Senior year math?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Sam2018, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    DS is a junior and will be out of math classes and math based science classes at his HS at the end of this year. He is currently taking AP Calc BC (98) and AP Stats(100), took AP Chem last year (5) and AP Physics C(97) this year. Current grades or AP score in parentheses. He scored an 800 on the math his first try on the SAT as a Sophomore. He has repeated that three times, working to bring that verbal score up, up to a 690 now :) So the question is will it hurt his application if he does not have a math class next year? He will be taking AP Bio but its not really math based. He could possibly take Calc III or Differential Equations in the fall but if its not offered online that could mean possibly giving up either his HS sport in the morning, or club sport in the afternoon. Thoughts?
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Do not give up on the sports. If it can fit into his schedule take the math, but if not don't worry about it. USAF will not have any doubt that he can handle college level math. Finding an online college level calculus course could be a possibility.

    Do not underestimate the importance of leadership through sports and EAs. Depending on how competitive you state is they could make all the difference in the world. Also, do you best to have DS attend Boys State. It is huge to the SA.

    I am sure your DS is working on that SAT verbal score. Getting it into the 700 will be huge to both SA and highly competitive universities.

    Unfortunately, I speak from experience. My DS has 800 math (also first try) with 680 verbal. He is first in his class with a perfect weighted and unweighted GPA. Along with leadership through sports, eagle scout, etc etc. He got his TWE from USNA last month. He did not go to Boys State. Although we will never really know, but not going to Boys State hurt him with the USNA . The 680 verbal hurt him with admissions to the Ivys, MIT etc.
     
  3. Dad2020

    Dad2020 Member

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    We went through the same thing. Some ran out of classes to take. It was suggested that we check around at the local colleges or find courses online. There were none that didn't conflict with his school schedule (not night classes), so admissions told us to just have him take the most challenging schedule that he could and they would note that there were no higher classes to take.
     
  4. FALgarand

    FALgarand Member

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    The Boys State thing is a recurring debate. IMO, its value as a metric is attenuated because selection standards are not uniform, varying state-to-state and school-to-school. It's not even listed as a metric on the USNA class profile http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/_files/documents/ClassPortrait.pdf, while on the USAFA profile it shows only 17% attended Boys or Girls State. So, draw your own conclusions on its value. Perhaps more valuable are other demonstrations of leadership/EC shown on the profile: 92% varsity sports; 68% sports co-captain; 67% student body leader; 67% drama/debate/speech, etc. Perhaps focus on those?
    As to the direct issue of additional math - I would agree with looking into the community college option.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You don't mention particular leadership skills or acquired abilities, but my guess is the 680 CR hurt him more than no boys state.

    What other ECs does your child have? That could indicate more to an SA - great Math, no leadership - than lack of boys state.
     
  6. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    I will add:
    2 years varsity spring track, captain and varsity letter senior year
    4 years winter track, captain and varsity letter senior year
    Freshman and JV Lacrosse
    President NHS
    Student council
    Eagle Scout with lots of different leadership positions
    member of various school clubs and over 400 hours of community service.

    So his EA were not zero, but not the best, Boys State would have helped. Having winter and spring track may not have counted as 2 sports. And I do agree that the 680 hurt. DS regrets not trying harder to get that above 700. He was convinced that have 800 math would make up for that less than stellar CR score. It did not. No sour grapes here. I just wanted to share DS story. He is very happy with NROTC and the civilian college he has been admitted to. I just want to make sure that others don't get too confident that a high SAT score is good enough and hopefully others can learn from what my DS now wishes he would have done.
     
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  7. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    He will be NHS Treasurer next year, and should be a Rho Kappa officer as well. Still waiting to hear about Boys State. He is also in Mu Alpha Theta. He has a 5.0 weighted gpa, 3.96 unweighted, top 2%. Will have 13 APs before graduating. He has a 33C ACT with 35M, 36 Science, 31 reading and 31 english. He is taking the ACT again on Saturday and we will see how that goes before deciding about the SAT again. The SAs will not super score between old and new SAT so he is hoping to get a 34 ACT, at least, and not worry about the new SAT. He should also be commended for PSAT and maybe NM. He is a two sport varsity athlete and has a part time job year round, about 10 hours a week. He is also attending all three summer seminars and maybe CGA as well. Its a large HS. I don't know how overall competitive it is but the top kids are very much so, so most are not able to have several leadership positions. Seems the administration likes to share the wealth and the kids all want them so not many that are captains and presidents, and, and, and....
    He wouldn't give up both sports, but was considering the club sport to make the class work if needed. Sounds like he's better off with the sports.
     
  8. k$Mom

    k$Mom Member

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    Purely from a teacher standpoint, you will want to do some kind of math to maintain it. Unbelievable how quickly you can forget.
     
  9. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    We are certainly going to try to find an online class. Any math teachers out there? Calc 3 or Differential Eq?
     
  10. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    May I ask what you mean by this? Are they updating the ACT this year starting in Sept?
     
  11. desiretoserve

    desiretoserve Member

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    From an admissions standpoint, I would think he will be fine just because he is clearly remarkably intelligent and brilliant at math. Wouldn't hurt to find an online class. I got into West Point with a 610 math just to put things in perspective.
     
  12. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    I was talking about the SAT, starting last month it is a new version. Only two sections, writing optional, no penalty for guessing and the Service Academies have stated that they will not super score between the old version and new version. It really only applies to the current juniors, the kids who may have taken both versions. The ACT is not changing as far as I know? But basically if DS does well on the ACT on Saturday I don't think he will bother with the new SAT.
     
  13. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    Lol, thanks :) We just wish he spoke english a little better :) If the writing sections required a lab report or if the reading passages were technical journals he'd be all set. And this is the kid who taught himself to read at 3, one would think he could knock those sections out of the park as well.
     
  14. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    Ack! I was having a brain fart! Thank you for your kind reply. I obviously need to look more closely at all those acronyms!!
     
  15. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    No problem :) I actually had to google if the ACT was changing too, just to be sure. And actually they did make some changes to the scoring and of course the "wonderful" new writing rubric. The class of 2017 is really having a fun time of it. New SAT, new PSAT, new ACT writing scoring, sigh.
     
  16. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Although the the SA will not superscore,, they will take the best sitting. The new SAT format my benefit you DS. I cannot imagine his math score would suffer. What is the lowest he scored in math, 780 :)
     
  17. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    That's a good point. His lowest SAT math so far is an 800, and a 760/760 in the PSAT too. ACT best is a 35, not sure why either because according to the score report he didn't miss any? He will probably take the first fall SAT.
     
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  18. rkv

    rkv Member

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    My DS was in similar situation in that he had exhausted all Math courses by the end of his Junior year. I don't believe anyone ever questioned it in his various interviews and he received his appointment. I would suggest your son should take whatever would either challenge him or interest him.

    From your list it seems like he may have exhausted the Math and Science options. You don't mention Computer Science. If he hasn't had that and it is available that might be helpful particularly if he is planning on pursuing a technical major. Also, places like Stanford and MIT have some excellent MOOC courses in those areas some integrated with higher Mathematics if he is keen for Mathematics.

    Good luck. There is no easy formula by which anyone can say you are guaranteed an appointment but your son would certainly seem to be in good shape. He should work on things which will round out or strengthen his package in other areas.
     
  19. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I was in a very similar math situation in my senior year, and ended up taking Calc 3 and Diff Eq at a local college via dual enrollment. I was able to work my schedule such that I only had to drive to campus 2 days per week, leaving my other days (relatively) free for other activities/sports. This is something your DS could at least look into--not sure if it is a viable option for him, but it definitely worked for me. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. And congrats to your son on his solid SAT score. :)
     
  20. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    He has looked into the MOOC a little and is considering taking one for Physics E&M. His class this year did not get through enough of that section to take the E&M AP exam so he is considering self studying and taking it next year. I'll mention Computer Science to him too. Thanks!
     

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