Assessing my chances

armybrat0401

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I'm just now finishing up junior year and I'd like to see how I stack up and maybe have some insight on my chances of getting in to USMA.

Classes/GPA: (Notable classes, I take honors and one regular class) AP Physics, AP Human Geography, AP US History, AP Economics (2AP exams in one class), AP World History, and a ~~~3.8GPA. Senior year notable classes are AP Comparative Government and US Government, AP Statistics, AP Biology, STEM Engineering, and Accounting.

Clubs/Extracurricular:
--NHS (2 years so far)
--Military Ambassadors Club
--1 year of Varsity Basketball with an academic letter. I'd like to note I'm actively playing for my school 10 months a year.
--Owner of a lawnmower repair and lawn care company. Fairly successful.
-- Head Coach of 2/3rd grade rec basketball team.

Standardized Tests: As of now, my English and Essay scores are average for USMA. Math scores are slightly below average for USMA, but continually improving.

Note: I didn't know I wanted to attend USMA until spring of junior year and I did not have the involvement in my school/community until just recently. I live in Northern VA but am seeking a nomination through Kentucky (home of record). I'm also seeking an ROTC scholarship.

How are my chances looking and how should I improve? Thanks.
 

brovol

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If you want opinions, give actual test score numbers. Regardless, folks here mostly give general comments rather that whether they think you will get it, because too much depends on where you live and the relative competition within your congressional district.

Your GPA is less relevant than your class standing. You want to be in top 10% if possible. The averages that are posted include many recruited athletes, underrepresented applicants, and people from non-competitive districts. Unless you fall into those categories, be realistic and understand that your numbers better be appreciably higher to win a spot.

Your resume doesn't look bad. Move the bar on the test scores, and get straight A's this next semester. Run for president of student council and/or NHS, if not too late. Being a captain of a varsity sport moves the meter a lot. Work on the CFA. A high score there will help.

In short, do anything and everything you can to improve your chances. The kids who have a vision quest, and work at it hard tend to get in.
 

armybrat0401

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My school is so large we don't do ranks or any of that. It's too late to be head of a club at my school, I've missed out on the opportunity to seek leadership there. Captain of basketball team is given to the best player, which I most likely won't be. What I am trying to get at is leadership positions for school are all but gone for me at this point, but I am optimistic that being a business owner and a coach are seen as me being a leader.
 

brovol

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Then your ACT/SAT scores are even more important. USMA will use the scores to estimate a class standing. Essentially, the scores will determine about 60% of your WCS. I would try to get math and English ACT scores to 30-31ish. The others 29s or higher. Improving your scores is very doable. Keep taking the tests, and practice before, going over the answers untill you understand ever mistake you make. Play basketball for sure your Sr season, and if you could add another varsity sport that would help.

Maybe call your congressman's office, and speak to the person in charge of service academy nominations. Ask how many applicants they usually have, and see if you can get any other insight out of him/her.

If at all possible, take a trip to WP and attend one of the admissions briefings. You will get a ton of info, and a tour, which is very cool. Most important though is the opportunity to speak with a RC, who will go over your application, and compare it to others in your district. It probably won't be the RC from your region, unless you get lucky, but it doesn't matter. They will load you with advice and also pump you up. My son followed the advice to a tee, and earned an appointment early in the process. It is great for your parents too. They will feel great about things after the briefing.
 

armybrat0401

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So I've been to WP and have many friends there, I'd say I have that covered. I have spoken face to face with a senator and representative congressional nomination staff. I did that to familiarize myself with what they are looking for as well as give them a face to go along with my app, I'd imagine they would be somewhat confused that an app was coming from northern Virginia and I'm applying through a more rural Kentucky. Thanks for putting the importance of the SAT. I hadn't though t that not having a class rank would make my scores considerably more important.
 

Maplerock

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I'd have a very solid plan B and C if I were you.
 

armybrat0401

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In terms of nominations in Kentucky, the state usually has 100 applicants and out of that they nominate 30.
 

brovol

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For the entire state of Kentucky I have got to think they have a lot more that 30 nominations. There are at least ten for every congressional district, plus twenty from senators. I would think more than 100 applications too, but I won't challenge that number.

It's a good idea to try to meet with your congressman. Never hurts and could help, although they have nomination committees which do the evaluations.

Perhaps the most important suggestion I made originally was to meet with a WP RC and go over your file. If you want a very accurate idea of where you stand a meeting after the morning briefing is the way to go. By far West Point has the most accessible admissions officers of all the academies. We were shocked how much they shared. Valuable stuff.
 

armybrat0401

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Burke. Luckily I'm afforded the opportunity to apply through a less competitive home of record. Best of luck to you.
 

Duke_of_Wellington

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I just finished my 10th Grade year of high school. I wanted to see how I am doing currently and what I need to improve on.
My current GPA is a 103 with it going to increase, my current class rank is either 2 or 3. I am one of the academic leaders in my school, I have taken 3 AP classes thus for with 3 next year and 5 the following. I nailed a 5 on my World History, and on my environmental I received a 3 with a GPA of 100 in that class. I also took AP Chemistry where I did not do as well as I would have hoped on the exam, but I finished with a solid 95 in that class (I wanted to know how much the USMA considers AP scores for application, because I did not do so well on one, but on my future exams I should get all 4s or 5s since I am very solid in those subject areas). Overall in my others classes across the board I am 100s or very high 90s.
- I am a member of my schools competitive marching band with the chance of being a section leader Senior year.
- I am a member of my schools robotics team with the chance of becoming captain of my electrical team Senior year.
- I am a NHS member and will run for President or VP Junior year.
- I am a Winthrop NYU Hospital Junior volunteer every week year round.
- I play for my school's varsity ice hockey team and may be captain Senior year.
- I play for my school's varsity tennis team as well.
- I have participated in several academic contests and scholarship opportunities as well.
- I also attended a STEM Institute my freshman year of school.
- I am also a member of my school's coding club and will most likely obtain a leadership position as well.
- I will also be interning for my local congressman as well.
I have not taken the SAT yet and my first time is this year during my Junior year. I will be going through a lot of prep and my academic skills should hold and I should score very high, I will also most definitely retake it to obtain the highest score possible.

This is rough draft of my current resume with some stuff missing and a lot more to come since I have two years of school left. I wanted to know if I am on the right path and have a solid chance of being accepted into the USMA.
 

brovol

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You are looking solid. You have everything there except your ACT/SAT scores, which I hope you are scheduling and practicing for. Take the test as often as you can afford.

AP test scores are not calculated specifically within the WCS, but good scores may be looked upon favorably by those who review applications. Nothing is more important than those ACT/SAT scores though. Work to get each sub-score above 30-31 at least.

Keep your grades and class standing as high as you can. Earn those captain spots on the varsity sports, and get a high officer spot on NHS. Your application will look a lot like my sons did a couple years ago, except your grades are even better. He had very solid ACT test scores to make up for that though. You do those things and I would bet anything you will get an appointment.
 
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Duke_of_Wellington

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Thank you very much for your response I greatly appreciate it. I will most definitely continue all of things listed and expand. I have a question, I am assuming your son was accepted into the USMA?
 

brovol

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Thank you very much for your response I greatly appreciate it. I will most definitely continue all of things listed and expand. I have a question, I am assuming your son was accepted into the USMA?
Yes. My son is a 2020 at West Point. He was also accepted at USAFA, and got a very late call with an offer of apt from USNA just days before we left for R-day last year. Are you applying to multiple academies? Admissions chances are very much about the competitiveness of your congressional district. If you are in a district with hundreds of quality applicants, then your ACT scores might need to be 34's or higher. If in a noncompetitive district, then 28's might do. We spoke with RC's at West Point three times on visits, and I recommend that you and your folks take a trip out there too. You will get a great perspective as to what you should do. We are in a medium competitive district, probably like most districts in reasonably populated states (we are in Michigan). The first time my son spoke to a WP RC, he had a 29 overall ACT, and the RC told him that if he could get his super-score to a 31, he would get an appointment. My son was motivated, and took the ACT a total of 4 times I think. each time his super-score went up. In the end he had scores of: M34, E31, S34, and R30. He was multi varsity athlete, and captain of both soccer and baseball teams. He was NHS President, but GPA only 3.8, with class standing in only about top 17% if I remember correctly. He had good CFA scores, which you shouldn't forget about. My son didnt even think about the academies until end of his junior year in HS. For most kids who are good students, good athletes, and reasonably bright, the academies are very attainable. The test scores and CFA are things you can practice and get good at. You are in good shape, and have plenty of time to grind out good test scores. Keep up what you are doing and study for those tests.
 

Duke_of_Wellington

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Once again I greatly appreciate the response and your advice will be greatly taken. That is amazing and great for your son. I will most definitely look into the competitiveness of my district for I am unsure ( I do live on LI NY). I have no problem with retaking the exams and super scoring because maximizing your score is what is important. I personally am not very interested in the other academies because I am a huge history oriented person and want to be in the Army not to say I will not apply to the Naval and Airforce academies as well. I do also intend on applying to the other Army colleges as well for backups such as VMI or the Citadel but West Point is the place to be. Honestly though I came to the decision to go to West Point when I was in 7th Grade, I love history and the military and can never stop reading about military history. It is most definitely the place I want to be and I will stop till I get in.
 

Duke_of_Wellington

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Also if you do not mind me asking I was researching the CFA exams and they are financial business exams correct? I am a huge fan of economics and finances and if you could tell me more I would greatly appreciate it?
 

brovol

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Once again I greatly appreciate the response and your advice will be greatly taken. That is amazing and great for your son. I will most definitely look into the competitiveness of my district for I am unsure ( I do live on LI NY). I have no problem with retaking the exams and super scoring because maximizing your score is what is important. I personally am not very interested in the other academies because I am a huge history oriented person and want to be in the Army not to say I will not apply to the Naval and Airforce academies as well. I do also intend on applying to the other Army colleges as well for backups such as VMI or the Citadel but West Point is the place to be. Honestly though I came to the decision to go to West Point when I was in 7th Grade, I love history and the military and can never stop reading about military history. It is most definitely the place I want to be and I will stop till I get in.
keep your mind open. You are quite young, and right up until your final decisions need to be made you may have a change in attitude. Why do you want USMA? if you want to lead soldiers in defense of your country, that is also possible in the other academies (also, dont forget about USCGA, and USMMA; both tremendous options), as well as ROTC programs. If you look into each of the services closely, you will find that they all have advantages, and very broad career options. Having said that, I confess that I am very delighted my son picked West Point. It is special in so many respects, and my wife and I had to use great restraint not to tell my son that we much preferred WP to the other academies. The beauty, architecture, history, tradition, but most of all the people, all overwhelmed us. But USNA has the Marine option, which opens virtually everything up, and it has ships, which draw a lot of people.

keep your mind open, and do due diligence. look into everything. ROTC Scholarships are fantastic, and that method of commissioning has as many "pros" as the academies. In the meantime, stay motivated.
 

brovol

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Also if you do not mind me asking I was researching the CFA exams and they are financial business exams correct? I am a huge fan of economics and finances and if you could tell me more I would greatly appreciate it?
Go to the USMA website, and under admissions, then study up on all the requirements and process. CFA is the fitness component of the application requirements, and every candidate must receive at least a minimum qualifying score. USMA, USNA, and USAFA all utilize the same test. Your CFA score comprises 10% of your overall admissions Whole Candidate Score (WCS).

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