What else can I do to have a competitive application for USNA class of 2021?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by metsycats, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    Hi everyone! High school junior here, and I'm homeschooled. I am applying for USNA class of 2021. Long post ahead.
    I have been taking dual-credit classes and classes at a community college to fill my high school transcript. Here are the classes that I have taken since the start of freshmen year, and the classes that I will have completed by the time I graduate HS:
    4 years of dual-credit English/history (Great Books 1, GBS2, currently taking GBS3, taking GBS4 in my senior year)
    4 years of HS-credit science (marine biology, currently taking anatomy & physiology and microbiology, taking chemistry and physics in my senior year)
    6 years of HS-credit language (2 years of latin, 2 years of spanish, 2 years of french)
    5 years of HS-credit math (pre-algebra, algebra 1, geometry, taking alg2, taking pre-cal my senior year)
    The only field that I am not strong in is science. I took no science in 8th and 9th grade (poor planning on my part) which is why I am taking 2 sciences junior year (A&P and microbiology) and 2 sciences senior year (chem & physics) to make up for it.
    Another field I am not strong in is sports. Besides what I have listed below and recreational efforts on my part to work out, I have done no type of sport except for 3 years of horseback riding during middle school, and 4 years of irish dance prior to that. During 8th, 9th and 10th grade I did no sport.
    Because I am homeschooled, I don't have a class ranking. I'm unsure what my GPA is. The only classes that I made B's in were GBS1, pre-algeba, algebra 1, and spanish 2.
    Here are my extra-curricular activities:
    I have volunteered at the zoo in my city for 3 years, I have 400 hours currently and will have a little more than 600 when I graduate HS. Other volunteer hours at various places total about 120. My goal is to have 1000 hours of volunteer work by the time I graduate, this is an achievable goal for me because I love volunteering and I do it often.
    I practice martial arts: taekwondo and brazilian jiu jitsu. I am on the demo team at my TKD dojang which means I go to more competitions and do more demonstrations with my dojang. I have done TKD and BJJ for one year, I'm not a black belt in either arts. I also run recreationally.
    This summer I am going to Girls State.
    I am on the Mayors Youth Advisory Council for my city, we meet once a month and talk to city officials about problems the community/city.
    I have had a part-time job for one year at a science museum in my city where I work visitors service. In my senior year I plan on 'moving up' in the ranks by applying for a shift-lead position, or applying for the position of birthday party coordinator.
    On January 13th when the application opens, I am applying for NASS.
    I am on the board of directors for the youth group at my church. There are 7 board of directors, 2 VP's, and one president. My senior year I plan on running and being elected for VP.
    My SAT scores in writing, math, and critical reading were 700, 540, and 590, respectively. I understand that for a competitive application, you want a score of 600+ on math and CR which is why I will take several more SAT's until I achieve that score, and I am taking the ACT my senior year.
    I am applying to USCGA as well, and if I don't get into either SA's I will do NROTC at A&M.
    All of this is basically what I will put on my applications for nominations and appointments. I have a lot of goals that I 'plan on' achieving, but if I don't meet some of these goals - having 1000 hours of volunteer work, being co-VP of my youth group, getting good grades on my SAT/ACT, becoming a shift-lead or birthday party coordinator at my job - I don't think I will have enough good things on my HS transcript and application to stand out to USNA.
    I understand that there is no way anyone can tell me whether I will or will not receive an appointment, but does it look like I have a competitive application for USNA 2021? What would you advise me to do to improve my appeal to USNA?
    Thank you so much for your time!
    Mary-Catherine
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    It looks like you already have a good feel for where you are deficient. Work on your SATs, consider the ACTs they may work better for you. Is there an opportunity to have a leadership position on the martial arts team? Start training for the CFA. High score on the CFA would show that you are physically fit.
     
  3. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    With the exception of the PSAT score and your lack of sports, you look pretty good.

    I always wonder why a home schooled kid (and there are lots of them that make it) would want to leave the land of immediate gratification for something as challenging as an academy.

    Not knocking it, just wondering. They seem world's apart to me. I think being female is an advantage in the appointment process (just a personal opinion). How do your parents feel about it?

    Are you a runner? That is very important. You'll have to run a lot to get in, and then a lot more to stay in. Start trying to figure out why you want in, and how you will persevere when things get really tough after you get in.

    Good luck Mary Catherine.
     
  4. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    Thank you for your reply!
    There is no official leadership position, such as the title of kyosanim, for someone of my age and experience. I regularly help out with the yellow belt class and act as a scorekeeper during in-house tournaments. Once I get to a higher belt level, I can help with lower belt level classes. So beyond that and being on the demo team, I don't have anything else going for me there until I reach black belt.
    Thanks again!
     
  5. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    Thanks for answering!
    Yeah they really are worlds apart! My BGO was saying that too, statistically a female has a better chance of getting an appointment because less females apply than males. My parents support me.
    I've been running for about two years and average about 10 miles a week. My mile is 9:15 and my two mile is 22:00 flat. Those numbers kind of suck so I'm improving them. I'm trying to improve just about everything!
    Thank you again!
     
  6. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Look at the CFA requirements, its more than just running. Push up, pull ups, crunches, shuttle run, and basket ball throw.
     
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  7. md403

    md403 Member

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  8. goforspaatz

    goforspaatz USAFA c/o 2020

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    As a homeschooled candidate to USNA, USMA, and USAFA, here are a few tips:

    1. I didn't have much athletics, but I did do races (5Ks, sprint triathlons, prepping for 1/2 Marathon) which I could talk about in interviews/applications to show I am athletic and can run. In interviews, the sports question comes up a lot for me, but your TKD should also help. Keep doing the competitions and working on belts, as well as individual fitness
    2. Don't spread yourself too thin with volunteering/ECAs. Aim for leadership positions, which may take up more of your time and limit participation in other opportunities.
    3. One of the biggest items is to line up recommenders! I'm sure you have outstanding relations with your profs/supervisors/etc. and keep them that way. The path you are taking is filled with recommendation letters, so it definitely helps to have several options on who to write them.
    4. Take the SAT/ACT multiple times if possible. The extra cost is worth it. You will feel more comfortable taking it, and it will be easier to score higher if you spend some time preparing.
    5. Get in contact with your senators/MOC and get your name on their list. In Ohio, the senators keep an "interested in nomination" list of HS sophomores/juniors and they send out updates and reminders. Not to mention, a little name-recognition with the staff is not a bad thing.
    6. Get in contact with your BGO early. He/She may or may not be familiar with homeschooled applicants. I was the first homeschool applicant for all 3 of my SA liaisons, so it was new for them too. Keep that in mind and get to know your BGO early. They're a HUGE help.

    Best wishes!
     
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  9. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    Spatz did a pretty good job of summing up what I had planned on saying except he did it better than I would have most likely :)
    I would add that I strongly recommend that you do NOT wait to your senior year to start taking the ACT. Take it now so you can compare it to the SAT, many prefer one over the other. This will also let you know your weaknesses.

    Run track or other sport at you local HS ASAP. Some sports like BB are very hard to pick up later in life, some like track just take dedication and hard work.

    I played semi pro football many moons ago and even football is easy to pick up later in life. BB for most people you have to start very young in life unless you're very tall or very gifted.

    Leadership rolls are very important, very important. Maybe you could get a leadership role where you volunteer?

    You're smart and off to a pretty good start imho. Keep up the good work!
     
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  10. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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  11. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    This is really helpful, thank you! It's good to know that I'm not the only homeschooled kid out there seeking an appointment. I will definitely take you up on all your advice. Thanks again.
     
  12. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    OK, I will take the ACT this semester then! And as for your other advice, thanks and I will do what you said. With the zoo, I do have seniority over the other HS volunteers and I'm usually a small group leader, but it's a small thing and is not comparable to being a class officer, for example. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!
     
  13. brovol

    brovol Member

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    The ACT has 4 subsections, not counting writing. The SAT, only two. The academies superscore. The more you take either test, the better your chances of improving and particular section, and thus your superscore; but with the ACT, because is is so compartmentalized, even if you do poorly on one, two, or even three sections on a particular test, as long as you improve one section, you have big time helped yourself. That is harder to do with the SAT.

    My son has taken the ACT four times, and each time helped himself a lot. He has never gotten higher that a 31 composite for any one test, but has high sub scores of m34, e31, s34, and r30. He insists that the 34 he got on science was total luck, as he hates that section, and the 34 was a 4 point jump from his previous best science score. Sometimes a run of questions just suits you well, and you can get lucky in that respect. English he worked at and improved his score on his last exam, although he doesn't feel he ever got a score he was happy with, but overall he was pleased.

    I think it is easier to either get lucky with a section, or study hard on a section and improve, with the ACT than with the SAT. However, regardless, every time you take a standardized test you will be more comfortable, and should improve.

    It's nice watching the portal change for the better, and test scores are one place that can happen. Hoping my sons new scores from the Dec ACT pop up this week.
     
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  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am not a track person, but if you have been running about "two years and average about 10 miles a week," your time should be better. Just running to run will just wear out your shoes, but won't improve your time.

    Try increasing intensity of your run - if you are doing 11 or 12 minutes a mile when you run, try to run it 30 seconds quicker, than so on

    Try doing interval work - you could search the internet for recommendations. One interval workout is doing a 400 yard around 2:00 minutes, 400 yard at your own pace, repeat 4 times, built up to 6 times.
     
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  15. Row2020

    Row2020 Member

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    DS newest SATs updated yesterday on USNA portal. For what it's worth he took it 5 times. His reading and math scores have each improved by 200 points since last December. Did he gain further insight? Perhaps in math he did but IMHO those 400 points had more to do with mastering the test, comprehending the questions, and staying mentally focused all the way to the end. It takes practice.
     
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  16. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Don't forget USNA only looks at the math and English sections of the ACT and disregards the science, reading, writing, and composite scores. Try to do well on each section, but realize that you have to improve in math/English for a chance at a better superscore. So in a way, it is just like the two sections of the SAT....obviously they are two different exams, though!
     
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  17. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    I don't know where you live but it's sometimes good to invest in SAT prep school, they really teach you good tips & have many old tests to practice. Yes it's prob expensive but worth the investment, and better to have less activities and maybe one or two leadership activity??
     
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  18. brovol

    brovol Member

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    That's good point. I forgot which forum it was when I did my reply. However, for the SAT, essentially USNA uses the whole test. But for ACT it uses only half the test. Candidates can focus only on math and English, which makes it easier. If studying for SAT, candidate need to work and do well in everything.
     
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  19. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    Thanks, I will definitely do that!

    I did testmasters for the SAT and it helped me raise my score by about 300 points, I will do testmasters again for the ACT. Thank you so much, everyone who has commented has given me really useful advice that I will use!
     
  20. metsycats

    metsycats Member

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    Gotcha. Since there is a new SAT, I won't be able to superscore any SAT's taken prior to March with any SAT's taken after March, but to my knowledge everything is still the same with the ACT so I can superscore with that. Thanks!
     

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