SOE question

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Nikkie96, May 19, 2014.

  1. Nikkie96

    Nikkie96 Member

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    Hello! Just wondering about the SOE forms. Is there a specific West Point SOE Form that my chemistry/math/English teacher has to fill out and then give the recommendation or is it just a simple recommendation from each of these teachers without a specific SOE type form....? if there is a specific form, where and when can I find it? Thank you!
     
  2. 845something

    845something Member

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    It is a specific form, it will become available on your portal if/when you are given access to the second step of the application, and you won't handle it physically. You'll put your teachers' contact info into the system and they will get an email with a link to a unique page to fill out your form and when they submit it, it transfers electronically into your file.
     
  3. nsbUSNA

    nsbUSNA Member

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    What is an SOE? A teacher recommendation? Also what teachers does WP ask for, I know Annapolis wants english and math, is that the same?
     
  4. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    School Official Evaluation. And if I remember correctly you need your English, Math and Chemistry or Physics teachers' recommendations. You will enter an e-mail address for these teachers and they will be sent an e-mail/link to fill out. It shows on the portal when you submitted their e-mail address and also when the teacher(s) responded.
     
  5. AcademyHopefulOne

    AcademyHopefulOne Member

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    Does the SOE need to be from a junior year teacher?
     
  6. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    SOE....

    midwestmom is correct. And its teachers from your senior year.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  7. AcademyHopefulOne

    AcademyHopefulOne Member

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    Really? I've read on here a few times that it's good to talk to teachers about it before Summer break.
     
  8. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    My DS used Junior year teachers, as his app was open because of SLE and he was able to get the e-mail links to the teachers in May; I think they all responded by June/July.

    EDIT: I just looked at DS's portal -- he submitted their e-mail addresses 5/18/13; one teacher responded 5/20 and the other two responded in June. And they were definitely Junior year teachers (had same Chem/Physics teacher Soph & Jr yrs).
     
  9. flightsurgeon

    flightsurgeon Member

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    I didn't take chemistry this year (junior) but took it last year. Is it okay if I have a sophomore year teacher write my SOE?
     
  10. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    It can be teachers (Math, English and Chemistry/Physics) that you've had during 9-12 grade.
     
  11. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    My understanding was that it has to be teachers from specific courses. What I recall from DS's time was that he had to go back to Sophomore / Junior teachers for a couple due to block scheduling.

    But I could be fuzzy on that! :smile:
     
  12. NewJersey2019

    NewJersey2019 Member

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    Same situation here. English will be sophomore & senior, math will be junior. I hope chem. sophomore is ok.

    Also, is there the availability for a recommendation from an extracurricular leader (i.e. a Scouting leader) and/or an athletic coach?


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Just to be clear, don't confuse SOE with letters of recommendation (LOR). LOR does not replace SOE.

    You can have your scouting leader/coach write LOR and send it directly to the admissions office - including your candidate number will help with the LOR ending up in your application file.

    From what I was told, a LOR stating you are a great person/student doesn't help much at all regardless who signs it. A good LOR should have recommender's qualification (i.e. former military, work with kids that graduated from SA, and etc) and strong relationship (I.e. known him/her last 10 years attending same church).

    I serve on my Congressman's nomination panel, so have read many LORs. Not so good ones are LORs from guidance counselors summarizing SAT/GPA/school activities; a SA grad saying the kid will be very successful at SA when the kid has very bad grades; and a minister (no military experience disclosed) saying the kid will make a great military officer.
     
  14. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I hope everyone reads this twice and puts some serious thought into who they ask!

    My sister and BIL are college professors and are frequently asked for LORs from students who constantly skipped/missed class, didn't pay attention, slept, or smelled like old booze......or worse.:eek:
     
  15. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Is this not covered in the instructions??? I vaguely remember DS finding that answer.

    As to Letters of Recommendation, at a recent admission briefing the RC basically said unless it's from the President commending you for saving lives in your village, don't bother.

    There can be exceptions, but the letter from your neighbor's uncle the general does not help. And as memberlg alluded, can sometimes have a negative perception.

    LOR's should only be considered if they supplement the information already submitted and are from someone who has 1st hand visibility to that information over a sustained period of time.

    That's for USMA application, anyway. Congressional noms can vary, some do want "she's a good kid" reference letters, but that's becoming less common.
     
  16. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    In regards to SOEs

    You want the freshest, most up to date SOEs submitted to WP. You should be taking math during all four years of high school and science. (In my case five years of high school) It will take some effort and planning during the later part of your junior year, when building your class schedule for senior year. Try to introduce yourself to those teachers who you will be taking classes from as a senior. Let them know what your plans and goals are, ask them during the first month of class to evaluate you and submit an SOE. Time will be short.

    Now from WP admissions prospective, which application would look more attractive, an SOE filed during your senior year or from a teacher in your sophomore year? In some cases it cannot be avoided, but do your best to submit the freshest most up to date information on your application.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  17. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    We'll have to agree to disagree... given the timelines most competitive cadets will have their LOE's lined up and even submitted during their summer prior to even starting their senior year.

    So for many the only option is for Junior and Sophomore teachers. Does not invalidate your point that fresh is good, but I've seen specific input that if a Soph teacher has better insight and would write a better LOE, then use them.

    That assumes you have that option, which you should for English & Math since 4 years is required. Science LOE is harder, as physics/chemistry may be taken in earlier years and not as a junior.
     
  18. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    @Hawk

    Totally agree!! The underlining message here, there is no time to sit back and wait!! You must be proactive and explore all options. The application process is time sensitive.

    One very quick lesson you will learn at WP and if you can master it before you'll be better off, "time management"

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  19. 845something

    845something Member

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    When selecting who to send a SOE to, keep in mind that they are primarily used to measure your leadership potential. That may have some bearing on which grade level teacher you send it to - ie how much of a leader were you in your freshman/sophomore year compared to as a junior/senior.

    You may have fond memories of your sophomore algebra teacher but does that really help your case in gaining admission, especially considering that algebra is below the admissions criteria for qualification (pre-cal or trig minimum). If there is an issue with any math aspect of your file (test scores, grades, qualification standards), the first place they are going to look is that Math teacher's SOE for insight into your capabilities.

    There is no "right" answer on who to have write your SOEs, but as in life, there are better answers given each unique situation.
     
  20. NewJersey2019

    NewJersey2019 Member

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    It is covered - sophomore teachers are allowed. However, I wanted to post and ask what everyone thought about having a sophomore teacher do it. It seems from the responses that it would be fine. I think I will go ahead and reach out to my sophomore chem. teacher, then have my other SOE teachers be more recent.

    Thanks for the information everyone :thumb:
     

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