Should I send my ACT/SAT scores?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by bb1234, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. bb1234

    bb1234 Member

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    I just took the ACT this past weekend, am taking the SAT next month and have SAT scores from a couple months ago. I was wondering if it’s a good idea to send my scores to USNA, or if they’d just get lost because I haven’t opened an official application yet. Basically, I’m asking if it’s worth it to send my scores now or if they’ll just get lost and have to be resent again at a later time. Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Send them - USNA will open a file on you with them
     
  3. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    If you’re a junior no need to rush. Wait until you feel you reached your top score. I would wait until Sep to start sending in test scores. You can take tests until Jan.

    Just send in your best from one of the tests. Save money. Send in ACT if your score is M32+, E34+. Send SAT if your score is M750+, E800 or M800, E750. Send ACT if your score is M34+, E32+.
     
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  4. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Sorry but that is bad information on several fronts. I don't know of a single BGO who would recommend this recommended course of action.
    First of all, "holding back till a better score" does not help you as the academy sees all of your scores. If you look at the official score report, it lists prior exams and scores. Secondly, for a junior, this is exactly when you want the academy to make you a candidate so that you can get full candidate status and begin working on the application in time to get a completed app to the Admissions Board BEFORE "crunch time". Getting in at the front of the pack is a good thing for many applicants. Waiting until Sept to send in test scores can lead to candidate status in October and then several months of application elements and DODMERB with completion close to the application deadline.
     
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  5. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

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    Agree that you should send them now. Another reason is that delivery is included if you choose to do so around the time you take the test. If you wait until later, you'll need to pay a significant fee to send the scores.
     
  6. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    I disagree with you having gone through the process very successfully. We followed your similar advise on this board and it turned out it was not necessary! In fact it was an over kill. Admissions will officially look at your file late July when the file opens for all of you did not apply to NASS. And if your scores are good enough they will evaluate you beginning mid September. Unless you’re an recruited athlete don’t need score until late August or mid sep. your guidance report will not be even available until mid Sep at the earliest! We sent in 4 Test Scores from Feb - Sep. it was an over kill!

    Applicant can do what you want but I don’t recommend your suggestion. My DS scores were all strong with 1550 SAT. It didn’t change much as you can see he already peaked. Your SAT or ACT will peak over time. if you take ACT I understand Admissions will only see the score you send. I think you are confusing this with SAT Subject test scores.

    Save money and send he scores you only want to send! We spent $1000 in sending test scores. Was definitely an over kill!
     
  7. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    One data point does not create fact or a trend. What worked for you may not necessarily work for everyone else. OldRetSWO's profile says he has been a BGO for 25 years, and I can tell you, he is stating the guidance from Admissions. Can you save a few $ and wait until you reach your top score -- sure. Is it better to follow the route that Admissions recommends, and has worked for many over the years --absolutely.

    Before the inevitable chorus of "I submitted my Application in September, but was CPR until April...why should I get my application in early...." There are a number of benefits -- First, its shows interest, motivation and self discipline. Second, DODMERB is not scheduled until you reach a certain level of completion (my recollection is 50%), so starting early gives more time to address remedials and waivers if necessary. Finally (although my list is not all inclusive), you might get the coveted LOA and find out early. That being said, the vast majority of candidates will wait until March /April, and that is purely a function of the timing of the process ... The Admissions Board starts reviewing and determining Qualification in September, but Nominations and Appointments can't start reviewing MOC slates and offering Appointments until 1) MOC nominations are made, and 2) all Applications are in, and reviewed. Thus the real work in Admissions is done between January 31 and April 15.
     
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  8. THParent

    THParent Member

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    My DS got an LOA in the Fall, and I think (pure opinion, mind you) that it was at least partly because he was early in the process.
    After nominations came in, he had an offer.

    I cannot express how easy the last several months were for him (and us), as opposed to the Hell candidates are going through right now.
    Also as an aside, your file opens as soon as you get the ECandidate Packet Letter and can login to the Candidate Information System (CIS) and start uploading data (Personal Data Record, Candidate Fitness Assessment, Candidate Activities Record, English Teacher Recommendation, Math Teacher Recommendation, etc). Last year, the ECandidate Packet Letters went out on May 10th.

    If you apply to NASS - whether you go to NASS or not - your preliminary application morphs into your official USNA application (and data from it transfers to the CIS).
     
  9. jebdad

    jebdad 5-Year Member

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    This is just my opinion having navigated this successfully a couple of times and having one of my kids take 10 cracks at the ACT to get the score they felt good about.

    I would say this. Unless you have terrible scores, send in your best scores currently so that they have scores on file. Then, as you take the test again, only send in the improvements. Don't wait until you have a 32, 34, to send the initial scores (a great number of accepted candidates don't ever have scores that high).

    It's a competition. You will compete against others on your slate. Unless you cannot afford the additional fee that ACT charges to send the scores later, I would wait on sending any additional scores after your initial submission. Here's the thing: they say that they only look at your best scores but if you are up against a candidate that has a super score 33 and has taken it twice, and you have 10 sets of scores on file to get to your super scored 33, it can be used against you in the end. I would not want to leave that to chance.
     
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  10. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Hmm. I believe you are comparing apples and oranges. We are only discussing SAT or ACT and not about the process which it appears based on your post we agree.

    I believe you are over simplifying our process with all SAs and application to nation’s top schools and our DS recent experience. I seriously doubt our experience is the only data point. We did everything recommended by this board if not more.

    Apply early we did in Jan and all should if they can. And opened part 2 in July when it first opened. Get things done early and now all should for all colleges not just SAs. We completed all our files by mid Sep including Guidance report DODMERB Approval Interview completed in person at a military base in August. By the end of Sep DS got an LOA. It was not a recruited athlete LOA even though DS is strong in sports and has 4 Varsity Letters in 4 sports with Team CPT and competed at the state and international levels. Not all candidates will get an LOA because you finished early. As you know LOA is far few and not given as a common token to all early applicants. And normally not given to applicants from highly competitive districts even if you have perfect 1600 and 36 in testing.

    Should applicants send in more ACT or SAT is what the original discussion was not anything else. So I think you are going beyond the original topic.

    If one already has strong Act or Sat scores your file will be triggered by Admissions as a candidate at that time. Then your file is well in the work in progress. Should you continue to take tests and send in every test scores, NO. This in fact is not recommended by top colleges. They recommend you to take 2 or 3 tests max. Schools like Harvard tell applicants on their portal that their data show students actually drop in test scores for those taking tests more than 3x. I suppose this happens in the high end when your score is 1500-1600 or 33-36. To me these scores really don’t make much difference when you’re at 1550-1600 or 34-36. You already maxed out and proved your top performance in testing.

    Most candidates are applying to non SAs so we should be mindful how the process is different in top civilian schools. And taking too many tests can impact their applications to non SAs. I served as admissions ambassador = to BGO ALO, for 2 decades for couple of Ivy schools and admissions will penalize applicants for taking too many tests! Process is different at civilian colleges and most applicants are applying to both with ROTC option.

    Unless you are very sure you can take tests well I don’t recommend sending test scores directly to colleges because it’s free. Better you wait to see the scores and select the scores you like to send. ACT and SAT now have choice options. It’s different from when tests were taken in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Test scores do improve over time but also drop over time. If you have maxed then no need to keep taking and send more test scores. Your focus should be improving other areas. We followed this advise and it turned out not necessary to keep taking tests and sending in constant updates. It was stressful for both DS and the family. DS April test score did not change over time. Same as Sep test which was his last. In fact if super scored would be 1600. However if your test score is below 30 ACT or below 700 in each SAT sections you may want to continue until you hit all sections over 30 and 700.
     
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  11. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    ABSOLUTELY ! There is far too much emphasis and expectation of LOA on this Forum from time to time. It's great if you do get one, but don't count on it no matter how good you are.

    One thing to keep in mind, the Admissions Board may review the candidate application any time from September through April, and Noms and Appointments will be taking a second look when filling the slates. If you delay submitting until you think you have maxed out, you may be leaving the incremental improvements on the table.

    I agree. Be realistic in self evaluation of capability, and don't spin your wheels if you take the SAT/ACT's a few times and get the same results. I've had two daughters go through the college admissions process (non SA), and viewed the first test as a no expectation, low pressure trial, and the next couple as opportunities to improve. After that, the likelihood of significant improvement (absent something different like a preparation program) is pretty low. I do recommend that candidates take both SAT and ACT -- there are differences in the tests that help some people do better than others.
     
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  12. ders_dad

    ders_dad Member

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    This is a timely post for DS (are you reading this, son?).

    In the big scheme of things, is a 36M 33E materially different from a 36M 36E when USNA is evaluating WPS (or whatever they do)? Maybe put another way, several forum posts say to keep taking the ACT until 36M 36E (or 800/800 for SAT), but is that really the case? Would USNA (or other colleges) really differentiate between a 36M 33E and a 36M 36E?
     
  13. SAparent2023

    SAparent2023 Member

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    I also think it is important to recognize that this forum, while incredibly informative and helpful (and addictive), is chock full of candidates and parents that are highly accomplished and highly competitive so the advice to keep trying until you have 36's or even 34's and 33's is intimidating. Yes, continuing to put forth your best effort and improve your candidacy is important. But there are a lot of applicants admitted to Service Academies with ACT and SAT scores below 33 and 1550. Do your best - work on your test scores, your extracurricular activities, your leadership, your athleticism, etc. Give it your all and don't give up. This forum is Lake Wobegon.
     
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  14. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Only when the otherwise identical candidate (activities, leadership, sports, etc) has a 36/36 :)
    Seriously, its really hard to distinguish between highly qualified candidates from time to time, and the the SAT gives an objective measurement, so the difference can be material. On the other hand, there are plenty of kids with 36/36 who aren't qualified to attend USNA. All anyone can do is present the best package they have, and let USNA Admissions make those tough choices.
     
  15. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Might be true at "Top Colleges" but not at USNA. I attended a BGO training update within the past 6 weeks and the instructor said that repeated testing shows strong motivation. The former head of the Area Coordinator Steering Committee related an instance of a successful candidate who took the test 10 times as he tried to improve his scores. Personally, I think 10 is excessive but the intended point is that USNA does not penalize candidates for repeated retakes. I've been a BGO since the early 90's and that has been the case all throughout my time as a BGO.
     
  16. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Ders_dad. Honestly any of those scores are incredible scores. And personally if I were your son I would focus my time on something else to improve other parts of the application. If your son is from Northern VA DC MD NY CA PA FL applying to USNA he will face top candidates from his district regardless. But even then near perfect scores is no shoe in. It has to do with factors beyond test scores that has to be uniquely his. Our experience coming from highly competitive district in metro NY we saw many top test scores not get Appointment. It’s really the whole package that counts and the unique qualities a candidate can offer to his class coming from his district.
     
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  17. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I could not agree more. There are many things in play here. Good scores on the ACT/SAT, grades, and class rank are important, but are only parts of the Whole Candidate Score.
     
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  18. bb1234

    bb1234 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input!!