Retake Calc over summer?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Goat2015mom, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Goat2015mom

    Goat2015mom Member

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    My DS is currently a junior and just attended a CVW. He came home from that a different person and totally committed to improving everything he can for his application. He is a varsity athlete and will do fine on the CFA, but academically he needs to improve.

    He is right at the 20% mark for class rank and is currently taking these courses with a weighted 3.5 GPA

    HON ENG
    HON PHYS
    AP PSYCH
    AP HIST
    AP CALC
    Pre-engineering

    He scored a 660 on his math SAT, but is maintaining a C in AP CALC. Next year he plans on taking AP STATS, AP PHYS C, HON ENG, & ADV ENG. Should he try to take his CALC class at the community college over the summer to improve his score? Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    I can only speak to the fact that my son has taken several courses, including Calculus, at the local community college, and it has been a great experience for him. I have recommended repeatedly that, if at all possible, students should try to get into a college classroom for some classes. DS has learned so much in regard to studying, note taking, time management, and even assisting other students who were struggling. He has had 7 different teachers in 3 different colleges, and they have been very encouraging and helpful. Also, I feel that these classes have boosted his confidence. I can't speak for what the academy would like to see, but I can say that taking Calculus at the community college would probably be a valuable experience!

    Good luck to your son, and to all USNA Class of 2015 Applicants!!:thumb:
     
  3. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    IMO, re-taking calculus over the summer would be a very good thing so long as your son finishes the course and does well in it. Having a better understanding of calculus will help him be prepared for AP physics, which is calculus-based. It would also visibly demonstrate that your son is serious about being prepared for the level of study at a SA.

    OTOH, I would think that it could be a bad thing if your son either didn't finish the class, or did poorly in it. I would suggest that he find out who the summer school calculus instructors will be, and meet with them, or even sit in on a class before this semester ends (if possible). The last thing he needs (IMO) is to find himself in a summer class with a poor instructor.

    An alternative would be for your son to work over the summer on his own. There are quite a few good web sites with study guides and practice problems for calculus. He also should go over his AP course materials, to see what his specific weak areas are. Obviously, this approach would require the self-discipline to schedule study time, but that in itself would be good preparation for USNA or any college.
     
  4. xrunmariarunx

    xrunmariarunx Member

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    If he decides to retake the course, I would definitely recommend he go in for tutoring, asks questions in class, etc. That way if he struggles with the class again or doesnt get the grade he wants, the instructor can always note the effort he put into the class. A lot of the time, its the effort that counts more than the grade. Although the academy likes people who are strong in academics naturally, they also favor people who show that they put in effort, even if they might fail at that particular task. Hard work, determination, and resilience make up a good naval or MC officer.

    best of luck to your son, since the application is not an easy road. he'll learn things about himself that he never knew before. GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY.
     
  5. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    xrunmariarunx-

    Do you mind my asking, have you made a decision about next year? Any thoughts you can share on how you arrived at it and what made you stay or go?
     
  6. jtoye

    jtoye NAPS '12 appointee

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    That is what I plan on doing, because I did not do very well in pre-calculus. I talked with my future Calc teacher and she said between some trigonometry review materials (what I mainly struggled with) and some legwork of my own I put myself in a good position for AP Calc (in addition to the several weeks of review she does at the beginning of the course).
     
  7. Goat2015mom

    Goat2015mom Member

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    Not re-taking calc

    Unfortunately, I don't think my son will be able to re-take the AP calc class. We have already missed the deadline to enroll concurrently at the local community college. There would be no point in re-taking at school next year as he would have the same poor instructor. Hopefully he can do well at AP physics and AP stats. Although we are applying for the class of 2015, he would be more than happy to go to a prep school to reach his ultimate goal of attaining an appointment, so that will be his plan "b". He is a young junior (won't be 18 til Aug 2011) so we are looking at the possibility of the extra year as a positive.

    Thank you to all for the responses. I really appreciate the feedback.
     
  8. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    You mights want to check out the "Easy Way" series of math books (Barron's Publishing, Author-Douglas Downing, PhD). I purchased Trigonometry the Easy Way and Calculus the Easy Way for my son. While he thought the "story" format was kind of cheesy in the Calc book, he was able to pull some good information out of both books that helped with a couple questions he had. I think the trig version was the most helpful. Once he got the college algebra and trig down, the calculus was no problem for him. You can find the Easy Way books on Amazon.
     

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