Validating Courses

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by runorrun, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. runorrun

    runorrun Member

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    After looking at USNA's course validation policy ( http://www.usna.edu/Academics/Candidate-Information/Course-Validation-Policy.php ), I'm wondering are you required to take USNA's validation test even if you've scored high enough on the AP exam? Also, if I did not score well enough on the AP test but were to score well enough on USNA's validation test, would I be able to validate the course or is the certain AP score also part of the requirement? Thanks!
     
  2. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I am not the subject matter expert on this, but maybe there are alumni or MIDN, who experienced the course validation process recently.
    First, each department will handle validations the way they choose and this might differ from other departments.
    My assumption is that if there is a test available during plebe summer, you have to take it (regardless of how you did on AP/IB/etc.). If you pass, then you have the option to validate. If you do not pass and you have the AP scores, you could try and make an argument, but my guess is you will not get validation credit.
    If there are no plebe summer tests, then your AP score might come into play. When I was at USNA, some departments actually gave MIDN previous final exams and if they passed, they validated. Other departments have other requirements IAW the validation policy.
    Other than for a few courses (American Government comes to mind), I would not expect to just hand someone a piece of paper saying you scored well on an AP test or did outstanding in an equivalent college course without some type of determination by USNA (review the course syllabus, might ask you questions to determine if you actually understand the course content, take a previous final, etc.).
    If you did not do well on an AP exam, but pass a validation exam or another validation protocol, I am sure that isn't held against you.
     
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  3. COmom

    COmom Member

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    ^^^Concur--the required STEM classes (physics, chemistry, calc) as well as English have validation tests you must pass to be able to validate a semester or a year of the subject. Non-stem classes tend to be department dependent for validation.
     
  4. frt-18

    frt-18 Member

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    Over plebe summer, you have to take an English test, and have the option to try and validate. You also have to take a chemistry validation test, and everyone who validates the first one is called about validating chem II. All of the others are optional, and as far as I remember (it's all one long blur now) occur during the first week and a half or so.
     
  5. jculligan

    jculligan Member

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    So from the link in the OP, deos it mean that
    1. You must get the minimum required AP scores
    Or
    2. You must validate the test during Plebe Summer
    Or is it you must do both 1 and 2?
    Thanks
     
  6. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    See my response above, but...
    If there is a validation test, including during plebe summer, it is pretty much required -- doesn't matter what AP score you got. If there isn't a test, then AP scores will be considered along with other applicable criteria per department policy (which might be different among departments).
     
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  7. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    All the courses with score requirements in the "Validation via AP or IB scores" column will automatically validate.

    So:
    Calculus 1 and 2
    Statistics
    Biology 1
    Economics
    English 1 (Either Lit or Lang validates)
    History
    US Government
    Languages
    Psychology

    If you have the scores, you will validate. You will still be herded into Dahlgren or King Hall for the validation exams, but at that point they do not matter.

    Calculus 1 is tested online in CABS a few weeks before I-Day.

    Validation for languages is four semesters at maximum; past four semester you will be placed higher but will not receive credit. For example, if a plebe destroys the Chinese validation test, they may place him in FC411, but he will only receive credit on his transcript for FC101, FC102, FC201, and FC202. Validation credit does count towards language minors.

    Some departments have their own policies for specific courses. For example, in the CS department you can validate any course by scoring 80% or higher on a final exam and/or programming practicum. I also know some MIDN that validated history courses based on college transcripts and coursework.

    AP/IB tests are pretty black and white, but otherwise validation is a lot more flexible than you think. I encourage all prior college/dual enrollment folks to keep their transcripts and coursework and try to get credit when they get here, even if it is not listed on the AP/IB table. USNA does not simply ignore work done at other accredited colleges and universities. Their main concern is whether the course is equivalent to a USNA course (i.e. it must have covered the exact same topics).
     
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  8. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    There you have it folks....thanks nuensis for providing the updated information.
     
  9. runorrun

    runorrun Member

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    Thanks for all the information! Everything sounds much clearer now :)


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