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class difficulty=AP difficulty?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usnaco2017, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. usnaco2017

    usnaco2017 New Member

    Feb 2, 2013
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    Are the difficulty of the classes at the Naval academy harder than, let's say, an AP course? I sat through a CVW class and the professor went through material in my AP review book. Perhaps the most difficult thing I have to worry about is time managing academics and military training? Any advice would help. Thank you in advance for your time.
  2. mdrob214

    mdrob214 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2011
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    I would be very careful about judging the content of classes at any top tier college by sitting thru a single class and comparing to the material in an AP review book. If you think the most difficult thing you have to worry about is time management and military training then you are setting yourself up for a shock. Maybe you are "that good" but most of the Mids are "that good". Go in with a plan on how to study, no matter how easy you think it will be. Remember, AP classes are supposed to be college-level so you should have seen some of the material. I am pretty confident you won't have had AP Thermodynamics in high school.

    The time management will be critical no matter how easy or hard classes are for you. If you manage your time well then classes might be easier. Plan for the hardest and be pleasantly surprised.
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

    Jan 14, 2011
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    This is cute.

    The overwhelming majority of people at USNA will be taking classes they have at least a passing familiarity with (chem, calc, English) their plebe year and most of them will have done well in those subjects in college. Guess what? People still struggle with these classes. A LOT of people.
    Basically no one skates through USNA with perfect grades, even plebe year. Those who do well are usually familiar with the topics, but do well not because of that but because they work their asses off.

    While the material will be at its most basic the same or similar, the intensity is amped up and you go into a lot more depth than you ever did in high school. I know a lot of people who got cocky after the first couple weeks of Chem I only to get stomped from the 6-weeks exam onward.
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Also, you are carrying a heavy course load. Plebe year is "light" with 16/17 hrs/semester. As you go forward, it's not unusual to carry 19-21 PLUS labs. Add to that your military obligations, sports commitments, and everything else you have to do (parades, mandatory spirit activities, keeping room clean, rates, etc.), it's not exactly like h.s.

    Not one of my 1000+ classmates found USNA academics "easy." Some did well but, as Hurricane said, they worked hard. And were super smart.

    I like to tell my candidates: Look to the right. One of you will be in the bottom half of your class. You don't think it will be you; neither does the person to your right. But one of you will be -- probably for the first time in your life.
  5. COmom

    COmom 5-Year Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    First I want to acknowledge that I always appreciate your posts, Hurricane. Objective, informative and, to my limited knowledge, right on the money when it comes to USNA questions--thank you for continuing to contribute as I value your insights!

    OP, from my observations and conversations with my plebe, Hurricane is again correct. DS has done well academically, but he stays current or ahead with all course work, studies for all exams, gets assistance either from peers or his professors as needed (i.e. all major papers are reviewed by the writing assistance lab and/or professor and edited per recommendations), and puts academics first and foremost. Although it's not a cake walk, his efforts have resulted in the reward of understanding the material and positive results on his exams and GPA.....so far (with another 6+ semesters to go!). :smile:
  6. 1964BGO

    1964BGO 5-Year Member

    Nov 27, 2009
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    You have had several on point responses; college courses are more intense than what you experienced in high school, but if you approach them as most savvy high school students tend to do, you will be in trouble before you realize it. The expectation level is much higher in college than in high school. Also, you should consider that going from high school to college is similar to going from college sports to professional sports - the level of competition just got much tougher! To be honest, I never felt there was any cut throat or stab you in the back competition, but it certainly is more intense, and as Hurricane noted, the most successful are those who have worked the hardest and smartest! For those who have skated through high school seldom cracking a book, college is going to bring a rude awakening. Consider also, that the service academies have a real, competitive selection process culling over the applicants - consequently there are fewer low performers and more slashes. Plan to be very busy!
  7. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    For me, the biggest difference was how hard the tests were. They were always curve balls that threw people off so if you hadn't really mastered the material you would be lost. If you think the test problems will be anything like the homework problems, you will be in for a rude awakening. Rote memorization doesn't do you much good; it is the application of the information you learned that is critical.

    I remember my MilArt final was only 1 question and was worth 50% of my grade for the semester. You had 4 hours and it went something like this:

    Describe the history of warfare and it's effect on society from 1400 to current day.

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