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April 1, 2023 marks United States Air Force Academy Day, a day to observe the exceptional milestones and achievements of former members of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

All Air Force officers are educated at the Air Force Academy which is considered to be one of the most competitive academies in the United States. To be accepted, you must meet a list of minimum requirements and prove that you have what it takes to match or exceed the high standards and expectations of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

If your dream is to attend the Air Force Academy and one day be a part of one of the greatest Air Force and Space Forces in the world, keep reading to learn how you can stand apart from the rest and make that dream a reality.

Be a Great Student and Start Early

To be admitted to the U.S. Air Force Academy, you must have exceptional grades and show that you have the potential to become a leader. It’s advised that you start building your classroom performance in middle school. Admissions will take a look at the following:

Your Prior Academic Record (your class rank and GPA) will be measured. To stand out from the rest of your classmates, plan to take the following courses: four years of English, including a prep writing course; four years of math focused on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus; four years of lab-based science like biology, chemistry, and physics; 2 years of a foreign language; and 1 year of computer science related to coding, programming and web development. 

Your SAT and ACT scores must be competitive. If you’re taking the SAT exam, you will need to score above 620 on the evidence-based reading section and above 580 on the mathematics section to be considered competitive. For the ACT exam, you’ll need to score above 24 on the English/reading section and above 25 on the math/science section. 

It will be important to utilize a high-quality test prep program and study materials prior to these standardized tests. Peterson’s test prep gives you access to what you need to prepare for the SAT and ACT exams.

Take Care of Yourself

You not only need to have a strong mind to get into the Air Force Academy, you need a strong body as well. You will be required to take and pass a Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) in order to qualify for the Air Force. The CFA will test your strength, speed, agility, and endurance by having you complete 6 events: pull-ups/flexed arm hang, basketball throw, crunches, shuttle run, push-ups, and a 1-mile run.

Medical and weight standards are also examined prior to joining the Air Force Academy, and must be maintained during your time at the Academy. Your vision, hearing, height, weight, and internal body will be inspected. Also note that there are standards that must be met if you have tattoos or body piercings.

Have Strong Character

WIth the U.S. Air Force and Space Force being one of the best in the world, the organizations are dedicated to finding individuals with a strong moral compass who show great leadership potential. The Air Force Academy will assess your character by reviewing the following: an evaluation by one of your 11th or 12th grade English, math, or science teachers; a written response from you; your personal data record; and a drug and alcohol certificate.

Your extracurricular activities will also be examined. There are many great ways that you can demonstrate that you have strong leadership potential. Participating in athletics can show your competitive side, while performing well at an after-school job indicates you have a strong work ethic. Becoming involved within your community is a great way to show that you have strong morals and value helping others. 

Applying for the U.S. Air Force Academy is no joke. But with strong academic preparation, determination, and dedication, you could find yourself at one of the best academies in the nation.