A Little Bit O' Advice

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by tiger50, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. tiger50

    tiger50 5-Year Member

    Aug 18, 2011
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    Hey Guys,
    I just wanted to ask for some advice. As a military kid, I have been moving quite frequently. I only go to a high school one year before I have to butt out of town. I just wanted some academic advice.

    My Freshman year (4.0 GPA) offered me 2 Honors courses. I was in Germany for this year, in a DoD School. I feel like I did so exceptionally well that year because I, like everyone else, started from scratch. Do the Academies like to hear about Honors courses? I know they love AP Exams even more than they dig APs.

    My Sophmore year (3.57 GPA :S) really busted me. It was a tight knit community stateside. It was really small, with less than 500 kids in the entire high school. I finished with 4 A's and 3 Bs. Two of them were 89s. One in English and one in Intro to Business Computer Applications. I got the mid-80's one in Chemistry. No AP/Honors courses were offered. Do the Academies look at what classes you received less than reputable grades? Will they really care about IBCA? I remember begging for some booster...

    So now Im a Junior. Me and my haughty self decided to tackle 4 AP courses and one Honors Pre-AP course. Was this a smart move? My main question for this part will be the Academies' preference. Lets say I get a flat out B in every single AP course (Hopefully not). I end up with one 3, two 4's, and one gleaming 5 on the AP Exam (Again hypothetical, but lets hope not). I actually had to bust around a lot of curves to get this schedule, as AP Physics B is a senior class.

    Oh and by the way, I have 3 Foreign Language credits, two earned in Jr. High. My Guidance Counselor says that for college, they want two credits earned in High School. Does that sound right? Should I email the academies about that?

    1) Would they prefer the AP Exam scores over the AP Class Grade?
    2) Would they understand a B in an AP class with a good teacher recommendation rather than an A in a Standard class?
    3) Lets say I get that 5 in AP Computer Science. No offense, but obviously not as big as lets say Physics B or English. What kind of reaction would they have? I mean, its not a popular course like English or Physics B.
    4) Should I have put off the major AP load until my senior year, and just focused on my GPA this year?

    I have a 3.8 GPA. Not one of my high schools has offered weighted GPAs. Was it right for me to take 4 AP Classes my Junior year? Can it be conquered?

    Thanks, I look forward to everyones responses.

    Prospective USNA, USMA, USMMA, USAFA, and USCGA 2017 Applicant. (I have a strong desire to serve)
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. navy2016

    navy2016 5-Year Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    challenge yourself but realize your limits.................

    What could be helpful is scoring high on ACT or SAT (31 or 700/higher). It is good you are trying your best but if it happened in the past, don't worry so much about it.
  3. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    AP exam scores are good for trying to validate out of classes at the academy. AP classes are good for showing admissions that you took challenging courses. You should try to get the best grades you can, in the toughest courses you can take. As are better than Bs, and AP/honors are better than regular courses. USAFA admissions does not publish their formulas.
  4. exmachina

    exmachina 5-Year Member

    Sep 18, 2011
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    As a parent of a current cadet, I will defer to an ALO or other USAFA rep. for an official answer to this Q but from what I know, USAFA goes to very great lengths to "look under the hood" of a candidate's GPA -- to assess the rigor and difficulty of the courses -- including a multi-page questionnaire for the applicant's guidance counselor to fill out about the school; they certainly look for AP coursework and know that challenging coursework might lower an applicant's GPA; I think they know a lot about specific high schools, maybe including yours; don't know so much about different schools in different years such as yourself, but yes, rest assured, they are on top of this, this is what they (the applications people) do for a living, they do not penalize for taking hard courses, they weigh the GPAs accordingly.

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