Application Timing

LJ-USAF-22

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
15
I am currently ready and wanting to submit my pre-candidate packet, but am held back by a single thing on that particular application. My ACT/SAT test score has been something I have struggled with all of Junior year and having taken each test 2 times I have gotten near the same score every time (25 ACT). As a result of this I kept telling myself I didn't want to submit my application to anything without a more respectable score as I feel I am a better candidate than that score shows (4.1 GPA and lots of sports/leadership under my belt). So my main question is am I hurting myself by not gaining candidate status with a lower ACT score? I want to get the application process moving and feel I am already behind, but have no idea if this is just stress I am feeling or genuine danger for my application. I have also heard that there is motivation for waiting to gain candidate status based on when your CFA deadline is (I am in shape for all, but the upper body portions of the test, but need time to improve). Any help or advice would be much appreciated as I want to play my cards as best as I can.
 

Wishful

"Land of the free, because of the brave..."
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Dec 12, 2012
Messages
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I assume you are a Junior in HS so I would reach out to your ALO or call Admissions for direction. Plenty of SAT dates coming up as well as time to improve your CFA.
 

Billberna

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
342
I would not say there are plenty of SAT dates coming. You need to look up the SAT and ACT schedules on their websites, and most of all, the dates when the scores are released, because you will not know whether your score has improved until the scores are released. An SAT was just held yesterday, so it will be October, probably, before the next one, and then there will be several weeks afterwards before the scores are released. Same for the ACT - there is one scheduled for Sept 9, but then not another test until October or so. You need to make sure that entering the Pre-Candidate phase can wait that long, as you cannot begin the full application until you get the green light from USAFA as a pre-candidate. I would direct this question to the USAFA admissions counselor assigned to your state. Maybe he/she can give you a feel for whether the test score you already have will qualify you to become a candidate. The test score you send in as a pre-candidate can always be replaced by a better score that you send in as a candidate. Good luck!
 

Ravens

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Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
98
Start the process. The SAT /ACT score is only one component of the application. The Academies are looking for well rounded candidates. Let's just speculate and say the average ACT score is 30. That means there are appointments with lower score and appointments with very high scores. Stop telling yourself No, and let them tell you No. Lots of people struggle with those tests and they know that everybody isn't scoring in the high 30's. They want a diverse group and you may have other attributes that stand out that they value. Also, submit all the scores, its shows you are attempting to improve and that shows your determination and perseverance. In addition, there are still a couple more tests scheduled that you can attend prior to the deadline. The longer you wait, the further behind you fall.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
You for sure need to get your scores up, so take each test every time possible and study between exams. Assuming you are a solid applicant otherwise, the ACT/SAT is likely the make or break factor (which is common for most applicants btw). It sounds like your concern is that admissions will look at your 25 score, and immediately dismiss your application. I don't think that will happen at this juncture. Typically an application will get updated each time a new score is received, and your old (lower) scores won't even be considered once the higher score is entered.

I would get the application moving, but take those exams every opportunity. You need to move that needle for sure. It's doable; particularly with superscoring. Three points is usually the max movement, but four is possible with hard work and luck. That might be what it takes.
 

LJ-USAF-22

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
15
I assume you are a Junior in HS so I would reach out to your ALO or call Admissions for direction. Plenty of SAT dates coming up as well as time to improve your CFA.


I am a Senior currently with one realistic date ACT date left. Like I said I have taken 4 standardized tests before this. I am hoping to do much better on this one as I have started far more than I had previously.
 

LJ-USAF-22

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
15
I am currently ready and wanting to submit my pre-candidate packet, but am held back by a single thing on that particular application. My ACT/SAT test score has been something I have struggled with all of Junior year and having taken each test 2 times I have gotten near the same score every time (25 ACT). As a result of this I kept telling myself I didn't want to submit my application to anything without a more respectable score as I feel I am a better candidate than that score shows (4.1 GPA and lots of sports/leadership under my belt). So my main question is am I hurting myself by not gaining candidate status with a lower ACT score? I want to get the application process moving and feel I am already behind, but have no idea if this is just stress I am feeling or genuine danger for my application. I have also heard that there is motivation for waiting to gain candidate status based on when your CFA deadline is (I am in shape for all, but the upper body portions of the test, but need time to improve). Any help or advice would be much appreciated as I want to play my cards as best as I can.

Just an update I am a current Senior
 

In-the-Know

5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
135
I am currently ready and wanting to submit my pre-candidate packet, but am held back by a single thing on that particular application. My ACT/SAT test score has been something I have struggled with all of Junior year and having taken each test 2 times I have gotten near the same score every time (25 ACT). As a result of this I kept telling myself I didn't want to submit my application to anything without a more respectable score as I feel I am a better candidate than that score shows (4.1 GPA and lots of sports/leadership under my belt). So my main question is am I hurting myself by not gaining candidate status with a lower ACT score? I want to get the application process moving and feel I am already behind, but have no idea if this is just stress I am feeling or genuine danger for my application. I have also heard that there is motivation for waiting to gain candidate status based on when your CFA deadline is (I am in shape for all, but the upper body portions of the test, but need time to improve). Any help or advice would be much appreciated as I want to play my cards as best as I can.

Just an update I am a current Senior
Submit your pre-candidate questionnaire. USAFA super scores so you can always send in new scores. The lower old scores will not hurt you. Get started!
 

falconchic88

10-Year Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
1,138
I would submit your Pre-Candidate questionnaire now. Your goal is to have them open the portal for you so you can start the lengthy application process. USAFA will update your ACT/SAT scores when they get new ones, and will always take the best scores from each section, they don't have to be from the same sitting. Anytime you update your file with any new information they will re-evaluate your status. Also, keep in mind, even if they don't elevate you to candidate status right away, work on those senator and congressional representative packets, because if you get a nomination, USAFA will convert you to candidate status, but only if you've submitted your pre-candidate questionnaire.
Also, once you gain candidate status, you have a few months to submit your CFA, but you can be getting in shape now. I would not wait to submit pre-candidate questionnaire to force a later CFA deadline.
 

Billberna

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
342
falconchic makes an excellent point about working on your congressional nominations. I don't know about your state, but our state senators and our representative have a deadline of September 6th for submitting everything. Most states aren't that early, but you need to check. So your first task is to check on those deadlines and get that part started first.
 

brovol

5-Year Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
1,622
I assume you are a Junior in HS so I would reach out to your ALO or call Admissions for direction. Plenty of SAT dates coming up as well as time to improve your CFA.


I am a Senior currently with one realistic date ACT date left. Like I said I have taken 4 standardized tests before this. I am hoping to do much better on this one as I have started far more than I had previously.
Taking each test only twice is not nearly enough. And you should keep taking the tests right up until you get a tiny envelope with a rejection letter. My son improved at least one sub-score every time he took the ACT, and that makes a big difference with super-scoring. The studying in between and getting up early on those Saturdays sucks, but that is what discipline is all about, and you seriously need to move those scores.
 

Wishful

"Land of the free, because of the brave..."
5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
1,842
Take practice tests, buy a book (I prefer the Kaplan method, but whatever works for you) that has about 9 tests or so & simulate the whole test. Practice time management because that can get you in trouble if you run out of it. You will even recognize some questions on the real test from your practice ones as they come from a bank of I think 5K or so.
 

Hoodlum15

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
278
My roommate last year attended the prep school and is now a 3rd class cadet at the Academy. Her final, superscored ACT was a 25, so it's definitely doable.
 
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