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Class Rank Calculation

SLS2P7SSLS2P7S Posts: 21Registered User New Member
Does USMA calculate class rank based on the level of difficulty of your classes, as well as your GPA or just through your GPA, regardless of class difficulty?

I'm trying to decide whether or not to review for Beast exams.
Post edited by SLS2P7S on

Replies to: Class Rank Calculation

  • usservicemomusservicemom Posts: 182Registered User Junior Member
    Hey, do your best on the validation exams. If you validate you will be able to take more classes in your major. Do your best academically, physically and militarily and your class rank will take care of itself. I believe you are graded on these three aspects of life at West Point to determine your class rank with the academic part being the highest percentage. Take advantage of all West Point has to offer and do not repeat a subject that you already know!
  • FWDADFWDAD Posts: 176Registered User Junior Member
    Would some current cadets comment on the question raised by SLS2P7S? Is a new cadet better off not validating an entry level class in order to help his grade point (based on the assumption that if the new cadet can validate the class, then he or she will have a good chance of making an A in the class), or is the new cadet better off taking the higher level class? Another variation on the question is whether the entry level classes are tougher than subsequent classes in order to better "welcome" the new cadets to West Point?
  • shogunshogun Posts: 1,895Registered User Senior Member
    Your academic class rank at USMA is based on your "GPA" and is weighted based on the number of hour credits the class represents. For example, chemistry might be 5 hour credits vs a Military Instruction class that might be a .5 hour credit. I do not believe there is any weighting beyond that between classes. As was stated above, academics are weighted heavier than physical and military grades but all 3 are important to your total class ranking. Also as was stated above,do your best on the placement tests, you may be able to validate some courses and be able to take some of your "major" courses earlier in your WP timeframe.
    I don't know that I would recommend "flubbing" a placement exam in order to be placed in a "lower difficulty course".
  • AnnAnn Posts: 1,477Registered User Senior Member
    Academic GPAs are not calculated using a weighting sytem for advanced classes.
    As a result there are 2 different thoughts on this topic: 1. is that you should not validate classes making plebe year less stressful and easier to keep a high GPA; 2. is that you should validate everything you can so that you can manage the tougher course load required for more difficult majors (eg Engineering) as an upperclassman and maintain a good GPA.
    It is up to the individual to decide which path is for them.
    I think History is the only subject that can be completely validated, the others just allow you to take a more advanced class in the same subject earlier. My son validated History and took American Politics in its place. The minor downside in his case was that he was the only plebe in a traditional yuk class, but there were no issues with that. If you place into an advanced class and are struggling to keep your grades up they will move you to a regular class. Similarly, if you are in a regular class and your grades are really good you will be bumped up to an advanced class. In that respect there is a level of self correction within the system.
    WP does not have tough entry level "weeder" classes that traditional colleges have. WP's goal is for every cadet to succeed academically. They do not admit more than they need with the goal of "weeding out" the weak.
    As others have said the academic GPA is only part of the picture. There are also military and physical grades to consider when it comes to overall class rank.
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