Improving Myself for the Academy

usafah

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
70
Hello Everyone!
Now I understand that it is impossible to have a secret formula of achievements to build the perfect profile for admission to USAFA. However, I would be very much obliged if I could get some opinion on how I could better improve my profile.

I am currently a junior at one of the most competitive and academically challenging high schools in southern California. I have wanted to attend USAFA since the 7th grade. My reason for this is that I don't want to end up in an everyday job working for only my and my family's benefit. I don't want to go to work only for monetary gains. I would like to know that each day I am at work, I am actively serving others and serving a greater good. I want to be a part of something much greater than myself. That to me is a meaningful path in life.
My highest ACT scores stand currently as follows:
Math: 31
Reading:31
Science:32
English:35
Writing:10/12
combined English/Writing: 33
My current classes are as follows:
AP Chemistry
AP World History
Honors European Literature (there is no alternative AP Class, but it is a challenging and weighted class)
Honors Pre- Calculus (same situation as English)
French 3
My Extracuriculars are as follows:
Synchronized Swimming (9)/ went to nationals and junior olympics placing in top ten in the team catagory
Cross Country (10,11): JV Athelete
Track (10,11): JV Athelete
Orchestra (9,10) (second highest orchestra at my school, will join again in senior year)
Class Council member (10,11)
Secretary (10) then Vice President (11) of NHS Astronomy Club ( I am a founding Board member)
Link Crew Leader (11): program for helping freshman adjust into highschool life
Civil Air Patrol (10,11): Currently working towards Billy Mitchell award, flight sergeant gives leadership experience
Volunteer Efforts:
Administrative work in the Irvine Chinese Cultural Center
Yearly Chinese Dance Performances at the Global Village Festival
Beach Clean up
Mayor campaigning
NHS Astronomy Club Events
Volunteer at VITA's Hospice (Visiting patients weekly and administrative work during the summer)
Other:
Top 10 winners in a writing contest about flight
out standing muscian award (9)
Travel on an international orchestral tour to china (10)
Pending:
Acceptance to summer Seminars for USAFA and USNA
Acceptance to Girls State Program (I have been nominated but am waiting for an interview)

I have not yet taken the CFA and I know there are areas of the test where I am lacking. I am currently working on those elements. Other than that, please let me know of any opinons you might have when reading through this profile.

Thank you so much for your time!
 

megachacha

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
10
I will repost parts of a comment I made for another applicant, but it applies here:

Do not worry so much about the PT test. Spend time improving your scores, of course, but do not take too much time from academics and extracurriculars to do this. I was somewhat in your position: I decided to apply at the end of my sophomore year, yet PT was my largest obstacle. That summer, I lost 35 pounds to half my mile time. In the following October, I focused on pull ups, and went from zero to ten over two months. I spent an hour a day preparing, across the whole week, splitting my time between cardio and weightlifting. PT is an easier part of the application to improve, and USAFA puts the least emphasis on the CFA of the big three Academies AFAIK. I did poorly on mine, but I still got in, so...

Try to get on the Varsity teams, and look for leadership positions. This is not a make-or-break, however.

Get into, and attend, Girls State. Place it above the Summer Seminars in importance. I also found Boys State the best experience of my life, so do not be the person who attends just for Service Academy applications. Those people stick out and do not have as impactful a time.

I do not know your GPA, but get it up as far as possible, ASAP. Same with the test scores. You have above average scores, but do not get complacent with them. I suggest studying hard for them early this semester (if you are a Junior... I also do not know what grade you are in), get an even greater score, and do not worry about them senior year. That's just one way to reduce stress during the application season.

Submit the application as soon as possible, in August or September, to prove that you are very motivated. You can keep updating your application with new awards or extracurriculars even after the application deadline. Get the CFA done as soon as you can pass it. USNA Summer Seminar is a great place to complete it. Again, you can update scores later AFAIK.

Spend a ton of time perfecting your essays. I wrote drafts of two of my essays when I first saw the prompt in July. By September, I finished all three, speaking with teachers about them after school multiple times per week. I believe my strong, lyrical writing combined with great content seriously helped secure me a Letter of Assurance.

Begin articulating answers to essay and interview questions right now. I can send you the prompts if necessary, yet they may change. During interviews, be prepared to speak at length about your reasons for attending an Academy, the Air Force's academy, career goals, ways in which you have demonstrated leadership in your community thus far, etc.

Good luck!
 

usafah

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
70
Begin articulating answers to essay and interview questions right now. I can send you the prompts if necessary, yet they may change. During interviews, be prepared to speak at length about your reasons for attending an Academy, the Air Force's academy, career goals, ways in which you have demonstrated leadership in your community thus far, etc.

Good luck!
Thank you for your advice! I am currently a junior in high school with a 3.9 unweighted GPA. I am taking the ACT again in February. It would be great if you could send me the past prompts so I can get acquainted with the type of questions that may be asked.
 

Daretodream

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
246
You are in solid shape. Continue to take challenging courses and make top grades. Contact your ALO and let them know of your interest and start building that relationship. Go to anything where your MOC is involved and let them and their staff know of your interest. The last two things can go a long way in setting you apart from others in your area when it comes time to interview. Best of luck.
 
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