<p>I've completed and sent everything in my application -- except for the PAE. I could take it today and do fairly well on it, but I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to score top quintile in everything. Should I wait a few more weeks to prepare...or should I send it in now? Thanks.</p>

<p>By the way, I'm the first poster ;).</p>

<p>First, let me caution you to contact your MALO to discuss the issue with him rather than go solely on my opinion below. If you can't contact him, join Prospective Net and ask one of the MALO's there. </p>

<p>FWIW, here's my opinion based on review of available information: </p>

<p>If the rest of your file is really strong and complete (great SAT's/rank, or superb leadership EC's), do your PAE tomorrow. LOA's (Letters of Assurance) get issued on a first come, first served basis and when they're gone - they're gone. Right now WP is doing weekly meetings of completed files. You want yours to be there. The PAE's only worth 10% of the total score, and there's not a huge benefit between good and great.</p>

<p>If your nomination source is NOT a congressman or senator, so it could occur early, do your PAE tomorrow. Again, some of these are first come, first served.</p>

<p>If you don't think you're likely to be one of those exceptional candidates that merits an LOA, and you're doing the standard congressional nomination drill, then (I think) you can wait. You just want to make sure you're fully qualified by the end of the year, so that when the nominations become available you're file's ready to go. Most nominations are competitive within a district, so the extra PAE points might help. For that matter, any additional improvement in SAT scores, EC's, etc will help as well. Keep adding to the file.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I wish the old threads hadn't been deleted (as I had all my stats in one of those) but I think I would be considered a fairly strong candidate.</p>

GPA: ~4.1 unweighted, ~4.5 weighted
Rank: 1 of about 60
SAT: 800 Verbal, 680 Math (was going to retake..but may be too late now)</p>

Varsity XC (10-12), Team Captain (12); All-Conference (10,11)
Varsity Basketball (11-12), Team Captain (12)
Varsity Track (9-12), Team Captain (12)
(JV in years when not Varsity, if it makes any difference.)</p>

NHS (10-12), Tutoring Program Moderator
Key Club (10-12), 12th Grade Representative
Honor Code Council (9-12), Member of Founding Council
Spanish Club (9-12)
Student Mentor (12)</p>

<p>I'm applying for nominations at the moment from my two senators and congressman. I don't think there's any other way for me to do that's how I'm doing it. My desire to score in the top quintile in everything stems perhaps slightly from pride, in addition to wanting to be sure about my application. Should I just suck it up and do it right away...or wait a week or two? (By the way, they only start looking at an application when everything is in order, correct?) Thanks for the help.</p>

<p>They'll only review your file when they have everything. I'm assuming you've passed your medical?</p>

<p>You have very strong stats, but you only have one chance at the PAE. Here's what I'd do (in order):</p>

<li><p>Call your MALO, or even better your regional guy. Discuss your stats, your interest, and ask his advice. Find out if LOA's are still an option and if he thinks you might be a candidate for one. LOA's make the nomination process a lot easier.</p></li>
<li><p>If he says a couple of practice PAE's to make sure you can pass every event and excel at a couple, then take the test ASAP. Get it in ASAP. Follow up with your MALO to make sure your file is reviewed ASAP.</p></li>
<li><p>If he says no...wait. Do a really great job on your PAE by (say) mid November. Check the timing with him. Take the SAT again and give USMA a stronger math score (the one you have is great...but academics are 60% of the admissions score). They'll continue to update your file until the nominations come in at the end of January, I believe.</p></li>

<p>And please remember that I'm just a parent with an opinion. The WP admissions people are your best source of info.</p>

<p>Good luck! And I hope you're accepted. You look like a great fit.</p>

<p>Don't wait too long to do the PAE. Admissions is filling slots. Remember, class ranking is important, but keep in mind they look at the total number of students in your class as well. 1st in a class of 60 may not be as competitive as 20th in a class of 500.
Good Luck!</p>

<p>My suggestion is to take the PAE and get your file complete. Shogun is right on the mark when he says slots are filling as you read this. Your academics and athletics look strong. Can't tell from your profile about leadership experience outside of team captain but it appears you have overall strong credentials. I don't believe doing great versus doing well on the PAE will make the difference. Getting your application completed now could. Leadership potential, academics and participation on team sports seem to carry the heaviest weights with the academies. Good luck.</p>

<p>Just out of curiosity, what other kinds of leadership does West Point look for in the application? I'm team captain of a number of sports and hold a few offices in clubs (tutoring moderator for NHS, 12th grade representative for Key Club), but I'm not SCA president or anything. Do I look weak in regards to leadership without holding a president/vice-president/treasurer office in a club...?</p>

<p>is it nearly impossible to get in without ANY high school sports?? even if you pass the pae and are very qualified in terms of academics and leadership??</p>

<p>PCRUNNER: As a high school aged person, there are several areas of potential leadership available. I don't know specifically what West Point looks for but I would expect that they prefer individuals who appear willing to take responsibility within an organization. This can include sports, school government, school clubs, scouts,church organizations and other civic groups.</p>

<p>Not impossible. But harder. According to the USMA site, 1113 out of 1224 in the class of '08 were varsity athletes. Don't think that's a statistical blip.</p>

<p>However, athletics out of school, if done well (eg, self defense, fencing, swimming, etc) would surely count.</p>

<p>As I understand it, athletics are factored into the 30% of the whole candidate score that grades "leadership" (the other components are 60% academics, 10% PAE). Great teacher recs and leadership activities will help compensate.</p>

<p>If you actually haven't done much athletically at all, inside or outside HS,'d need to really focus on convincing them that you're willing to participate in a very physical lifestyle.</p>

<p>Can an LOA be extended to a candidate if they haven't had their MALO interview yet?</p>

<p>I don't think you need any interview to get an LOA. My daughter has never met with a MALO or done an interview and has had an LOA since July.</p>

<p>is it too late to just now open a file to be competitive for admission? have most nominations already been given??</p>

<p>Congressional nominations are typically not announced until January, but I think you may be past the deadline for submission - check with your Senator and representatives.</p>

<p>Unless you have access to another nomination source (ROTC, etc), it may be too late.</p>

<p>Aisforapple: Candidates have until the first Monday in March to complete all application requirements. So you still have time to apply. As Katelewis points out, obtaining a nomination is one requirement for admission. In our state the deadlines for getting in the nomination materials, including letters of recommendation, are Oct. 1st., Oct. 15th and November 15th depending on the congressional member.
Good luck.</p>