How much will my sophomore year be overlooked? Also leadership opportunities

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by mariah02, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. mariah02

    mariah02 New Member

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    I just finished 1st semester and I have only one A in chinese, a B in engineering, weight honors chemistry, weighted AP euro, and my 6th period cross country, and a C in weighted precalculus. I know I'm capable of performing much better and a lot of my grades dropped over small mistakes that I made that cost me big time. Next year I plan on taking 5 AP classes along with my next year engineering class. I'm really determined to redeem myself next semester and my junior and senior year. I was wondering how much I have hurt my chances this semester in terms of getting accepted. I was also wondering if anyone had any suggestions for finding leadership roles and how I can increase my chances. I'm involved in JV cross country and track both running sports and as much as I'd like to be varsity, my school is too competitive with a top ranked team so it won't happen, but I plan on staying all 4 years. I'm involved with an engineering club at my school along with helping to create a charity club and I'm going to be volunteering at UCR for community service hours. Anything that would help my chances? thank you!
     
  2. FlyBoy036

    FlyBoy036 New Member

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    Leadership opportunities are hard in my area, so I can see where you're coming from. Something I'd suggest would be to look for programs such as Civil Air Patrol or Sea Cadets, or a JROTC/NJROTC at your school if they offer it. For the CAP and SeaC, you'll have to go to their websites to find locations. You can get leadership roles through it, plus show you're (somewhat) capable of learning basic military functions such as drill. On your grades, as long as you remain in the top 20% of your class you should be okay (I'm not an expert), and it's great that you're going to take more AP classes but remember to overexert yourself. It'd be better to do the 5 classes over the next two years and get good grades in them then do them all in one year and get mediocre grades. Good Luck!
     
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  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Junior year counts more than sophomore which counts more than freshman. If you have a very strong junior year in challenging classes, that will help, as will good test scores. That way, the one semester appears more of an aberration.

    In the end, however, you can only do your best. If you're doing that, and your grades still aren't what you'd hoped, you still have the knowledge that you gave it your all.
     
  4. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Life is up ahead, not behind you.
    Do the best you can from here on out.
    Don't waste time thinking about what you could have or should have done.
     
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  5. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Take it from someone who has worked for ETS grading AP Calculus Exams, AP IS A SCAM. I can understand taking a few AP courses in subjects that you excel in, but this obsession with taking as many AP courses as you can may be counter productive. Academy's like to see that you are challenging yourself, but there is a point where one more AP course is not going to really improve your file. And if that AP course is either going to hurt your class rank or prevent you for participating fully in extra-curricular activities or sports then it is counter-productive. BALANCE you time.
     
  6. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Take it from someone who has worked for ETS grading AP Calculus Exams, AP IS A SCAM. I can understand taking a few AP courses in subjects that you excel in, but this obsession with taking as many AP courses as you can may be counter productive. Academy's like to see that you are challenging yourself, but there is a point where one more AP course is not going to really improve your file. And if that AP course is either going to hurt your class rank or prevent you for participating fully in extra-curricular activities or sports then it is counter-productive. BALANCE you time.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I won't debate whether AP is or isn't a scam, since I don't know. What I do know is that USNA does care whether students are taking AP/IB/Honors courses if the courses are offered by their schools. USNA knows how many such courses your school offers (USNA considers AP/IB/Honors to be equivalent -- I'll refer to them as a group as "AP" to make life easier). And, USNA does want to see students challenging themselves academically by taking advanced level courses. USNA coursework is hard . . . one way to prove you can handle it is to take and do well in the most challenging courses your school offers.

    You need NOT take all AP courses. And, if you aren't confident in a particular course at the regular level, there is no benefit in taking it at the AP level and struggling. That said, if your school offers a high number of AP courses and you're taking all regular courses and getting As, USNA may well wonder why you aren't challenging yourself more, in at least some subjects. As with everything, it's a balance.

    My general recommendation is that, if a course comes naturally/easily to you such that you're making As with little effort, then you probably should be at the AP level. If you're killing yourself at the regular level, that's probably where you belong.
     
  8. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    I am pretty passionate about the entire AP/Non AP debate. While the AP class may not exactly be a college level course, it challenges the students and significantly helps them get ready for college level courses. With the political correctness in schools today there are no more "lower level" classes. There is just regular and AP. Reality is that the teachers have to teach to the lowest common denominator and a college bound student in a "regular" class is not being prepared for college level instruction. Regardless of where the student may end up, if college is anywhere in their plans, they should be taking AP courses in high school.
     
  9. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    Bust your butt on SATs or ACTs to prove that your grades are not a reflection of your true worth. Also, if you can take an dual enrollment with a local college, those are looked on as highly (if not more so) than AP... It shows that you are challenging yourself and can excel at college level material.

    Good luck. My DS is awaiting a decision at the USMMA or a NROTC scholarship for TAMU-G, and my DD is a freshman trying to line up her plan A for the USAFA....We were late in the game for DS, but my DD is the true go getter and is in a better position to be successful...
     
  10. future.mil.mom

    future.mil.mom Member

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    Also "Mariah02", keep in mind that the ONLY grades that even appear on a transcript you would send to any SA or university would be the final end-of-year grades. Therefore, you have an entire semester to bring up those grades for sophomore year. For example, no one will know that you received a "C" in precalculus your first semester, unless that grade ends up being your FINAL year-end grade.
     
  11. hopeful2023

    hopeful2023 Member

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    With no disrespect intended to future.mil.mom, I do not think this is true at most high schools. Transcripts are sent with grades by semester and not just year end grades. While many classes are full year classes, you still get a first and second semester grade. In addition, there are some classes that are just one semester so the only grade is that semester.

    Also, I was under the belief that class rank weighed more heavily as a proxy for GPA to account for the wide variation in grading scales among high schools.
     
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  12. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    DD's transcripts also showed ONLY final grades except for the 7th semester transcript that showed Fall semester for that year and final grades for Freshman through Junior year.
     
  13. AbsoluteBearing

    AbsoluteBearing Member

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    What appears on the transcripts will vary depending on your school. My DD's transcript does indeed show the grades for each semester.
     
  14. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I think AP tests matter a great deal if you're going to college. The tests are decidedly less expensive than the college credits they are worth.
    With all 5s on his AP tests, my DS will graduate with over 40 college credit hours. That's more than a year of college, for a fraction of the cost.
     
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  15. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    When my oldest daughter went through high school (longer ago than I care to admit now), I was wholly unimpressed by the AP program at her school because many of the students took the course but never took the AP exam. They got bragging rights for A's in the course, but without taking the test, they really couldn't demonstrate that they had learned and performed to the level of the AP program. That has kind of swayed my opinion about AP course over the years.

    If I were running the schools , the grade on HS transcript would be tied to the score on the AP exam. That would force the schools to teach the class to the true AP level, which as USMA points out is intended to challenge the students and prepare them for college level academics. I am curious, does anyone know of schools that tie their class grade to the AP test score ?

    Finally, I get what USMA says about no more "lower level" classes and teaching to the lowest common denominator, and that is the value of the AP program. USNA is looking for candidates who challenge themselves in HS by taking the most difficult course their school provides, particularly in the Math and Science.
     
  16. THParent

    THParent Member

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    As an aside, your score on an AP exam directly impacts how many credit hours you get for them in college.
    At the USNA, your AP test scores have to be >/= 4 for Calculus 1, Calculus 2, and SM219 (Statistics) validation, for instance.
    Several validations at USNA require an AP score of 5, however (Biology 1, English 1, HH216, FP130, French/German/Spanish 3&4).