Application Chances

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by sa_applicant2023, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USNA 2023

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    Hi, I would just like to begin by saying that I know these threads are very common but I just need a benchmark and feedback from others on this forum to see what I need to work on until I apply in a few months.
    A few things about myself:
    -I attend one of the best high schools in the state and nation as a junior
    -Receiving a letter of recommendation from my physics teacher
    -All of my classes so far have been honors with the exception of two AP classes (AP United States History and AP World History)
    -No class rank due to no rank policy
    -3.5 out of 4 unweighted GPA, 1300 PSAT
    -Civil Air Patrol Cadet
    -Air Force Association Member (free bc of my status of being in the civil air patrol)
    -Active in my school religion group
    -Treasurer of a charity club
    -Did varsity wrestling for a year but didn't like it so I went to civil air patrol
    -Shift manager for a school charity health cafe
    -Newspaper editor
    -School Librarian's assistant
    -Freshman mentor
    -My gpa is lower because I messed up freshman year but its obvious on my transcript it is obvious that I improved (to give you an idea my average went up from a 86% weighted to a 97.5% weighted)
    -Currently as of now hold a part time job during the school year and have worked different jobs since the beginning of 2016 summer.
    -I am actively working on PT, and since I am in civil air patrol I work on running sit ups and pushups all the time

    Any advice would be nice to have, thanks :)
     
  2. SwiftGoose

    SwiftGoose Member

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    -Academic performance is key. The average GPA for the class of 2020 was 3.87. Keep grinding in your classes and aim to take more AP's. Take an ACT/SAT to get a true gauge of where you stand.

    -Your extracurriculars seem rather weak. It's good that you joined CAP but try to get to Squadron Commander or a leadership position. Stick with your Charity group, newspaper, and religious group. The Academy will look to see if you have true leadership capability rather than merely being a member.

    -79% of cadets will have varsity letters. It's in your best interest to stick with wrestling or find another sport that you enjoy more.

    I'm far from an expert, but I've picked up on a few things from reading this forum. Hope this helps!
     
  3. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    Varsity sport will be a nice addition - not too late to go out for track and field this spring. Start lifting and keep running indoors now [unless you are in S. Cali.] Start/keep cramming for SAT/ACT and take both multiple times this spring and into June. Register now - test deadlines will be coming up. Your PSAT should have had an indication of expected SAT score as a Jr - look it up and focus on areas of needed improvement per your detailed subsection score breakdown. There are 4-6 questions of each subtype in math for example; very common to find a key area of strength / weakness that can swing final score 20-30 points for just a few questions of a given type.
     
  4. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USNA 2023

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    Hi
    Thanks for the reply, it was better than I expected which is a great thing. Varsity letters aren't handed out in my city's public school athletic league, so I was unable to get one and also by the time I fully apply for everything I can get to probably to at least Senior Airman or Staff Sergeant in CAP. My extra curriculars are not many but I am involved in all of them with a passion and I read somewhere that if I use my time to go into a few things in depth and earn leadership positions is better than just being an inactive member which is something I was making sure I didn't do... I am actually the Imam/prayer leader for the religious group during weekly prayers and thats something earned (and have to do) because of my seniority in the group. I am in the process of boosting my GPA a lot and by the time I get to the end of this year with 6 semesters of HS finished it will be higher for sure.

    I took an ACT and scored not as well as I wanted and learned that the SAT is a lot easier for me, so my next registered exam is the SAT in March.

    Your opinion?
     
  5. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USNA 2023

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    I am actually a bodybuilder and I lift at least 3 times a week. (185 1 rep max bench, 245 1 rep max deadlift, 275x10 row) Varsity wrestling for a year wasn't for me and to be honest, I really hated it. I am going to go finish Tae Kwon Do and earn my black belt instead of another varsity sport since I am good at it and was the leader of the group under the instructor since I had the highest rank. I left as a brown belt second degree and I was two promotions away from being a black belt.

    SAT is registered for me in March and I really going to make sure its a good one, I found that the SAT is easier for me than the ACT. I am actually using the college board website along with khan academy to get better at it and strengthen my weaknesses in the different subjects.

    Your opinion?
     
  6. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    Biggest weakness from my perspective is athletics. Read the athletics sticky on this forum.

    Having many extracurriculars isn't important. Being a leader in a few, with one of them being some sort of high level athletics is. You may not have time to promote very much (although you can promote every two months, make it happen) but you can still be a leader. I was basically the squadron commander as a SSgt due to the small size of the squadron. Ask the senior in charge of cadet programs if they have any ideas.
     
  7. SwiftGoose

    SwiftGoose Member

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    There's a great program for SAT prep through Khan Academy. Check it out.
     
  8. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    When did you join CAP? Most engaged cadets reach the rank of C/SSgt in less than a year and, depending on squadron, may be able to earn the position of Flight Sergeant. IMHO, this will likely not be enough to make much on impact on the selection committee members - if you are going to use CAP as your primary EC, you will need to go well beyond week-to-week meeting attendance and embrace other activities (e.g. Emergency Services, Cyber Patriot).

    To be competitive you will need to raise your SAT well above the 1300 level indicated by your PSAT and be able to highlight leadership roles that you've undertaken. It can be done, but your window of opportunity is closing daily and you'll need to make it a priority. [I don't mean to sound harsh, but time is of the essence and you'll need to be willing to focus considerable time and energy to address weaknesses addressed by our learned forum members.]
     
  9. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USNA 2023

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    Hey man,
    Thanks for the reply. I am actually back in Tae Kwon Do now and I am two promotions away from a black belt, and i remember when i initially left it my belt was high enough to be a senior and often times I led the class through a few things. Hopefully when I get my black belt I can demonstrate that better to the AFA... I am counting on that to demonstrate my continuation of athletics after leaving wrestling. Thoughts?
     
  10. sa_applicant2023

    sa_applicant2023 USNA 2023

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    I joined a month ago and I am actually almost at my curry award which grants me the rank of airman, which is only 2 and 3 ranks away from senior airman and staff sergeant respectively. Yeah SAT is definetly being worked on. I am registered for March and plan to do well
     
  11. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    That should work but it needs to be more than just leading the class through a few things. Can you take on a bigger leadership role with a younger class? Have you done any competitions? Like I said, read the sticky on athletics

    Sports, and your academy application

    https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/Sports,-and-your-academy-application.44076/

    And make sure what you are doing matches what is described there. Sports are about more than just fitness to the academy. You really need to commit to your chosen activities, and make sure you enjoy them and aren't doing them just for your application, otherwise the dedication it's going to take to balance everything will not be there. You have the bones of a good application, but the gaps and jumping around from activity to activity have set you a bit behind. If there are reasons beyond a loss of interest (I.e family needed help, you moved etc) you'll have a chance to explain in your app. Either way, you'll want good answers to why you jumped around so much for your interviews.

    Also, btw, I am a woman...not offended, just mildly irked as this is a common assumption. SAF pro tip: you can click on a users profile and if they have updated it, it will often include gender.
     
    Capt MJ likes this.
  12. Gliderguy101

    Gliderguy101 Member

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    Just wondering, how much of a boost does an applicant have if they hold a pilots licence whether it is powered or in gliding? Does it settle in the category for showing initiative? Or does it have little effect overall?
     
  13. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    I don't know of anyone on the board that has full/current insight into the specific weighting of different ECs. In my personal, unformed opinion, while a PPL may show initiative, ECs that include more of a direct leadership role would make more of an impact to a candidate's WCS.

    If you love flying, go ahead and pursue your PPL. Just don't do it if you think it will give you an inside track to an appointment.
     
  14. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I will sound like a broken record here but remember that this is not a National competition. You will most likely be competing against nine other applicants that live in your same congressional district. They will all have a good GPA, high test scores and most have a strong athletic and leadership background. Without varsity sports you will need to be better than them in the other areas. Since your school does not rank, SAT scores will be the basis for most of the academic portion of your WCS. You need to take focus on SAT prep and take it every time it is available.