What are my chances?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Mark Van Solkema, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Mark Van Solkema

    Mark Van Solkema New Member

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    I bet this question has been asked a lot, but I would like to know if I am a competitive candidate for West Point. Right now, I am a sophomore in high school. The high school I go to is an extremely competitive Catholic school. In terms of grades, I am in the middle of the pack. Last year, I had mostly A's and a few B's. This year, I moved into honors for some classes and now I have one A and then B's and C's. Will this be a problem? I know I'm only a Sophomore, but I have to start thinking about my future.

    If that is not enough information, pm me and I can tell you more.

    Thanks, Mark
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  2. dhawbaker

    dhawbaker Member

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    Grades are not the only determinant of whether you will be accepted or not. The academies also look at physical fitness (CFA) and extra curricular activites (sports, clubs, etc). They like to see leadership positions such as team captain, president of a club, etc.

    Also, I think it is too tough to tell whether you are competitive or not as a Sophomore. When you are a late junior in high school, it's usually a better time period to be able to tell whether you are competitive or not.

    Try to bring your C's up to B's and B's up to A's.
     
  3. Mark Van Solkema

    Mark Van Solkema New Member

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    I have looked at the CFA in the past and believe I should be fine as long as I keep it up. Also, extracurricular activities and athletics are not my weakness. Grades are the main concern.

    Thanks, Mark
     
  4. kbaek

    kbaek Member

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    Well, if you think that you're in the middle of the pack, then your speculation alone is very alarming. West Point assesses each candidate not by GPA alone, but mostly through class rank. Most appointed cadets are within the top 40% of their class, with many of them being in the top fifth. So try to get higher up on that totem pole.

    One advice to raise your GPA is to go back to normal-level classes. If you know you can get an A or B in a regular class rather than a C in an Honors level class, then I suggest you make the switch. A higher GPA - regardless of difficulty level (Honors and AP at my high school only added .025 GPA per subject) - is key to a higher class rank.

    As for extracurriculars and athletics, although you say they aren't your weaknesses, try to improve them as much as possible as well. Be mindful of the fact that it's not up to you to decide what your strengths and weaknesses are - it's the admissions that chooses, after all.
     
  5. billyb

    billyb Member

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    While this is technically accurate, it is not a wise choice for 2 reasons:

    1. USMA will know what levels of classes your school offers and know you didn't take the hardest classes offered
    2. You need to challenge yourself academically as much as possible in HS

    To be honest, if honors high school classes are really hard then I would imagine that Chemistry, Physics and Calculus will be crushing at USMA.

    I went to an IB high school and almost never studied and did very well. I also had very high SAT scores. When I got to USMA I was surprised at the extreme difficulty level of the courses. Even for those that take all AP/IB courses it is academically rough.
     
  6. Mark Van Solkema

    Mark Van Solkema New Member

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    kbaek, I disagree completely. I doubt the average college would encourage students to get better grades in easier classes then to take the hard route. Also, billyb, I had a classmate last year who went to West Point and he had a similar situation grade-wise.

    I guess I'll just keep working hard for now and worry about next year.
     
  7. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    This is what West Point recommends -
    Take the hardest classes that you can take and make an A or B in.
     
  8. kbaek

    kbaek Member

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    Essentially that was what I was going for. Oh, and Van Solkema, I completely understand your stance on the issue since that's how I was throughout high school.

    Either way, just try to get higher up in class rank and out of the middle. Good luck!
     
  9. Mark Van Solkema

    Mark Van Solkema New Member

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    Thank you. Also my grades have improved since the last grade update came out yesterday too. I'll just keep working at it and hope for the best.

    Thanks, Mark
     

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