Test Option?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Gleasons84, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    To a ALO or anyone who has an opinion on this they would like to share:biggrin:

    My son is in his Sophomore year and is taking AP English and has the option to take the test given at the end of the year, which if scored high enough would give him college credit. The school has gone through dramatic cuts and will no longer be paying for this test. Is this something that you would recommend he take? Does the Academy look at things like this or just the fact that he took an AP course? I don't mind paying for it myself if I know it will be worth it to him in the end?

    Also, it stated in the website that they recommend that they take the PSAT test also their Sophomore year. My question is if he did extremely well on this test, would he still be required to complete this test again his Junior year?

    Thanks!

    Shannon
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    If your son takes the AP test as a Sophomore it will not hurt him. Even if he gets a 2.
    AP English is normally a senior class (sometimes junior) so he is way ahead of his peers.
    If he scores a 3,4 or 5 he may automtatically earn college credit - depending on the school he eventually chooses. Keep this in mind, since although he may now be committed to the AFA, he needs a plan B. (IMO).

    PSAT - he can and should sign up and take the PSAT as a Sophomore. It's a good practice test and cheap at that.
    High school juniors that take the PSAT compete nationally in the National Merit Scholarship Program. If he scores high enough on the test he will be recognized. Again, although it doesn't directly apply to the AFA it's good to have as a back up and enhances the academic portion of his resume.
    He also will need to take the SAT. Some kids take a practice one in their Sophomore year, while others wait until their Junior year. If possible it would be good for him to take the first one spring of sophomore year or the fall of his junior year. that way he will have plenty of time for retakes, if necessary.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    JAM is correct. It is great to have that goal, but remember the acceptance rate is @15%, you need a plan B. Not paying the 80 bucks may cost him in the future if he attends a "traditional" university, since they use the scores for placement.

    Also, take the PSAT, both yrs. The more he takes test like the PSAT and AP the more he will become accustomed to those type of questions. APs and PSATs are not like EOGs/SOLs. The more accustomed to the test, the less test anxiety he will have.

    Finally, PSATs are the only way you can achieve the NMF scholarship. To be a semi-finalist you need 95% or above in the percentile. Not only do you have the chance for a scholarship it is a great resume filler, since every admission office knows that to be an NSMF you are nationally ranked in the top 5% at least.
     
  4. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there a difference between the PSAT and the SAT, if so which one would you recommend he take, he was also thinking of taking the ACT as well, but they don't offer that at his school and we would have to drive about an hour to get to the high school that did. :frown:

    Yeah, he does have a back up, just in case he doesn't make the Academy, he plans to do the AFROTC program and attend Norwich, he is in the process of a back up to his back up plan, just in case! :thumb:

    BUT he is very hopeful on his first choice! Yes, he is way ahead of his peers, he was taking Junior-Senior classes is Freshman year, and has the #1 ranking right now for his class. Not quite sure how that weighted and unweighted thing works, but last year for his Freshman year he had a 104 for one and a 3.9 for the other????? I'm assuming that is good?? :confused:

    Thanks for your input, I really like this forum and how everyone is so helpful, we have a long road ahead of us and it is nice to know we have you guys! :shake:

    Shannon
     
  5. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im new to all this so Im not familiar with what this means "EOGs/SOLs", would you mind explaining?? Thanks!

    Shannon
     
  6. btown13

    btown13 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a big difference between PSAT and SAT. The PSAT is a practice SAT. for pretty much any college, this test alone doesn't cut it. It is primarily used for seeing what you need to work on for the SAT and the ACT, as well as for NMF. For pretty much any college, you have to either take the SAT or ACT. I know for the USAFA admission process, you can submit your PSAT scores if you have not taken the ACT or SAT yet and admissions will use it as a preliminary evaluator. With all that, it might not hurt to take the ACT too. I'm from the midwest, so the predominant test was the ACT, but most people with high aspirations also took the SAT. Some people just do better on one over the other. And an hour drive isn't that bad. All the tests are on Saturdays, so traffic etc. shouldn't be too bad. It's well worth it. Believe me.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    PSAT is a Preliminary SAT - simply a "practice" version of the SAT. Offered only in October it is designed for high school juniors. The scores don't count for college entrance.
    The SAT and ACT are two exams used for college entrance. Your son would do well to also take the ACT.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Weighted works for AP or honors courses, thus with a very small difference, it would suggest that he took only 1 or 2 honors/APs.

    Next, remember that it is more than the PAR score (Prior Academic Record), he can graduate with a 4.0 uw gpa, but not be accepted. He has a lot of time, but make sure he becomes involved in ECs, including sports, and leadership positions. They want the most well rounded candidate, which does not necessarily translate into the valedictorian. Thus, as he does well in school, don't lose sight of the other areas that make up the WCS (Whole Candidate Score).

    Finally, EOG/SOL refers to the no child left behind act. Both of these are the tests that schools give at the end of yr for promotion to the next grade. In NC and VA there are certain classes like Geometry, US History, Biology, Computer, and Writing that you must pass regardless if they are taking it in std, honors or AP.
     
  9. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    He does do sports, he is in track, basketball and tennis and is involved with the school student senate. We are working on community service, that is where he falls a bit short right now. Im thinking that once he is able to drive, that will even out with the rest.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Then you are on a good track. Now the next question, why the AFA or the AF? Does he want to serve only the AF and if so why? Please do not take that as antagonistic. It is because many kids say "I want to fly fighters and that is why I am going AFA or USNA". It is my pet peeve. You should want to serve in the branch in any position that they deem. I am not disagreeing with the fact that many kids want a military university, I respect that. I am just saying as a parent that the SA is a small part, the commitment afterward is something that many do not place into the equation.

    I am not trying in anyway to burst a bubble or rain on a parade, but as important as it is to have plan B for college, the same is true for going AD. If it is all about flying jets, you need to sit down and say will you be happy for 5 yrs of your life after graduation flying a desk with rotations to Iraq or in Korea or Mt Home Idaho? The allure is great, but sometimes they don't meet.

    I belong to the premise hope for the best, but expect the worst. If you are okay with the worst you will always be happy.
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Hi!

    WOW!

    I really can't add much here; and that's neat to see!!! :biggrin:

    The advice, comments, etc., you've been given here are dead-on accurate! I would take them to heart, pass them to your "young-un" and press ahead!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    5
    Definitely take AP English test. If you score high enough, you can place out of the first core English class even at the Air Force Academy.
     
  13. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    6
    extra advice.... arrange for plan C: College without ROTC that will offer great scholarship based on grades and test scores. Son might change his mind about the military, or he might not pass DoDMERB (medical), OR all his dreams will come true, he'll be accepted to USAFA or ROTC, and then get injured at the 11th hour. Plan C is your assurance he won't be sitting in your basement playing video games waiting a year to apply again. :smile:
     
  14. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pima, I would be more than happy to answer your question, my husband and I both served in the Air Force and loved it! Even though we are out now, we still love the military and the Air Force and still have friends that are in. I am 3rd generation Air Force, both my mom and dad served, in fact my mom was a jet engine machanic. My son has wanted to be an officer in the Air Force since he was about 5 years old, and has been preparing for the Academy since the 7th grade, so there has been much thought put forth in this on his part, I just try to keep him on track. :wink: And we can't be prouder of him! :biggrin: He actually is not interested in flying jets he in fact would like to do something in engineering, or computer warfare???? Not sure if there is even a thing like that??? He is really good at computers, science and math.....so I guess the question would be what would he like to be when he grows up????? :smile:

    Thanks so much and I hope this helped answer your question

    Shannon
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    singapore is right on! I can tell you that DS gave us whiplash, his entire soph yr was he was going to go to ND, UMiami or UMD and go ROTC. JR yr the same, in May of that yr he said I think I am going to apply to the AFA. HUH, WHAT, WHY? He never applied to SLS since he was too late in the ball park, he was assigned an ALO 3 weeks later and we were behind the 8 ball...we never found this site until after the MOC applications were submitted and already had 2 in hand (1 MOC, 1 presidential). Kids will change, keep on top of it, but also make sure they have a true picture of the SA.

    Our DS gave us whiplash again in Feb, when he decided as a sr he wanted AFROTC scholarship over AFA:bang::bang::bang:

    You are ahead of the game, and if its AFA or AFROTC he will be standing better off because of this site.

    If he decides to go ROTC, remember there is a section to ask those questions.

    Finally, one thing I would suggest is to look at his med records. DO NOT HIDE ANYTHING...but if he has medical issues, such as, asthma, acne, allergies, ADD, or any prescribed med for long term be prepared to defend them, and MullenLE will become your best friend. Not to be rude, but this is not the time to ask him, since you have 2 yrs before it becomes an issue, but if there is something major like surgeries to correct an issue, just give your background that your DS has 2 yrs, but want to know if it is an issue.

    He is really inundated with candidates who are med dq right now and will be for the next 6 months. The man is a gift for G*d for many candidates because he has the ability to see it from DODMERB's persepctive.
     
  16. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually been working with Mr. Mullen the past week with the medical through personal email. My son has allergies and had surgery last year and I had a few questions in regards to that. He asked me to send a copy of my sons medical records so he could view them, and see where we go from there. I would rather be prepared for everything, if I can prevent a denial right from the start then that's what I plan to do. I knew from the start that medical was going to be our nightmare. Mr. Mullen has been WONDERFUL and has been VERY helpful with everything. I have appreciated everything he has and will do for us! Thank you Mr. Mullen for taking the time to do this for my son!!!!!

    Shannon
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I doubt that you can prevent it, that's just how the system works, but it will help you in having the dq removed if you know the regs. I would suggest it seems like the path for AFA is under control and that you start looking into the option B plan, while discussing what is his true dream in the AF. I am not saying he won't get apptd, but you need a back up plan for the what if. What if I don't get in, what if I get turned back, what if, what if.


    SInce you are so ahead of the game I would suggest that you sit down with him and look at the curriculum that is mandatory and arrange his schedule to optimize academics.
     
  18. Gleasons84

    Gleasons84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pima, you are right about not having any control over a dq, but if I can assure that all the correct paperwork is in place and everything that Mr. Mullen suggests is done, I am hoping that we will be able to either pass the exam or be waivered. That's my hope anyway. I do thank you for all the great comments, in fact everyone has had some wonderful thoughts and ideas, and we will be taking the AP test, ACT and PSAT.....I will let you all know how we do, well actually how he does! :smile:
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Good luck. You have a long time before this will even become an issue, so for now just have him remain competitive regarding academics and ECS.
     

Share This Page