My first post - If CFA is good enough

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Monarchs'19, Oct 11, 2018.

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My first post - If CFA is good enough

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  1. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    My DS is applying for the class of 2023, USAFA as his first choice. He completed his application including the CFA and DoDMERB (Potential Pilot Qualified) as of Oct 9th. He is a varsity football player and took his CFA without any practice. His concern is if he should retake it to improve his scores and if it might increase his overall composite score. Can someone please provide some input if:

    1) following score is good or he should retake it?
    2) if a better CFA would increase his total composite score? (since we hear that CFA is just a pass/fail) test

    BB Throw: 68, Pull-ups 15, Shuttle run 8.6 sec, Sit-ups 81, Push-ups 63, 1 mile run 6.42

    Thanks
     
  2. KansasMan

    KansasMan Future Jayhawk

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    If your scores are at or above average, you're fine.
     
  3. Finsup

    Finsup Member

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    I maybe wrong, but it’s not just pass/fail.

    I *believe*, for the AFA, the CFA. (As long as it’s above the minimum), translates to a number of points towards your WCS, it’s not all that much, but when the cut line is to the 100th decimal point, one pull up could be the difference.

    This is the almost verbatim from my DS’s Mentor ALO.

    As for the minimum, you’ll know if they ask you to take it again.

    FWIW, my DS first scored the BBall throw at about 70’. After a few months of practice and YouTube instruction, he was able to raise it to over 100’. Again, these are points that are totally up to you!

    After 3 months (spending only 30 minutes every Saturday morning practicing the CFA in order) he was able to max it. Your DS can do it—

    There’s enough time— practice!!
     
  4. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    That is true. It is actually both. Pass/Fail and they than go to awarding points.

    I would also say, unless something has changed, USAFA has to reopen the CFA portal. You can't just take it again and re-submit because you want to do it over.

    I think he is in the range of avg for BBall throw (70). His shuttle is not off the avg. His pull ups, push ups and sit ups are just shy of max points, His run is fine.
     
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  5. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    Thanks Pima

    Actually, here is the whole sequence what happened and that has created a dilemma.
    My son's CFA administrator sent the scores to Navy first while he was travelling to take care of his ailing father in emergency. My DS got an email note from his Navy's counselor saying good job on his CFA and making the list of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. Then after few days later, his CFA administrator sent the score to AF. After a week or so my son was informed by the AF to retake the CFA. That's when we all were surprised, that how come Navy is OK with the scores but AF is not?

    Then my son asked the AF counselor about the score and it was confirmed by her that indeed it was not reported correctly. As per her instructions, CFA administrator resent the original score sheet to AF's counselor directly on her email. After 4 days, it was fixed on the AF and he got an email note for no need to retake again. My son also worked with the Navy and West point as well to get it fixed. So everything is fine.

    But, during this process what we learned (those minute details) that Navy and Army has average CFA score that are lower than the AF. Statistically speaking, my son's scores are all "green' if compare with Army and Navy. But even after AF has accepted his scores and said no need to retake, his scores if compared with the AF published average score, they are not all "green".

    AF's published CFA are: BB 69, Pull-up 12, Shuttle run 8.1 sec, Sit-ups 81, Push-ups 62, 1 mile run 6.29
    My Son's CFA are: BB 68, Pull-up 15, Shuttle run 8.6 sec, Sit-ups 81, Push ups 63, 1 mile run 6.42

    That's mean he is (-1) in BB, (-0.5 sec) in Shuttle run, (-0.13 sec) in mile run

    That's where my son is thinking too hard (I believe) that why he did not retake it and could have done better job instead of going thru all this drama and still short.
    Second, he is certain he can do better, and can improve his overall composite score.

    Now, knowing the whole story, can someone resolve this dilemma please ? How much CFA really impacts the overall composite score?

    Best ...
     
  6. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @Monarchs'19, with all due respect, you may be overthinking this. He's essentially average. If he thinks -- or knows -- that he can significantly improve the scores, then by all means he should retake it. Yes, you've been told "good enough." But good enough tends to not be enough when applying to SAs. If he doesn't receive offer of appointment, would hate for you to look back and think "if only." It's amazing how much improvement can be had by working at it -- smartly, thoughtfully, diligently -- everyday. There's time.
     
  7. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    @Monarchs'19 Your son has already submitted his CFA scores. USAFA has already accepted them and said there's no need to retake them. At this point, he can't retake it unless USAFA requests it (which would be a bad sign). His numbers look fine, IMHO.

    As to how it will impact the overall composite score, the CFA is just one part of the selection composite which is weighted 30% of the application. The selection composite includes the ALO interview, essays, and letters of recommendation along with the CFA. Folks on this forum have estimated that the CFA might be worth about 10%. I agree with @MidCakePa he may be overthinking it.
     
  8. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your insightful information.

    Cheers ...
     
  9. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    mintyicedtea is correct. USAFA has to open up the CFA to re-submit. USAFA is not like USNA, USMA in this scenario.

    Now I will disagree with mintyicedtea. It is not a bad sign! It is actually a really good sign. They don't reopen the CFA for grins and giggles. They reopen it because they believe the rest of your package is strong, but short on the CFA. It is not common for them to reopen the CFA.

    JMPO, but I don't see them reopening his CFA. The BBALL is just shy of the AVG of 70, which is his lowest from a max aspect. As stated nobody knows the mins, but I highly doubt the min is close to the avg. His pull ups are shy of max at 18. His push ups and sit ups are shy of the max. His run is solid.

    This is the rollercoaster of your life up to now. I hope you hear early, but realize only @30% will hear before Mass Mailing March. Personally, get those MoC applications done. Get your medical (DoDMERB) paperwork in order. Apply for those ROTC scholarships.
    ~ As stated the CFA is a small % of the ECs, and the ECS are still a small % of the WCS. Yes, that small % can make or break, but just like they don't want the book smart only person with no athletics, they don't want the jock that is not on par academically. WCS = WHOLE CANDIDATE. They want the appointee to be both.
     
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  10. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    Point taken, thanks Pima. I think we both agree that being allowed to retake the CFA is much better than having your file closed without a second chance. :) I was referring to the Instructions to Candidates, which says if you fail the first CFA you will automatically be rescheduled for a second CFA. It also says, "Please note that failure of the first CFA will be taken account when your file is reviewed. If you fail the second CFA your file will be closed." That's what I was thinking of when I said it's a bad sign, that admissions will see you didn't pass the first time. Probably should have worded it differently.
     
  11. FiddleSticks

    FiddleSticks New Member

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    Hindsight is 20/20. If you look at the Instructions to Pre-candidates and the Instructions to Candidates and compare the number of pages devoted and the admonishments to practice before you take the CFA, you will understand, that USAFA wants you to practice it before you take it. USAFA's policy is that if you pass the CFA the first time, you are done. That is the best score you can get. If you don't pass, you get a retake, but the fact that you couldn't pass it the first time is considered--not so good. The second CFA is pass/fail.

    The CFA may be the same set of activities for all service academies, but USAFA does have stricter standards. My nephew didn't pass the CFA for USAFA, but the same test was passing for USNA. Remember USAFA is at 7258'. Fitness is important.
     
  12. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    @FiddleSticks

    Exactly the same case with my DS. Same CFA score satisfied Navy and the West Point but not USAFA.
    Can I ask you what your nephew did in this case? Did he retake it for the USAFA ? Which academy he joined?
     
  13. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    @Monarchs'19 USAFA said your son's CFA did not pass? Did they ask him to retake it?
     
  14. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    Yes, AF asked him to retake the CFA. While USNA and USMA were perfectly fine with his scores. As a matter of fact his Navy's admission counselor said "good job on your CFA".
    That's what surprised us including his CFA administrator. Then CFA admin suggested my son to check with the USAFA what he submitted because he had gut feeling that he might have not reported it correctly (since he was travelling to take care of his ailing father while submitting the scores at AF). When my DS checked, indeed it was not reported correctly. That's when his CFA administrator sent the "original CFA Score sheet" directly to the admission counselor's email ID as per her suggestion. After almost 2 weeks later, after review board cleared his score, it was updated on his portal and got an email confirming that he does not need to retake it again.
     
  15. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    BTW, interestingly enough, wrong score was submitted to all three academies and even then (with the wrong score) Navy and Army was okay. His misreported score was Shuttle run. His actual was 8.6 vs it was reported as 9.6 at first. That's what created all this additional logistics - at the end it was all fine. Lesson learned: pay attention to details and always keep a copy of every document submitted.
     
  16. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    Okay, now it makes sense...the scores were incorrectly reported. The scores you shared with us did not look like failing scores. Glad it all worked out!

    Interesting about the different thresholds for the shuttle run.
     
  17. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    That's what surprised us all... but then if we look in perspective of AF being at 7,000 ft elevation, seems like 1 sec difference in shuttle matters a lot.