Which would the Academy rather see?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by rubio1996, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. rubio1996

    rubio1996 Member

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    Would the U.S. Military Academy rather see: high grades in a regular class or mediocre grades in an advanced class? For example, during my freshman year, my final grades were a C- in Geometry Honors, an A+ in Concert Band, a C in Chemistry Honors, an A- in Multimedia Design, a B- in English I, a B- in Spanish I, and an A- in Civilizations. Unless something changes, I will be taking mostly regular classes in my sophomore year, which are Algebra II, Concert Band, Biology, Introduction to Computer Science, English II, Spanish II, and World History AP. Would doing excellent in these classes look better than doing mediocre in harder classes?
     
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    No need to post in all the academy threads; the answer is the same. You need to make good grades in hard classes. The service academies are not a place for mediocre students. That said, now is the time to turn your performance around. Next year, make A's in whatever level classes you take. Junior year, kick it up a notch by adding some honors classes (same for senior year). Show improvement through maturity. Many people mess up a the beginning; show them you can turn it around. You might even find a good essay topic out of the experience. Good luck!
     
  3. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    What's your class rank?

    You probably can't have a good class rank without taking hard classes. Class rank is super important.
     
  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I agree with what mom3boys said, "Good grades in hard classes." This goes for traditional universities also; the college my oldest son attends was very specific about prospective students challenging themselves with the most difficult classes their school offered. Any chance you could switch from regular classes to honors? Thumbs up for AP World History.

    I saw your Chemistry post also.....I would suggest taking Physics and then trying for AP Physics if your school offers it. If it's any consolation, my cadet found high school chemistry very difficult also, but he did very well in chemistry at WP.

    When a course proves exceedingly difficult, hire a tutor and get extra help. Sometimes hearing something explained in a different way by a different person can make all the difference in the world.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    One thing heard consistently from all the academies and competitive schools is that moderate class rank & gpa in a challenging course of study will beat a stellar rank/gpa in easy courses.

    In fact, most have schemes which adjust the gpa based on difficulty of the courses taken. Likewise, with class rank the difficulty & size of the school and course of study are factored in.

    In nearly every case I've seen the consistent answer has been to take the most challenging course of study you can handle even if it means a B instead of an A in that AP classes. Even if your school does not add extra quality points the major universities (and academies) will adjust for that.
     
  6. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Probably the GPA is weighted to account for the "harder classes", thus adjusting the class rank.

    Otherwise (if class rank is based solely on unweighted GPA), the Academies would probably adjust.
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    In info briefings previous years it was mentioned that this is all adjusted for. That's part of the information requested from your guidance counselor if I recall, how the gpa is calculated, etc. This appears to be consistent in the academies as well as most competitive universities.

    Even the number of AP's offered at the school is factored in apparently by many admissions departments. IE: if you took three of three offered it is better than a student who took only four when twelve was offered.

    But it all boils down to what mom3boys said, "Good grades in hard classes."

    Sandbagging in easier classes to game the system will backfire.
     
  8. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    ^Yep.

    They try to figure the "competitiveness" of the school by analyzing several factors including classes offered, size of class, percentage of graduates going to 4-year colleges...
     

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