Validating Classes

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bk2015, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. bk2015

    bk2015 Member

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    How difficult are the validation exams? Is the format in AP exam (multiple-choice? free response?) format/style/difficulty? I have solid AP exam scores in some classes I took when I was an underclassmen and I think I need to brush up on them if I want to do well on these validation tests during Plebe Summer.

    Also, approximately how many Plebes validate out of Calc III? What is that validation exam like (application-based? or straight up solving problems)? Any advice or information would be much appreciated!
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Cal III - not many validate it. If I remember correctly, quite a few folks validated Calc I, very few did Calc II and an extreme few validated Calc III. Can't remember the validation exams specifically. There are tons of older threads about validation exams if you use the search function. They address which exams are validation exams and which ones departments look at AP scores.
     
  3. Big Bad Wolf

    Big Bad Wolf Member

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    If I am taking AP courses my senior year, how will I know whether or not I earned validating scores since AP test scores are released following the beginning of plebe summer?
     
  4. TV4caster

    TV4caster Member

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    You will find out about the same time that PS starts, and in plenty of time to plan before the start of the school year. BTW- most courses seem to require a 5 to validate, but a few take a 4.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    It all works out. Eventually the scores roll in and you can still address this with department heads when the school year starts. And yes, 5s are mostly required. Most plebes do not validate the amount of courses they think they will or it doesn't correlate to a USNA course that will move them along.
     
  6. bk2015

    bk2015 Member

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    How difficult are the Physics validation tests? Is physics 1 mechanics and physics 2 e&m?
     
  7. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    From what I remember, there are very few who validate Physics each year. Course descriptions are below:

    SP211 General Physics I (3-2-4). The first of a two course sequence emphasizing the fundamental principles of classical physics and a variety of applications. Topics include mechanics, electricity, magnetism, wave motion, fluids, sound, and light. Lectures, recitations, hands-on laboratories, and large-scale demonstration lectures are employed. Prereq: SC112 or SC151; Coreq: SM221 or SM223 or SM251 or approval of department chair.

    SP212 General Physics II (3-2-4). Continuation of SP211. See SP211 description for topics. Prereq: SP211 or SP221 or approval of department chair.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Member

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  9. abeha

    abeha New Member

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    If I am taking AP courses my senior year, how will I know whether or not I earned validating scores since AP test scores are released following the beginning of plebe summer?
     
  10. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    This exact question was answered by TV4caster and NavyHoops about 4 posts above yours. Basically you find out during PS and well before the academic year actually begins around the third week of August. Have faith that USNA knows how to deal with this!
     
  11. ahs67

    ahs67 Member

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    My son validated calc 2 and thought there were about 30-40 others who did. He said far fewer validated calc 3. He validated Spanish with a 3 on the AP test and the rest he validated with 5's plus the testing they do over the summer.
    He validated Chem, but not Physics. Was told he is better off not validating Physics and very few, if any, actually do.
     
  12. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    Lets just say as someone who took AP Physics and did pretty well on the AP exam, I understood enough to attempt about a quarter of the questions.
     
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  13. kayaker

    kayaker Mother of USNA Midshipman (Class of 2019)

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    DS hopes to validate Calc 3, having taken it In high school and first semester college. Same for Chemistry and Physics (only took physics lab in college because he got a 5 on the AP exam.). Seems like he wouldn't be too bothered to have to take Physics again, and from the posts I'm reading that's a good thing. He really does not want to take Calc 3 and Chemistry again, but I suppose if he has to, he'll have more time to focus on other classes, right? How hard is it to validate Chem?
     
  14. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

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    Kayaker - you and your DS should check out the info via the link below re: Calc validation. It's basically a progression - validate Calc 1, invited to test for Calc 2, etc. Except Calc three is both online and long answer so invited to do that part during PS if score is high enough.

    http://www.usna.edu/MathDept/academics/placement.php

    Pretty large number validate first seater of chem but few validate both semesters. Don't know for a fact but prob limited to those who went to college for a year or more before USNA.
     
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  15. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    My daughter took AP Calc BC, Honors Chem, and AP Physics in high school but knew she was going to USNA so she didn't take any AP Exams (some schools make you take them to get credit for the course, but hers did not) She was still able to validate Calc 1 and 2, Chem 1 and Physics 1 by testing out. She didn't take the Physics validation over Plebe summer though. She waited until just before the semester she was scheduled for it, which I think, if memory serves, was the beginning of 3rd class year but it may have been second semester Plebe year.
     
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  16. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    son validated calc1, regretted it, at the end of first semester he asked to be moved back down, and was told no.
     
  17. hthp37

    hthp37 Member

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    My son validated calc 1 and 2, I think. He also validated chem. I'm not sure how hard that was for him-he did it based on high school AP chem. He has said he is happy he knocked them and more out of the way. His gpa probably suffered a bit in the beginning as a result, but he's in good shape. My understanding is that with enough validations it puts you in a good position to be considered for graduate school your firstie year-something that definitely interests him.
     
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  18. bandad

    bandad Member

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    Class validation or not is really different strokes for different folks. If you are a high class validator, you may have the opportunity for VGEP as hthp37 mentioned, if you make good grades, but others that are able to validate, and don't, can do real well after not validating anything. You also hear stories of Mids with a 5 on the AP Calc exam, not validating Calc 1, and struggling a bit in Calc 1. DS validated several classes and I suspect he is happy with his choice. Not really sure how much you should prep, as you might just put yourself over the hump for Chem or Physics, and find yourself struggling in Chem 2/Physics 2. Also, my DS is not a varsity or club athlete, and I suspect that might make a small difference sometimes for some folks, right Vista??? That is to say, I am guessing that my DS has it a bit easier than club/varsity athletes...
     
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  19. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Bandad, as usual, you are SO correct. My son got a 36 on the math ACT + 5 on AP Calc. He validated a yr, or two, of math and regretted it hugely. due to an odd turn of events my mid-son was in season 40 (FORTY!!!!) hours per week from sept. 1st through three weeks ago. that has played havoc with his time. (though to be honest there are mids who can do 40 hours per wk of a sport, tier 1 major, and still get straight As) The good thing about USNA is your 'scholarship' does not require you to stay in your sport. The thing is, though, by the time you are playing your college sport you love it and wont quit. They are 'your people.' The real thing about the academy is... For 95% of the mids you can not have your cake and eat it too. decide what the important part of "your cake" is and work towards that.
     
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  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Ahhh yes... I called them the golden ones. 4.0, first team athlete and academic first team, perfect military grades too. I was not one of those, I worked my butt off to try and get a 3.0. Heck Plebe Year my goal was to not get thrown out I was doing so poorly. The funny part is our diplomas all say the same thing and no ones cares in the fleet!

    Validate what you are comfortable with. You know in reality what are your strengths and weaknesses.
     

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