Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by willc1021, Jul 18, 2012.
How much do SATs play a role in admissions?
DATa are very important. It's the only thing they look at that meets a national standard. Of corse physical fitness scores are non-subjective as well. GPA has too much variation between schools to be a reliable indicator from one student to the next, but it's not totally worthless either.
I would suspect that they look at a number of things relating to your SAT scores:
Are they consistent with your GPA? If you're reporting a 3.95 gpa but only get 600/600 then they might have to look twice at the cirriculum.
A 800 in math would jump off the page and might overcome some other less than stellar items in the packet.
A 1400 (M&V) is a good score. But 700/700 is probably better then 600/800.
Just some thoughts.
For Class of 2015, I was told that Math SAT/ACT scores were approximately 20% of the "score" for each candidate.
SAT/ACT scores are important screening tools primarily because they are standardized tests and thereby offer a direct comparison among candidates. They also are designed to be predictors of college level performance. Having said that, Admissions will use them as preliminary screeners but the real indicators of academic performance will be found on your school transcripts. It is important to keep working away on the SAT or ACT until you are comfortable that you have attained your best scores on the math and verbal sections. As the SA's are Bachelor of Science oriented it is reasonable to expect that there will be a bias towards attaining higher scores on the math section, so yes, a 700/700 (m/v) combination would be preferable to a 600/800 combination. In the past it was generally held that NAVY was looking for a minimum 650 on the math section. Keep in mind that there is no penalty for taking the exam more than once - NAVY will give you credit for your best scores from either SAT or ACT.
Evolution of the Candidate Multiple
The various preditors and weights contributing to the Candidate Multiple are available on-line with a little digging. Here are four (4) sources -- all graduate Thesis from the Naval Postgraduate School:
1) "The Performance of Preparatory School Candidates at the United States Naval Academy" by Brian S. FitzPatrick dated September 2001.
2) "The Utility of Personality Measures in the Admissions Process at the United States Naval Academy" by Foster & Pashneh-Tala dated June 2002.
3) "The Impact of the Summer Seminar Program on Midshipman Performance: Does Summer Seminar Participation Influence Success at the Naval Academy?" by Michael A. Norton dated June 2004.
4) "The Retention of Female Unrestricted Line Officers" by Elena G. Pecenco dated March 2005.
In all four (4) papers, the authors share the Candidate Multiple predictor weighting that was in effect at the time of publication.
From Ref #1: Math 24%, Verbal 12%, Class Rank 27%, Recs 11%, ECAs 8%, Technical Interest Score 14%, Career Interest Score 4%
From Ref #2: Math 31%, Verbal 15%, Class Rank 21%, Recs 8%, ECAs 10%, Technical Interest Score 12%, Career Interest Score 3%
From Ref #3: Math 34%, Verbal 11%, Class Rank 19%, Recs 8%, ECAs 10%, Technical Interest Score 9%, Career Interest Score 9%
From Ref #4: Math 31%, Verbal 15%, Class Rank 21%, Recs 8%, ECAs 10%, Technical Interest Score 12%, Career Interest Score 3%
Haven't found anything more recent than 2005, but it's pretty clear your SAT/ACT Math score is at least twice as important as your SAT/ACT Verbal Score.
Your class rank is considered a better measure of your academic performance than your GPA.
Just because math is twice as predictive as verbal doesn't make it weighted twice as much.
SAT/ACT are mostly useful for the academies to compare students from all over the country in a standardized way regardless of what type of school you attended or perhaps were home schooled. I think it is a stretch to say they will somehow be predictive of your success in college. Particularly at a place like USNA, there are all sorts of other requirements on your time that can't possibly be measured by such tests. None of those tests will ever be able to predict how well you will adapt to the military requirements or the fact that everyone is expected to maintain a particular level of physical fitness, participate in various club level sports, etc. Such requirements are unique to military colleges.
The scholastic Q includes a number of factors including your SAT/ACT scores, GPA, teacher evaluations, extra-curricular involvement, etc. Rather then get wrapped up in % and statistics as candidates sometimes do on here, I would strive to do the best you can on those types of tests. Some do better on one vs the other, so you might consider taking both the SAT & ACT.
Candidate Multiple Predictors
I must disagree. Your SAT/ACT Math score carries twice the weight of your SAT/ACT verbal score. Quoting from Ref. 1 "The admissions process constructs a Whole Person Multiple...The multiple is computed from identified predictors of success at USNA...Each of these predictors is weighted and a composite score, known as the Candidate Multiple (CM) is calculated."
It's my understanding that all of the "predictors" are standardized to a range of 200 to 800. Easy for SAT Math and Verbal. ACT to SAT conversion tables are readily available on-line. Quoting again from Ref. 1 "The average RC (Rank in Class) should be approximately 500 like the average SAT Score."
How USNA Admissions converts teacher recommendations or ECAs into this 200 to 800 range is not clear to me yet, but I'll keep digging. How a batch of scores in the 200 to 800 range morph into a CM in the 65K range is also not clear to me yet.
RAB (Recommendations of the Admissions Board) points are then added or subtracted from your CM to generate a Whole Person Score in blocks of 500 points.
A boarderline candidate might have a Candidate Multiple in the 58K to 60K range. The typcial candidate with a nomination from their Senator or Congressman will have a CM in the 65K range.
Also Scholastic Q isn't based strictly on the WPM...it is a decision of the Admissions Board. It is possible Candidate A might have a higher multiple than Candidate B, but Candidate A isn't found scholastically qualified and Candidate B is. If you don't have that Q, you for sure aren't getting an appointment.
But yes, math/science classes/scores are under more scrutiny than the verbal/English classes/scores.
I understand why ACT/SAT scores are used in the admissions process as a sort of universal approach to comparing candidates, but I find it extremely unfair to use it as a predictor of one's success as a future naval officer. Just my opinion and I'm sure most would agree.
LakeErie - I don't think the test scores are being used as a predictor of one's success as a future naval officer since there are multiple paths to achieving this goal. I do think it is valid to use the scores as one of the predictors for success at the Naval Academy due to the challenging and technical nature of the academic program.
How this works and someone's opinion of how they think it SHOULD work could be different. As an applicant, one has very little control/say over how they think the process should work.
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