Will my chances of an appointment go down a lot if I don't take calc by the time I graduate? I'm only in Algebra 2 right now as a junior, but will be taking trig and then pre-calc next year (two separate classes). My math grades have been average, nothing terrible, if that makes a difference. I know the academy "recommends" calc and doesn't require it, but it seems like USNA is getting more competitive every year so I feel like it could hurt me. Thanks.

I was in the same situation as you. I took Algebra 2 junior year and trig and pre calc senior year. I'm still waiting to hear back but it doesn't seem out of the ordinary to anyone when I ask. You're not the first one.

They say its not required, but its not required to have many leadership positions either. If you can somehow swing a summer course to catch you up, do it. I mean, I don't know much about you. You could be a perfect candidate for all I know, but if we are just talking about math. Try to take calculus. It can only help. I have friends that have gotten a whole year ahead in math by summer courses at local county colleges. Look into it.

One of the academy websites say pre-calc is more important than calc. Whether or not they actually believe that is another story. If anything, this shows that they won't look down upon you not having calc while having pre-calc Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app

Our experience with two sons applying in the past and one appointed and in plebe year is the math component is huge. Not only will the most rigorous preparation help with consideration for appointment, it will help immensely when classes start. The SAT/ACT math score is also very important. Our DS now wishes he took AP Chemistry as well as AP Calculus senior year.

Ya I've heard they double the point value on the SAT/ACT math portion for admissions. One area that could really have a big impact. Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app

It's not really an option for me to take classes at community college over the summer...the only way high school students to take classes at our local community college is to be dual-enrolled (during the school year). Thanks for the opinions and experiences.

My DS was in the same situation, he only had Pre-Calculus he's senior year. He is now a member of the class of 2017.

I took pre-calculus my junior year of high school, but my school doesn't offer a calculus class (it's a very small school). As a result, I took two online college math classes (contemporary math and college algebra) to keep my mind fresh. Granted, I am still waiting to hear back from USNA on my admission status, but I don't think it is going to absolutely kill you if there was no possible way you could have taken the class. If I was on the admissions board, I would look at what opportunities were presented to you and how you used them. It would be terribly unfair if they took points off of your WCS because you couldn't/didn't take a certain class.

OK, stop and think about your motivation - are you planning to finesse calculus? Personally I see you seriously handicapping yourself before Admissions unless you have some phenomenal aces in the hole in your back- ground. Not having at least a nodding acquaintance with calculus (or Chemistry) is going to make your Plebe Year much more exciting than it needs to be. Your decisions will have consequences!

Never took Calculus. I'm a senior right now in Honors Precalculus. Received an OOA in November. I've heard from my BGO and many others that if your level of math is lower than Calculus you'll want to overcompensate with a high Math SAT score.