Points System

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by CyberSecurity17, Oct 11, 2018 at 9:27 AM.

  1. CyberSecurity17

    CyberSecurity17 Member

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    How does the point system for USNA admissions work? Anybody have a guess as to what each extraccuricular gets you I.e. Club President, founder of a club, Internship, Captain of a team, varsity letter, etc. Thanks!
     
  2. SAparent2023

    SAparent2023 Member

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    I am not sure anyone knows exactly and many people point to the Rand study which analyzed the West Point admission formula many years ago. This could have changed and probably has and may not ever have been relevant to the Naval Academy. That said, the point system was predicated on a Whole Candidate Score (WCS) and you can find many threads on the topic in this forum. In the simplest explanation, WCS breaks down 60% Academic (test score, class rank, GPA, class rigor, school profile), 10% CFA, 10% Athletics, 10% Leadership/Extracurriculars, 10% Teacher Evaluations.

    As for the points, it appears that the old Rand model total would be on an 8,000 point scale (given CFA is worth 10% and has a total of 800 points). Again, this was the very dated Rand study for West Point but it is often still cited as guidance or is probably a reasonable ball park estimate. It appears the WCS is still in effect but the calculations may be very different.

    The bottom line is that you want to control what you can control and put forth the best application possible. A bunch of folks will hop on here and tell you not to worry about all that and just go get a 1,600 SAT or 36 ACT, make perfect grades, be the team captain, etc. You should just do your best and hope for the best - not everyone has 34+ ACT scores and many of those people get in.
     
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  3. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    The WCS is a secret formula (like the Crabby Patty Formula). Not sure why you are asking how many points you receive for extracurricular activities?
     
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  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @CyberSecurity17, don’t waste your time trying to do “mystery math” with your credentials. No one outside the Double Secret Probation Room of Admissions knows. Even if you somehow stumble onto a WCS that fits your credentials, it tells you nothing because you don’t know how anyone else in your district scored.

    So focus on what you can control. And work on a Plan B, C, D...
     
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  5. THParent

    THParent Member

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    +1 to MidCakePa
    Nobody outside of the select few in Admissions knows anything about what goes on there.
    I am reasonably sure that no one who works in Admissions is a member of SAF, either.
    If they are, they don't post or let on that they know anything about it.
     
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  6. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Actually, there are BGOs who have been able to sit in and observe meetings of the Admissions Board from time to time.
    Also, to all of you folks talking about the "WCS", using the RAND study, USNA uses different numbering and weighting and most
    definitely does not call it the WCS. There is not a ceiling of 8000, actually, 8000 would be a pretty low Final Multiple under the USNA system.
     
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  7. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    I don't have the specific values for these but generally Captain of a Team gets the most points of the things you listed. Varsity Letter is probably next. Among Club President, founder of a club and internship, I'd say it depends on the details. President (or founder) of a service group that feeds homeless, runs special needs sports groups or other activity that is recurring and requires deep involvement would impress (and get extra points) compared to founder or president of the video game club that meets weekly to discuss fundraising for their trip to GAMECON. As for internships, again, it depends - probably similar to how having a job is treated.
     
  8. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    Part of the reason USNA doesn't publish their formula (whatever they call it) is to avoid 'gaming' the application process by participating in ECA's or sports that are known to have more points.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I've also heard (reliably) that the formula changes literally every year. If you think about it, tweaking the formula give any Admissions department more flexibility to select the folks it wants. For example, if you want to increase the number of folks who are the first in their families to attend college, you weight that heavily. Ditto if you want more team captains, Eagle Scouts, etc.
     
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  10. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Now to really add to the mix ...I saw a Mock Admission Board as part of BGO training where they mentioned (it wasn't specifically addressed, discussed and no on asked a question) that the person briefing the admission package could recommend adding points to the WCS (or whatever its called) to reflect unique or special circumstances. No idea how often this is done, or what those circumstances are.

    The formula is a useful tool to assign an objective measure to an admissions process that is by its nature largely subjective. As noted above, it has to be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of variables. From the big picture perspective, USNA is very clear about what is looking for -- outstanding records of achievement in academics, athletics, leadership, community service etc. That's really all the candidate needs to know -- there is little benefit in knowing the algortithm as it would be very difficult (and probably pretty obvious) to game the system.
     
  11. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Do they still use the block of wood that is half green and half red, to vote?
     
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  12. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Its not done often - but I've heard of several just from my BGO area so I'd estimate it is several per year.
    I had one as BGO a decade or so ago. Her record had great schoolwork and test scores but no sports and very limited ECAs. It turned out that she had a severely handicapped sibling who she was responsible for caring for from immediately after school until parents returned from work. Lots of specific medical stuff involved in the care. She had done a good amount of sports and activities in elementary school but her responsibilities kicked in when she was in Middle School so activities went away.
     
  13. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    Yes!
     
  14. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull Member

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    In a nutshell put together the best package you can and let the chips fall where they may!!!
     
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  15. A6E Dad

    A6E Dad BGO

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    USNA uses a Whole Person Multiplier (WPM), not WCS. It's not the same as what was published in the Rand report from years ago, and the numbers used are very different, but the basics are similar. It is very tempting to get caught up in the details, but in the end it's not important. The only think you really need to worry about is putting forth the best package you can, with demonstrated excellence in all the things that USNA is looking for - which is easy to find with a minimum of effort.

    Re: the WPM, it's not that mysterious. There is a very detailed process to ensure that each candidate gets a very thorough look, and is fairly evaluated.
    Points are initially calculated from Objective metrics (class rank, test scores, CFA, and assorted check in the box categories like varsity captain, eagle scout, national honor society etc etc), then modified based on Subjective factors. There are many, many subjective factors that can add OR SUBTRACT points. These extra points are called Recommendations of the Admissions Board (RABs). As someone noted above, the person that is presenting the package to the board (who is also a member of the board) spends a few minutes summarizing the candidate, highlighting the major pros' and any con's, recommends any +/- points and recommends an outcome. While the record is being presented, all the members of the board have the candidate's record up on a laptop, and can pull up any of the details (transcript, letters of rec, test scores, bgo writeup, etc) and can read the details while the presenter is speaking. After discussion, the RABs could change, up or down. After a few minutes, the board votes. Possible outcomes are Qualified, Not Qualified (this is the Red/Green blocks, yes still used), as well as Defer , NAPS or Foundation. BTW, for a re-applicant, the board has the previous year's info available as well. This is why re-applicants should not cut and paste from the previous year.

    The reason for the +/- extra points, is that there is no algorithm that could possibly capture the 'whole person' accurately. During training, BGOs observe a mock admissions board where several actual candidate records are reviewed (with names redacted). For most candidates, it takes a few minutes. It could be 15 minutes or more, but that's not a good thing for the candidate (indicates some issues that need further investigation, possible character board issues, etc). Bottom line is that for candidates and parents, you can feel very confident that your package will get a VERY detailed review, and that decisions are made after very careful consideration. It it absolutely NOT just a numbers driven process.

    Lastly, the board review is only one step. After becoming qualified, the candidate's record will sit until a Nom is attached to it. Then, after all the candidates on that slate are complete, there is Slate Review to choose one candidate from the slate. That review is done by a group of people, and they discuss and agree on the which candidate on the slate will get an offer of appointment.
     
  16. ders_dad

    ders_dad Member

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    A6E Dad - Thank you for posting this! This is the best description I've come across for how applications are reviewed/assessed by admissions.
     
  17. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    +1 A6E. Well stated and consistent with my recollection. I didn't want to go into that much detail here, as it will inevitably lead to Candidates parsing words and over-analyzing each step of the process here. If there is one major take away for Candidates (and parents here...)
    ^ This, concentrate on what you can control, and submit the best application you can...the system works, and its pretty good.