I'm taking Geometry this year I've already taken Algebra 2 and below. I have the opportunity to take Pre Calc this summer, and if I do that I can have Calc BC done by junior year and i would drop math. However, there are two reasons I'm warry about this. First, will USNA look poorely on not taking 4 years of math and second will USNA look poorly on a summer math class as opposed to a full school year.

Your goal should not be "What's the minimum I can do and still get in?" but "What can I do to make sure they can't turn me down?" If the opportunity you are referring to is completely voluntary, I would take it. I would also take another year of math. I'm fairly sure the USNA website recommends four years of math, and if you take four years plus a voluntary summer course it would put you ahead of the game. I took Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, College Algebra, and I'm taking Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus now.

Do they offer AP Statistics at your school? You can take that as your math senior year after taking AP Calc BC junior year. USNA does not consider it a heavy-duty math course and it should not be taken in lieu of calc, but if you have already taken AP Calc BC then they will not look down upon it.

This sounds similar to what I did. In 9th grade, I just took algebra 2 (I had taken Algebra 1 and Geo in middle school). In Sophomore year, I had trig and pre-calc. Due to my grades in pre calc (101.3 average grade) I was allowed to skip over honors calc and go straight into AP Calc AB and BC in my junior year. (My school is odd in that the Calc and Calc AB are separate courses and Calc is for some reason a pre requisite for AB ). Now I'm not in a math class technically (I have AP Chemistry all year) but I am taking AP Stats next semester. It sounds like you have plenty of time to look into future programs in addition to school. As two examples, I attended my state's summer residential governors school program for math and science, one of the best months of any summer I've had thus far. I'm also heavily involved in my school's math honors society and have been president for two years. My point being that Even if you finish math junior year and elect not to take AP stats senior year, there are other ways to show the academies that you are still involved with math etc... Good luck to you!!

Another option is going to a local community college and taking a math course there. In the USNA and other college applications there is space for transcripts of college courses.

There are a few good comments/observations in the above responses, one being from LFry re not seeking to do the least to get in... I also agree strongly with taking trig in HS. In a few short months this site will be filled with candidates agonizing because they are not in the action, no LOA, no offer, no communication... eventually they may come to realize that taking the de minimus approach is biting them on their posteriors! I hope you aren't thinking of taking that path.

+1 When it comes time to take physics, you will be glad you took trigonometry! Physics is impossible without it.

Yes trig is important. However, taking pre-calculus and AP Calculus will give you a very good foundation in trig. Trig is incorporated in almost every math class given and by the time you are done with AP Calculus you will feel comfortable with it.

Do not rush it. Regardless of how smart you are, taking a math course every year will hlep you retain facts. Also, if you cannot excell from rushing through math course, it will probably harm you more than hurt you. I made a B- in BC Cal (did not pass AP exam) and I have never made anything less than a B+ in math before. If I had the option, I would have taken AB cal my junior year.

While my child is at USMA, not USNA, let me paraphrase what she said to me after plebe year: "Holy Crap! Thanking my lucky stars, I took 4 years of Math (algebra, geometry, PreCalc and Calc) and Science (Chemistry - 2 yrs, Physics & Biology), or I would have never survived my first year". USNA and USMA are primarily engineering schools regardless of your intended major. I can only speak to West Point and their degree requirements say, besides your major, you take 4 semesters of math, 4 semesters of Physical Science and 3 core engineering courses before they let you walk out with a degree. I highly suggest you take every math and science course you can during your high school career.

The SA are looking for kids who challenge themselves. If that summer class earns full credit then you can make the argument that you've taken 4 years of math but does that equate to really challenging yourself in the eyes of the admissions department? Do you want to take that chance? Also, many other top tier schools require 4 years of math (along with 4 years of english, etc) so your plan B school may also look sideways at your only taking 3 years. You do have a plan B - right?

The summer course is a non-issue if it is a year's worth of work. It'll count as such. The real issue is as osdad notes well. It's the end game, i.e. w/ 4 full years' worth of credits where do you end up. 2 thoughts: 1. I believe you be in good standing no matter when you complete AP Calc. You'd be ahead of most in proficiency. 2. IF you have any real concern about that issue, this is not the place to confirm or correct your course of study. Call admissions. They work for you and will have a simple and clear answer. And were I a betting woman? The answer will be, "you're fine if/when you successfully complete AP calc." Get a 4 or 5 and take something(s) else your final season.

It would be a good time to sit down with your guidance counselor, discuss that you intend to pursue a SA appointment, and start laying out your courses for the remainder of your time in high school. This should save you from not being able to get into a course you really need. The meeting also will let you know whether your counselor is comfortable with the SA's, some aren't, if such is the case, you may have to get your parents involved in the process. Also, you need to start prepping for taking the SAT/ACT exams well before you get to your junior year - it is to your advantage. You also should be applying for STEM and NASS at NAVY, as well as visitation programs at any other SA's you are considering. In short, you need to start planning a campaign to prepare you to become the best candidate you can be! Tempus fugits!

PREP Good link from Vanderbilt's website on college prep: http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/preparing-for-college.php