The academic program at the West Point Prep School is a dynamic curriculum, closely coordinated with the West Point syllabus. It is designed to tailor instruction in order to best meet the needs of the individual Cadet Candidate. One of the central goals of the academic program is to fully challenge all candidates while recognizing the diversity in their educational backgrounds. The school's approach is to enhance the skills candidates already possess while providing a solid basis for improvement in the skills which do not yet meet West Point entry levels.
The academic program focuses on Mathematics and English. These broad areas provide the basic requirements for academic success at West Point. Cadet candidates also receive instruction in life management skill and critical/reading skills through the Success Development Course. Rigorous concentration on these skills improves a student's ability to grasp and retain information as well as to think critically and communicate clearly.
All candidates are expected to work diligently to surpass course standards in all areas. Those candidates who do not perform to the course standards are counseled, given specific remedial actions to improve performance, and provided an opportunity to remediate the material. Students who repeatedly fail to attain course standards may be dis-enrolled by the Commandant.
Academic weeks are organized with "1" days and "2" days running alternately. This program allows flexibility in scheduling required courses and for efficiency in the use of instructors and facilities. The academic year consists of four quarters, averaging 36 classroom days each. Teachers grade accordingly to accomplish the standard objectives and criteria. Test results are not curved. All students who attain the same level of performance against the standard receive the same grade.
USMAPS employs a system of "tracking" to fully challenge all Cadet Candidates. Based upon their performance on a series of initial diagnostic tests and, more importantly, on their performance halfway through the first quarter of classroom work, cadet candidates are placed into specialized English and mathematics tracks. This flexible academic approach allows candidates to improve in weak areas while continuing to enhance their strong areas. Tracks range in difficulty from Fundamental to Advanced Placement. During the academic year, candidates can move between tracks, and upward movement is encouraged whenever possible.
Successful people exhibit more than just strong aptitude; they also exhibit a positive attitude, take responsibility for their actions, progress steadily towards goals, and continually re-evaluate their methods. The Success Development Course is devoted to the study of successful behavior, and students are encouraged to practice these methods as they develop their leadership style.
In the Success Development Course, the first and second quarters teach the cadet candidates life management skills that will help them throughout their academic and military careers. The skills include effective reading, notebook organization, note taking (including mapping and clustering), goal setting, time management, and memory devices. To reduce academic stress, class time is devoted to stress management and overcoming "test phobia." The third and fourth quarters focus on critical reading and writing. The Cadet Candidates learn to read essays and textbook materials through various reading strategies. With these learning strategies, the students then develop critical reading skills such as analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing, and evaluating. The Cadet Candidates are expected to apply the skills and techniques to their math and English classes.
Cadet Candidates are required to obtain a 70% or higher in each academic course for each quarter. For those cadet candidates who do not achieve the minimum standard of 70%, opportunities are given to remediate the materials.