10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
how does the academy look at SAT vs. ACT scores? the same?

i just took the sat for the first time, and did not do as well as I would have liked: 1980 overall (750 critical reading, 580 writing, 560 math)

i am scheduled to take the ACT is april and am hoping to do better on it

if i do end up taking the sat again next fall, should I send my sat scores as part of my admissions packet this summer anyways?

btw, I have a high gpa at a very competitive school and am in AP Calc BC as a junior (AP Calc BC as a sophomore). so I am a very strong math student, but I just had trouble with timing on the SAT. (i am also strong in athletics and extra-cirriculars) So these SAT scores are just really bothering me.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! : )
sorry i guess my question wasn't entirely clear:

if I do better on my ACT, do i even need to send SAT scores?
send them all. the highest scores count and they won't hold lower scores against you.
It depends on what class year you are going for. From your first post I take it that you are a junior. I dont believe the c/o 2014 applications are on line yet. But from what my twin sister said to me, the application for Summer Seminar will start you in the process of applying to the Academy. I would check that out if you are interested. It will give you some insight on what the academy is all about.

Here is what might help also:

Good Luck.
i've been accepted to USMA and USAFA summer seminars

applied to USNA's the day it opened Feb. 1
You won't be considered for an LOA until the scores are submitted.
When you sign up for the tests, put USNA down as a school to receive them. It is much quicker than waiting for your scores and then having them sent.
Application Timeline

Send them all. the highest scores count and they won't hold lower scores against you.

Concur with JAM. They will even go so far as to take your best ACT score in Math and combine it with your best SAT score in CR.

also, what must me submitted by what date to be considered for a LOA?

The sooner you complete items the better. The stated time standard for completing all portions of the application packet is 30 days (the DoDMERB will take longer, but won't be sked until you reach a certain percent-complete on your package). You will be looking to have your package completed in every respect (including Math/Eng recommendations) prior to the first Admissions board for the class of 2014, historically in mid-Aug.

Recognize that few receive LOAs. The number is in the hundreds, of the 5000-6000 who are Fully Qualified
thanks for the great info! you are all so helpful!

(also I fully understand about the comptitiveness of LOA's, but I figure I should at least allow my file to be considered)

-are letters of reccomendation neccessary prior to an LOA?
are letters of reccomendation neccessary prior to an LOA?

Yes - it is part of your admissions package. The only things not required for an LOA are medical, CFA and nomination. BGO interview used to not be required but I understand that it is now.
oooh thank you!

i'll have to figure this out then, because my teachers are not used to writing recs until the fall
CFA was required

by my admissions officerr prior to offering the LOA. Good luck; remember the appointment is what you are seeking not the LOA. Less than 150-175 LOA's are given; most people who receive an appointment do not have one....SEEK THE APPOINTMENT!
i completely understand, i just figure i mise well have my app considered at that point.

also, recieving the LOA makes it easier nomination wise, correct? the year before last, 2 seniors had an LOA to their respective academy (note this is out of a class of 100).

also, for nominations, it is still possible for 2 candidates to be appointed to the same academy from the same district, correct? they just can't have the same nominator?

this worries me becuase my very, very good friend and I both have had USNA as our goal for years. (we go to the same small, competitive school too) And it bothers me that because we're in the same district, it could hinder us both recieving appointments.

any clarification?
LOA does not

guarantee a nomination. Some MOC give one automatically and some figure you'll find a nom somewhere else, so they do not give you one.(GO FIGURE). At any rate, apply for ALL nom. sources; take ACT and SAT until you get close to 29-30 on the ACT and close to 680 on the SAT MATH. Practice for the CFA and make sure your counselor can and will right a glowing rec. and try to have a 3.7 unweighted GPA or better. You will be very competitive for the LOA and The rest is up to the Academy!! Best Wishes

i know i have have the gpa, recs (need to be written though), and have done a practice cfa, and done well.

so i'll be working hard to improve those test scores!
Work on those scores - go to review classes it helps a lot. My son improved his math by 100 points with taking a class.

Also keep in mind it is not your GPA that the Academy is looking at, it is your class rank and your test scores.
my school doesn't rank. we only have 100 in our class. I don't understand how the academy could not look at my gpa....its definately important

my couse load is strong: i was in 3 AP's last yr (as a sophomore) and have 3 AP's this year (as a Junior). I've already completed AP Calc AB, this year working on AP Calc BC and next year will be in Multi-Variable Calculus. So my math is very strong, just not on the SAT. So I'm practicing now to do well on the ACT
The Academy wiil ask your school to provide the school profile and estimate a class ranking. They want to know how you compare to your classmates. That is why in the Class profiles for USNA you will not see GPA. listed.

My Mid also came from a small school - graduating class of 92. His school did not rank. The guidance department estimated a class rank. They may not rank for your or your classmates knowledge but trust me they know where you stand as compared to your classmates. The Academy will also look at your course work and see how it compares to what is offered. If you have been taking a demanding load, they will take note of it.

The Academies look for potential leaders. They are not looking for the smartest, strongest, or nicest person. Instead, they are looking for someone who can excel in all areas. Consequently they use a whole person score when evaluating potential candidates. Your course load and your rank and SAT's, not your pure GPA, is what they use to evaluate you.

Also, it is better to make sure your package is the strongest as possible, and if that means waiting until the fall for your teachers to write the recs, then wait. The prize is not an LOA but an appointment. My son's recs were not submitted until September, he got an LOA in October and the appointment in November.
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thanks for the info! i talked to my counselor and she said that a lot of teahcers write recs over the summer, so its not a problem. that's really interesting about the gpa and rank aspect, and my school definately attaches a detailed school profile.(Its a tough prep school, with about 30% Ivy's and 100% to 4 yr university. 2 yrs ago we had a USNA appointment and USAFA appointment, and last year a USMA appointment and USAFA appointment; so luckily my counselers have experience getting candidates into academies)

and i completely understand the "whole person" concept. i'm just currently stressing about my SAT (and potential ACT) scores. I am very confident with my athletics (3 varsity sports a year) and my various leadership, extra-cirricular, and community service positions. I couldn't do anything more if I wanted to; I simply do not have the time. Trust me I do not take the application process, nor seeking an appointment lightly, and want to put my best forward so that I may demonstrate my desire and ability to be a strong and effective officer in the U.S. Navy.

Thanks again to everyone!