Questions on Academic Qualification

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by tully37, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. tully37

    tully37 5-Year Member

    Jul 28, 2010
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    Hi, before I asked any questions I want to tell you I am an American citizen who will have completed all my schooling in Australia and and I'm therefore very short on specific info for any academic qualifications perhaps relevant to my school system but I wanted to ask a few questions for general info I might be able to apply. I have seen the class profiles of previous years and have been able to compare at least some of my marks, SAT's etc. but I am looking for some clues which may help me compare some other stats.

    1. What weighting is given to standardized tests vs GPA and high school record? Are they given equal weight or is one much more important than the other for academic qualification?

    2. How important is GPA vs breadth of study? I'm taking courses amongst the most difficult you can in our schooling system but I am also taking a significant number more courses than is necessary. Will this be taken into account or may it be more advantageous to drop one in order to spend more time on the others and hopefully raise my marks and GPA by a tenth or two?

    Thankyou very much for any information. I know that some of these questions may be situational and they are looking for an overall well qualified candidate but any sort of advice I can find is much appreciated.
  2. USAFAHopefulMom

    USAFAHopefulMom 5-Year Member

    Nov 20, 2010
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    Easy answer is both GPA and standardized tests are impt. The AFA is the only one that could tell you the weighted ratio, but whether or not they would is the question. Take as many honors/AP/IB classes as you can handle (that your school offers), making sure to focus on math and sciences since you'll be taking Calculus, chemistry,etc. at the AFA no matter the major. If you are taking 5 or 6 core courses (math, science, history, lang arts etc) each semester, and dropping an elective will help you concentrate on the core and improve your grades/GPA, then it might be worth it.

    Just keep in mind that the academy wants kids that do more than study. Join clubs, sports, etc. that give you chances to show leadership and initiative. Candidates need to be well-rounded. I'm sure you know all this already, but its good advice. Good luck!
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    There is no "Vs" here. It's you GPA AND Standardized Tests AND Class Ranking AND Class Difficulty (Breath of study in your words) AND School Profile that when COMBINED equal a score for your academics. In other words, if you didn't take the SAT or ACT you can't even get accepted to the academy. (Or really any university). So it's not like one is given more weight than another. However; there is logic here. For instance. Using made up numbers:

    If you had a 3.9 gpa and a 30 ACT composite; and another candidate who the academy considered having an EQUAL class schedule with equally difficult classes had say a 3.7gpa; they could offset that possible with a 34 ACT composite. And the other way around. So while it's not a "Vs" situation, you can offset one area with another. Other offsets is the class ranking and school profile. If your senior class has say 200 students, and you are class ranked #4, but you have a 3.75 gpa, the academy will look deeper at the school profile to see if ALL classes at the school are more difficult that other schools. They would obviously question why the #4 student doesn't have a higher gpa.

    The academy is very good at balancing and putting people onto the same playing field when scoring and comparing them. Best of luck to you. Mike...
  4. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    Mike is correct.

    I will put it a different way...the reason it is called the WCS, is because they look at the WHOLE CANDIDATE.

    In other words, you maybe the Valedictorian at your HS, and not get an apptmt over a candidate from your district that has a lower gpa, because they attend a Magnet, and have 9 APs while you had 2. Plus, at their school, the top 50% go Ivy, while only 10% from your school does.

    It is the WHOLE picture, and the AFA is very good at balancing.

    Every yr kids go, hold on second on my portal they inputted my gpa wrong. My transcript says XYZ and they gave me 123. The reason why is because they look at the school profile.

    Again your school may be a 10 pt scale on a 6.0 for AP, whereas for the AFA they may say APs get a 5.0 weight on a 7 pt scale.

    I also agree, what the AFA is looking for is a well rounded student. You can score 100% on the PAR (academics) which is 60% of the WCS, but if you have no ECs and bust the CFA, you can see that low score on the remaining 40% will kill you, even if you are valedictorian and a perfect 2400 SAT, chances of apptmt greatly decrease.

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