Weight of the SAT/ACT

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by TheCadet, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. TheCadet

    TheCadet Member

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    I am a junior looking to apply for a NROTC in April of this year, I have a solid GPA (3.9) and am taking an AP course. I am in the Sea Cadets and JROTC, FBLA, and with a Private Pilots License. Through all this I am struggling to do well on my SAT, the score is absolutely embarrassing, I do not even make the minimum for NROTC.
    This weekend I will be taking the test for the third time, after that I do not know how taking it again will fair for me. Unfortunately, the next ACT is at a time where I can't take it before I begin my application. I know that I am in the 10 percent of my class, and NROTC can waive the low SAT scores, but how realistic is that? I am hoping to get by the minimums this weekend, but when I look at kids who get the scholarships all I see are high 600's for math and reading I feel all hope slowly drain away. Maybe I am not a good test-taker, or I simply have no skill in math in particular. (I was not gifted with a strong math intellect.)
    With all that said I hope someone can give me some input on the weight that NROTC looks at these scores. I am killing myself trying to prepare for this test and the stress is taking its toll on me. I have a backup plan for NROTC, going in as a college programmer and hoping for receiving a 3 year scholarship. I am also trying to think of backup ways to get into an aviation career if things really go south. Thanks for all the help.
     
  2. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    I don't know how much they are weighted, but I would guess (based on stats from others here accepted) that you need much higher than the minimum to get a scholarship in most cases. There are always exceptions though.

    Hope for the best this weekend (stressing out definitely won't help), but also realize that there are 3 more SATs and 2 more ACTs from now until June 9th.

    Also, you can combine scores from different dates for Navy option.
     
  3. Navy Seal Mom

    Navy Seal Mom Member

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    Oh my honey you are exactly like my son who is a senior and an applicant for NROTC Marine option, a candidate at USNA and USMMA. Unfortunately the emphasis on these scores are very high. You need to take the ACT as soon as possible. My son also took the SAT 3 times with small increases everytime but not quite high enough however when he took the ACT he scored much better. Have you tried private tutoring on the math?? We did that before the ACT. Good luck and breathe!!
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think you are under the impression that the scores you enter in your initial application are the final scores you can enter. You can keep updating your SAT/ACT scores, PFT scores and other things, after you've submitted your initial application. In fact you're encouraged to do so. So go ahead and take the ACT when you can. Plan on taking both SAT and ACT again this fall. I'm sure you can pull the scores up. You might be one of those people who just do better on the ACT. :wink:

    Good luck with your application.
     
  5. educateme

    educateme Member

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    another thing to consider: NROTC heavily favors engineering/science/math majors, and it's much more difficult tom get a scholarship as a non engineering/science/math major, and you can't really change your tech major to non-tech major after you receive you scholarship (could, but getting increasingly difficult in this tough, high bar environment).

    Given that you feel math is your weak point, what is your planned major?

    If your intended major is non tech, and your scores are barely meeting the minimum, this seriously disadvantage you.

    the question is, are you set for NROTC, or are you open to Army ROTC? Since AROTC is a bit looser when it comes to the choice of major.

    No matter what, the bar is much higher now,and the competition is getting more and more fierce. you need to do MUCH BETTER than the required minimum in this environment.

    Find a way to raise your score. It will be very difficult to compensate for very low scores with other things. tutoring, ACT instead, practice, what ever. No easy way to go around this barrier.

    Good luck.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    One correction. NROTC Marine Option doesn't care what your major is. Of course OP didn't indicate which one he was applying for. Or he/she could even be going nursing or LREC.
     
  7. TheCadet

    TheCadet Member

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    Thanks for all the information. I am planning to go Navy option and going with construction engineering. I am just going to keep studying and keep taking these tests to the best of my ability. There are plenty of other ways to earn a Navy commission that I will be driving toward if I don't receive a scholarship. I won't quit.
     
  8. ArielsMom

    ArielsMom Member

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    Keep Retaking the Tests

    My daughter took the SAT three times and the ACT three times. She focused on the SAT and when she determined she was not making progress with the scores she switched over to the ACT.

    Her ACT scores were: 24, 26 and 31. She finally got the 31 by being disciplined and spending 10 hours a week in one of the practice test manuals for the eight weeks before last June's test. She's always done well in school and had the concepts down; I think with all the practice she finally figured out "how" to take the test and quit second guessing her answers.

    The fall of her junior year she participated in one the expensive SAT prep programs and I really don't think it was beneficial to her. She made the breakthrough because she wanted the ROTC scholarship and was ready to sacrifice other activities to do the studying.

    Good luck and keep retrying. As others have posted, you can take the test into next fall and have your scores updated with your ROTC branch.
     
  9. pv123

    pv123 Member

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    My daughter knew that one can study and increase the ACT more than the SAT.
    She decided to only concentrate on improving her ACT.
    After taking the ACT five times and had help from a tutor, she went from a 26 to a 33!
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Did you take the PSAT? If you did add a 0 and that is what you should expect on the SAT.

    PSAT was given in Oct of this yr for you, and the questions were based more around what you have as a foundation already...in other words, hard questions were answered by advanced students, traditional questions were for those that ended with typical 10th grade Math and English.

    Same with the SAT. The further you wait to take it in your jr. yr, the more you will have learned and can answer. Don't beat yourself up right now. You still have 4-5 months of education where you will academically get it.

    PAR (academics...SAT/GPA and course curriculum) is the bulk of the WCS. SAT is part of that, but the boards also understand test anxiety, this is why they look at GPA and rigor of your courses, plus rank.

    3.9 gpa with 1 AP really tells us nothing.
    ~~~ Weighted or unweighted?
    ~~~ How many APs were available for all Jrs...in other words, is 1 a high number, or are there others with 4 in your class?
    ~~~ What AP? AP Western Art or AP Chem?
    ~~~ What is your class rank? Top 25% says to me A's are easy at your school, 5% means you fought for it, and a low SAT/ACT is a test anxiety issue.

    My fear for you is not connected to the SAT or gpa. It is about the other big percentage for the WCS...ECS.

    I do not see any athletics, leadership, outside of school time management.

    PPL is an EC, but unless you are working there PT, this is a hobby. It illustrates nothing more than you like to fly. Before you or anyone else gets ticked by that comment, DS had a PPL also, but he also had TKD national and state champ, PT lifeguard at the Y with 23 saves, NHS, and FNHS.

    You have to accept there will be others like our DS, and JROTC, FBLA, and Sea Cadets, are all groups you can join, not selected by criteria.

    There is a difference.

    Now if you say you are FBLA President, JROTC Cadet Commander that is different.

    Candidates at your age believe they are physically fit and the PFA is a no biggie issue, they have in their mind it is like the Presidential Fitness Test, as long as I meet the mins, I am good. This is the worst idea ever if they are not in any sports.

    The PFA may not equal to a large % of the WCS, but there will always be 2 candidates left, and only 1 spot. The PFA may be the deciding factor, especially for a candidate that has played no sports.

    If you are not in a sport, train at home now. Pull-ups are typically the hardest of all of them. They do not and will not give you mins. If you want to get a clue of what to strive for download the CFA (SA) because they will tell you the max points.

    You have so much time right now to work on your weaknesses, take the time and do it. 10 will get you 20 somebody in your HS class of 2012 also applied for NROTC. Talk to your GC. They will be able to guide you in class selection next yr, and tell you where your weaknesses are right now. The more you accept your weaknesses, the more you can correct them, and that will make you more competitive/

    Finally. I get you want to so badly be in Navy aviation, I respect that. However, if that is your dream, I would suggest you start a new thread asking NROTC cadets on this forum what are the college mins for aviation. In 2016 you will not be commissioned as Pilot TheCadet, you will be commissioned as Ensign TheCadet. 10 will get me 20, that at least 1 poster here knows of a mid that didn't get rated. Odds maybe low, but the reality is it is not 100% of NROTC mids that get rated. What is your back up?
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    My suggestion is a synthesis of many above:

    1. Apply EARLY to NROTC Marine Option, documenting your top 10% class standing, so that the application will not be rejected for sub-par SAT.
    2. Also apply Army ROTC
    3. Self study over the summer for the ACT, say 7-10 hours per week. Take several practice ACTs... one every other week. Take the ACT first opportunity in the Fall.
    4. Update your NROTC-Marine Option application with your Fall ACT score. Retake the 2nd Fall sitting if the first isn't what you wanted.

    Remember NROTC - Navy Option mids must take a full year of Calculus, and a full year of Calculus-based Physics, in college, and that 85% of Navy Option scholarships are awarded to Engineering or Science majors, by rule. If STEM is not a real interest of yours, understand that the odds for the 15% who are not STEM are very, very , very low... and you STILL have to take the Calculus and Physics even if you are a Navy Option history major. NROTC-Marine Option doesn't have to take those two subjects (neither does Nurse Option). The Marines really appreciate it when the Navy gives them a safe ride to where they're going -- a safe ride means a safe boat (sub or supra surface), and a safe boat means safe equipment.... that's why Navy Option values tech degrees so much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  12. armyag

    armyag Member

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    I know that the ROO at my choice school said my SAT was outstandingly high; however he would have liked to see my GPA up more. (3.78) I would assume it would be vise versa, your ROO would say "man you have an excellent GPA, but I'd like to see your SAT scores higher." That being said, SAT is by far easier to raise than your GPA if you are a Junior. There's not much you can do about your GPA as a Junior. Thankfully it looks like you've got the grades for it.

    My advice would be that the worst possible thing you could do to screw yourself out of an ROTC scholarship would be to not take your ACT/SAT multiple times. The first time I took my SAT I thought I would do great, and it came back 630 Math, 550 CR, 580 W. I was totally distraught and bummed out. I felt like I was stupid almost!

    But, I sucked up my pride and signed up for the next one, determined to get a better grade. My goal was a 1300 combined CR-M (and obviously my CR is super low, not that I am illiterate or anything!) but I worked on what I needed to raise: my CR. I studied prefixes and suffixes (which is probably the best thing you can do to raise your English score) and went over a few basic concepts on Math. I took the test again, and my score was boosted more than 100 points! I got a 720 M, 580 CR, and 600 W. And my ROO saw my 720 M and was taken aback. 700+ on an SAT subscore is very good. Then when I went to take my ACT, I wasn't worried, and was able to relax, pulling out a 27 overall score. I didn't feel like I needed to take the ACT again because my applications were going to be based off my SAT anyway.

    So don't stress. Take it once, see how you do. If you're not satisfied, don't hesitate to try again. It may be costly but it's worth it in the end.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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