Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usmahopefulnc, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. usmahopefulnc

    usmahopefulnc Member

    May 16, 2015
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    Hello all,

    As opposed to my username, I am hoping to attend the Naval Academy next year. However, I have a legitimate concern (if I get in). I sort of struggle with calculus and physics. I am in AP cacl 2 and ap physics 2 right now and it is not going well. I average 65s-75s on the tests. My overall grades in the class arent bad but thats because of buffers our teachers give us. I have always excelled at other courses, especially English and history. I am afraid I just dont have that "STEM" mind, you know what I mean? Any advice?
  2. Jbelonga

    Jbelonga Member

    Aug 10, 2015
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    I'm in much the same boat as you. Not as much stem minded, but have excelled in high school courses. AP calc AB (1/2) I have a 73 right now. However, everything has been submitted and they don't see these scores unless they ask for them or until after you get a response. If you're in it doesn't matter. If your scores are an issue and they really want you they'll send you to NAPS. From what I've heard if they want you they'll get you in somehow.

    Keep focusing on grades, and hopefully see you on June 30.
  3. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
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    High School math tends to build on prior courses. There is algebra, geometry, trig, calc.....and so forth. Some do better at math than others. You need to be honest with yourself and evaluate if you have developed a solid math foundation and actually understood the concepts all during h.s. or just knew the material well enough to get by the next test. No one on here can rate your 'chances' and it foolish to try to do that. A solid math foundation is really important to doing well at any of the SA's. Not clear from your post if you are a junior or senior now.

    How well you do on the SAT/ACT will be important to SA's since it is a standardized way to compare students from various schools across the country. If you don't have a solid math foundation, you probably also won't do well on the SAT/ACT's and no amount of tutoring/tip/tricks will change that.
  4. goforspaatz

    goforspaatz USAFA c/o 2020

    Dec 16, 2015
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    If you're talking about math and physics at USNA, just know that college courses are very different from HS AP classes, etc. It's a different beast. If you at all have the opportunity, see if you can take a calc or physics for engineers course at your local state university, and see how you do there (or take one online through Coursera/EdX). You may be surprised.
  5. usnagrad1988

    usnagrad1988 Member

    Jan 11, 2016
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    If you work hard you will do fine. All the profs at USNA provide extra instruction (EI) on a daily basis if needed. I was a B student in math and science in high school and the highest level I took was pre-calc/trig. Granted, I went to NAPS first, which helped prepare me and I give credit to, but 2 years of Calculus, Physics and Chemistry weren't the hardest courses at USNA. I thought I was going to be an Engineering major, since I got accepted to Vanderbilt's Engineering school and had an AFROTC scholarship, which I turned down. I chose Economics as my major and struggled in every engineering course I was required to take. I failed Electrical Engineering, even though I went for help 3-4 times a week. I went to summer school to get an extra course in so I could retake EE the following semester. I'm not ashamed to say I graduated from USNA with a 2.24 GPA. I have a ring, got what I wanted for service selection, and am very successful in the private sector. I interviewed at 8 different places, all 8 offered me a job and no one asked what my GPA was. They saw graduate of USNA, BS Economics and I went back for my MBA while on shore duty. YOU CAN DO IT!
    Islandmom4 likes this.
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Calculus is tough. It never clicked for me while taking the classes in college (not a service academy) but I passed. The next year when I was taking an economis course which required calculus it suddenly clicked. It may do the same for you at the academy. What you are learning now will give you a base for calculus later.

    Another suggestion s to try Khan Academy online... I though their calculus course to be easily understandable.
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Two issues -- getting in and staying in. If you are getting Cs and Ds in STEM courses, consider what you might do this summer, such as retaking courses at your local community college. An A or B there would help. Also, as noted getting a high SAT math score will help.

    Are you currently going for "extra instruction" from your teacher? Do you sit in the front of the class? Do you complete all homework assignments on time? Are you prepared for class each day? I ask b/c the letter of rec from your junior year math teacher is very important so, assuming you're a junior now, you should do everything you can to make a favorable impression, even if your test scores aren't as great as you'd like.

    If you get in, as noted, there is a lot of support. The key is doing the work every single day and immediately getting help when you don't understand something or find yourself "slipping." Today, as opposed to the past, most folks who get in and do their best end up graduating.
  8. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 5-Year Member

    Mar 2, 2009
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    Worry not. I was academically UNSAT for most of my first two years at USNA due to Chemistry and Calculus. I was great at math in high school but Calculus was a whole different ballgame. My issue was that I was too hellbent on trying to figure things out on my own vice asking for help. There was various resources available at USNA. Honestly, if you approach your professor face to face or send him/her an e-mail expressing concern, they'll be more than willing to work with you. Most companies at USNA set up programs within each company where students who excel in certain subjects will tutor those that struggle. There are other midshipmen group study programs and other professors in every subject will make themselves available for tutoring sessions that are open to everyone. Long story short, at the first signs of struggling, swallow your pride and seek help and make sure you understand the material backward and forward. Also, homework definitely helps. Do all your homework. It usually will be a grade saver.

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