Reapplicant Course Load Dilemma

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ameisen_zug, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. ameisen_zug

    ameisen_zug Reapplicant

    Jan 7, 2013
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    I received the TWE this past March, and have already started preparing my application for the class of 2019. I will be a freshman at a state college next year while living with at home. No colleges within my state offer NROTC, and my admissions counselor said this would not be detrimental to my application. I have registered for 17 credit hours with classes consisting of the following:

    Calc 1 (4CR)
    Chem 1 (3CR)
    Chem Lab (1CR)
    Eng: Composition (3CR)
    Western Civ (3 CR) (I couldn’t take gov because it conflicted with my Chem lab)
    Econ (3CR)

    I am currently in a dilemma as to whether or not I should drop Econ. Most people who I have shared my schedule with commented that it is an unusually difficult schedule for a first semester freshman, and I will admit, I do think it will be very challenging. My gut feeling is telling me to drop Econ, however I don’t want to seal my doom with another TWE simply because my course load wasn't rigorous enough. Would it be better to get straight A’s in the 14Cr course load, or chance a few B’s with 17CR. I won’t be working a job, and I do plan to keep myself busy with volunteering, running/5k races, orienteering, and other activities. USNA suggests at least a minimum of 12CR, and I have searched the forum, and have seen people taking between 12 and 22 credit hours; however some added input would be helpful.

    Thank You!:smile:
  2. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

    Jul 25, 2010
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    College professor weighing in here. What you've described (as it stands) is a rigorous schedule for ANY college freshman, including USNA plebes. However, unlike USNA plebes, a very important purpose of your course schedule is to earn the highest grades you can SO THAT you can enter USNA. Taking 14 credits of plebe-level courses is still a full-time load. It'll get you the evidence you need to show that you're capable of succeeding at USNA, while minimizing the potential risks and costs of poor grades.

    I also want to put a plug in for you (and other rising freshmen) to shoot for those high grades, but be responsible about how you do that. Professors do not like whiners at all, and we clench our teeth at grade-grubbers. How not to get on your prof's good side: "But I CAN'T get a B on this 5-point homework! I have to get into {USxA, med school, vet school, law school}!" If you "can't get a B," then get off your smartphone and turn in legible, complete homework. Find out when their student hours (office hours) are and attend those, with actual prepared questions. If there's a tutoring room, visit it and use it. Form study groups, and keep trying with that because you're going to get kids who just want to text and giggle all night. Go over your exams and homeworks and figure out what you got wrong, why, and how not to get it wrong the next time. Yes, you need that A or A-minus, but do not forget that it represents exceptional, truly outstanding work, and frankly most work just isn't. You're going to have to work hard and produce exceptional results consistently, all the time, not just when the stars line up for you. Practice making it happen.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  3. smmtx1

    smmtx1 Member

    Aug 23, 2013
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    My DS is taking the following courses (15 credit hrs.) at a sr. military school and will be in NROTC. He is going into his freshman year with a lot of college credit hours from his high school dual credit/AP classes for History, Biology, Government, Economics, and English (got A's in DC English Comp & Rhet 11th & 12th grade so he's not taking an English class).

    Calc 1 (4 hrs)
    Chem 1 w/Lab (4 hrs)
    Government - State (3 hrs) - already took and rec'd credit for Federal Gov.
    World Geography (3 hrs)
    NROTC w/Lab (1 hrs)

    BGO told DS not to overload himself but to take challenging courses and get A's. Personally I think taking any more then 15 credit hours as a freshman is too much.
  4. CAmom2015

    CAmom2015 5-Year Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    My DD's courses were chosen by her university/prep school. She will be taking 17 units in the Fall semester including Chemistry with Lab, Calculus II, English, History and Freshman Studies.
  5. dalty7

    dalty7 Member

    Jan 11, 2014
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    I reapplied and luckily got in for the class of 2018. My freshman Fall schedule with the grades that I earned were:

    Calculus II - 4 credits - B+
    Intro to redirect and Narrative (English) - 3 credits - A-
    Chinese I - 4 credits - A
    Intro to Honors - 3 credits - A
    Chemistry /w Lab - 4 credits - A

    Total 18 credits

    This was by far the most challenging semester of school I have ever taken. It required at least studying 3-5 hours day. I would recommend if possible to take more, but if it means that your going to get 2-3 B's I would cut Econ. Grades are the main focus. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
  6. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016 5-Year Member

    May 23, 2011
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    I think only you can know if you can hack it.

    At USNA, there is a drop course grace period. You're allowed to drop a course within the first few weeks (as long as it isn't required for your matrix) without additional repercussions. If your school has a similar policy, you could try it out and see if you can handle it.

    Know that 17-19 credits is a normal courseload at USNA. It's not considered overloading until you hit at least 21 credits. Most midshipmen will take five to six classes and an additional PE class.
  7. SubmergedSprinter

    SubmergedSprinter New Member

    Feb 13, 2014
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    Is it possible to replace a history course for a physics course instead?
    English, Chem, Calc, Physics?
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    I would not take Physics, Chem and Calc in the same semester unless you are a natural at math and science (i.e., they come VERY easily to you). USNA doesn't require all three in a semester/year so you don't need to do it as a college freshman. I recommend physics for those who can't get into chem because, for example, the course is full of pre-med majors.:smile:

    As for whether to take econ -- if you take a 5th course, take something that you will both enjoy and do very well in. Alternatively, stick with 14 core hours.

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