Getting into the Air Force Academy requires a commitment, and a difficult admission process. Your chances of getting into the Academy aren’t good – fewer than one candidate in 50 gets admitted. What follows are the stumbling blocks that stop most candidate applications from succeeding, and how to address them.
We are assuming that you’re reading this as a high school junior. If you’re starting this process in your senior year, you’re starting late, and may have to transfer into the Academy from another four year college.
The first stumbling block is fitness. Each year, the giày air force 1 rep Academy requires all cadets to do a times 1.5 mile run, and the generalized physical fitness test of pull ups, standing long jumps, sit ups and pushups, with a 600 meter run all in 15 minutes. In particular, this test has to be done in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is at high altitude. Unless you’re doing athletics in high school, the odds that you’ll pass this test the first time are pretty slim.
Related to this, the Academy looks for candidates who participate in team sports, and in athletics in general. This shows that a student is willing to work, work hard, and work within a team to achieve group goals, and to use controlled aggression to their own aims. Basketball, football, track, trap shooting and fencing are sports the Air Force grades high in candidate application processes.
Like any college admission program, academic performance is important. It’s more than just having a straight A average. The difficulty of the classes you take matters as well. The Air Force puts more weight on the difficulty of the course load (taking calculus rather than refresher math, for instance) than it does on perfect GPA requirements. If you’re weak academically, the time to find out about it is at the beginning of your junior year in high school, where you should focus on study habit improvement and boosting your GPA. GPA in the last two years of high school will count for more than your early GPA.
The Air Force puts lower weighting on standardized test scores. While most four-year colleges use standardized test scores to differentiate between students with near identical academic records, the Air Force treats them somewhat as a pass-fail test. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, while not a substitute for the SAT or ACT, is a good adjunct. Be sure to take it as well as the other tests.
The biggest filter for candidates trying to get into the Air Force Academy is character. Character can be difficult to determine objectively, so the Academy requires candidates to get letters of recommendation from their community leaders, and teachers, and employers, and the coordinators of any volunteer organizations they belong to. Focus on getting the best positive letters of recommendation you can get. When you write your admission essay, focus on events that showcase places where you exerted leadership, or showed strength of character. This is the place to shine if you’re worried about your academic performance.