Required High School Classes

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by IcedZealot, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    I've read that West Point encourages high school students to take Chemistry and Physics, but are they "REQUIRED" courses for consideration for enrollment? And two foreign languages? If I only take 1 foreign language, will I not be competitive for enrollment?

    Thank you for any input!
     
  2. vtusnahopeful

    vtusnahopeful Member

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    I think it's two years of foreign language, not two types. But I could be wrong.


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  3. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    I think you would be at a disadvantage among your competition when applying if you have not taken Chemistry and/or Physics in high school (can be regular, Honors or AP, depending on what your high school offers). If you do receive an appointment, you will be required to take these courses as a Plebe. Best to have some knowledge/background in them for success in college.
     
  4. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    2+ years of a foreign language, not 2 different languages, although you can do that also. But your main focus should be on science, math & english classes and getting the highest scores possible on the ACT/SAT.
     
  5. GoNavy44

    GoNavy44 Member

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    That is correct. IcedZealot, you need to take two years of the SAME foreign language. You can't mix and match. For example, taking one year of German and one year of Spanish does not meet WP's high school foreign language requirements. As for Chemistry and Physics, I would take both of those classes. A strong preparatory academic background, which is what West Point is looking for, includes two years of laboratory science. Taking AP Chem and/or AP Physics will only make you a stronger applicant. Best of luck to you! :thumb:
     
  6. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    Thanks for the speedy response guys!

    So I'm going to call Admissions tomorrow for some more solid info and required classes. I think I'm gonna need to take Spanish over the summer, then Spanish II during the school year (I haven't taken any foreign languages yet :/). The tricky thing is that for my senior year, College Algebra is the same hour as Chemistry, so the only choice is to take Chemistry, right?

    And one of my friends agreed that dropping CIS for Physics next year would be a good idea, since it's required, but dropping a math class for a science wouldn't be the smartest thing to do. But isn't Physics a math heavy course?

    Plus, I've already obtained 4 math credits: Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus & Introduction to Calculus (Trig and Pre-calculus were in the same year). Does one really "need" College Algebra? I hear you do need Trig though.

    Thanks again, everybody!
     
  7. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Ideally you should take both a math and science course your senior year. Is College Algebra the only math class left to take at your school? How about Calculus or Statistics? I agree that you should take Physics or Chemistry in place of an elective. Maybe talk to your high school counselor and see what options would work. My DS will graduate with 5 credits of math (through Calc 3) and 7 credits of science because he doubled up, but also because his high school has these options. Good luck!
     
  8. 845something

    845something Member

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    Minimum requirement to be academically qualified - should be listed on the website, but from memory:

    4 years math reaching at least the pre-cal or trig level. Recommend at least calculus if you want to be competitive and then also if you don't want to struggle at WP. Stats is a good post calc class if needed.

    4 years English. No specific course requirements.

    2 years of lab science. ***while physics or chem is not stated directly for academic qualification, it is a requirement for one of your school official evaluations. If you don't have either on your transcript, you'll be a science risk (extra reviews that could result in academic disqualification) as well as have to explain why you should be able to have someone other than a chem/physics teacher write your SOE. Other academies like AF I believe require 4 years and in truth, to be competitive at WP, you probably should have 4 years.

    2 years of a foreign language.

    1 year of a computer course
     
  9. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    I've taken math up to Trig and Calculus. I would've done College Algebra, but it's the same hour as Chemistry. Kind of a tricky situation :/

    According to the list by 845, I meet all of the requirements besides Chemistry and Physics, plus, Geography and Economics. I take mostly all core classes, but I come from a small school. Besides that I meet the requirements.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  10. billyb

    billyb Member

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    Tabling what you might need to get into USMA, you will want Physics, Chemistry and Calc in high school to help you when you encounter those courses at USMA.

    I graduated a long time ago, but didn't have Calc or Physics in high school and was WAY behind the power curve of my classmates in those classes. I had to work twice as hard just to get a foundation under me, when others already had that from high school work. Learn from my mistake and don't be me.
     
  11. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    Yep! I have 1 summer and 1 school year to take what I need. I'm trying to contact my liaisons officer, forums, etc. in order to find out what I NEED to do. I'd hate for USMA to deny me because of a class I didn't take in highschool.
     
  12. candidate2021

    candidate2021 Member

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    Do you need US History to be qualified academically?
     
  13. kl3661

    kl3661 Member

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    Candidate2021
    It's not required but if you want to be more competitive, it's recommended

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  14. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    In my DS's high school, US History (1 yr) is required to graduate. Is it not at your school?
     
  15. candidate2021

    candidate2021 Member

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    I'm an American living in Canada, so it isn't even offered at my school, but don't get me wrong I really want to take a US history course :frown:
     
  16. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Maybe you can take it online? It can't hurt, but it should help. When you apply to WP (I'm assuming you're a freshman now), your school counselor will submit a school profile for your application as one of the requirements. WP will see that your school is in Canada, and that US History is not a required course or even offered.
     
  17. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    Now what if you don't take Geography, Economics, or College Algebra?
     
  18. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    The most important classes to take are the highest math, science and english classes that your school offers. Geography and economics would likely be considered electives (like music or art). Your first two years at WP (if you get an appointment) will consist of math, chemistry/physics and english classes (among others), so taking those classes in high school will help you be successful at WP and make you more competitive as an applicant. Maybe look into a community college in your area, or online classes for those classes not offered at your high school and take the ACT/SAT as many times as possible, aiming to get the highest scores. Academics (including class rank, gpa, etc) account for 60% of your whole candidate score.
     
  19. IcedZealot

    IcedZealot Member

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    Currently, I'm ranked 2 of 31 in my class (small school)
    4.4 GPA
    26 ACT (considering my highest scores)
    Plus, I have mostly core classes. I have much fewer electives, but I still need them to graduate.

    Does this sound like a strong schedule for senior year? -->

    College CIS, Chemistry, College English, Spanish 2, College Biology, and Physics.

    I understand there's only 6 classes listed hear. That's because after College Bio I have to A+ that hour.

    Thank you for any input!
     
  20. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    Iced, the one thing I'll say is you should do your best to get those ACT scores to AT LEAST a 28. Two points, get on it. Good luck!

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