Going to West Point—also known as the United States Military Academy—is a pretty awesome experience. Free tuition, Division 1 sports, a gorgeous campus…if you’re excited about spending time serving in the military after graduation, it could be a great fit. However, West Point has some pretty stringent admissions requirements. If you want to know how to get into West Point, though, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know about West Point admissions, including how to get into West Point, West Point SAT scores, West Point ACT scores, and much more.
First of all, here are the vital stats.
West Point at a Glance
|West Point SAT Scores (average)||1287|
|West Point ACT Scores (average)||29|
|West Point admissions rate||7.7%|
|West Point GPA average||N/A; 71% are in the top 20% of their class, and 90% are in the top 40%.|
West Point SAT Scores
Average West Point SAT scores are 1287. However, while test scores are important, they’re one of the last things the school admissions officers look at. There are plenty of other criteria that you’ll need to meet before these come into play. So take a look…but take them with a grain of salt.
|Evidence-Based Reading and Writing||627|
What can we make of this? First of all: wow. However, if you look at other schools that accept fewer than 10% of students, you’ll notice that the test scores tend to be higher. Why is that? While you don’t need a perfect SAT score do get into West Point, there are lots and lots more admissions criteria at West Point than there are for a regular school…more on this below!
(Note that West Point SAT Scores and West Point ACT scores are given here as the mean, or average, of admitted students, but West Point breaks this down in waaay more detail here.)
West Point ACT Scores
West Point, like almost every other college in the United States, accepts both SAT scores and ACT scores. If you fall into the ACT camp, here are the average West Point ACT scores.
West Point Acceptance Rate
As we’ve seen, West Point’s acceptance rate is 7.7%. However, this breaks down veeery differently than it does at a lot of other schools. Because there are so many stages of a West Point application, different percentages of applicants make it to different stages. Here’s a quick breakdown.
15,408 applicants began the online application.
4,066 were nominated.
2,165 were qualified.
1,183 were admitted.
In short, here are the steps: you ask for a nomination from your congressperson, Senator, or the vice president (I wouldn’t hold my breath for that last one, but it is an option). If you’re nominated, you not only submit your test scores, but you also get a medical exam and take a fitness test. If you make it to this step, your chances of admission go from less than 1 in 10 to about 1 in 2.
West Point GPA Average
West Point doesn’t provide info on admitted students’ GPAs per se, but it does provide a breakdown of class rank. 71% of admitted students were in the top 20% of their class; 19% were in the top 40%; 8% were in the top 60%; and 2% were in the top 80%. No candidates were admitted from the bottom 20% of their class. If you still have time to get your grades up, great—do it! If you don’t, though, remember that there are other aspects of your application that are equally important. (If you’re not sure what your GPA is, you can use our GPA calculator).
West Point Freshman Profile
The students at West Point share a few notable characteristics. Almost all of them participated in varsity athletics: 1094. Of those, 1040 received their letters. The next most common activity? Maybe not surprisingly, it was scouting, with 398 having participated. 235 were Boys/Girls state delegates, while a similar number were class or student body president. 107 were on their newspaper, with a similar number on the yearbook, in debating, or in drama.
West Point Other Admissions Requirements and Info
The West Point admissions process is rigorous. First of all, make sure that you meet the general qualifications: you must be between 17 and 22, unmarried, no children for which you are legally responsible or owe child support, and not pregnant.
You also have to be physically fit. The physical exam requirements are available here
If you meet those qualifications, the next hurdle is asking for a letter/nomination from your Senator or Congressperson (or, again, the VP).
If you get nominated, congratulations! Hopefully you’ve been studying and working out, because now it’s time for the test scores, medical, and fitness evaluation.
It’s a complicated process, and I definitely recommend you look at the West Point site for detailed guidance—but for those who are dedicated and passionate about the military, it can be worth it.
Do I take the essay?
Yep, take the SAT or the ACT with writing. (Does it surprise you at this point that West Point wants more, rather than less, info?)
Fitness test, you say?
Oh yes. Here’s what it entails, straight from West Point:
- Basketball throw (from a kneeling position)
- Cadence pull-ups or flexed-arm hang (women’s option)
- 40-yard shuttle run (for time)
- Abdominal crunches (number completed in 2 minutes)
- Push-ups (number completed in 2 minutes)
- 1-mile run (for time)
It makes me tired just writing about it, but if you want to go to West Point, I’m guessing you’re probably in better shape than I am.
Do I have to serve in the military?
That’s the deal! If you’re not into the idea of military service, West Point is definitely not the place for you. If you’re not sure, though, contact local veterans’ groups and talk with recently returned veterans to form your own opinion before applying.
Can women go to West Point?
YES! They make up about 15% of the class (this more or less reflects the percentage of women in the general applicant pool).
How to Get Into West Point
How to get into West Point? As you’ve seen, the West Point application process is not exactly a walk in the park. However, if you’re physically active, have a strong desire to lead, and are interested in a military career, West Point could be a great fit. Just follow the admissions process strictly and make sure you have all the important documentation you need, and you’ll be well on your way!
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About Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Rachel is a High School and Graduate Exams blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She has taught test preparation and consulted on admissions practices for over eight years. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!
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