What happens after the PCQ?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 21, 2008
Hello my friends, I have a question. Make that several questions.

I submitted my pre-candidate questionnaire on the first of March, so...

1. Is it this upcoming August (2008) that they start sending out the "Candidate Kit Instructions"?
2. WHEN I improve my SAT math and take the ACT, can I update the PCQ?
3. If I can update the PCQ, is is important for me to do this before the August they start sending the Candidate Kit Instructions?

and another almost unrelated question,

4. Does the Academy hold college GPAs to the same standards they hold High School GPAs? For example, is a 3.8 High School GPA equivalent in their eyes to a 3.8 college GPA?

Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it.
Sometime during the summer you'll get a little postcard that gives you the URL for the actual USAFA application. You'll fill this out as soon as you can. If I'm not mistaken, the point of the PCQ is to figure out if you are minimally qualified to even fill out the app... consider it your first real hurdle. Don't fret about updating the PCQ, I don't even know if you can. Just wait until the regular application comes out to plug in your new SAT/ACT numbers. The Academy has their own GPA weighting formula, you'd have to ask your counselor.
I think you answered all my questions. Thank you!

I got an SAT prep program from Kaplan that I like, (the math prep is a good fit for my learning style) so I will do much better.
admissions will refigure your gpa based on the core classes and take out any woodshop, underwater basketweaving etc. honors and AP classes are given credit, but your gpa may be a bit lowered after they take out your PE and other electives.
I'm pretty sure you can update your SAT/ ACT scores on the PCQ. You either need to call admissions and tell them your scores or have the scores sent to USAFA from the testing agency.
SAT code- 4830
ACT code- 0530

Good luck!!
You cannot get into your on-line file once you become a candidate. When your guidance counselor submits their paperwork, they also submit a transcript which will includ your SAT/ACT.
It is best when you sign up to have the scores sent directly, also remember that your MOC's have test numbers, and some may ask that you have them sent directly to them.(one of our Sen., asked for that to occur) That is far down the road, but you might look it into now depending on what state you are from. In NC the MOC's meet in Dec/Jan, so they are one of the latest to give out noms, but places like PA/GA/CO are earlier, their interviews are in Nov., thus you will have less time to re-take to get your scores to them. Even if you have an early nom process, still keep taking the SAT b./c the AFA will keep updating until Mar. If you look at the avg scores you need to be above 1250 to feel comfortable (my opinion only)

My suggestion is the only thing any class of 13 needs to do, is take the SAT in April, May, June (or how often they are giving them). Take the ACT, you might score higher, in that case they will take the ACT scores over the SAT.
Talk to your guidance counselor, and your two teachers that you want recs from. Get their email accts, because you send to the AFA their email address, and they send in your infor that way. This will allow everything to be done as soon as you get back in the fall. Talk to you PE teacher and ask them if during the summer (only do the CFA in the summer if you can hit it out of the park ---@10-15 pull-ups, 70-100 BB, 95+ sit-ups, 80 push-ups, 8-9 shuttle, >7 min mi) if the coach can give you a CFA...remember soccer and football practice at the end of the summer. Without a doubt spend the summer practicing the CFA, it is a test you want to "study" for, especially if you don't play sports. Our ALO explained that one of the fears that the AFA has about kids who don't have sports in their file, is that when they get to the AFA they won't make it throught BCT because of the altitude. You can download the CFA off their site

If folks are military, you can get the pres. anytime, if you have the file complete early, and have an LOA you can have an appt by early fall with a pres.

Had Bullet and I known that our DS was going to change his mind and put the AFA at the top of his list, we would have had everything done by Sept. Alas, DS wanted Notre Dame until Aug., so we spent more energy on setting him with AFROTC and Notre Dame, when he changed his mind, school was closed, and so we had to wait until he got back to school to get the paperwork, and CFA going, thus his file was not submitted until mid-dec (when they were on break).

Remember you will not be the only one asking for stuff from teachers and gc's. Since the AFA state their files close Mar. 1, the GC and teachgers prioritize, kids trying for EA to a university, needs their fils completed by Oct.1, if your school returns @ Sept 5th, the administration puts that higher on the list. By knowing this in the summer and you become an applicant, teachers will be contacted early, and you might have it done faster.
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Good, good. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to share this with me.

What does DS stand for?

I'm preparing for the CFA, yesterday I practiced for the basketball throw, with an average distance of 65 ft. Will this get better with practice? Do I need to keep practicing it regularly like the way I have to for the other events?

I homeschooled, and now I'm in my first semester at a local college, so do I need to find somebody here to be my guidance counselor?

What kind of stuff does the guidance counselor submit?

When should I start trying to get a nomination?

It's funny, when you get some answers you discover multitudes more.

Thanks for the help! I hope someday soon I'll be able to turn around and educate those who come after us.

You should write to your congressman/ senators regarding a nomination around the time that you complete your PCQ. The link below has sample letters as a format for writing to your congressman/ senators.


After writing a letter to your congressman/ senators, you will receive an application in the mail which you will then have to fill out and submit to them. Most deadlines for submitting the applications are around October 1. After reviewing your application for a nomination, the congressman/ senators will then contact you to set up an interview (usually October or November).

badgerta, you asked:

What does DS stand for?

Dear Son, I think...

I'm preparing for the CFA, yesterday I practiced for the basketball throw, with an average distance of 65 ft. Will this get better with practice? Do I need to keep practicing it regularly like the way I have to for the other events?

Yes, and yes.

do I need to find somebody here to be my guidance counselor?

Do you have a college advisor? This person will fill the role of a high school guidance counselor. You should let your advisor know your plans to apply to a service academy. My son applied from high school so I am not sure how involved a college advisor will be. Getting to know your advisor is always a good idea, though.

What kind of stuff does the guidance counselor submit?

If you ask for your advisor's help, he/she may be willing to assist you with sending your transcripts, verifying your extracurricular activities list, writing or helping in deciding who to ask for letters of recommendation, and giving advice on leadership opportunities at your college now, this summer, and next fall.

When should I start trying to get a nomination?

You should take a look at your Members of Congress (MOC) websites. Most will have a link to their Service Academy page that will have information about how and when to apply for a nomination. If you do not know your Members of Congress try this website: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd

It has links to all the MOC websites.

You are asking good questions. Maybe someone who applied from college can better answer the advisor/guidance counselor questions.

Best wishes!
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I think DS referred to me, Antoinette is right it meant Dear Son

Make sure you are doing the BB correctly. The CFA packet that you can download will give further info.

You should write to your congressman/ senators regarding a nomination around the time that you complete your PCQ

DS completed his PCQ in Mar., I personally think that writing your MOC at that time will not help you in the least. (DS didn't and got every source). You also want to have everything you are able to have for your MOC...i.e. best SAT/ACT, more sports, work, sr.yr course load. The earliest I know of for MOC is Aug, most are fall, NC's deadline is DEC --- SEN. You first have to get the AFA to say you are an applicant (you won't here until JUNE from there they will send your ALO/Dodmerb info(again it is a waste of time to write to your MOC if the academy won't allow you to be an applicant, in their eyes there is no moving foward...remember over 9K fill out the PCQ, only 6K our qual for applic. 3K get noms., 2K are qualified, 1600 get appt. 1200 for the clas) Your ALO will also be an integral part...your MOC nom has forms to fill out and asks for your transcript...writing and saying hi, IMO makes no difference. AGAIN DS DIDN'T AND GOT CONGRESSIONAL AND BOTH SENATORS, your record is what they look at.

Spend the summer working out physically to max the CFA, do EC's, take the hardest course load available for your sr. yr., max your SAT/ACT

You only need one nom. If you have the whole package it won't matter whether you contact them your junior yr in the spring or your sr yr in the fall, the MOC will rank you as a whole candidate
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