Save the GPA?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by anna.polis2024, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. anna.polis2024

    anna.polis2024 New Member

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    As I have come into my junior year of high school I have found that managing my time and the academic difficulty of my classes has been a huge road block for me. I am taking Chemistry, Leadership Development in Action, APUSH, Guidance Assisting, AP Lit/Comp, AP Environmental, Strength and Conditioning, and lastly Algebra II STEM. My current dilemma with this is that math is my weakest subject and I currently have a C- in the class. I have a strong feeling I will keep a consistent C in it, I am just wondering if I should drop Algebra II STEM and go to Algebra II non-STEM. Really the only difference between the 2 are that in STEM we have extra projects like posters and Power Points over math subjects and non-STEM is just like any other math class. I know that I'm not going to get a solid answer of if this will make or break my Academy application, that's not really what I'm asking. I am more wondering if it would be better to make the decision to drop and explain that math isn't my best subject during interviews, or just take the C in the higher level class and have it bring down the GPA.
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    USNA, as you know, is a STEM-centric school. Two-thirds of midshipmen are required to major in a STEM subject. And all mids — even those who major in English or history — graduate with a BS due to the STEM-heavy core that includes calculus, chemistry, physics, electrical engineering and so on. All this because the Navy is a STEM-driven force.

    So regardless of your other qualifications, USNA will look very, very skeptically at your math record. Nearly all mids took calculus in high school (most of them at AP level). At your current pace, you’ll finish high school with pre-calculus, and perhaps with a not very high grade.

    I’m sorry if you find this discouraging, but it is reality. You may have other attributes that are exactly what USNA seeks, but strength in STEM is beyond critical. All to say, don’t give up, but do everything you can to turn things around in math. Whether that’s private tutoring or more time with teachers or whatever, you must significantly raise your level of performance here. Best wishes to you.
     
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  3. anna.polis2024

    anna.polis2024 New Member

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    So all things considered, would my math level be putting me more on route to NAPS rather than any sort of acceptance to the academy itself?
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    No one can really answer this.

    You need to just put your best foot forward, hire a math tutor, work a little harder, maybe squeeze out a B minus, and just APPLY. If you get NAPS, that is a golden ticket, if you get an appointment, that is the brass ring. BUT be sure to have a plan B, C and D etc.

    Is your ultimate goal to be strictly a Naval officer or ANY military officer? (or is it just attending USNA?)
     
  5. anna.polis2024

    anna.polis2024 New Member

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    I am going for both Naval Academy and Coast Guard Academy, my back up if I don't get accepted to either is to just enlist in the Marine Corps or Navy and work from there.
     
  6. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    +1 @MidCakePa

    Also remember that other factors such as difficulty of schedule (are you taking the most challenging classes your school has to offer) and class rank are ranked more highly than GPA, per se. Also, the core course requirements for midshipmen (https://www.usna.edu/Academics/Majors-and-Courses/Course-Requirements-Core.php) include three semesters of calculus plus another math course - so you'll want to do everything possible now to stabilize your foundation to prepare for the math classes you will face at the academy.

    "The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." –Michelangelo
     
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  7. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Why aren't you considering a regular college with NROTC/Marine Option? You can apply for the NROTC/MO scholarship. And you can even major in basket weaving and still become a Marine officer. Going the enlisted route is much tougher due to the limited slots.
     
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  8. New@This

    New@This Member

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    +1 to this question? It was my first thought as well.
     
  9. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Hey now, Chair Force!
     
  10. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Now now, don't get your leatherneck bent out of shape. My point is that NROTC/Marine Option (and Army ROTC) are not STEM focused as AFROTC and NROTC is. (And of course ALL of the academies are STEM heavy).

    For the OP who is concerned over math skills, NROTC/MO opens a different and perhaps more successful path to becoming an officer.

    No offense meant at my Semper Fi friends. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  11. bopper

    bopper Member

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    Another thought is to change the way you attack Alg2:

    0) GO TO CLASS, READ THE CHAPTERS, AND DO THE HOMEWORK!

    1) Go to Teacher's office hours early in the semester and Ask this question: "I know this is a really difficult class-- what are some of the common mistakes students make and how can I avoid them?"

    2) If you have problems with the homework, go to Teacher's office hours. If they have any "help sessions" or "study sessions" or any thing extra, go to them.

    3) Form a study group with other kids in your class.

    4) Don't do the minimum...for STEM classes do extra problems. You can buy books that just have problems for algebra or calculus or physics or chemistry whatever. Watch online videos (e.g., Khan Academy) about the topic you are studying.

    5) If things still are not going well, get a tutor. Your National Honor Society will have some. Or ask a teacher for a referral.

    6) Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.

    7) For tests that you didn't do well on, can you evaluate what went wrong? Did you never read that topic? Did you not do the homework for it? Do you kind of remember it but forgot what to do? Then next time change the way you study...there may be a study skill center at your guidance office.

    8) How much time outside of class do you spend studying/doing homework? Is it enough?

    9) If you run into any social/health/family troubles (you are sick, your parents are sick, someone died, broke up with boy/girlfriend, suddenly depressed/anxiety etcetc) then immediately go to the guidance counselor and talk to them.

    10) At the beginning of the semester, read the syllabus for each class. It tells you what you will be doing and when tests/HW/papers are due. Put all of that in your calendar. The teacher may remind you of things, but it is all there for you to see so take initiative and look at it.

    11) Make sure you understand how to use your online class system...Login to it, read what there is for your classes, know how to upload assignments (if that is what the teacher wants).

    12) If you get an assignment...make sure to read the instructions and do all the tasks on the assignment. Look at the rubric and make sure you have covered everything.

    13) If you are not sure what to do, go EARLY to the teacher's office hours...not the day before the assignment is due.

    14) Take advantage of any "re-do" tests you may be able to take..your teacher wants you to learn the material. Future material depends on it so you need to have the foundation. By explaining what went wrong you really understand it. Take advantage of this.
     
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  12. Nomak54

    Nomak54 Member

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    I was in the same boat as you when I was a junior and I had to convince my math teacher to put me in AP Calc. Here's what I did: I started taking the class very seriously. I spent a good chunk of time personally going over what I needed to work with, what was wrong with my earlier assignments etc. I would personally come to him (or any other math teacher in the school) for help and guidance even, I started staying after school to study for tests and such. Every time we had a test, I would always come in with a "Gonna get that 100% attitude." If I even missed one question I would immediately bug him to tell me I got wrong. This might be too specific, but our school got involved in a lot of math competitions, volunteering for those competitions was what pushed him over the edge to finally admit me in AP.

    Don't give up, TC, it's only the beginning of the year. If Algebra II is more rigorous stick with that. Keep pushing forward, I believe you can achieve what you want :)

    Sorry, hope this helps!
     
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  13. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Clearly Algebra is a very important Math for all your testing, especially important to master for ACT and SAT and to do well in PreCal and Calculus. I would not drop Algebra or go easy on Algebra. Nevertheless, here is one other way to better pace yourself. You should only take this option if you are responsible and good in self study. Register online for Algebra 2 and audit Algebra 2 at your school if they allow you. This way you can self pace your Algebra and finish at your own speed. But this will not work if you get lazy and fall behind. Pace it along with your school Algebra 2 and do all the work required in class. You just dont receive the grade from your school but use the grade from your online school that is running an accredited program. I have to caution you that online school usually works for students who are good independent student and responsible. If you fall back, then you end up in the same hole you started. It works for many but not for all. Think about it as you may only have this week to let your school know that you would like to Audit Algebra 2. I would also get a tutor in your situation. From your school or paid service. Don’t fall behind Algebra. It is the building block for math. You have to master it.

    Some kids double up on math Geometry and Algebra 2. My DS doubled up in his math Algebra 2 at his school and PreCalculus at an accredited Online School in his Sophomore year to get ahead in math and he received 96 on both classes. He was dedicated and kept a good study schedule. He in fact took 10 classes (9 core) in his Sophomore year. He is no geek either. Had time to do all his Varsity Athletics each season so 3 Letters actually 4 Letters, Martial Arts, Boxing, Scouting, do military training on weekends, do shooting sports, community service, meet friends when he had time, go to movies, play online game and compete with gamers around the world, enjoy school trips, enjoy family trips, summer and winter jobs. So it can be done! I don’t consider my DS to be a genius just very dedicated and mature. Just be very dedicated and self disciplined! If you can keep a very busy schedule and do well then the Academy life is for you. If not maybe not. There is no short cut. You can do this!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  14. boatsfordays

    boatsfordays Member

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    The time management part is the biggest concern. Once at USNA you would miss this schedule and dream of the days when this was all that occupied your time and you'll be in back to back semesters of Calculus. I would hunker down and prove to yourself that you can conquer this beast. Then do it. It will make a great essay topic :)
     
  15. Korab

    Korab Member

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    If you are struggling in Algebra 2, you are likely to really have an issue with calculus. For USNA and USCGA, math is perhaps the most important subject area to show not just competence, but mastery. It sounds like you may have a steep hill to climb. Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet? what are your math scores and where do they stand in relation to incoming class averages?
     
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  16. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    DD did boarding School with time management and room mates ingrained. Kids that came directly from High School and living at home had a rougher time with time management. It has always said that it is a Plebe Killer.
     
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