Are Verbal heavy ACT scores still good?

TerragTheGreat

New Member
I am a candidate for the USNA Class of 2022. I have taken the ACT numerous times and my highest scores are 28 Math, 35 Verbal (31 composite). I have also done well in my math and science classes, earning A's or high B's. The Academy requested my 7th semester transcripts, and I think they'll find them reassuring, but will the academy not like that I'm so high in verbal and they're an engineering based school?
 

THParent

Member
The ability to communicate verbally is as greatly a prized quality of a Naval or Marine Corps Officer as is the ability to understand mathematics.
Orders are typically given verbally or by the written word. They need to be clear and concise.

So yes, your high verbal score is great!
They want to see your 7th semester grades probably because they want to see if a trend is developing.
The trend that would give them pause is a downward trend in grades, or seeing a Senior year packed with basket-weaving classes rather than more-challenging AP classes.
 

Kierkegaard

Member
It's not that they won't like your high verbal score as much as they'd prefer your math score to be high as well. As silly as it is in my view, the math score is weighted about twice as highly as the Verbal score. Will it be a problem? Maybe, maybe not. There's nothing you can do now. If you've taken courses like AP Calc BC and have gotten As or Bs you have definitely demonstrated aptitude in math. As with many of these cases, it will likely come down to who you're competing against.
 

USMA 1994

Member
Your math score is above the published average so you are qualified. There is no such thing as what they might like or what they need reassuring in if you are above a certain number.

The issue is that you will be competing against other candidates that have higher scores. You will need to beat them in other areas to overcome the difference in test scores. Test scores carry the most weight in the WCS calculation so it is difficult to do that.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Test scores carry the most weight in the WCS calculation so it is difficult to do that.
I'm not sure this is true. I'll let Hoops or someone else correct me, but I believe USNA most heavily weights class rank, followed by math SAT/ACT. That said, the "W" stands for "whole" and there are lots of other considerations. USNA mostly wants to be sure that you can handle the heavy math/science/engineering curriculum. They believe math SAT/ACT is a predictor of that success (or lack thereof), which is why it is looked at carefully. It also helps USNA "compare" students at a magnet STEM school in NY, to those at huge city school in CA, to those in a one-room schoolhouse in WV.

Kierkegaard is correct. Nothing wrong with a high verbal score but the math could be higher. Also agree that if you're earning As in AP Calculus at a decent high school, that would help. But for now, what is, is.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
The one insight into USNA's WCS algorithm I have heard is that the Math Score is weighted 2x that of the Verbal Score. This was from my initial BGO training approx. 15 years ago, and could have changed, but the explanation that USNA and the Navy are heavily STEM oriented (even if you are a Bull major) still makes sense. That being said, high Verbal scores don't hurt.
 

usnabgo08

USNA 2008/BGO
10-Year Member
A math score that is above the average for USNA does not mean a candidate is qualified. Qualification is not something anyone on this board can determine.
 

USMA 1994

Member
Let me rephrase it a bit. One change in a test score has the single biggest impact you can have on your WCS. Your GPA/Class Rank is pretty much set by the end of your seventh semester. Not much you can do to change it.
 

USMA 1994

Member
A math score that is above the average for USNA does not mean a candidate is qualified. Qualification is not something anyone on this board can determine.
This is like the third time you have tried to correct me in the last few days. The OP asked would her 28 be looked at unfavorably. My response was that it is above the average so it is not a question of it keeping you out. The issue is she is competing against people with higher scores. I also partially disagree about predicting qualification. Experienced FFRs or BGOs can make a pretty good prediction about being qualified if we have the information. It is the chances of winning a slate we cannot do. I look at tons of kids and most of them it’s pretty clear. The kids on the bubble will most likely not win a slate even if they are marginally qualified.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Let me tell a little story. A particular candidate had SATs of 600V/740M. Candidate stood in top 5 in class of over 600 with all AP core courses (+ everything else you'd expect from a highly qualified candidate) Would you assume that candidate was qualified? I would.

And I would be wrong. This candidate was rejected and was specifically told by USNA it was due to VERBAL SAT. Go figure. The story had a happy ending in the the candidate was offered Foundation, completed it and went on to make Supe's list at USNA.

A few years ago, I had someone with <1100 total SATs receive a direct appointment (no NAPS/Foundation).

This is why we don't like to make predications.

I would also say that some really, really well qualified candidates don't win their slates in highly competitive areas. Sometimes they do well in the national pool; sometimes not. Bottom line is that we can make educated guesses based on experience, but they're only that. I've learned to hedge my bets in counseling candidates because I've seen some really strange things happen over the years.
 

usnabgo08

USNA 2008/BGO
10-Year Member
What I post is true about USNA's admission process....either from references, BGO training, or speaking directly with USNA admissions. I kindly refrain from posting admission advice/information in other SA forums because I am not familiar with the particular details of any other SA's admission process.
 
What I post is true about USNA's admission process....either from references, BGO training, or speaking directly with USNA admissions. I kindly refrain from posting admission advice/information in other SA forums because I am not familiar with the particular details of any other SA's admission process.
Does USNA request all 7th semester transcripts or just some?
 

usnabgo08

USNA 2008/BGO
10-Year Member
Only some. If the Admissions Board needs more information to make a decision, they might request a 7th semester transcript via your admissions counselor.
 

USMA 1994

Member
Let me tell a little story. A particular candidate had SATs of 600V/740M. Candidate stood in top 5 in class of over 600 with all AP core courses (+ everything else you'd expect from a highly qualified candidate) Would you assume that candidate was qualified? I would.

And I would be wrong. This candidate was rejected and was specifically told by USNA it was due to VERBAL SAT. Go figure. The story had a happy ending in the the candidate was offered Foundation, completed it and went on to make Supe's list at USNA.

A few years ago, I had someone with <1100 total SATs receive a direct appointment (no NAPS/Foundation).

This is why we don't like to make predications.

I would also say that some really, really well qualified candidates don't win their slates in highly competitive areas. Sometimes they do well in the national pool; sometimes not. Bottom line is that we can make educated guesses based on experience, but they're only that. I've learned to hedge my bets in counseling candidates because I've seen some really strange things happen over the years.
I think we may be saying the same thing. With the scores being what they are, the candidate seems qualified but not competitive. They were offered a scholarship not prep school. If they wanted them and they were not academically qualified, the candidate would be offered prep school. It is impossible for us to predict if you will get an appointment but we can make some pretty educated guess about meeting the minimum qualifications.
 

Zeus

Member
The one insight into USNA's WCS algorithm I have heard is that the Math Score is weighted 2x that of the Verbal Score. This was from my initial BGO training approx. 15 years ago, and could have changed, but the explanation that USNA and the Navy are heavily STEM oriented (even if you are a Bull major) still makes sense. That being said, high Verbal scores don't hurt.
Sir,

I always enjoy learning from your posts. With all due respect though, please take the next BGO refresher course this year.

V/r,

Zeus
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
I always enjoy learning from your posts. With all due respect though, please take the next BGO refresher course this year.
With all due respect, have YOU ever attended BGO training? If you have, you know BGOs are required to attend refresher training at least every 5 years in order to continue as a BGO.

If you ever attended BGO training, you would also know the content of that training and the information provided in the training changes over time. Years ago, Admissions promulgated information such as that Old Navy posted. Today, we're told that there is an algorithm/formula to compute WCS but that it's no longer shared with BGOs or even (I believe) RDs. And, the formula changes (although probably not significantly) year to year. Thus, Old Navy was providing information from a time it was given, qualifying it as possibly out of date. This does not mean Old Navy has not attended BGO training since that time.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
With all due respect though, please take the next BGO refresher course this year.
A little professional advice --- 1) Don't jump to conclusions, and 2) don't use the preface "With all due respect..." it won't protect you from repercussions when dealing with those above you in the military (trust me, I've tried).

As USNA1985 points out, we are required to attend training every 5 years to stay active, and the only reason that I included the caveat was that things change. Oh, and by the way, I attended refresher training last summer.
 

Zeus

Member
My apologies for misinterpreting the original post from Old Navy BGO. Yes, I am very aware of the requirement for BGO refresher training at least every 5 years. Maybe we have met last year?
The one insight into USNA's WCS algorithm I have heard is that the Math Score is weighted 2x that of the Verbal Score. This was from my initial BGO training approx. 15 years ago, and could have changed, but the explanation that USNA and the Navy are heavily STEM oriented (even if you are a Bull major) still makes sense. That being said, high Verbal scores don't hurt.
 

AF6872

10-Year Member
As THParent says Verbal is a big boost. Communication at every level is highly underrated. I have had State Police Officers tell me that they decry the reports they get. Ability to communicate concisely is a great plus in any field.
 
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