Help with a roadmap to get into West Point.

synergy10

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
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2
I'm currently a freshman in a college preparatory high school (fordham prep), and currently my main goal is to get to West Point. I was wondering what I should work on from what I'm currently doing or planning to do.

GPA: 3.6 - 3.9 unweighted, all honors classes. If I had to guess for now probably top 40% of my class, (really competitive school though).
Extracurriculars - Freshman cross country, freshman indoor track and field, jazz ensemble.
(going to do): Marine Biology club, student government.

Sophomore Year: AP World History, English ADV. Honors, Chem Honors, Pre Calc Honors, Greek 2H Sophomore Track and Field, maybe make my own club.

Will do Varsity Track and Field Junior year.

Assuming that I make all of these classes and do all of these extra curriculars, what should I be looking to do to further my chances? Ideal SAT and ACT scores with this GPA and (probable) class rank? This is just mainly to get more ideas on what I can do to help improve my chances so that when my Senior year comes I can be fully prepared and have ideal chances.
 

milmomsomeday

5-Year Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
164
Look at the class profile for USMA and try to match yourself up in that regard.

Earn favor with your future recommenders by being a good student that goes above and beyond in your classes, but also reaches out to help others in the class that may be struggling.

Find extracurriculars that you love and enjoy and build skills of followership early, leadership as it develops.

Be well-rounded, be a good person.

Don't spend as much time trying to fit a mold, as you are spending your time developing yourself as a mature, growing adult, who reflects often on their development, and strives to improve in everything you do.
 

Lucas8200

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Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
36
Im a 2025 applicant and I can tell you a little about how to increase your chances.
The most important area (60 percent) is your SAT/ACT, Class Rank, and GPA, get these areas far above average to help your chances.
Second part is leadership/extracurriculars, make sure you have shown the ability to both lead and follow in sports, clubs, and community organizations.
Last part is physical, just make sure you are a strong athlete in the CFA events.

This is not an easy process but if you put in the work, which requires A LOT of time and effort, you will make it.
Hope this helps.
 

synergy10

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2
Im a 2025 applicant and I can tell you a little about how to increase your chances.
The most important area (60 percent) is your SAT/ACT, Class Rank, and GPA, get these areas far above average to help your chances.
Second part is leadership/extracurriculars, make sure you have shown the ability to both lead and follow in sports, clubs, and community organizations.
Last part is physical, just make sure you are a strong athlete in the CFA events.

This is not an easy process but if you put in the work, which requires A LOT of time and effort, you will make it.
Hope this helps.
Does West Point look at how competitive the school is? I feel me class rank will be lower than other applicants because of how smart the average kid here is
 

ALF648

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Sep 10, 2019
Messages
189
Synergy10 - As a Fordham Prep grad and father of DS seeking an appointment to USMA Class of '25...keep in mind that this is a process of effort over time. If you pursue an excellent high school career - take the hardest classes and excel, become a meaningful contributor to your school and broader community - you will eventually end up with good outcomes (grades and accolades). But if you focus on outcomes first you may find yourself discouraged at times and waver. Think about our illustrious alum Vin Scully Class of '44 - be a good person, find what you care about and pursue it every day and you can get where you want to go
 

MidCakePa

DD Oorah! / DS Hooah!
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May 22, 2018
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4,098
The most important area (60 percent) is your SAT/ACT, Class Rank, and GPA,
Does West Point look at how competitive the school is?

Generally good advice from @Lucas8200, but need to clarify this point: SAs focus on your transcript in the context of your school profile, not your GPA.

That’s because GPAs have high variance across schools, districts and states. A 4.0 in one school could be a 3.5 in another — there’s no national standard. So it’s more important that you take the most
challenging classes your school has to offer — especially in STEM and English — and excel at them. SAs will know exactly what your school offers and how competitive it is, so you won’t be penalized for programming that’s out of your control.
 

bopper

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Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
455
For any SA or College, your HS will send a "School Profile" that will talk about your HS...like what kind of courses are offered, Average SAT/ACT, how class ranking works...at my daughter's magnet HS, they said "The majority of our students earn grades that are exemplary. Each year a large percentage of the senior class receives Semi-Finalist or Commended Status on the NMSQT. We believe that our students’ levels of achievement are not fully communicated by using class rank as a singular transcript statistic. HT High School and School District policy, therefore, precludes reporting of class rank.
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
Messages
616
Research how competitive your congressional district is - your MOC vets applicants just like USMA. May give some insight into what GPA / class rank etc you need for a nomination. NYC has such a huge population that the districts vary widely.
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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Apr 9, 2017
Messages
6,035
Great advice above. I usually add, to reach out to your counselor to let them know your goals. Some schools are very familiar with the application process, others are not. In the latter case, connecting with someone official could be a good idea. Once you get to JR/SR year, it’s difficult to make needed adjustments.

But making your counselors/administration aware of your goals can help them, help you!

Good for you for paying attention early! @ALF648 is spot on: be the best you that you can be!! It will bode well for you, in all things. Whether you receive an appointment or not. Also have fun. High school years are some of the best!
 

HCopter

Parent USAFA DD 2024
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May 16, 2017
Messages
665
@synergy10 , you are off to a strong and focused start. I like that you highlight track & field, all 4 years. Hopefully you will both be high ranked city/district/regional/state/national and captain by senior year. I like that you are identifying a club/starting a club/student government/jazz ensemble. Hopefully high achievement, engagement, leadership, and continuity YOY.

Now, onto academics. I like you are already thinking future year schedule. Work backwards from senior year (this is a bit USAFA heavy, but universal concepts for USMA as well). You will be getting rec letters most likely from this sources: English, Math, Science, GC as well as the others - coaches, club faculty sponsors, service oriented supervisors. Hopefully you are plotting the path to AP English Lang/Lit, AP Calc AB and maybe BC, AP Chem, AP Physic I, II, C/M etc. and doing well. (For USAFA, it really helps to have AP Comp Sci as well, according to my DD, as that is really tough on those that did not take it in HS). Remember that teachers talk. Between grade level and across subject level. Set yourself up now.

I hope you are open to constructive criticism, because here it comes. The way you are writing, you seem to want to justify being 40% in a competitive high school. Don't.

Do not rely on the rigor of a competitive high school. You mention this, more than once. Instead, be the person that in out in front of it. You are still in Plan A territory. If there are 39% of the class ahead of you, the question is how to you bridge the gap and leapfrog your way up, not to use school rigor as an excuse. Because your highest competition won't. Plan B comes into place when your GPA and class rank are set, and it's very difficult to move the dial - which is essential between your 3rd and 4th semesters, because you will be applying with 6th semester grades. At that point, you are looking for corroborating evidence, like AP exam scores and ACT/SAT.

You MUST score well on the ACT/SAT. This is where you can really shine. Someone at the 40% class rank in a competitive school with very strong subscores in core classses with a 1400-1500 SAT and >6-6-6 on writing is not going to need to justify anything academically.

If you can get your hands on a school profile, that would be ideal. That is your "cheat sheet" of what to beat. For example, my DD's school is in the top 20 (number, not percent) national high schools in the nation for the last at least 15 years, #1 in at least 6 years. She was top 15% by GC, and one of my BFF moms also was wondering so we compared, and hers was ahead of DD, and so if he was #7, she was #8, 9, or 10/69. She was > average ACT/SAT scores, has the average # APs (18) and was National AP scholar (4.25 ave) vs. 67% of students AP Scholar with distinction (3.67 ave). Superscored to 1500/34. Get ahead of the rigor, and you are in a very, very strong position. You have time. Don't settle for 40%. I looked at the profile for Fordam prep, and I strongly suspect you are the type of student that doesn't have to settle in anything. Good luck to you!
 
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