Sep 6, 2016
Hi everyone,

I've bought the USAFA candidate book and have been reading through it and had questions. I wanted to know if I am prepared, and how to prepare for the academics at the Academy. If anyone could point out my strong and weak points in my Academics and Physical Fitness then I would appreciate it. I know some areas are very weak but I'm working on them harder than ever before.

-A- in both College level English classes.
-(590 reading, 530 writing on Old SAT, waiting for new scores)

Social Studies:
-A in AP World History
-A in both 10 credits of College U.S. history classes,
-A in 15 credits of College Political Science classes
-A in 18 credits worth of Economics classes.

-A in high school Algebra
-A- in Pre-AP geometry
- C in College Trigonometry but am acing Intermediate College Algebra right now.
-Also have a B in College Statistics currently (560 old SAT, waiting for new ones).

-B in Pre-AP Bio
-B in regular Chem
-B in College Human Bio
-B+ in College Physical Science
-A in Environmental Bio.
Currently have an A- in College Intro Chem

-B+ in 2 years high school German
-A- in College German 103 (Third Quarter).

Overall 3.4 High School GPA, 3.6 College GPA.

P.E.: A in High School
-Passed College Weight Training
-College Swimming
-Currently in College BJJ
-Did 2 years of XC, (19.40 5k Pr).
-(Passed CFA with 53' Basketball Throw, 15 Pull-Ups, 10.0 Shuttle run, 73 sit-ups, 53 Push-ups, 6.23 Mile Run). I do cross fit a lot with my neighbor and run more so I should be more prepared soon.

I know my weakest points are in STEM fields but I'm planning on retaking College Trig and taking the next College Algebra next quarter before I take calc. I'm not bad at STEM but social sciences just come easier to me. Let me know what other classes I can do or activities to improve.
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This is just from my view, but you will need to start working up to Calculus, everyone takes it and the better prepared you are in Calc. the better you will do in the mathematics area.

You will be given the opportunity to validate your language requirements at the start of the year, which, depending on your scores, could allow you to either have no language courses to take, or you can continue a language (German) and start in a higher level class.

For your physical state, I would look at this link of the average and max test scores : http://www.academyadmissions.com/admissions/the-application-process/fitness-assessment/ and work to be able to at least hit the average on every score if not the max.
I will stay on the Academic side of things. You have a 3.4 high school gpa. It appears you are a freshman in college and carry a 3.6 college gpa. Did you apply during your Sr. year of high school? If so, the glaring weaknesses are gpa which is a half point off the median and lack of top end math and science classes. I can only give you the example of my DS. He took two AP level Calculus classes, two AP level Physics classes and AP Chemistry. He scored a 35 in Math and a 33 in Science on the ACT. He made 4 and 5s on all the AP Stem tests.

You have to depend on the college improvement for the gpa. If you applied before I think the persistence is noticed from past post on this board. If not, then you will have to show in the interviews why you deserve a spot opposed to other candidates with better grades and a tougher curriculum. Best of luck. If you don't get in then don't give up. Keep improving the gpa and take Calculus and Physics and show you can master those classes. If you do get in understand that half way through the first semester my DS has 2 As, a B and 2 Cs (the Cs are in Calculus and Chemistry). Getting in is one thing but once there the Academics are very tough.
590 R for an SAT is not stellar...sorry.

53 BBall throw is not stellar either for the CFA.

Just my 0.018754 cents.
Why does everyone have to be so negative toward others- only the academy will say whether a 590 reading or 53 foot basketball throw is "good enough". These are not the only two things looked at. Be positive and put in your best application- let the academy admissions decide and don't let people on this forum discourage you!
I didn't apply last year because I doubted my chances of getting in. This past year my grades have improved, fitness, confidence, etc. and I think I'm overall becoming more prepared to get accepted. It also didn't help that I had a 2.3 GPA my first semester of high school, that mainly explains my low overall GPA.

Thanks for your anecdote about your DS, that's why my concern is succeeding if I get accepted. He sounds like he really challenged himself in high school. Overall I'm just hoping to improve myself and get accepted eventually. I'm confident that my interviews will go well though!
Why does everyone have to be so negative toward others- only the academy will say whether a 590 reading or 53 foot basketball throw is "good enough". These are not the only two things looked at. Be positive and put in your best application- let the academy admissions decide and don't let people on this forum discourage you!
It's alright, I asked for people to point out my weak points. I'm just looking to improve myself and my application. Thanks for your kindness!
There is nothing negative about a post; IF it's the truth. This forum isn't designed to make people "Feel Good". This forum was designed to provide information to HELP individuals assess themselves and to prepare themselves for the application process.

Everyone here knows what the traditional profile/average is academy appointees/cadets. If you don't know, a simple search will show the averages. If you don't want to search, just click on the link in my signature block. The average ACT scores in ALL areas is a 30. The average SAT is 642 verbal and 669 in math.

The average in the CFA is: (Men score, then women)
Basketball Throw 70’ 42'
Cadence Pull-ups 12 3 OR Flexed Arm Hang (Women)21 sec.
Shuttle Run 8.4 sec. 9.5 sec.
Modified Sit-ups 81 81
Push-ups 63 43
One Mile Run 6:12 7:03

So, you know what the AVERAGES are. Now, does this mean that there are people who have scores that are BELOW the average? Of course. That's how an AVERAGE is determined. Some higher and some lower. But, I can guarantee you, that for EVERY AREA that you are BELOW average, you better be extremely ABOVE AVERAGE in another area. E.G. If your GPA is 3.5, you better have 32+ ACT.

So yes, if the average basketball throw is 70' and your score is 53', then that is not good. Yes, only the academy will determine if it's "GOOD ENOUGH". But as I said; if you are doing something BELOW the average, then you better be making up for it some place else on your application. Of course, NO ONE should be satisfied with the "AVERAGE". You should strive for perfection, and only be satisfied with the "BEST YOU CAN DO". If you get done with the CFA, ACT, SAT, School Classes, etc. and you can honestly say to yourself that you did "THE BEST" that you are capable of doing......... Then that is great. You can sleep well at night. Because obviously, you couldn't do any better no matter how hard you try. But only YOU can determine if you've done your "BEST". No one here can figure that out for you. You already know that answer.

So no one EVER HAS TO ASK "How am I doing; How are my scores; what are my chances;"? These questions are all moot. Because, you either did the BEST YOU COULD DO, in which case, there's not a damn thing you can do to improve, so why worry about it. OR.... you know deep down inside that you DIDN'T DO THE BEST that you could do. If that's the truth, then you know it, and you have to work harder. No one needs to tell you that. Again; you STRIVE for perfection, and SETTLE for "Your Best". Once people understand this concept, and they already know the typical profile of appointed cadets; then we can get rid of these kinds of questions and debates.

As you can tell, I am not the type of person who gives out "Participation Awards". I'm also not a believer in people asking or wanting to know what the MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS or MINIMUM STANDARDS are. I believe in STRIVING for perfection, and SETTLING for doing "Your Best". If you're objective is to "MEET" the minimum requirements, then you'll probably meet with quite a bit of resistance. This is the Air Force Academy. This is the Military. It isn't a "Jobs" program or a "College Scholarship" program. The academies develop military leaders. These leaders hold other people's lives in their hands. People live and die in the military. The academy takes the best of the applicants. All you have to worry about, is striving for perfection, and settling for your best.
Thank you very much for that.

I initially wrote this post not to much to see if I could make the bare minimum, but where should I concentrate my forces in order to improve the much. I know my math is the worst, and I will continue to concentrate on that while improving EVERYTHING. I see that I'm falling short in several areas and can improve everywhere to some degree. I really want an appointment and I'm trying hard but I know I can give it my best. I haven't always done that and it has made it harder for me to get used to the workload.

Your post was very informative.
Looks like math and science are your weak points academically. What are your extracurriculars (aka, how are you gaining leadership and teamwork experience?)

Zandercott, we try not to sugar-coat for two reasons. First, artificially getting someone's hopes up is setting them up for failure and frustration. Second, they are trying to become military leaders. While we manage risk pretty well, it's a serious business. Convincing people everything will be fine with mediocre performance could destroy millions of dollars of equipment or much worse. Being up-front about weaknesses helps people address them.
Hi raimius,

My extracurriculars include me doing Cross Country 2 years in high school (JV). I was the Vice-President of a community Service Club at my local CC, now I am president this year. I worked a part-time job since last year as a courtesy clerk (I can include leadership in this job because I had to work with 3-4 other people at a time) and am now a cashier at the same place. I also am part a running club in my City since recently and plan on doing CAP.

Maybe not the strongest either but I do have leadership and have done sports.