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Advice for an Incoming High School Sophomore?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by HSClassof2017, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. HSClassof2017

    HSClassof2017 Member

    May 31, 2014
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    I am from Kentucky. I recently finished my freshman year of high school and it is my dream to attend USMA. If anyone could provide me with feedback and suggestions on how to become more competitive for USMA acceptance, it would be greatly appreciated!

    -I am very athletic, I would have no issues on the physical test. 1 minute pushup test I can do 68 pushups and 68 situps. I run the mile in less than 6:45

    -I have 4 year varsity letter in 2 sports. I was a varsity athlete as a freshman in both football and lacrosse.

    -2014 Lacrosse State Champion. (Freshman Year)

    -3.71 GPA, unweighted (Unaware of my class rank) 94.3 Average

    -Elected Representative of Latin Club

    -Elected Representative of Student Council

    -Elected School House Representative

    -Elected Representative on the Honor Council

    -I take all honors classes, AP World History as sophomore

    I think I can be a team captain in football and lacrosse. Also, I am considering playing sports at USMA.(I don't know if that would change chance of acceptance)

    If anyone knows how competitive I am for acceptance at USMA, please tell me. Any feedback on what I can improve on? I will try to attend Boys State and other leadership seminars.
  2. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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    The biggest affect on your WCS is to get the highest ACT/SAT scores possible. We are talking 30-32/690-720 range.
    WP super-scores these tests in other words they use the highest score, so take these test as often as you can.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
  3. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad 5-Year Member

    Jan 31, 2010
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    Underscoring Tug's point: do not stop taking the SAT/ACT until you have reached 700/700 Math/Reading or ACT equiv. Our current RC hammer's this point.

    Class rank matters, as does the relative competitiveness of your school. That's something you'd want to discuss with your counselor. Ideally you'd want to be in the top 5-10% if not a recruited athlete or underrepresented group.

    Physical: Download the CFA info, and run some practice CFA's. There is a cumulative effect, and most will do substantially lower than single events would indicate. Now is the time to get ahead of the CFA, especially the basketball throw! Don't stop trying to improve until you have maxed most, and the 1-2 that are not maxed are at least halfway between the average & max.

    Leadership: Any captain experience? Officer of any of the clubs? Those would add points.

    You did not mention scouts or CAP type leadership, so you'll need something like Boy's state to snag some points.

    Don't join clubs to try to garner points. Clear RC input is they rather see "deep" in 1-2 areas than "shallow" in several. And especially want to see demonstrated leadership rather than participation
  4. HSClassof2017

    HSClassof2017 Member

    May 31, 2014
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  5. Sledge

    Sledge Member

    Jan 13, 2014
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    Why did you bump it? Hawk, Tug Boat, and now I have/had sons at WP. All the advice you need is provided above.

    Remember this. You could be the "perfect" candidate and the stars still have to align. There is no magic formula. Don't stop striving for greatness in everything you do, academically, athletically, and in leadership.
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    In HSClassof2017's defense, I suggested that he bump this thread. He has a similar post in the Introductions forum that he bumped for more information. I told him that he might get more responses from the USMA crowd.
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    I would say that you're on the right track.

    Be sure to take core courses in h.s. (math, chem, English, history, language) at the most challenging level you can master for your class year. Later, you want to take honors and AP classes. The occasional "sociology" course isn't fatal but don't let your schedule fill up with that stuff.

    Look for opportunities to actually lead. It's not just about being elected captain or president of something; it's what you do in that position. You can lead from the pack -- i.e., agree to run/spearhead an event.

    Use your summers wisely. You SHOULD take some vacation. However, the rest of the time, look for ways to keep yourself (mind and body) active other than playing video games and "hanging out." You can volunteer at any number of organizations (great opportunities to lead). You can attend sports camps or educational camps. You can work a job. All sorts of possibilities.

    Continue to push yourself physically. If you can stay at the varsity level of one or more sports in h.s., that's great. A sport that requires you to do a lot of running is very helpful.

    In the end, however, it's most important to do things -- sports, classes, ECAs, etc. -- that you enjoy rather than focusing solely on doing things to get into WP. As a poster above said, you can do all the "right" things and still not get in. And, some folks along the journey find that they are more suited to being a musician or actor or physician or attorney than an Army officer. And that's okay.

    Enjoy your h.s. experience and do things that will prepare you not only for WP but for life.
  8. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

    Mar 10, 2010
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    Keep in mind that West Point will request recommendations from your math, English, and chemistry or physics teachers. Excel in those classes and get to know those teachers!

    Every year a candidate asks if they can use their biology teacher because the chemistry/physics teacher doesn't like them-----It's chemistry or physics, math, and English!!!! So work hard!
  9. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

    Dec 5, 2012
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    Sounds Like a Good Start So Far

    +1 to USNA1985

    I would say you have a great start at competitiveness. I'll re-iterate Tug's point about standardized tests. Even though you have three years until graduation, the PSAT comes up next academic year. Get a book, spend an hour three days a week, and prep for it this summer. A great score can open many opportunities including getting you on the radar of the service academies.

    As per Hawk's advice: If you have JROTC or CAP in your area, join this summer. You'll gain a lot of confidence and discipline from it. It is something you can do now and will give you the opportunity to promote and lead in the group over time.

    Plan to look into attending Boys State the summer after your Junior year. Be aware that often Boys State conflicts with SLE/NASS/AIM, etc. so be flexible. But Boys State can add WCS points while SLE does not. Plan to ask your counselor about it next fall so he/she knows you're interested.

    Wish you well! Getting in is hard; getting through is harder. :smile:

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