Candidate Fitness Assessment

FatherOfFive

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Q: Can you retake and resubmit your scores for the CFA if you have already submitted these scores on the website?

Thanks
 

usna1985

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It's my understanding that you can retake your CFA and submit the new results.

The CFA is pass/fail -- to an extent. If you fail, USNA will notify you and ask you to retake the test. If you pass, USNA will not ask you to retake the test. However, exceptionally strong -- or weak -- performance on certain sections can help or hurt your chances of admission. Thus, you can pass and get bonus points, pass and lose points, or just pass.

The best way to approach the test is not to take it until you can do your very best. I realize people at NASS must take it. Thus, if you plan to attend NASS (next year), start getting in shape early so that you do well and don't have to worry about retaking.

I encourage people to retake the CFA only if your original scores were poor in one or more areas and you believe you can significantly improve. For example, it wouldn't make much sense to resubmit scores when your run improved only 5 seconds.

If you've done okay in every category and passed, the small bump you get for doing really, really well isn't worth it to retake the test.

Finally, I believe you have until the end of March (someone correct me if I'm wrong) to submit your CFA. Thus, if the candidate thinks his/her scores will improve even more with additional training, I would wait to take the test/resubmit.
 

FatherOfFive

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usna1985 said:
Finally, I believe you have until the end of March (someone correct me if I'm wrong) to submit your CFA. Thus, if the candidate thinks his/her scores will improve even more with additional training, I would wait to take the test/resubmit.
Waiting will definitely help my son's score as here in the south, the summer heat will easily tack a minute onto his mile run time. Waiting until October will allow him to max out this part of the test as he is capable of turning in a 5:20 in this test.

Are you saying that if my son completes his application in September except for the CFA his application could still be considered complete enough for the Academy to consider him for an LOA?

Thanks
 

usna1985

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I don't believe the Admissions Board will consider your son's packet unless it is complete -- meaning all but the medical exam. Thus, there is a tension b/t getting your packet in early and making it the best possible packet.

Of course, we'd all like to get our best packet completed by the end of August. However, for many people and for many reasons, that's not always possible. Thus, in your son's case, once everything else (but medical) is submitted AND he thinks he'll do well -- even if not his very best -- on the CFA, I'd do it then and not wait to improve his score. If he can run a 5:40 now (and a 5:20 later), it really won't matter. If he can only run a 10:00 now, I'd wait. :)

Also, please don't focus solely on getting an LOA. They are very rare these days (compared to the past). Focus on getting an appointment.

As a BGO, I had 4 candidates appointed with Class of 2010. Only 1 had an LOA. Two didn't hear until after April 15th (one of those was waiting a medical waiver). They are all plebes.

I understand the "comfort" of getting an LOA. But I also sense disappointment and frustration for those who don't. Those who don't are in the vast majority. Most (not all) of those who are Triple Q'ed and receive a nomination will be offered an appointment. Most of those Triple Q'ed will NOT receive an LOA.

Hope this helps.
 

Whistle Pig

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'85 ... Clearly stated and appreciated.

2 Questions:

What is the change in philosophy that leads to fewer LOAs now than in seasons past?

Can you share HOW a BGO is asked to respond/inform USNA Admissions to his/her interview with candidates? Is it a standard form? If so, what are you asked to assess? Does the BGO write his/her own description, observations, etc.? Do you respond in writing, email, both, neither? Can you tell us a bit a bout this?

In advance, thanx.
 

BR2011

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Jun 12, 2006
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i was led to believe that the CFA did not affect your LOA status. a sheet titled "Application Guidance for Class of 2011" that was enclosed with my official candidacy letter said that after recieving an LOA, an appointment would be granted given satisfactory completion of CFA, interview, medical, and nomination. this gives me the impression that it shouldnt matter when you take it. i could be wrong though.
 

usna1985

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Whistle Pig said:
2 Questions:

What is the change in philosophy that leads to fewer LOAs now than in seasons past?

Can you share HOW a BGO is asked to respond/inform USNA Admissions to his/her interview with candidates? Is it a standard form? If so, what are you asked to assess? Does the BGO write his/her own description, observations, etc.? Do you respond in writing, email, both, neither? Can you tell us a bit a bout this? QUOTE]

The short answer on the reason for the decrease in LOAs is that they limit flexibility in forming the class.

As you know, an LOA is essentially a guarantee of an appointment assuming you get a nom and are medically qualified. So, if USNA hands out 500 LOAs (for a class of 1100) by October, what do they do if 750 more exceptional candidates come along? Yes, the early bird gets the worm, but USNA doesn't want to penalize strong candidates who complete their packets on time but not super early. Also, USNA must consider geographic issues. VA, MD, PA, TX, and parts of CA and FL are generally the most competitive states. Yet, they have the same 2 Senators as every other state and each Representative in those areas gets the same 10 slots as in ND, WY, AK, etc. where there are many fewer applicants. Lots of LOAs make it difficult to "slot" candidates, especially in these competive areas.

As for the BGO interview, there is a standard form. We're supposed to talk about Plebe Summer, Honor Concept, limited majors, etc. Other than that, it's up to the individual BGO. We're asked to indicate whether the student is applying to NROTC, whether he/she is interested in NAPS/Foundation, and intended major and service selection.

We're then asked to rate each candidate on a number of personal characteristics -- motivation, organization, leadership, physical fitness, communications skills, etc. The rest of the form is open narrative where you generally support your ratings on the personal characteristics with specifics and examples.

BGOs are the eyes & ears of CGO. Please realize that we're not just there to evaluate; we're also there to be a resource to candidates. The best candidates approach the interviews as something that will give them even greater insight into USNA, not as another hurdle to overcome.

Finally, as someone who's done lots and lots of interviews (BGO and other), there is no magic formula. Don't try to fool or your BGO. As with most interviews, being yourself is the best strategy in the long run.

Hope this helps.
 

Whistle Pig

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Very helpful, insightful. You're no doubt on the $$ when you counsel "be yourself." And the admonition to view the BGO as a resource, not merely a preliminary gatekeeper.

Thanks for sharing. And thanks for serving.
 

sealion

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USNA1985, I'm wondering what the term triple Q'd means (triple qualified, I guess) where do the Q's come from? Also, do you think it's a good thing to get the application finished and submitted early? Thank you.
 

usna1985

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Triple Q'ed means qualified academically, medically, and physically (CFA). A good percentage (but not all) of those who are Triple Q'ed and receive a nomination will ultimately receive an appointment.

Yes, all things being equal, it's better to submit your packet early as USNA operates on a rolling admissions process. Once a candidate's packet is complete (other than medical), it will be reviewed by the Admissions Board. At that time, a candidate is found qualified, rejected, or deferred. The earlier you are qualified, the more likely you are to receive an offer of appointment earlier. However, because an appointment depends on receiving a nomination, USNA must still wait until the MOC slates are done -- usually in December.

However, and this is a big "however," submitting a quality packet is more important than getting it in early. Take time to work on your essay. Make sure you read about USNA before your BGO interview. Take your CFA when you think you can do well. Etc. As with most things in life, getting it done right is more important than getting it done early.
 
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