The Final ACT numbers are In

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by F15DOC, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    He is finally done!!
    My son took the ACT 3 times and was able to bump at least one of each section with each test.
    His final superscores aren't too bad, now we will see what the academy thinks of his academics"
    English 32
    Math 30
    Reading 32
    Science 31
    His GPA is 3.61 in top 25th percentile in his class (nationally ranked high school) with completion of 9 AP Classes including Physics and Calculus. Received his letter stating he is an AP SCHOLAR.
    So, that part is done, he just submitted his CFA which isn't as strong as his academics. Dang if he didn't hurt his knee on Saturday during his last football game!! He then took the CFA on Monday. I emailed his AFA advisor who stated that if he "fails" a portion of the CFA they typically request a repeat CFA (So that answers a few questions I have heard on the forums, this doesn't sound like its rare but rather, its more common).
    His letters of recommendation are great.
    His ALO is very supportive, interview went very well.
    His activities are great with Presidential leadership of a club, involvement in many school events/volunteer.
    3 Sport Athlete (not a great athlete, but he competes).
    DoDMERB fully qualified with no waivers and excellent eyeballs.
    His application due date is Nov 12, and he is finalizing his essays now.
    Just about done, what a long haul, I think he is a strong candidate.... now for the nomination applications and interviews. Those applications are all due within the next week....
    What a long road, I want to thank all of the posters on here for the great advice and help through the process, it is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    It's not a matter of "Rare" or "More Common". It's "NEITHER".

    It's "SITUATIONAL".

    And remember, the academy counselor/adviser, is there for administrative purposes. S/He doesn't have a say in whether or not something is good enough, retake, etc. All they do is make sure everything is included in your package once it get's submitted. Not disagreeing or debating the issue. Mainly, because I don't think it is "Debatable". It's 100% "Situational".

    And the only reason I am bringing it up, is because I've seen it already alluded to in this forum, and other places, where an applicant thinks to themselves........... "It's ok if I don't do well on the CFA. It either doesn't count that much, or I can always retake it". That's simply not true, and some people have probably really hurt their chances of an appointment with that mind-set.

    Whether or not a CFA re-test is offered, will depend on many "Individual" factors. 1) The entire test. 2) What portion was bad. 3) What does the rest of the application look like. 4) Is this the only sub-standard part of the application. 5) Based on historical data, will re-testing with better scores "Make a Difference". etc. Again, I say this mainly for those who don't put as much effort into preparing for the CFA as they should. Especially the individuals who aren't involved in numerous athletic activities throughout the year and won't score as well naturally as someone who is playing 2-3 sports a year.

    As for your son's application above; looking good. Excellent that he's been able to get everything taken care of and ready for evaluation. Best of luck to your son and I hope to see his name on the 2020 list.
     
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  3. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    Christcorp, that is a perfect statement about the CFA, "situational" sounds like the best way to look at it.
    And I think your point about not leading candidates to the false belief that they can simply retake it if they fail is a critical observation!
    He can only hope that if he did fail a portion in his situation they will provide him another shot, it is out of his hands now :)
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    This is why they don't post your scores from the cfa. They simply use the pregnancy theory....... "You are...... Or you Aren't" . As subjective as it sounds, and it is, a score for one candidate may not mean the same as it does for another candidate. It depends on everything else about the candidate.
     
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  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    The only thing other than "hurt knee" that jumped out to me was the "top 25th percentile." So, son is in the top quarter of his class. I don't know anything about "nationally ranked high schools" (nor would I be inclined to trust any such ranking, but that's just me), but with that class ranking, son might work super hard to get those scores up, and/or take the SAT to see if he can't score better there.

    Of course, USAFA knows your son's school very well and will rework his GPA to suit their own system. Don't be surprised if it goes up, or down (which can be truly disconcerting for folks whose futures seem to live or die based on those numbers).

    It sounds like you and son have his plan in order... what is your plan B (C, D... )?

    Best of luck! Keep us posted!
     
  6. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    Nationally ranked is based upon the items that lead to successful college matriculation and graduation. They include statistics such as the number of AP and Honors classes available, percentage of class attending secondary education, etc. The HS ranking numbers are very real and are known well by the Academies. I have no doubt in my mind that at a lesser academically challenging High School he would be a 3.9-4.0 student. A midshipman plebe friend from his High School (now at USNA) was easily able to validate quite a few classes and states even the ones he didn't validate were basically a review of what he already learned in his AP classes. The academies know this, so even though his class rank is not top 10%, the academies know his education is better than many. I am not too concerned about his class rank, families move here from all over the county so their children can attend these schools. You realize that a difference between a 31-32-33-34 SAT is only one more question correct between each. So he is done testing. Now it is up to the selection board. He has a friend not taking any AP classes with a GPA of 3.9 in the top 10% of the class, he is top 10% but my son is far better prepared, it is simply not the best indicator of performance amongst this cohort of high achieving kids.... time will tell...
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  7. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    I'm kind of with Fencemother on this one. If you master high school material, then you get an A which is reflected in the GPA. Unless they allocate grades, you get an A. It can be argued that if it is better, more people get A's and hence a 3.95 is in the 25 percentile. But then I would expect to see a 3.95. If you master the high school material, then you get a few more of those ACT questions right and now you are testing in the 33-35 range AND the ACT test questions are not difficult or tricky. Disclaimer: the ACT also tests SPEED so this isn't an absolute statement. Anyways, the AP classes are in fact high school classes albeit "college level". I propose (nearly) all AP classes are going to fall short in comparison to a higher caliber college curriculum such as USAFA (pace and rigor).

    Don't get me wrong, a quality and competitive high school means something to colleges. Officially, the HS that my DS went to was average in MN (30% not passing standardized tests). But for the 10-20% who wanted a fantastic education, they got it. They were not in the same classes or instructors as the kids barely passing. They were in AP or going off to college during 11th and 12th grade (PSEO). So there were kids that got all A's, merit scholars, perfect ACT, etc yet were officially in an non-nationally ranked HS. So if he went to a better RANKED high school, I do not believe for a moment he would of gotten a better high school teaching experience. The HS was dragged down by some families that didn't have the same expectations as compared to the kids he was taking classes with. Therefore I would not be the person traveling out of state to chase a ranking. But I dug deeper to know he wasn't getting short changed; the higher ranked schools simple shed the under achievers who really didn't want to be there. So long as there is a large enough subset of motivated families inside of the same school and you have passionate schools with enough funding, the education is a tie (nationally ranked or not).

    Forgive me for ranting. It's my hot button. For years I had to hear my neighbors across the street tell us why they pulled their kids out of the HS because it was "terrible" and why they went to a Nationally Ranked private. They didn't realize they were basically saying we were irresponsible. Whatever. I too wanted THE best for our kids and I sincerely think we delivered the goods. We figured it out and I am convinced both paths got a fantastic (equal) education. On a forum I can post anonymously. With our neighbors I had to smile. Our DS took standardized college chemistry tests in 11th and 12th grade (PSEO) and tested in the top 0.3%. Yep. He tested out of about 6 or 7 classes at USAFA including the 1st two chemistry classes which is testing out of Chem 1&2 is rare. Needless to say the "average" district did something right. Again, he just didn't take the same classes with average or below average kids because it was big enough to support advanced classes. Sorry for diverging the thread.

    I suspect your DS's scores are very competitive and definitely in the mix of who gets in! Congrats and I suspect the hard work is going to pay off! Although I'm not so sure the Academy is going to round up as much as you might hope. Anyways, best of luck and I too hope to see your son on the 2020 list!! :) It's the nail biting time. I remember it well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    This is why the academy requires a school profile be sent as part of your application. A lot of schools like to call themselves "Competitive". What the academy looks for in a school profile is:
    1. How many kids
    2. What classes are available
    3. What percentage of the kids graduating go to college
    4. What colleges the kids that graduate go to.
    5. Average gpa
    6. How your school grades; weighted / unweighted
    etc.

    Then, they look at the applicant and see what classes s/he took. Did you take the most challenging classes available. Then, based on all that, they determine whether your gpa is pretty accurate or if it should be adjusted to match the curriculum, grading method, etc. of all other schools. Basically, they are going to set a "Common Denominator".

    I've never hear of my son/daughter's high school as being called or considered a "Competitive" school. Yet, it has the entire IB program in it. Now, considering that only 868 high schools in the United States offer the IB Diploma Program, and the IB program is considered by most universities, including the academies, as about as high of an academic program there is, (think of every class being AP/Upper Level/Honor type, plus it includes other demanding areas in order to get an international diploma); you'd think our high school would be considered "Competitive". Any maybe it is. Just saying, no one has ever called it competitive. Our school also offers every AP class available. Again; we've never called our school or referred to it as a "Competitive School".

    Not knowing anything about any of ya'alls schools, I don't know where they stand in the academy's eyes as far as academic rigor and such goes. Again; this is why the academy requires a school profile, and THEY will determine what the applicant's adjusted grade is. If I'm not mistaken, the adjusted gpa should show on the online portal. Maybe it doesn't. But the applicant can ask their ALO what it is.
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good luck to your DS. Hope it all works out and the campus visits helped identify which service and Academy fits him best. At the end of the day if he can look himself in the mirror and say he tried his best and put together the best application possible then it will all work out how its supposed to. Be following along to see how it turns out!
     
  10. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    Are those all of the things they look at? Do they not look at average ACT/SAT scores?
     
  11. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    Valid points all, and yep the Academies look at everything. They are looking for the best of the best, and so many young men and women want to gain admission that they are very competitive. If you look at prior class profiles the 50th percentile (25-75%) have an ACT composite of 30.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I think frenzy was wondering what the academy looks at in the school profile.

    Yes, some schools do list in their profile act and sat averages. If they are in the profile, the academy looks at it. The thing about act and sat, and why they are so important, is because they ar the "great equalizer". As you see about the discussion on one school being more challenging than another. Or how one offers certain classes and others don't. In my state, we have schools where the entire K-12 is less than 100-200 kids. But the act and sat are standard nationally. So the kid who is in Chugwater wyoming, yes that is the name of the town, with a population less than 200 people, and they have zero AP or honors classes, the kid applying to the academy can equalize their application with a good act or sat score. Maybe they also do online community college classes.

    So yes, if the act and sat are in the profile, the academy will look at that too to see what type of school and graduates they have.m
     
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  13. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    Well, here is the answer to the CFA question. My son received an email today stating that he has been offered a retake on the CFA.
    Here is the letter:

    We have received your Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) scores. Although there are no posted minimum
    scores, your performance suggests you may have significant difficulty in our physical fitness program if appointed
    to the Class of 2020.
    In that regard, we are offering you the opportunity to retake the CFA. You can access the CFA instructions
    packet and Instructions to Candidates booklet at https://admissions.usafa.edu/gateway/. You are required to
    complete all six events again. Be sure to read the sections concerning the Candidate Fitness Assessment in your
    Instructions to Candidates booklet.
    Schedule your CFA after you have practiced and are confident you can improve your scores but no later than
    Sunday, December 13, 2015. Please note that this deadline is only for the CFA and the rest of your forms must be
    done by Thursday, November 12, 2015. Print out a new instructions packet and take it to the individual who will
    administer your CFA.
    Currently you are not competitive for an appointment based on your CFA scores. Should you choose not to
    retake the CFA your file will be closed and you will not be considered for an appointment. Good Luck!
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The good news is he knows now that he has to pick it up! He has a month. Make sure to take the test as it will be tested several times. So many times nerves and learning how to deal with the 6 events stressing different parts of the body are half the battle. The more a kid takes the test under test like conditions the more it helps! Good luck to him!

    Also a great lesson for 2020 kids lurking. Workout all summer and get this done before football (insert any sport here in fact) season conditioning and injuries factor in!
     
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  15. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    Roger That, Navy Hoops, take it before football!!
    The good news is that he already has a plan and swim team starts on Monday. Daily swim practice starts with a run, circuit training of pullups, situp, pushups and sprints. His swim coach knows he will be training for the fit test and is on board to help.
    In addition, he has dramatically changed his diet, thanks to mom and the fact football is over, and he should be able to shed that extra body weight.
    I still don't know if this is an automatic by the USAFA to let him retest, perhaps he met the other criteria, we will probably never know... but it really doesn't matter, all we know is he gets another shot and his injury is healing up.... time to make it happen :)
     
  16. 2019_mom

    2019_mom New Member

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    My daughter got that notice as well (though I don't remember it saying her application would be closed if she didn't do it). She had just played in a tournament the day before and was very sore when she did the CFA. She redid it a few weeks later and now is a C4C cadet. So it can all work out!
     
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  17. F15DOC

    F15DOC Member

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    ...and the expected part 2 of his football lineman fatness, just got a letter stating he is administratively disqualified due to his BMI. No surprise there, he is above BMI standards for all services. Continue with his plans to drop weight and pick up the aerobic conditioning. Spoke with his swim coach yesterday and she will be working hard with him on the CFA training prior to hitting the pool. Momma is cooking healthy lower carb and he has dropped all the junk food.
     

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