Best Prep.


Jun 14, 2017
Hi everybody,
I regrettably decided that the Army branch was the best fit for me too late in the nomination application process and am planning on reapplying.
Speaking on what would prepare me best for the academic (chem major), physical, and emotional demands at USMA, what are your recommendations? (Like personal development. not necessarily what would make my ‘resume/package’ better, but tips on that would be helpful too). Some things I am thinking about...
1. should I commit to a major freshman yr of college or do undecided sciences first yr and take a rounded course load similar to USMA?
2. If I plan to minor in an unfamiliar language should I start self-teaching it?
3. Should I focus more of my time to academics my freshman year of college or exercising? (Granted both are at healthy amounts).
4. When is the soonest I can start getting together my reapplication?


Dec 12, 2019
Current class of 2024 here!

With regards to overall recommendations on personal development, a year in college and reapplication shows a lot of development in of itself, as West Point is looking for that type of commitment even when you are not accepted first time around. It demonstrates that you are willing to learn and improve yourself academically in order to have a overall better application and that you are committed to the service! Just make sure your year in college results in good academics/GPA (and even better if they improve from high school) as USMA highly considers this. Plus, a year at college develops your independence and confidence, which can only make your plebe year easier.

Regarding your specific questions:
1. Since you stated that you are looking to be a Chemistry major at West Point, I would 100% commit to a Chemistry major or similar science for your year at college...I think it will definitely help prepare you for the plebe STEM classes, and you might even be able to validate CH101/151 and head straight into CH102. You could definitely take a rounded course load, but if you already know what you want to major in and have the chance to get ahead in that major plebe year, might as well start as early as possible.
2. I am planning on minoring in German, but I never had the schedule availability to take any classes in high school. My coach back home is German and I got to compete in Germany in 2019, so I have been exposed to the language a little bit, which certainly helps. My first German class at West Point will be first semester yearling year (you usually only take a language plebe year if you're planning on majoring in it), so I would not worry so much about self-studying, unless of course you find it really interesting! But your academics, leadership, and fitness should come first.
3. I would definitely focus more of your time on academics as these will be a greater determining factor in your Overall Candidate Score (OCS). However, this does not mean neglect your physical fitness! There is a fine balance between the two. Exercising is a way to relieve stress and produce endorphins, making you overall happier and more motivated (which in turn can certainly help your academics). Have a weekly routine of different types of exercise for before/in-between/after classes (to include cardio and weight lifting) that you follow strictly to help solidify not neglecting exercise, considering you will be spending much of your time on academics.
4. Now I am not entirely sure on this one, but I believe January 15th is the opening for application for class of 2026. So very soon!

I hope this information helps! Let me know if you have any more questions :)