Starting My Application

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by juniorman, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. juniorman

    juniorman New Member

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    Looking for any possible advice! I'm a junior looking to submit my Pre-Candidate Questionnaire ASAP in March. I received a 1240 on my first SAT attempt (660 reading, 580 math) and will be taking another on March 14 to try and raise my math score. Could somebody tell me whether it would be better to put my current SAT score on my Pre-Candidate Questionnaire and submit it ASAP or wait until I have a higher math score to show on it? How much weight does the SAT score carry in the PCQ? Am I needlessly fretting over this? Also, anyone have any information on how competitive the appointments for the class of 2020 are going to be? I will appreciate any helpful answers!
     
  2. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    680 math 520 reading first submission here. Best to put in scores I think. They will receive official scores when they deem you competitive. Best of luck and consider the ACT as well.
     
  3. USNAhopeful88

    USNAhopeful88 Member

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    Im in the same boat I don't know if I should apply right away to show interest or hold off till i have my best possible score. You should contact your local liaison officer and see what they think


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  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you're a serious applicant, then you won't know your best possible sat or act scores until next January. Why? Because if you can afford it, you're going to retake you sat and act test as many times as you can.
     
  5. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    Listen to Christcorp. He knows of what he speaks! ;)
     
  6. USNAhopeful88

    USNAhopeful88 Member

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    Will we have the opportunity to send these in and will taking it so many times affect our scores?


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  7. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    I can assure you that taking standardized tests multiple times WILL affect your scores. I took the ACT three times, and my score improved each time, to the point where my score on English went from a 30 my first time to a 35 my last. I would encourage you to take the test as many times as you can afford :) And yes, you can always send updated test scores, I believe (at least until the application officially closes ;) )
     
  8. onesooz

    onesooz Member

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    Does the Admissions Board see how many times a candidate takes the SATs or ACTs or just the best set of scores?
     
  9. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Does anyone know if the academies prefer the SAT over the ACT? Also, does anyone know if they care about national merit finalist?(I got a high score on the PSAT so I will likely qualify for this)
     
  10. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I think the SAT/ACT is about 22.5% of your total application, so it's really important that you do well on it.

    http://www.academyadmissions.com/admissions/the-application-process/academic-performance/

    That link has a lot of useful information. Try the ACT too, it's easier for most people. I studied a ton for the SAT and got 700 math and 680 reading, but I didn't study at all for the ACT and I got a 33 math, 32 English, 30 reading, 28 science. Your reading is already slightly above average, but your math needs a bit of improvement. Your can improve a lot if you just practice a bunch. I got a 175 on the PSAT my sophomore year and I studied a bunch for my junior year PSAT and I got a 211. The tests don't measure how smart you are, they just measure how good you are at taking the test. Learn every single math concept that could possibly show up on the SAT(this is absolutely vital and does not take that much time), study SAT vocab words(this is extremely time consuming but can boost your score a few points, one of the reasons I like the ACT better is that there is hardly any vocab and I struggle with vocab), and just take practice tests and your score will go up a ton, trust me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  11. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    From what my ALO and various other sources have said, no, the academy does not prefer one test over the other, however they recommend that you take both as some people do better on one over the other (personally, I never took the SAT, though).
     
  12. mroberts5102

    mroberts5102 Member

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    Definitely hold back on submitting the scores, all submitting the pre-questionnaire early is going to do is possibly promote you to candidate status earlier, and that doesn't really matter this early in the process. I'm not sure the minimum scores the academy looks for in the SATs, but your math score is low, I would focus on that. You'll do better the second time around, so save yourself the hassle and money and just send in the better scores a little bit later.

    Good luck!
     
  13. mroberts5102

    mroberts5102 Member

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    I took both, scored better on SAT, and only sent SAT. To be honest, I think the ACT is a better test, but I didn't score as well. Take both and see which you score better on
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    It does you no good to hold back submitting your SAT/ACT scores. To be honest, MOST applicants who send in the Pre-Questionaire, haven't even taken their SAT/ACT. They usually submit PSAT scores. As said, you want to take the SAT and ACT as many times as you can. Your goal is to get a 36 ACT and 800 SAT. The academy Super-Scores your tests, so it's impossible for your scores to go down. Meaning, if you had a 27 math and 31 science on one ACT test, and the next one had a 30 math and 26 science, the academy would use the 30 math and 31 science. So again, your scores CAN'T go down.

    On a side not, there are SOME universities that take you most recent scores and that's it. So for some schools, the scores can go down. So for those, it is advisable to know what the scores are prior to sending them to the schools you are applying to. But that doesn't hold true for the academy. Best of luck.
     
  15. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Here is my tid bit of advice...

    1) Fitness: Start working out now! IDC how fit you are, there's always room for improvement. You need to be preparing for your CFA. Mine was a very challenging 30 minutes. I've been chubby a my life so it was extra hard for me but I have a friend who attends USMA that was physically amazing and it was hard on him. So do push ups, pull ups and sit ups at least 5 days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes. Also Run your behind off! Not just for the CFA but for USAFA itself. I started with a mile, then a mile and a half, and now I run 3 miles. Occasionally time yourself to track your mile and 1.5 mile speed.

    2) Test Scores: These are important because academics weigh the most. Use the scores you have, BUT DONT STOP TESTING unless you are accepted or maxed out (36 ACT or 1600 SAT) trust me on this one. I took the ACT four times! And the SAT twice! I was scheduled to take more but I got accepted. Never forget that they take mixed scores either! My composites on the ACT sucked. I got 25,24,23,24 (in that order) but my highest scores were (Math 25 Reading 29 English 26 Science Writing 25) you are already higher than my SAT (Math 560 Reading 580) so you're on track. I recommend taking both. To people one is easier than the other but you need to take both so you know which one produces better scores. Also take the writing at least once so you can apply to back up colleges.

    3) Recommendations: this process requires tons of recommendations so start having some teachers in mind. I applied for 2 senatorial Nominations and 1 congressional nomination which are applications in them selves and required three recommendations each. What I did was picked six teachers and had each of them write a letter of recommendation for my nomination packets and o had four teachers write me letters for USAFA (2 of those will be done online) by the end of it I had extras but more is better than less but only send the requested maximum amount.

    4) Find support and don't get discouraged: This is going to be a hard a stressful process. The acceptance rate is 9.9% and USAFA is the 4th ranked university in america (above all the military academies and Harvard, Stanford and Yale.) So its huge. At one point o got discouraged. Never get discouraged! Keep treadi g on and have someone to vent to if you get to stressed.

    5) Don't stop fighting till it is officially over: There will be times where you think you won't make it. Every time I took my ACT and my scores went down, I started to think I wouldn't make it. I applied for early action and on Jan 15 they told me I was deferred to regular decision. I was denied one nominaton and got a nomination for a different academy. After all that I wanted to quit. 2 weeks after those negative letters, my congressman calls me and tells me that I have been accepted to USAFA. I promise, that is the greatest feeling you will ever feel and it is worth the fight and hard work so never give up!

    6) Keep on the Ball: you're starting as scheduled and that is great! I had no varsity participation and not much going for me so I had to cram a lot into my Junior and Senior year and I didn't even start my application until the beginning of my senior year but I still finished for early selection. That's what you should shoot for, it looks good and they consider that you finished everything early. Take AP classes or honors, get a varsity letter or at least play a sport and find a leadership position to excell in(not just to hold) maintain a good GPA! At least 3.5 mine was 3.7 so not everyone who is accepted is a 4.0 but shoot for 4.0 regardless! Never slow down, just power through the paper work and the challenges! Use your parents! Mine help me so much its unreal! Do things to make yourself stand out!

    7) Have a back up plan: If USAFA is number one than go for it head on! But have a contingency plan! I completed my packet for early action which is NOV 1 so I used the extra time afterwards to meet December, January, and February college applications. I Applied to like 10 schools after finishing my USAFA application and got accepted to Penn State so I knew if USAFA didn't happen, I had a great school to go to. At least apply to one school you know you'll be accepted and one that is harder to get into, that's just minimal though.

    8) This is the most important thing to remember. NEVER FORGET THAT YOU CAN DO THIS!

    I just shot a lot of info at you, I know, but I promise it should help and I through in all my personal examples so you could see how someone has gone threw it. And I did this recently. I'm going into the class of 2019 so you'll be right behind me. I'm sure you can do it and if you have any questions while applying, feel free to ask me!

    P.S sorry for any misspellings. Typing on my phone is ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
    Busto, Midwest, juniorman and 2 others like this.
  16. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Not sure if I mentioned above but Apply ASAP! They consider it, especially if you complete everything in time for nearly action! Put the scores you have now and as you continue to take it, they will update it. I went from noncompetitive to competitive to candidate and finally Appointee so your status changes as your packet does!
     
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  17. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Ok RogersCO'19 I'm rather impressed on two counts. One that you typed that long of a post on your phone. The other a very good synopsis on the process and what you went through.
     
  18. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thank you, I am a wordy person so when I start typing its always a lot but my phone accounts for all my mistakes because I used to have a physical keyboard and now I have this silly touch screen.

    Anyway thanks and I hope my info helps also

    When I applied in the beginning, I didn't submit any scores and then when I took it I submitted 20 English 29 reading 25math and 26 science and as you can see from my above post, after taking it so many times, English is the only subject I improved. So, submit what you have and keep testin . Of the Academy feels your scores are way to low, they will denote it on your profile so you know what area to improve, that's what they did with my English score. They denoted it until I got it to 25 and I registered and tested up until the day I knew I was appointed.
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Realize too, that it's not just a matter of "Finally" getting a high enough or satisfactory ACT/SAT test score. One of the largest parts of your application's score, is academics. Granted, there is a "Minimum Required" score. But the HIGHER you ACT/SAT scores are, the "More POINTS" you receive on your application. So while it is important that you "Qualify"; realize that you are also "Competing" with many other people. So keep taking your ACT/SAT as many times as you can.
     
  20. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Christcorp is correct! Aim to get higher, trust me! I am still not satisfied with my scores! I would keep testing but I have missed the deadline for them to continue accepting anymore scores. I did get accepted but if I hadnt gotten appointed early, I had every intention to keep testing. SHOOT FOR MAX SCORES!
     

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