Chlo5

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me in deciding what course would be best for my application to USNA (this also applies to all academies as well). Next year, I was planning on taking one trimester of regular economics (it’s required) and two trimesters of AP Gov & Politics, however I’m now considering taking a full year of AP Stats and instead choosing a zero hour economics class (in the morning before school starts). I am already planning on taking Honors Pre-Calc, but I am wondering if because I won’t be in Calc by senior year, Stats could help strengthen my application more than Gov & Politics can. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know, thanks!
 

Heatherg21

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No idea how admissions views it, or nomination panels. But from a practical standpoint a stellar foundation in calculus made a difference for our son for his plebe year.
 

PRBWJB

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I was told by the teacher of AP Stats at my dd's school, that she finds that students will increase their test scores (SAT/ACT) after being in AP Stats (if only for a few months with SAT taken by entire class in October of senior year).
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me in deciding what course would be best for my application to USNA (this also applies to all academies as well). Next year, I was planning on taking one trimester of regular economics (it’s required) and two trimesters of AP Gov & Politics, however I’m now considering taking a full year of AP Stats and instead choosing a zero hour economics class (in the morning before school starts). I am already planning on taking Honors Pre-Calc, but I am wondering if because I won’t be in Calc by senior year, Stats could help strengthen my application more than Gov & Politics can. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know, thanks!
One resource for you would be to check out the USNA website for recommendations. Another resource would be your guidance/college counselor, if they are well versed in the Service Academy Process.

Generally, statistics isn’t considered a math/STEM area of study. The hardest, most challenging classes offered are recommended. What about Chem? Or Physics? AP of either, if you have already taken them?

The “plebe killer” classes are Calc and Chem. Anything you can do to prepare for those would be my recommendation, beyond stats. Even Physics. Absent knowing your options or classes you have already taken, or are available, being strong in those STEM classes will help you most at a SA, imo.

And for sure you can contact Admissions!! They are helpful, and they know best.

Good luck!
 
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LT360

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Additionally remember the AP classes not only help with admissions but also with skipping courses at the schools. Check each SA that you are interested in and see what AP exams and subsequent scores allow you to "validate" . USNA requires a score of 5 on AP exams to validate out of a class.

Validation at USNA allows you to move ahead giving you options for minors, VGEP (aka grad school) or lighter class loads in upper-class years.

Above all take classes that challenge you the most and that you are interested in.

My DS took an AP course online as it was not offered in his school. He took the class because he had interest in the topic and knew that would beef up his resume. Ultimately he scored a 5 but USNA did not offer any validation for it. However he is glad he took the class as he could say he took the most rigorous course load possible. Did that seal the deal for admissions? No idea but it did not hurt.
 

Usnavy2019

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To echo @LT360, a consideration should be applied to validation. I took AP Gov and Politics and got a 5 and I didn't validate FP130 (the gov class every MIDN must take) by choice. I thought I'd pad the GPA by "retaking AP Gov," but looking back on it, I should have validated. You'll learn soon that time is at a premium and the less time in class, the better. It's better to front load your course matrix (list of all the classes you need to take to graduate in your major) when the military demands are less involved (upperclass billets usually have some role in building/enforcing policies and taking care of subordinates). Also, Stats is a course that only Group 3 (Humanities) and some Group 2 majors (Non-engineering STEM) take. So it might not be worth taking AP Stats if you want to do a Group 1 (Engineering) major.
 

MidCakePa

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Building on @LT360, the two so-called plebe killers at USNA are calculus and chemistry. USNA will want to know you can succeed in those courses. Many fellow candidates will be taking calculus (some honors, some AP) in their senior year. So to further prove your STEM ability, you might be better off taking a higher-level chemistry class (honors or AP) than statistics. At USNA, you’ll take plenty of calculus and chemistry. Statistics, not so much.
 

Chlo5

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Thank you for all the responses so far! To get a better idea, this is my schedule for next school year, however I might make changes to it. I’m taking...
AP Psychology
AP Comp Sci
AP Gov & Politics (2 trimesters)
Economics (1 trimester)
Honors Pre-Calc
Honors Chem
CIS Spanish V
CIS English

*I’m considering switching to AP Literature instead of CIS English (Dual Enrollment) and obviously changing out AP Gov & Politics for AP Stats.
 
Last edited:

justme

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I cannot think of a single academic subject that helps with analytical-thinking skills more than Stats. Likely outcome of doing X, risk of Y happening, failure rate of Z, percent confident in that answer, etc. I totally agree to concentrate on Chem/Calc for USNA admissions purposes, but I would certainly recommend Stats over Gov.

Above posts mention how Stats isnt considered math/STEM, and that is a shame though I understand why. To me Stats should be as mathematical canon as anything else. I took 18 hours of stats in college and I dont think I wrote more than a single paragraph once, and that was likely to answer a word problem on a test. It was almost all math based curriculum and problems, at least what I recall from those decades ago cramming sessions. When DS took AP Stats a few years ago, he wrote more papers on research methodology, etc than he did proving or solving the formulas. I dont really have a warm/fuzzy for AP Stats, but I dont for the AP concept itself. But, I do believe in being exposed to statistics early and often vs taking some random AP Gov/Pysch/CompSci, etc.
 

Chlo5

New Member
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Aug 4, 2021
Messages
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Thank you for all the responses so far! To get a better idea, this is my schedule for next school year, however I might make changes to it. I’m taking...
AP Psychology
AP Comp Sci
AP Gov & Politics (2 trimesters)
Economics (1 trimester)
Honors Pre-Calc
Honors Chem
CIS Spanish V
CIS English

*I’m considering switching to AP Literature instead of CIS English (Dual Enrollment) and obviously changing out AP Gov & Politics for AP Stats.
*Honors Physics (not Chem)
 

CJS68

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To echo Usnavy2019, my daughter wished she had validated Govt too. She had both Naval history and Government in the same semester and the amount of writing she did was insane.
 

Dr. Strange Love

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To echo Usnavy2019, my daughter wished she had validated Govt too. She had both Naval history and Government in the same semester and the amount of writing she did was insane.
.
Hemingway
By 1959, Hemingway was not the man he’d once been. Assigned by Life magazine to write a 1,000-word piece about bullfighting in Spain, he submitted a manuscript of 130,000 words and found himself unable to edit it down into something suitable for publication, turning to his friend A. E. Hotchner for help. Hotchner reported that Hemingway was “unusually hesitant, disorganized, and confused.” Shortly afterward, the author became visibly depressed, remaining in bed for days on end, and in 1960 voluntarily entered the Mayo Clinic for electroconvulsive therapy. A few months later, Hemingway killed himself, and 25 years after that, the novel-length version of his bullfighting story was published as The Dangerous Summer.

Tolstoy
Author of literary mainstays War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy was known for creating deep and far-ranging plots, whose casts of characters — numbering in the hundreds — were largely a way for him to escape the inner struggles he experienced when trying to reconcile the more difficult questions of the human condition. Tolstoy suffered from increasingly serious, frequent and suffocating depressive episodes, and finally resolved to become a wandering ascetic during the eighty-third year of his long life. Tragically, he only made it as far as an isolated train station before collapsing and dying from pneumonia shortly afterwards.
.
 

Cerberi

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Nov 22, 2015
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Just a novel idea - what class do you find most interesting? My DD never took a class, did a sport, or joined a club to enhance her USNA application.

Ironically (for this thread), she was awarded an LOA early and graduated in her USNA class in the Top 50 and was a Stats major

She also validated 8 classes including the Plebe Calculus and Chemistry classes

not everything needs to be about enhancing your resume
 
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