If you have been working on getting into vet school, then you are probably aware how competitive the 28 veterinary schools that have been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association are.
It certainly isn’t easy to get into vet school, but your chances increase with good grades, varied experience, and a carefully crafted application package.
Applying with a perfect GPA is the goal of every applicant, but it is not often the reality. But you shouldn’t give up, most schools look for at least a 3.0-grade average. When combined with practical experience and some solid recommendation letters, that could be all you need to get in.
Keep reading for more tips for your application and interview process so that you can be ready to wow the school of your dreams.
1. Gain Varied Experience with Animals
It is critical that you work with a variety of different animals if you are worried about getting into vet school. It will be necessary for you to document a significant amount of hours working with both small and large animals, gaining valuable experience.
Many people start out by doing basic work like being a kennel assistant and then work their way up to assisting veterinarians with treatments and procedures.
You should also document any additional experience that you have working or volunteering with animals at zoos, in stables, with wildlife rescue, or at an animal shelter.
2. Get Recommendation Letters
For recommendation letters, you should ask your college professors and past employers. That means that is important that you build a strong relationship with them.
You will most likely need to have three letters of recommendation for your vet school application. You should let the authors of your letters know what skills and experiences they should emphasize such as experience handling animals, leadership, or good communication skills.
One of the letters should come from a science professor, another from a veterinarian you’ve worked with, and the third from another relevant contact such as an employer.
3. Include a Personal Statement
Getting into vet school requires you to write a personal statement for your application. You should think seriously about what you want to say in this essay.
It is your one chance to make your application stand out for who you are and what you bring to the table. You should use it to explain what it is you love about veterinary medicine and how you have prepared yourself for this career path.
4. Study for the Exam
Before you take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), you should take enough time to prep. Try buying a book or program that gives you lessons to practice on your own. You can also sign up for a preparation course if you think it would help you.
Whatever you do, don’t wing it and show up the morning of unprepared. Make sure that you take time to get a full night’s sleep and have a substantial breakfast on the morning of your exam.
5. Apply to an In-State School
If there is a veterinary program available in your state, you should be sure to apply to it first. This will be your best chance at acceptance to a program. States without veterinary programs often have quota agreements with neighboring states to educate their veterinary students.
Be sure that you read up on the prerequisites that each school requires. Most have similar requirements, but it would be terrible if your application got thrown out based on a technicality.
6. Be Ready to Work
The quantity of work that getting into vet school takes is extremely high. You will have to take several exams and put together a thorough application packet that paints you as an experienced and dedicated potential veterinarian.
Once you start school, that workload won’t let up. Between practical test, theory tests, and laboratory-based tests, you will find yourself facing trials from every direction. If you plan on getting into vet school, you need to be ready to work hard nonstop.
7. Study the Right A-Levels
The entry standards for all veterinarian programs are very high. That means that choosing the right A-levels to support your application is critical.
All institutions require two sciences and prefer chemistry and biology students, while physics and mathematics also have value.
For most institutions, you will be able to select a third A-level of your choice. Choosing a non-scientific option could be valuable. It would show that you have a variety of diverse skills.
8. Prepare for Your Interview
If you have made it to the interview process for your top choice university, you should be very proud. There can be as many as 500 applications for programs with as little as 150 spaces.
But don’t let this competition psyche you out. Going into your interview relaxed and confident is the best way to prepare. When you go to your interview, you should be sure to present yourself as well-rounded with a love for veterinary medicine.
9. Join Extracurricular Activities
Many people think that you have to have perfect grades and test scores for getting into vet school, but this isn’t true. Schools are looking for well-rounded students for their programs. A big part of your application will be your character and the way you present what you have learned from your previous experiences.
Extracurricular activities are great to have on your application, especially ones that have to do with animals and veterinary medicine. It could mean that you are volunteering at your local animal shelter, or helping people register their emotional support animals with CertaPet.
10. Maintain a Balance
The process of getting into vet school is very time consuming and may last years of your life. That is why it is important for you to find a balance between your work and social life now. The workload isn’t going anywhere, so you need to learn how to adjust.
Getting Into Vet School
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) acts as a centralized application for many US veterinary colleges. It becomes available every year on the first day of June and applications are generally due by October 1.
Part of your application may include an interview that you should carefully prepare for. If you are looking to prepare with online learning, check out our courses today