Advice/ Weaknesses and Strengths

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Brodiecaps1, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    I am looking forwards to applying next year to USMA, USNA for the Marine pathway, and VMI for the Marine option. I would be incredibly grateful if anyone could help me improve my application or “chance me”.

    I go to Staten Island Tech HS which is the #6 Public High School in the country.
    I have a 3.7 GPA, I had a very rough start freshman year however I worked hard and now have all A’s.
    I am not a math/science oriented kid and am much better at the humanities which I worry may be an issue for military schools. I would like to major either in Business or Political Science.
    I have a 99 cumulative average in both English and History and have taken all honors courses besides the ones that are AP ( Honors English 2 years, AP Language, AP US and World History.
    I have a 100 unweighted average in a college business class offered at my school, achieved highest grade in school on University of Iowa Bizinnovator test.
    I have been on Varsity Track 3 years and am head captain.
    I have won the city championship 4 times and have been ranked the #1 High Jumper in New York City and have qualified for states.
    I worked as a School worker coordinating anti bullying presentations and the next year worked as a marketing intern for 2 companies. This summer I will be working for Lifestyles for the Disabled and will be volunteering for the Red Cross and as an intern at my local congressmans office.
    I have taken the SAT once and got a 1350 ( 700 English 650 Math) and will absolutely retake the test as I have been consistentl scoring high 1400s low 1500s on my practice tests since then.
    I have a 97 average in Russian which I’ve taken for 3 years.
    Next Year I wil be taking AP Russian, AP Macronecomics, AP Psychology, Honors journalism, Honors Calculus, and Honors Electronics.
    Any help or advice woukd be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  2. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Looks solid - big barrier in competitive districts is getting a nomination. With huge NY state population senatorial noms are mathematically limited; you need to laser focus on your Representative and get going on the nomination application process. Check their website; most MOCs have instructions and timelines.

    And work out like crazy all summer for CFA - upper body strength is a must.
     
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  3. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you for the advice! I’ve been working on my CFA I can currently knock out 20 pull ups straight and can max out the basketball throw. I’m really going to have to work on the mile I’m currently at 6:27, with more hard work I will bring it down for sure!
     
  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    You have a solid record across the board. Well done, especially in rising above freshman-year issues.

    I see one yellow flag: That you’re not strongly oriented to STEM. USNA and USMA have very heavy STEM orientations, regardless of major. Graduates have a B.S. degree due to core courses (i.e. required) in Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and Engineering.

    Keep in mind that neither academy has a Business major. Only USNA has a PoliSci major. You clearly have academic chops. But make sure your interests and strengths align with the academies’ expectations and requirements. Good luck to you!
     
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  5. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you for the help! I am worried about the math curriculum however my school is extremely math science oriented and I believe I would just have to continue to work harder than everyone in order to do well, which I am more than happy to do. I think for USMA I would apply for the International Relations major, thank you for letting me know about the mistake I made in majors. Is there anyway you think I could help show the academies I can handle their STEM oriented program?
     
  6. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Whether or not you do NROTC at VMI or receive an Offer of Appointment at USNA, I am not aware of a "Marine Option".
    Certainly at either institution - you can gravitate that way - but it's really not part of signing up in the beginning.
    The USMC has interviews and reviews to do (after you get in) until you are ultimately considered for this path to commission.

    With that said, maybe you're just gung-ho and that's what you're thinking up front for later. Nothing wrong with that!

    On the other points, I would think that if you have opened applications to all three, that they would all consider you a viable candidate at this early stage of the process. It also sounds like you're on the right track, academics-wise.

    From a physical standpoint, you're a jumper so (more than likely) you have all-around conditioning to allow you to do well on not just the running, but the push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and basketball throw. More so than say, a skinny distance runner. Stay in shape and practice the CFA in the order that it's given. Working on one or two areas won't give you a very good idea of how challenging it is to do, when you do it all in the prescribed time frame. It's a workout, in itself.

    You have the right idea on re-taking standardized tests. There's nothing wrong with a 1350, but a 1500 is better. :)
    Anything that sets you apart from others vying for the same MOC nomination, is a good thing.

    You didn't mention taking the ACT.
    You should consider taking that with the essay portion.
    I think my DS said that last year, they wanted ACT with essay for NROTC.
    (you would have to check to see if that requirement exists, yourself).

    Also, you posted this in the USNA forum, so I conveniently left out your other choice. ;)
     
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  7. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you for the help. I know about there being no “Marine option”, it’s a process but I plan to do everything in my power to make sure I get chosen to become a Marine Officer at these schools! If I do well on the SAT should I still take the ACT or should I just leave it at that?
     
  8. momofmod

    momofmod Member

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    Very impressive resume! My DS '21 recommends you take the ACT as well. He found he tested much better on the ACT over the SAT. They're very different and you may do even better. Of course, I understand it can get expensive but take them as often as you can. Good luck!
     
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  9. THParent

    THParent Member

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    It is just my opinion, but I think that everyone should take both the SAT and the ACT.
    If you rock a 35 on the ACT, colleges come knocking at your door. Some will tell you that you're accepted and here's a scholarship, without even having applied.
     
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  10. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Take the most rigorous STEM curriculum your school offers, and do well. For USNA, your Math SAT/ACT is actually weighted more than English.

    There is a difference between not being math/ science "oriented" and not being able understand and do well in Math/Science course. We all have preferences, and it is certainly easier to do well if you are wired or oriented for Math/Science, but with hard work you can get it. (It took me 2/3 of the year at NAPS before I finally "got" calculus and ended up doing pretty well from there on out).

    Not really a "yellow flag", at least for Admissions purposes, if your HS transcript shows that you've taken (and done well) a rigorous STEM curriculum. However, as MidCake notes, even Bull majors , take a heavy STEM courseload at USNA. I was PoliSci, and had only one semester where I wasn't carrying a calculator to at least one class.
     
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  11. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you for the advice!
     
  12. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you so much for the help I’ll be sure to take it into account!
     
  13. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    If OP was to earn a NROTC MO scholarship to VMI, that is a solid path to Marine Option that you sign up for in the beginning. Before starting your 3rd class year you would sign a contract. Of course you have to perform to keep the scholarship. At USNA there is not a definite "Marine Option" from the start, but it has been regularly reported on this forum that a person who is reasonably squared away and does well on the PRT will have a very good chance of going Marine.
     
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  14. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

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    Regarding STEM, I was actually told by my admissions counselor that it is beneficial to one's application if they demonstrate interest in studying a STEM field. On the other hand about 30% of mids end up majoring in a humanity, so it's certainly possible, but I also think it's a good idea to keep an open mind about engineering and math/sciences if you want to be as competitive as possible.
     
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  15. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Have you already taken Chemistry with lab and Physics? You will want to have taken those in h.s. so as to be prepared for them at any SA.

    While you can't major in "business" at USNA, you can major in economics or quantitative economics (more math oriented). The former is considered a "humanities" (Group 3) major and the latter a science/math (Group 2) major.

    There are quite a few folks at USNA who have more of a humanities "bent." However, even as a humanities major, more than half of your courses will be in STEM, leadership, and navigation. That is especially true your first two years. As long as you're okay with that and can do well in STEM courses (which it appears you can), you don't have to love STEM to be successful at USNA.
     
  16. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    I took honors chemistry my freshman year and didn’t do well and ended up with a B-, but had an A+ in lab. I took honors physics sophomore year and ended up with a B, I always felt like I understood really clearly what was going on and thoroughly enjoyed learning however just couldn’t put it down on paper when it came to the tests. I have an A+ in honors forensics this year and a A- in honors pre calculus, so I’m really hoping I won’t be vetted for the prior grades. Do you know if there’s anyway I can show I can now handle the Stem courses, maybe taking an online chemistry course or something?
     
  17. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Hmmm...just saw that OP posted this exact same question in USMA forum and has received all of one response so far. What does that tell you?
     
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  18. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    My personal view is that: (1) you want to make sure that you have sufficient STEM courses your junior and senior years, and (2) your senior year looks a bit "soft" for USNA purposes. High school STEM courses include calc, chem, bio, physics, statistics and maybe some others depending on one's school. While it's OK to take some/all of those as an underclassman, the expectation is that a junior/senior will then take more advanced STEM courses.

    A typical senior year would include the following: English, history, calculus, physics, and (for some) advanced language plus one other course such as psych, music, journalism, etc. Most of those would be at the honors/AP/IB level. I realize successful candidates may for various reasons take different courses senior year, but significant deviations from this should have an explanation (such as: already taken all of the STEM courses my school has to offer; taking a STEM course at community college).

    If "electronics" is a hard core STEM course -- sort of an intro to electrical engineering, that will definitely count. However, journalism and psychology will get you zero points with USNA. Not sure macroeconomics will carry much weight either, unless it's a math-based econ course.

    I'm not saying that your course load is fatal -- just that it's not as challenging from USNA's perspective as they will see from many other candidates. USNA will look to see whether there is a more advanced level of chem and physics at your school. If not, and you've already taken all of the core STEM courses your school has to offer, then it is what it is and you can't do more. If advanced STEM courses exist at your h.s., and you're not taking them, they will wonder why not.

    As an aside, if you haven't had chem for 4 years before attending USNA, you will find plebe chem very, very challenging.
     
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  19. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Please don't read into the lack of responses to the other thread as it was deleted as a duplicate.
     
  20. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    I'm a BGO and know of no particular interest by USNA in ACT for the essay. Among BGO's in my area, the guidance to candidates regarding ACT is to take it if their SAT needs help as the ACT test will sometimes come in differently but a candidate scoring 1400-1500 on SAT is probably OK with just practicing and retaking SAT. In the Northeast (where the OP is from) , not many kids take the ACT at all and NONE of my USNA candidates who got in took it. Colleges will knock on your door if you score a 35 but they will also do so with a 1500 or so on SAT. I am awarding a USNA appointment this week to one of "BGO kids" and I'm very excited about it.
     
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