Weaknesses Strengths,Advice

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Brodiecaps1, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    I am looking forwards to applying to USMA, USNA for the Marine pathway, and VMI for the Marine option. I would be incredibly grateful if anyone could help me improve my application or “chance me”.

    I go to Staten Island Tech HS which is the #6 Public High School in the country.
    I have a 3.7 GPA, I had a very rough start freshman year however I worked hard and now have all A’s.
    I am not a math/science oriented kid and am much better at the humanities which I worry may be an issue for military schools. I would like to major either in Business or Political Science.
    I have a 99 cumulative average in both English and History and have taken all honors courses besides the ones that are AP ( Honors English 2 years, AP Language, AP US and World History.
    I have a 100 unweighted average in a college business class offered at my school, achieved highest grade in school on University of Iowa Bizinnovator test.
    I have been on Varsity Track 3 years and am head captain.
    I have won the city championship 4 times and have been ranked the #1 High Jumper in New York City and have qualified for states.
    I worked as a School worker coordinating anti bullying presentations and the next year worked as a marketing intern for 2 companies. This summer I will be working for Lifestyles for the Disabled and will be volunteering for the Red Cross and as an intern at my local congressmans office.
    I have taken the SAT once and got a 1350 ( 700 English 650 Math) and will absolutely retake the test as I have been consistentl scoring high 1400s low 1500s on my practice tests since then.
    I have a 97 average in Russian which I’ve taken for 3 years.
    Next Year I wil be taking AP Russian, AP Macronecomics, AP Psychology, Honors journalism, Honors Calculus, and Honors Electronics.
    Any help or advice woukd be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys 10-Year Member

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    The biggest issue I see to your admission is you are from NY, which is one of the most competitive states to gain an appointment from. While you have a very impressive resume thus far, I think your best bet is to contact the track and field coach and let him know of your interest in attending. It's possible you could get in as a recruited athlete. =)
     
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  3. KYparent

    KYparent Member

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    My 2022 DD is stronger in reading, English and the humanities than she is in math and science (though, she is not weak in those, just closer to the low end of average for USMA in those). She has heard, and keep in mind that this is unverified, that for this year USMA was looking to build the number of cadets with strengths in the humanities. Regardless, she got in so having her strengths did not hurt her.

    The research we did when she was first looking into the Service Academies led us to believe that USMA was her most likely landing place. USNA and USAFA offer majors that are humanities oriented but all the recruiting materials placed a strong emphasis on math, science and tech. She started the applications at USNA and USAFA but ultimately only completed her app to USMA because that was always her first choice. She wanted to be an officer in the Army and that was not going to happen at the other schools.

    Do a great job at your congressman's office this summer. That should help for getting a nomination.
     
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  4. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    I like your profile and track record. In fact, I like it a lot! I like your honesty and humility too.

    Based on what you shared, I believe your win or no win on Appointment will be swayed by your SAT or ACT Score in your district. So work hard on the test to exceed. Like others said, you may want to try the ACT. ACT Science and Reading are both designed for strong readers. So if you are good in Humanities and Social Science, you should do well in Sci and Reading Sections. English section is all grammar. If you are good in ELA, you should Ace those 3 sections. So it's the math section that may challenge you since it is harder math than SAT math. But you must try to find out. Writing, you should try to score 10, but any scores 8-10 are great for the SAs. All SAs it seems want you to exceed 30 on all sections. I would like to strongly recommend you take your SAT few times and get Math to 700+ and break English to 750+. I think you can do it. And like few others said, try ACT twice and see where you go with that. ACT is like taking 5 Subject Tests including Writing. But keep in mind ACT Math is harder. It covers little bit of everything from Algebra 1 and 2, Geo, Trig, and Precal. Academies really focus on your Test Score for Academics. If you can test in upper 90s like 98-100 in all subjects in the NY State Regents then you can test well in these sections. My DS took NY State Regents for the first time in 2018 in his Senior Year and he scored 98-100 in all his subjects for the NY State Regents and he did not attend NY State schools except in his Senior Year. Your school should have prepared you better for the subject tests.

    You'll be very surprised what you can achieve. My DS' strong suit was not STEM either, initially. But he worked really hard to pull the grades to all As in STEM through AP Cal, AP Stats, and Physics. He finished those courses with 97. He hated AP Stats and I realized he is more numbers guy in math like me. Like you, he has stronger interest in Social Science such as History and Economics. My DS did not attend strong STEM school like you so he was exposed to less STEM qualified faculty and student body. But he attended private school all his life that has 1450 SAT average and 29 ACT average which is around your SITHS average. He started very low on his trial testing in Soph year. But after many testing practices, he achieved 1550 on SAT and 34 on ACT, with perfect English and Verbal on both tests. Your GPA is fine if Unweighted 3.7. I believe the average at SAs is 3.83 Weighted, so Unweighted you can speculate it to be around 3.5-3.6. My DS started soft like you in his freshman-Soph years, but finished high school with UW3.9 and W4.1 GPA taking 34 high school credits out of 22 required. So if he can do it so can you and you are at a more academically gifted school than he is. Work hard this fall to get at least Weighted 4.0 in your Senior year. APs and Honors classes should help you achieve that. Nevertheless, it is either SAT or ACT that will be most important academically for the SAs.

    As for majors you can major in Management or Economics at the SAs. We looked into this for my DS. Here are options that fits your interest:
    USNA - Economics, Pol Sci, History, Cyber Ops
    USMA - Management, Economics, History
    USAFA - Management, Economics, Pol Sci (have academy scholars program for 30 cadets in each class who can design their own studies, must maintain 3.7 GPA)
    USCGA - Management, Government

    Also, apply to NROTC with Tier 3 option which is non STEM, AROTC, and AFROTC with Type 1 option in Comp Sci to get full scholarship. If you have strong SAT or ACT you can get Type 1 option with full scholarship for the AFROTC. But only about 3-5 scholarships are given nationally on Type 1 with any major. But you can ask for Type 1 in any major at each schools which they may offer to 1 incoming Cadet with any major. My DS got his Type 1 in any major for the AFROTC Scholarship. You have to take around 2 Comp Sci classes at the SAs. West Point and USCGA are the 2 softer schools in STEM requirement. Recently WP and CGA changed their STEM requirement for graduation. They said too many flunked Cal, Chem, and Physics. I know a kid who graduated from Brooklyn Tech who was a Chemical Engineering Major at Tech and he almost flunked Chem 2 and Physics 2 at West Point. Now, you only have to take 1 semester Chem, 1 semester Cal, 1 semester Physics, if you major in social science or humanities at West Point and Coast Guard Academy. USNA has the hardest STEM core with 4 semesters of Calculus, Electrical Engineering, Nuclear, Aerospace or Naval Engineering plus other hard core STEM requirements. USAFA has similar requirement in STEM but slightly less, and you take 1 semester Bio in Firstie year.

    You should consider all SAs but really narrow down to one that you want to attend. Because in your district, your Congressman will most likely give you ONE Nom and in NY State, if you get a NOM from your Congressman, your Senators don't give NOMs. It is the current practice we learned the hard way. You should have taken CAP at your school. If you are then you get 2 NOMs. Forget about the VP NOM although you should apply for it.

    My DS who did not like STEM as much like you but likes History and Economics did not want to consider USNA at first because of the harder STEM requirement. And he was set on West Point since he was very young. But when it came to decision day, he chose the Naval Academy. He is USNA 2022. After he visited the Academy twice, he really liked the Navy program better, the culture at the Academy, and career opportunities in more varied communities. He plans to Major in their new Cyber Operations and double minor in Economics and History. You can do this if you place out of 4+ core classes. This can be you!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    It is class rank, not gpa, which determines that half of the academic score under the WCS formula, and that is a big portion of the overall score. It is a little late in the game to jump up a Tom in class rank, but still doable to improve. Another varsity sport would help far more than the volunteer work. Keep in mind, the academies use a scoring system. Varsity letters get you points, volunteering doesn't. You are likely in a competitive district, so work on anything which gets you more points than your competition. You CFA can add points if you do well. Also becoming an officer on student council or NHS, preferably president, which gets a lot of points.

    Math and English, no matter how you slice it, and regardless of rumors, are without question the most important subjects and scores. Right now you should just be worried about getting in; deciding your major can come later. So bolster math if you think you are not strong there as far as your application. SAT/ACT scores are the biggest factor of all, so study the math hard, and keep taking the exams until you do week, either because you understand the material or because you got lucky. Both can happen, and the academies don't distinguish the brilliant kids vs the lucky ones.

    The things that matter in terms of academy admissions are not kept secret. They are published for each of the new classes each year. Academics are class rank and test scores, and compose the majority of points by a long shot. Leadership includes the varsity sports, and being a captain gets you more points. It also includes the officer position points, and other things which put you in a position of responsibility. Then fitness is all about the CFA score. Those things count.

    People will talk about community service hours, and that's great. But the things that actually get points are more important.
     
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  8. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you so much sir for the advice I really appreciate it! There is a nearby CAP program at a high school do you think it would be worthwhile to take it as a senior or is it too late? I feel like even if it is too late it would still be good training for military schools with all the drills and such.
     
  9. Brodiecaps1

    Brodiecaps1 Member

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    Thank you for the advice I will be sure to use it to help improve my application!
     
  10. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    If you enroll in CAP absolutely it can help you get familiar with the service culture. Just a guess but you may not qualify for JROTC or CAP Nom by the Battalion CDR since you should be in the program for min 2 years and have taken Aerospace Science Leadership Classes. Also you’re applying now for Appointment with performance through Junior Year. So no history to review by Admissions.
     
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  11. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    You are very welcome. If you enroll in CAP absolutely it can help you get familiar with the service culture. Just a guess but you may not qualify for JROTC or CAP Nom by the Battalion CDR since you should be in the program for min 2 years and have taken Aerospace Science Leadership Classes. Also you’re applying now for Appointment with performance through Junior Year. So no history to review by Admissions.
     
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