What is my chance of getting into West Point?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by wphopeful, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. wphopeful

    wphopeful New Member

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    Hello everyone, this is my first post here and I have a simple question. What is my chance of getting into West Point?
    My info is as follows:
    -Class: Junior
    -Unweighted GPA: 3.967 (2 A-'s) -Weighted GPA: 4.01 (have only taken 1 AP class so far)
    -Part-time job since sophomore year where I lead a team of 3
    -Currently securing an internship for this summer and also plan to get one the next summer
    -Vice President and Co-founder of the second biggest club at our school
    -2 national spanish exam silver medals -(haven't taken SAT/ACT yet nor have I received my PSAT scores)
    -planning on Joining NHS for next year
    -Did Wrestling and Track and Field for a year, wasn't a captain or varsity but I also plan to do them both Senior Year.
    -Know many people that might be able to give me a great letter of Rec.
     
  2. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Can't make an honest assessment until we see ACT/SAT scores. Certain ACT/SAT scores are required for you to even be considered despite how good the rest of the file is. No Varsity Letter will be a problem. Also with a 3.9, you mean to say you have not been selected for NHS? What are the requirements at your school? How about student government positions? Honestly you will need very high ACT/SAT's to be competitive unless you are part of an under-represented group.
     
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  3. wphopeful

    wphopeful New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, I'm hoping to get 1 or 2 varsity letters next year. The NHS requirement is 3.5 at my school, but I don't think they come to you, you have to seek it out and I haven't done that yet, but maybe i'm wrong. I haven't taken part in student government either, but i'm certainly considering it given your reply. I guess it all kinda hinges on my SAT score, i'm still waiting to get my PSAT score back. Just as a question, what would you consider a very high SAT score in order for me to be competitive. Also, do you think I would get past the candidate questionnaire.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  4. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    None of us on this board can provide any certainty, especially without a PSAT or SAT score to set a frame of reference. If you look at https://www.usma.edu/oir/Class profiles/Class of 2021.pdf, it shows the mean SAT scores of 611 for Critical Reading and 648 for Math; but, I work to get your scores well above these means.
     
  5. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    You will need at least a 1200 to get past the candidate questionnaire. However, based on what I see right now that will not make you competitive for an appointment unless you are from a relatively noncompetitive congressional district or you are considered an underrepresented minority. To be competitive for an appointment you will probably need over 1400 and in some competitive congressional districts that may not be enough. The good news is that the Service Academies have a long tradition of accepting candidates who do not come straight out of high school. A really strong academic record as a college Freshman coupled with ROTC can help overcome a weak high school record. Take a SAT improvement course. Do not just re-take the test, but learn the test taking techniques and short-cuts that will help you move through the test faster. If you don't get that 1400 in High School, take the test again as a college Freshman. You can also enlist in the Army or the Army National Guard. Enlisting allows you to enter a less competitive pool where the SAT standard will not be as high. It also shows commitment to the service.
     
  6. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    No one can really tell you what are your chances here. They just have opinions on what they have seen before. I will try to give you a few highlights of the process and let you draw your own conclusions.

    1. The actual school reported GPS means very little. Admissions takes your class rank, determined by your GPA, your school academic profile and what classes you took vs what classes are available and develops an academy GPA. So to be a really strong candidate, you would be ranked in the top 10% of your class and have taken the more challenging schedule.
    2. Test score are the single biggest impact to WCS. Take both the ACT and SAT and keep taking them. They "superscore" so your score can never go down. Look at the class profile. You need to shoot to be above the averages to get competitive.
    3. As a high school applicant, you are most likely competing only for an appointment from your MOCs slate. You get one nomination from your local MOC, you compete against the 9 others he/she nominated this year. You get an additional nomination from a Senator, you will compete on that slate as well.
    4. The lack of varsity athletics will hurt your competitiveness. You need to look to overcompensate by having higher scores in other areas.
    5. Enlisting in the Army Reserves or National Guard is not the "best" way to get into the academy. With the timing of the process, it may be a few years before you can apply. You would need to complete basic and AIT get to your unit, impress your commander and then apply with his endorsement. Only enlist if you are comfortable with spending four years as an enlisted soldier.
    6. The scoring system favors college applicants, see note 3. A successful semester of college taking a rigorous schedule will help your application. College ROTC also can provide an additional nomination source.
     
  7. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    wphopeful,

    I am glad that you are interested in USMA and a future career in the U.S. Army. Here is some advice I have about enhancing your file:

    ACADEMICS

    1. Take the SAT/ACT! I recommend taking both because then you will find out which test you are naturally more proficient at and then you can practice accordingly. You want to have an SAT or ACT score to send to West Point when the SLE file opens, which is usually in January. That being said, get moving...

    2. Your GPA is already high. Take more challenging classes next year. USMA prefers that you challenge yourself and get a lower GPA than cruise through high school with a 4.0 or near 4.0. In other words, it's better to get a B in AP Calculus BC than an A in regular Calculus. That being said, make sure you take Calculus in general or the highest level of mathematics available to you...USMA is STEM-heavy. This doesn't mean you should be filling up your plate so much with challenging classes that you're taking bites larger than you should chew. You simply need to challenge yourself academically while continuing to shine in your extracurriculars.

    EXTRACURRICULARS

    1. Club president is something that USMA looks for, so it's outstanding that you're already in this position. Join NHS next year. That is also something that West Point likes to see. I understand that you are not currently a captain or letter winner of a sport. TRY to become a captain or a letter winner to boost your file! An overwhelming majority of students on USMA's class files are letter winners, and a slight majority are team captains. Wrestling and track work out well together because West Point likes you to participate in a strength-building sport as well as a sport that develops cardio endurance and agility.

    2. Join speech and debate, theater, Model UN, yearbook staff, Beta club, or get a job as a Junior Counselor at a camp over the summer if you have the time. These are extra things that USMA asks about for the leadership portion of your file. You can do just one of these, all of them, or any combination. Any of them helps, though, even if it's just one of these.

    3. Again, if you have time, do JROTC. It's not too late for that. Despite what some people will tell you, you don't HAVE to be a member of JROTC or an Eagle Scout to get into USMA! Being involved with either of those will boost your file, but you do not HAVE to do them!

    SUMMER FILE ENHANCEMENTS

    1. Apply to SLE when the portal opens. When I was applying, it opened mid-January, so go to the West Point website and check when it opens. Applying on the first day demonstrates interest and if your file is strong enough, it may capture someone's attention. I was actually rejected from SLE but have an LOA to USMA contingent on a nomination. If you don't get into their summer program, don't let that discourage you from applying to West Point! SLE files are judged considering academic scores at a much higher percentage than the school itself since SLE does not require a physical test, medical exam, or any kind of nomination to attend.

    2. Apply to your Boys State program. While SLE is a fantastic opportunity that some of my friends cherish to this day, it gives you the same amount of credit on your West Point file as a visit to campus. It's impossible to re-create the Boys State experience, but you can always visit West Point later... Just plug "Boys State ______" with the blank being your state into Google and APPLY. Boys State means a lot to USMA--they even have their Boys and Girls state attendees on their class profiles. Boys State seminars are only a week long and add some points to your file. There are additional points for ourstanding Boys or Girls Staters who become Governor/Lt. Governor or receive the beloved Boys/Girls Nation scholarship. I went to Girls Nation and toured D.C. (I had never been there before) and shook hands with President Trump! It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    3. Apply to be a camp counselor later in the summer. Early July would be ideal since your Boys State program and SLE would already be finished by this date.

    Try to plan your Boys State attendance around SLE, but if they occur at the same time, go to Boys State instead!!!
     
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  8. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

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    If you're eligible for National Honor Society you should definitely go for it. Opportunities rarely come without any work so it's a good idea to get into the habit of seeking these things out.
     
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  9. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    Also make sure that if you know you have any medical issues you are getting them sorted out. Any mental issues and you should be scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist who can vouch for you. Any physical issues and you should be communicating with your doctor. When DoDMERB comes around the corner, you want to get it done. I had to get a waiver for a childhood diagnosis of ADHD and visited a well-known psychiatrist who confirmed that I no longer demonstrated any sign of the disorder and that I exceeded the basic requirements for service with a prior diagnosis of the disorder. The psychiatrist's appointment had a 6 month wait... luckily my waiver was approved in just a month and a half because I finished everything so early and am now medically qualified!

    Make sure you are practicing the 6 areas of the CFA. START EARLY. You'll be taking that test sooner than you think. If you don't get into SLE or get into SLE but go to Boys State, find a military officer or ask your PE teacher to administer the CFA for you. READ THE VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS ON USMA'S WEBSITE BEFORE TAKING! I had to retake once (luckily the first one was for practice) because I didn't have videos the first time and needed to turn those into West Point. They ask for recordings of your pull-up and push-up events. If you fail it once, my RC informed me that he typically authorizes re-takes, but failing the second CFA results in disqualification. Get it done right the first time.

    Choose 4 teachers. One has to have taught Physics/Chemistry (NOT Bio, Psych, Environmental, or Astronomy) teacher, one P.E. or health, one Math, and one English teacher. These teachers have to have taught you at some point between 9-12 grade. Ideally you would pick the teachers that would provide you with the best letters of recommendation. Ask these teachers for a rec letter sometime before the summer begins and record their names spelled correctly and emails. Store this data somewhere safe. USMA will ask for it when they request School Official Evaluations, or SOEs. Additionally, record your CFA administrator's email and name, your college counselor's email and name, and your employer's email and name. You will need all of these when completing the candidate kit.

    Take and send the SAT/ACT before anything is even supposed to open. West Point will have these ready regardless of whether your file is open or not, and they are crucial to early evaluation.

    Construct a resume.
    Everything you've done from 9th-12th grade goes on a sheet of paper. ANY awards you've won--look up whether or not they are state, county, or national awards. USMA asks if you have any of these. Put down all of the high school activities you've done in high school and any athletic and academic awards you've won. Additionally, write a brief description of your job and record any community service. When you apply for nominations, many MOCs request an actual resume, so your counselor will probably help you construct one. This was the first paperwork I ever did when I applied to West Point. It is important not to "forget" your accomplishments.

    Check your MOC deadlines and get on the application process!

    Complete the candidate questionnaire when you apply to SLE. Have access to your Social Security Number. NEVER guess your SSN on any forms. MEMORIZE it because you will need it and you won't always have your card on hand.

    When your candidate kit opens (probably in August since it's opened then for the past 2 years), sit down and crank EVERYTHING out. Use the advice I gave above to quickly put emails in your SOE section, your employer's form, and even your CFA data if you know who your administrator is, or better yet, have already taken the CFA. You can look online at the average and maximum scores for the CFA. If you're above the averages, you've passed.


    CRANK OUT THE ESSAYS. Just sit there and DO THEM. There will be 3 candidate statements unless that somehow changes next year. It more than likely will not.

    When a certain number of those red marks turn yellow an then green, you'll be asked to schedule DoDMERB... then you're on your way!