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Validating classes??

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jomass, May 13, 2010.


What makes sense to you and what would you advise your plebe?

  1. Better to take calc again as a refresher

  2. Validate out and risk lower grades/lower class ranking

  1. jomass

    jomass 5-Year Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I've read that plebes will take exams early on and can get 'validated' out of some classes and would have to take others (higher level/more difficult) classes instead. Take calculus for example. If a plebe had taken AP calculus in high school and done fairly well (grade A or B), they might end up validating out of it. If they did validate out, is there really any benefit? Sounds like it could actually backfire; they would end up going into a more difficult, higher level calc for instance and probably have a harder time/get a lesser grade. And of course grades have everything to do with class rankings, what assignments you get, etc etc. So this is a pretty big deal.

    At a traditional college, if you got credit for AP classes, then that's that many fewer classes you need over 4 years to graduate; or you might even be able to graduate in 3 1/2 yrs. Obviously not so at USNA, where you're still taking your 18 credits every semester regardless.

    So why validate out? What's the upside??? Can you choose to stay in a certain math course, even if you would have validated out of it?
  2. 2014-scada

    2014-scada 5-Year Member

    Feb 6, 2010
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    Good Points...however, in my personal experience back when I was studying...taking the subject again on the premise that it will be easier the 2nd time around can definitely backfire as what happened to some of my classmates. This premise is true if the student will apply the same tenacity and fervor to the subject as if he/she is taking it for the 1st time. But what actually happens is that one tends to be complacent and even downright dismissive to the point that the said subject is relegated to a lower priority in the order of things. End result...lower grades and hence lower GPA.

    Do not try to look at this from the standpoint of grades only...but rather as an opportunity to either do better (by taking the subject again...), an opportunity to really learn the subject in depth or an opportunity to move on and learn something new.

    2nd point...Although it is true that in the USNA, one has to take a full course load in the early years irregardless...the benefit is in the 3rd or 4th year when your schedule opens up and more opportunities arise or is presented to you. Graduate studies, exchange programs, independent research, etc., etc., etc.. None of this will happen if you do not validate out of something!

    IMHO...take the validation exam, then the USNA advisers will talk to you about the results and the options available to you...then you decide what is right for you...this is part of being an adult (assuming you are an appointee, if you are a parent, then you can share this with your MID...), and just one of the many exciting decisions that life has to offer (YAY!:biggrin:) and I promise you there are even better ones that will come along!

    GO NAVY!
  3. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09 5-Year Member

    Nov 5, 2007
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    u have to take it regardless if u want to or not..if you do validate a class you have the option to take the class u validated or move on to the next class on ur matrix..but yes you could open urself up for graduate programs or exchange 2/c or firstie year if u validated..or jus extra time in ur schedule to sleep or look at cars and houses for when u graduate:thumb:
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    In my view, your decision may depend in part on how comfortable you are with the class(es) you validated. In my day, I checked out of first semester English and all of my language. Maybe something else -- it was a long time ago.:eek:

    I was very comfortable in the humanities, although I must say I thought I'd bombed my language validation test -- as did my roommate who also validated. My h.s. prep in math was pretty sad, so I took the full courseload.

    If you feel good about your validation test and your background, validating will -- as stated above -- allow you to start on your major earlier, give you opportunity to take a class or two "just for fun," free up your schedule a bit in later years, or allow you to do graduate education.

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