. So things also do come into play when looking at class rank and Cumulative GPAs vice just academic GPAs.
     
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  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    West Point has been doing this admissions thing for a long time. They understand that there are high schools that are more competitive than others. They understand that the GPA difference between Top 20% and Top 30% may be very,very small in a competitive school.
    West Point will receive a profile of your school and based on that, if your school is deemed competitive, you can receive a bump in class rank. IOW- you will not be penalized for going to a highly competitive school.
    You are in the top 15% of your class, which is not below service academy standards.
     
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  13. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I wouldn't say that I'm stressed, I would say I'm a bit frustrated though that I can't improve.
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    We have all pointed out that if in fact your school profile is as strong as you indicate the class rank won't be an issue. Control what you can... the CFA/PT Test - are you working out daily to max it? do you have study books or taking prep classes for your ACT/SATs? How is leadership looking? Volunteer work? Have you worked on practice interviews? The essays aren't a mystery, you start drafting your thoughts? These are all things you can control and improve on. If you school profile is that strong, I think it can only help your case. Heck you get a 36 on the ACT, will class rank really matter? One thing about the military is you have little control over so many things. You have to learn very quickly to let go of those you can't and impact what you can change. This is a learning process that Plebes learn within about 1 hour of I Day. If they don't, it makes for a very miserable life.
     
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  15. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I work out 5 days a week and I take one ACT section every weekday, on the weekends I go over the problems I missed and figure out what concepts I am struggling with. I just applied for Boys State yesterday, and I am a 2/Lt in my school's Air Force JROTC unit. I have around 100 hours of community service, and I am currently looking for community service opportunities to get another 100 hours or so during the summer. I also recently applied to get a job at Kroger(a grocery store) but I haven't heard back yet.

    Haven't worked on any practice interviews yet, I'm honestly not even sure what kinds of questions I would be asked. I haven't even thought about the essays either, are the prompts open to the public somewhere?
     
  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Check out the forums and search around and you can find tons of information on what folks have been asked on interviews and suggestions to practice. The essays probably don't change much year to year if you search around you can probably find those and for your Nomination sources also. Even if you don't have them you can still jot down ideas about why you want to attend USMA, why you want to be an officer, what do you want to do in the Army, what do yo you want to major in, how you have over come adversity, etc. All things you might be asked to either write about or questioned during interviews. Looks like you have done tons of great prep. If you aren't improving on your ACT scores, consider the SATs and consider a tutor who specializes in standardize testing. Obviously all these things cost money and might not be within reach, if they aren't, don't worry. You mention tons of great stuff, but no mention of sports. I think your CFA will probably definitely be looked at closely (just my opinion). Boys State is a great event to attend. Also with community service and JROTC (and without sports, unless you just didn't mention them), leadership is key. Just being a rank doesn't mean leadership. You need specifics of how and what you impacted. Look for community service where you can be a leader, even set up and lead community service activities yourself. The great part is you are in a JRTOC program, so setting up and leading volunteer activities, tutoring peers, mentoring younger kids are all within your reach, you have a built in group of peers to help support events/activities. You have a great resume, keep pushing. Good luck.
     
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  17. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Your first comment was about being surprised that cadet's grade averages were so low for a class comprised of some of the smartest students. My point was a C average student at one school may be as smart or smarter than an A average school elsewhere. Your second point, it is why I think it is fruitless to compare statistics on this forum. It points out the difficulties and complexity of comparing students for admissions. A kid can make a C in an AP class at one school and another make an A in the same course at another HS. The C student then makes a 5 on the AP exam and the A student makes a 2. Who is better? While your rank at your HS is "below" average that doesn't mean you aren't a smart kid. If they put you in a big pool of students, you could very well be swimming at the top. My son's class rank did not put him in the top tier of the SA profile. His GPA was solid but not a 4.whatever, but he also challenged himself with some of the hardest classes our school had to offer. His ACT scores were in the top of the SA profile. He is an AP scholar with distinction. He didn't go crazy and take 7 AP courses and do nothing else in HS life as many at our school do to boost their GPA's. You likely have that problem at your school which is why your rank dropped after making all A's.

    Your HS sounds much like his. The SA's look at your school profile and will account for this. I have heard in certain cases they will use your SAT or ACT score to assign you a class rank because your school meets a certain criteria level (everyone goes to Ivy like schools).

    My advice to you is to focus on what you can control. That means get your ACT or SAT as high as possible. Take challenging classes. I am sure you have read many times science and math are important. Take the AP Calculus if you have the opportunity. Take the AP Chemistry if you can. AP History and AP English types are good. Do you need to load up on AP xyz? That is your call.
     
  18. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I do have sports, I have lettered twice in football and I have been a captain in a city basketball league for the last three years. That wasn't my entire resume, just some of the highlights. All of my workouts are with my football team, so I don't really have a choice when it comes to doing them. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing hah. But my cfa scores should be fine, not really worried about it. The only event I think I may "struggle" in is the basketball throw. I tried it for the first time the other day and was only able to get 63 feet, which isn't horrible, but won't help my cause.

    Thanks for the tips!!!
     
  19. NewJersey2019

    NewJersey2019 Member

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    Just to offer some words of solace to you frenzmando, I'm a CC for the USMA c/o 2019 and am attending a top 5 high school for SAT/ACT scores in the country (I hate sounding like I'm bragging, but I only share this to demonstrate my background). My school doesn't class rank in order to prevent competition and USMA was very understanding in dealing with my academic environment. My MOC's nomination committees also understood. As those before me have said, focus on what you can control and make your file the best possible. Good luck.
     
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  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    That's great on the sports. Take a look at the sticky in the USMA forum and they have some tips on the basketball throw. I was catcher and a D1 basketball recruit, so I think I threw the ball some ridiculous distance. Its an awkward motion, but with practice on technique and repetition an easy one to pick up distance on. Not sure if its a part of the CFA, but also work on pull ups. They may not be a part of the official PT test, but something that will be done alot and really good for future activities like rope climbing and things along those lines.
     

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