Curious how Academies score their applicants?

Let’s dive in!

West Point uses a formula called the Whole Candidate Score (WCS). The WCS quantitatively scores the package to deem if the applicant is competitive.

The following is the WCS formula:

60% Academics

30% Community Leadership

10% Physical Aptitude


SAT/ACT. Your SAT/ACT score counts as 40% of the score.

GPA. Your GPA counts as 20%.

Community Leadership:

Athletics. 10% of your score comes from your athletic activities.

Extracurricular. Another 10% is derived from your non-athletic extracurricular activities.

Faculty Appraisal. The other 10% of your admissions score comes from your teachers’ letters of recommendation.

Physical Aptitude.

The CFA comprises 10% of your admissions score. The test includes 6 exercises for a total of 40 minutes.


1. Why does the SAT/ACT score count so much higher than GPA? Answer: Because research has shown a higher positive correlation between a candidate’s SAT/ACT score and graduating from the Academy.

2. How do I max out the Athletics and Extracurricular portions? Answer: Max athletics points are given to the applicant who is a multiple-sport team captain, and has an outstanding CFA score. Max extracurricular points are given to the candidate who has 4 or more honors/leadership positions in selective non-athletic organizations (ie. Class President, Eagle Scout/Gold Award, Boys/Girls State, etc.

3. If I have a higher WCS score, does it guarantee I will be accepted over someone with a lower WCS score? Answer: No, the WCS score is a quantitative way to measure an applicant’s package. However, admittance is determined by an admissions board, not a computer. Admissions are made of people at the end of the day.

4. Since essays, letters of recommendation, interviews, are not included in the WCS, does that mean they are not taken into consideration? Answer: No! See answer #3 above.

5. What are the mean SAT/ACT and GPA of an admit? The mean SAT score of an admit is 1330 and mean ACT is 29-31. The mean GPA of an admit is 3.85.

Stay tuned as we do Air Force Academy next!