I’m losing hope in myself. Please help? Advice?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by PinkFlower123, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    I am starting to feel discouraged about my chances for the Air Force Academy.
    I am about to enter my junior year of high school and I am worried about my testing scores and extracurriculars.
    Here’s some information about me.
    Weighted GPA: 4.58
    Unweighted GPA: 4.0

    There’s not that much AP classes provided at my school, but I took Biology, Chemistry Honors, Algebra 1 and 2 Honors, English Honors, World History Honors, AP US History. I’m in AFJROTC and finished off sophomore year as a Flight Sergeant C/2nd Lt. I don’t have that much extracurriculars though. Freshman year I joined marching band but quit after. I was in color guard that year but I wasn’t selected for any competitions and sophomore year no color guard. I almost didnt do anything in sophomore year!! Except some tutoring for a semester. Right now I’m a secretary in a competition club called Technology Student Association and I’m in a club that gets together in meetings and organizes events. Im thinking about joining National Honor Society since I’m qualified, but I’m reconsideringn the immense number of events I will have to go to. I am also going to do community service at the Academy with JROTC. I’m planning on joining golf and softball this year but that’s not enough!!!!! There’s not that much people in those teams so the chances of making varsity are a bit high. I might join tennis for senior fall semester but that’s it!!! Three athletic sports??? No! I’m not going to make it with that type of information!!! And I’m currently improving on my physical fitness. My extracurriculars are my weakest point.

    As for my test scores
    PSAT: 1210
    reading and writing: 580
    Math: 630
    ACT: 24
    English: 26
    Math: 27
    Science: 24
    Reading: 19

    After I received my ACT score I felt even more discouraged because I expected above 30 after the hard work I did. I hate the reading section because I am horrible at it.

    I dont know the best way to prep for the SAT in Spring because no matter how hard I try at the reading section nothing happens. Even when I time myself and practice. I always run out of time looking for the answer and that’s what when I have to go on a guessing spree. I am fine on the math and writing but reading is terrible!!! I am going to have low scores no matter what

    I feel very discouraged and would greatly appreciate if I have some advice on my status and how to improve my chances.
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    PinkFlower: I think you’re going to get a lot of responses here because of the plaintive nature of your appeal. You might want to brace yourself for some tough love, because you seem to be wallowing in your own muck. I’ll offer three simple thoughts:

    (1) A person very well-informed in academy admissions once told us: Successful candidates have put themselves in very high-stress situations in high school (fully loaded academics, athletics, leadership roles) and have excelled.

    (2) Quality over quantity, every time! It’s not how many extracurriculars or titles or volunteer hours you have, it’s how you demonstrated leadership impact. That is, how you left an organization or community in better shape than you found it.

    (3) Successful cadets and officers find a way! They take measure of the situation, assess their options, make a decision, and then proceed with optimism, confidence and vigor. Let me repeat: optimism, confidence and vigor.
     
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  3. srlowery73

    srlowery73 New Member

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    I think I understand your situation. I go to an extremely small high school that offers zero AP/Honors courses, and has a limited offering of extracurriculars. But, I've always been a big believer that it doesn't matter where you come from, but it does matter how hard you work. Going into high school, I knew I wanted to go to a good college, but I was really worried that my high school would set me back. But I worked very hard to create opportunities for myself. I tested out of several courses to take the next grade level up, and this has forced my school to allow me to take advanced classes online and dual enroll at our local college. I also helped start our robotics club, which I have now been the captain of for three years and we even made it to the state championship in just our second season! I also understand your situation with standardized tests. My sophomore year, I scored a 1260 on the PSAT, which really worried me. But I knew that didn't reflect who I was. I studied extremely hard and consistently my entire junior year, and managed to score a 1450 on the SAT my first time!

    My advice to you is don't take no for an answer! Never settle for what is (or isn't) offered to you. Create opportunities for yourself. I have done this, and now I feel very confident applying to USAFA.
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    They aren't going to ding yo for not taking classes your school doesn't offer. That would be pretty stupid, right? As long as you've taken the most rigorous academic load you can, given what your school offers, then you will be fine.
     
  5. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Thank you for the response MidCakePa. I read your thoughts and they helped me think more positively about my status and what I should be doing when school starts ;) thank you
     
  6. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Thank you srlowery73. Your situation helped me think that I wasn’t alone on this. I might be the top leadership role (president or vice-president) in my TSA club next year, and I’ll try to bring them up to win competition just like you did for your robotics club. Your improvement from the PSAT and SAT made me feel encouraging and made me think that if I study more throughout the year until spring, then maybe I can get a good score like you did. Thank you! ;) and I hope you make it to the Academy
     
  7. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Hmm okay then I should be good since my GPA is pretty high and I take honors classes. Thank you Kinnem
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Right, but don't slack up. Take what you can via dual enrollment on online if needed. Personally I think dual enrollment is better as you're dealing with people and more traditional classes.
     
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  9. GHTeam

    GHTeam Member

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    Perseverance is key! You should definitely join NHS in addition to the club. Is it too late for this upcoming school year? Also, I wouldn’t try to cram too many sports in. Focus on what is reasonable and push yourself to succeed with one or two. Hire a reputable SAT tutor, someone that can really work with you at an intense level, but also do test prep on your own. You can get your scores up with hard work. Sometimes all it takes is repetition and becoming more familiar with the test. Also, are you comfortable with your testing location? Maybe a switch? My DS preferred a place outside of our small town. But, in all if this, do not ever put all your eggs in one basket for your #1 college choice!! Explore AFROTC, etc.. and multiple universities even if you think now in the present moment that USAFA is the only place for you. The journey is incredible—embrace it. You could even end up somewhere you don’t expect. Enjoy this time in your life!
     
  10. THParent

    THParent Member

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    My advice (like everyone here) is free, so you should take it with a grain of salt.
    You need to score better on the ACT and do well on the SAT.
    An ACT of 24 is pretty close to the national average, and equates to less than 1200 on the SAT.

    The average incoming Air Force cadet has an ACT score of 30 and SAT score of 1370.
    Study for, and retake those tests. Higher scores will give you options.
     
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  11. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    I apologize for this story to get to one of my points but I think it's worth the background.

    When I was a young resident, we had a resident from another department rotate for a month in my department. He was a SF officer before he decided he wanted to go to medical school. He had a combination of tabs that I have never seen before up to that time of my Army career. He was a "triple canopy" guy - Special Forces, Ranger, and President's Hundred tabs. I thought it's pretty cool because the President's Hundred tab isn't seen a lot. I asked him how he got it. All I knew about the tab is it's a sharpshooter's award. He said something to me that I tell my kids often.

    He started off his explanation with, "You'd be amazed with what you can accomplish with some practice."

    So, same with you... practice, practice, practice. You thought you practiced enough but you really didn't as indicated by your low scores. Try the SAT. Maybe you'll be better at it than the ACT. Many posters on this forum suggest using Khan Academy for the free SAT study guides and tests. I'd use that if I were you.

    One last thing... ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? You're not going to do well with the standardized tests because you've already resigned yourself to not doing well on them. You keep telling yourself you're terrible with reading, so you are going to do terrible on the reading. Change your mindset.

    Good luck. You've got some time to fix your situation. Positive - and confident - attitude. Oh...and practice.
     
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  12. usna1234

    usna1234 Member

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    Is a 30 the average super scored or single sitting amongst the incoming class?
     
  13. GH148

    GH148 Member

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    My DD kept on the standarized tests, tested, studied, tested studied, etc. Started at a SAT of 1260 ended with a 1500, all during her Jr. year. Pull the test, see where you can improve and go after those areas most.
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    You will find that setting aside a full uninterrupted hour every single day will increase your ACT & SAT scores significantly. Get a book, a cd, or internet help-study course.

    You are at the point now where you should stop saying "and in spring of junior year, I'll join XXX." Find your passion THIS SUMMER. Get a job, join/start a club that really interests you. Recall: nothing has to be related to your school. Read to the blind, play bingo at the nursing home, start your own business, find SOMETHING and make it yours. Showing dedication to a cause is better than Club X, Sports Y & Z (with no competitions and no leadership).

    Your grades seem fine. Get those standardized scores WAY up.
     
  15. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Thank you GHTeam. I will definitely try to spend more time studying efficiently to improve my SAT and ACT scores. I could possibly join NHS if my parents are okay with it. Unfortunately I can only take the SAT at my own school since they pay for it. During the PSAT this guy kept saying “God damn I don’t want to do this” “I f***** hate this” out loud for every 10 minutes or so and my proctors didn’t do anything about it. I wish I could change the location because I could encounter situations like that again with people like that in my school. Who knows. And yes I will make a list of backup colleges I should look that. Plan B is important. And of course I realized I will have to stop being so worried about my extracurriculars and sports.
     
  16. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Thank you THParent. I will spend more time studying to improve my scores.
     
  17. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    You don’t have to apologize for the story lol. But thank you for the advice GoCubbies. I will try to be confident and more motivated towards my goals. I will spend more time taking practice tests and going on KhanAcademy.
     
  18. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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  19. PinkFlower123

    PinkFlower123 New Member

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    Okay thank you fencersmother. I am glad you gave me advice on the extracurriculars and activities. I will look for a summer job in the library (since libraries are one of my favorite places). This school year I’m going to work football concessions at the Academy like I did once a few months ago. I’ll definitely look for something I can attatch myself too. Maybe I could help people and my school by tutoring, pulling weed in the garden, or painting walls.
    And yes I will try to find an effective way to work hard to improve my SAT And ACT scores.
     
  20. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Students sometimes do better on either the SAT or the ACT. It is possible that you will do better on one over the other.