Getting into USNA

<p>As I move through my sophomore year of High School, I find myself considering going to a service academy. I have found myself more and more attracted to attending a service academy due to the quality and cost of the education there, and how in-line my interests are with the strengths of the academies. A few question remain in my mind, mostly about getting in.</p>

<p>Firstly, to give perspective regarding admissions, the predicted SAT scores based on my sophomore PSATs would put me in the top 25% of the accepted Annapolis class. Additionally, I am taking the most challenging curriculum at a private school in Greater Philadelphia which traditionally sends students to top schools. Starting junior year, I will also be taking classes at the University of Pennsylvania.</p>

<p>So, to get back on track, my questions!</p>

<p>1) I have done a very limited amount of sports at my school--almost none, really. Despite this, I have a light workout plan and have tried to keep in shape, and starting tomorrow (the first day of my spring break) am going to be making my workout exponentially tougher in order to perform better on the physical fitness test. Will the fact that I have not done sports significantly hurt my application? How important is the physical fitness test exactly? Will the fact that I have an amazing record of leadership positions and hard work make up for any of this?</p>

<p>2) I go to a Quaker school. Yes--Quaker. Despite this, I am not a pacifist and have an interest in the service academies. Will this hurt my chances at admission?</p>

<p>Here are my grades and EC's:</p>

<p>Freshman Year:
World History 1 - A
Freshman Science - B
Spanish 1 - A
Geometry Adv. - B+
Literature 1 - A- </p>

Chemistry 1 - A-</p>

<p>Sophomore Year (predicted):
Word History 2 - A
Philosophy (senior-level course) - A+
Spanish 2 Adv. - A-
Alg. 2/PreCalc Adv. - A
Literature 2 - A</p>

<p>As a note,my school has little grade inflation and A's are (according to a college counselor I talked to) uncommon.</p>

Congressional Intern - 9th, 10th (very significant experience, over the summer worked almost 12 hours per day, 7 days a week)
Congressional Student Outreach Group (Founder and Chair) - 9th, 10th (similarly significant)
School Newspaper - 9th, 10th, appointed to Managing Editor for Junior year
CHOICE Youth Advisory Committee (community sexual education in Philadelphia) - 10th
Model UN - 10th (won Outstanding Delegate award in crisis committee)
Chorus - 9th, 10th
Musical Theatre - 9th, 10th
Theatre - 9th, 10th</p>


<p>The sports thing should not hurt your application much. I had no sports since freshman year (I did a stint in Karate), and worked out a bit in JROTC this year,but other than that I didnt have anything. That was one of my main insecurities, but it turned out alright =) If you can pass the CFA and if you show yourself qualified in other fields you can still be accepted. However since you are still a sophomore you should definitely get involved in sports, I didnt know I wanted to attend The Academy until the end of my junior year.</p>

<p>I am trying to do that now--however, I can only play a sport one out of the three seasons during which my school offers them because of the volume and dedication I have in my other activities, most importantly my work for my Congressman and Model UN. Last year, I played Intramural Tennis during the Spring, and this year I started out in Intramural Tennis but am trying to switch into Track. I find out if they'll let me soon--though either way I will be doing Track my Junior and Senior years.</p>

<p>Additionally, regarding getting in of my friends, who is an amazing runner and whose relay team placed at Nationals, and another who is a wrestler, made up a workout for me to get in shape and do well on the fitness exam.</p>


<p>Pick one sport and become good at it. That includes training for that sport away from school.</p>

<p>As I understand it, the SAs look for sports involvement for several reasons. One is to see if you are in good physical condition. A second reason is to see if you are a "team player," and I suspect related to this is whether you are chosen as a team captain or have some other leadership role. A third reason that sports can be important (other ECAs as well) is to make sure that you can still make good grades and balance participation in multiple activities. </p>

<p>Based on what you've shown above, you are doing well in school while participating in and having leadership roles in several organizations. If you don't participate in a sport at school, it will be very important for you to do very well on the CFA. If you can participate in a sport, that's all to the good, so long as it doesn't pull down your grades or require you to give up one of your current leadership positions. A BGO may correct me on this, but I THINK that being Managing Editor of your school newspaper would be seen as equivalent to being a team captain. So, work out with the goal of maxing the CFA, join a team if you can, and work hard/have fun through the rest of your HS career!</p>

<p>Just one more question--my school has a rigorous math program, and by the end of senior year I will be done what my school terms Calculus 2 Adv. (equivalent to Calculus BC, though my school got rid of AP courses). Will this allow me to jump ahead in math at USNA?</p>

<p>You will be able to take validation tests the beginning of Plebe summer. Test are given for Chem, Calc, Physics, Languages, Econ and English. AP scores can be used for languages, Calc, English, History and a few other courses.</p>

<p>USNA</a> Course Validation Policy</p>

<p>Just one variable thought ...the pre-math test is given "on line" I believe, well in advance of I Day, as I recall. Yes? No?</p>

<p>That would actually be even better, considering how strenuous plebe summer is suppose to be!</p>

<p>Yes, once candidates receive their "Permit to Report" packages, they will be able to log in to take an initial, on-line math assessment test. If they score well on the initial assessment, they will be invited to take a second on-line test that determines which level of calculus they should take. All of the math/calculus testing occurs prior to I-day. It's up to each candidate to set aside time to take the math assessments on their own. DON'T wait 'til the last minute!</p>

<p>Depending on your validation test results, you could be moved into a more advanced calculus class. If you start out in calc I or II, you will be in a Plebe-only class. I don't know if there are Plebe-only sections for direct placement in calc III or later, but when you're in class, you are simply a Midshipman, so it shouldn't matter. USNA will place you in the math class that's bestfor you.</p>

<p>Last year, chemistry placement exams were given the day after I-day, or perhaps the second day. Validation exams for other courses are given on other days during Plebe Summer.</p>

<p>There are Plebe only sections for CalcIII and Differential It is not so much for the benefit of the Plebes but more so for the youngsters.</p>

<p>At PPW there are displays and tables set up from all of the departments and you will be able to visit with faculty etc.</p>

<p>Also, if a student validates a lot of classes they will get a special advisor rather that the one assigned for their company. Once Mids pick their majors in March, then they get a department advisor.</p>

<p>I'm a junior and i'm up one year in math at my public school, so I'm taking Calc BC right now. Anyways, I'm considering whether or not to enroll in Calc 3 at the local community college and maybe even Differential Equations. Does anyone know USNA's validation policies for courses like that, taken at a community college? I might not take those courses if i can't get validation.</p>

<p>USNA</a> Course Validation Policy</p>

<p>couyang, I can't see any advantage for you to NOT take the additional math courses at your junior college if you're already taking AP calc BC. If you don't take math your senior year, you would (assuming you received an appointment) go into Plebe year having a year gap between math classes. If you can afford to take the classes, you will either validate out of the equivalents at USNA, or you won't. If you don't validate them, you will still be better prepared to go straight into calc 3 or dif eq than if you hadn't taken them. If you can afford the classes, I can't see the downside.</p>

<p>Aight a couple of things, first off, play a sport, if not multiple. This place is physically oriented because yes, we are here to train for war and to kill people in battle. Be prepared. It will make your life a lot easier and more enjoyable if you are in good shape and have played lots of sports. Believe me, looking back on all of the terribly long practices in the heat or rain during lacrosse in high school helped me to get mentally tougher so that plebe summer was fun and enjoyable.</p>

<p>Second, look at why you want to come here. I cannot stress this enough, and for some reason this message seems to get lots way too often in the admissions process: "You are in the profession of killing... Either you will kill him, or he will kill you. Welcome to our warrior brotherhood" (My platoon commander/ prior Marine during plebe summer). You should come here for the right reasons. Realize that an education is nice, and having it for free is better, but first and foremost, you are here to be trained as a warrior. We are in war. Being an officer does not spare you from the front edge of a bullet. Realize it is not just four years at the academy, it is many years after that in the fleet Marine Corps or Navy. You must give up a lot.</p>

<p>This place is tough in many ways. It will hurt and very often it will not be fun. Realize that you are in for a VERY long and tough road. Plebe year sucks, but it is not the end. The academy and the military life is always tough. Is that what you want.</p>

<p>My major point is simple: do you want this for the right reasons, and do you realize what you are getting into. The USNA is not just a school, not just a free education, or a glamorous place to be at, it is a training center for warriors. Is this what you want to become?</p>

<p>bluesky has an interesting, powerful point. </p>

<p>Soldiers and sailors are in the principle business of defending our nation which often requires, as perhaps the only viable beacon of freedom on the planet, assisting others. And in times of war and conflict, that can and often does include killing one's enemy(s). What did Gen. Patton's address say? Something like "No one ever won a war by dying for his country. We win the war by making some other poor, dumb bastard die for his."</p>

<p>And while very few will likely be called upon to personally "kill" those who would like to diminish our country and hopeful mission of freedom, it can be part of the job description. Still, with all respect to him and his USMC platoon commander who needs to impress the seriousness of the work they're being trained for upon his naive young charges, no where does it say in the USNA mission that this is about preparing "professional killers." While the point has powerful merit, I believe it may lend disservice to this high calling. Gungho can be good, but this is much more than becoming a professional killer, don't you think.</p>

<p>I am almost certain. Yes, I know this implies some doubt, but in Sophomore year in High School, who is without doubt? I know that entering a service academy will launch me into some branch of the military for a minimum of 9 years (including the 4 at the academy), and most likely, should I do this and get in, I would make nothing less than a career out of it. Even now, as I train for track at my school, I remind myself (in a certain sense) the ultimate goal of it all, summed up by the unofficial motto of the Navy: Non Sibi Sed Patriae. Not for self, but country.</p>

<p>I am by no means the most in-shape person, or even close, though I now am doing a serious sport, and on-top of that am following a strictly regimented work-out plan. I would do more sports at my school, however, that is impossible with the other activities I do, which are equally if not moreso important: Working for my Congressman, in politics, has allowed me endless opportunities, including starting a high-school student program, of which I am in charge. Model UN, conversely, has taught me how important diplomacy is, and judging from my award, I have to be at least half-decent at it. Even though here I am saying I am willing, wanting, to become a warrior--diplomacy, any warrior must recognize, is something that cannot be lost. </p>

<p>That said, I certainly am at least somewhat smart.</p>

<p>My intelligence, whatever it may be, is the skill that has served me most in life, and I have no doubt that it will continue to serve me as such. No matter where I end up, I plan to serve my country in some way. This seems like a damned good way to go about it, allowing me to defend and serve my country.</p>

<p>The Naval Academy is now commissioning graduates into the Medical Corps and sending them off to Med School. It used to only be 15 per class (That is not a hard number, if 17 get accepted to Med School, they'll probably let them ALL go) but now they have raised it to 25.</p>

<p>You might be thinking, "Only 25 in a class of over 1000? A pretty remote chance."</p>

<p>Not really!</p>

<p>First of all, most of these will come exclusively out the Chemistry department. Each class averages about 50 Chem majors, not ALL of whom even want to be doctors. And some that WANT to be doctors will not have the grades and will never get accepted into Med School.</p>

<p>I was talking to a 2/C midshipman at this past I-Day (July 1, 2009). He was a Chem major and intending to be a doctor. He was there for the summer studying for his MCATs. He said there originally was 50 in his major. Now there is only 30, not all of whom want to be doctors. And, remember, they're going to let 25 in his class become doctors.</p>

<p>Also, some will not pursue the Medical Corps because of the steep additional commitment. You owe the Naval Academy 5 years and you will owe an addition 7 years after Med School. You can count on being in the Navy for 17 years! Some who come to the academy to be a doctor do not realize that.</p>

<p>See? If you have the grades and are dedicated - it's VERY doable.</p>

<p>Doctors are not warriors. They patch up the warriors.</p>

<p>David Emerling USNA '79</p>

<p>You need to understand that being smart isn't everything. Your not going there to show off how many awards you got in model UN. Your going there to train and to be a leader. Get into a sport--a team sport--and earn a varsity letter. Leadership positions are nice but just try hard to be the best you can be. SAT/ACT score are very important too so when you take them you better be around 1300 for SAT and 28 ACT. Finally, get into volunteering. I don't really care that it looks good for your profile. If you want to go to the Naval Academy then get used to doing service and feel good about doing it. Honestly, from what you said, you need to step up and start exercising and working out. You also need to realize that, before you apply to the academy, you better be willing to take a bullet for your country and what you believe in.</p>