Staying competitive!!!

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by DCHillin, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. DCHillin

    DCHillin Member

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    Today my quarter grades came out, and I have big question to be answered. I am taking an Honors Math class which is very challenging for me, however, I did not receive the best grade for this quarter. From the academies point of view, would it be beneficial for me to keep taking that class and possibly continue to receive unsatisfactory grades, or move to a regular math class that won't be as challenging, but I will be able to receive that A or high B and maintain a good GPA?

    :cool::confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    That's an assessment you have to make. There are pros and cons to either and there is no clear right or wrong. Really just wanted to point out another option - study harder, perhaps with a tutor, and bring the grades up? Whatever math it is, eventually you will have to master it. If not now, then while you're at the academy. However, at the academy, dropping for another math course will not be an option, so perhaps it's best to learn how to master it now.
     
  3. DCHillin

    DCHillin Member

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    Thanks, for the advice..... I think i will stick with it for now, I can only get better!
     
  4. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Tough spot...

    Ok, here we go, I'm not going to sugar coat it kid. But you're in a tough spot. If you drop down to a lower class, yes it could maintain your GPA, but may effect your class ranking which is important also. If you stay in the class your GPA will effect your class rank. Now lets not forget you ACT/SAT scores. If you don't get it, the math that is, it will reflect you scores. There was a noticeble mean increase difference between Class 2016 to 2017. Not going to pull any punches. ACT needs to be 32 or better, SAT 730 or better to be a standout. Math and the hard sciences are what they look for in competitve candidates.

    Again, bottom line, turn off the X-Box, turn off Walking Dead, buckle down, get a totur or two.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  5. DCHillin

    DCHillin Member

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    Ive actually never had a game system, does going to a lower class still make a big difference if my school does not rank at all?
     
  6. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Yes, because WP wants to see on your transcripts that you took the hardest classes available at your HS.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1. And I would assume the transcript would show the dropped course as well, although I don't know that.
     
  8. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    I assume "ACT needs to be 32 or better" refers to the math discussion. Correct?
     
  9. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    I called my high school's guidance counselor and she said that the majority of high schools will show any dropped classes on the transcript, (she said there are a few exceptions, like when a teacher quits or some other unusual event causes the class to be cancelled mid-year). She said a dropped honors or AP class looks pretty bad for a competitive student and that her office recommends that competitive students NEVER drop an AP class mid-year.

    She suggested:
    * Get a tutor AND meet one-on-one regularly with the teacher for extra help
    * Ask the teacher for extra credit projects, tests, essays or research papers
    * Ask the teacher if he or she offers alternative testing methods (like if you know the material but perform better on essay tests rather than multiple choice)
    Basically, she's saying, "Do everything in your power to bring the grade up." And she added, a C in an honors class still looks better than a W, and an A in a regular class.

    She also suggested that every student needs to have a few "Plan Bs" in their arsenal. There are many avenues to commissioning.
     
  10. sean007

    sean007 Member

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    My son had a similar issue when he was in high school. For whatever reason he did not do as well as he expected in AP math and ended up with a C (true story - missed a B by one point out of 1000).

    To compensate for a mediocre score in a high school class he got a 5 on the standardized AP test, the highest score available. He also got a 34 on his ACT in math, which placed him in the 99th percentile.

    Long story short - He recently oovoo'd me telling me he got his grade from his first advanced multi-variable calculus exam at West Point - a 197 out of 200.

    So a "C" in a high school is not necessarily a killer - but you certainly should have something to back up the expectation that you can handle the math requirements at WP.
     
  11. DCHillin

    DCHillin Member

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    So I am deciding to stay in the class, I am talking to my teacher today to:

    -Make a schedule to get as much one on one time possible.
    -Try to get extra credit, or work that will supplement the dark areas in our lessons
    -Let her know my situation and what I am trying to accomplish.

    I also have a math tutor....... SO I GOTTA KEEP UP THE WORK!
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Good for you DChillin. You've made the right decision and are taking the proper course of action. Good luck! Please let us know how it all turns out.
     
  13. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    @DC

    Great Start!!! Now make it a habit to excel. At WP they use the Thayer method of study. In class they just review, they review what they study during study time. You need to develop a study ethic and skills to help you succeed.

    Great Start, It can be done!

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  14. nothingventurednothinggai

    nothingventurednothinggai Member

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    Similar story here, with a now 2017 Cadet. He totally pooched Q1 Junior year grades (damn curvy redhead -;). But had the boards, (brought the grades up later). Had the rest of the well rounded stuff needed in a LT. Nevertheless, WP will give a candidate some leeway for a bump, IF they have the rest of the package during the long admissions process. Its not fatal to have a bump, if you have the other things they want....they will give you time to make up for it, but you have to post across all categories.

    In any competitive bake off, the first pass must be to find reasons to say no. Multiple weaknesses are such a reason. A candidate who is decent but with holes has to scramble to not get put in the forever maybe pile. A strong candidate with a glitch will get a chance to make it up, but they have to do so pretty quickly.

    The takeaway is a strong Candidate will get the chance to pave over his potholes. USMA really does look at the whole Candidate....within reason. They cannot possibly process 15k aps as a social project, but a Candidate with a hole that he/she is working hard to fill, with the other 10 or 15 traits maxed, they will give you a shot to show your ability.
     
  15. nothingventurednothinggai

    nothingventurednothinggai Member

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    West Point studies the competitiveness of the school and ranks, even if the school does not.
     

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