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Successful veterinary medicine applicants help

Could successful applicants please let me know what alevels you did and your grades, what you did for work experience/extra curricular activities and finally which universities you applied for?
Im in my first year of Alevels at the minute, and I’m very clueless. Any information would be greatly appreciated thank you so much.
In the veterinary medicine forum there’s loads of useful resources! There’s also applicant threads for various years with lots of helpful information

My a levels: Geography- A, Biology- A, Chemsitry- B

Work experience: 1 week lambing, 3 months cats protection (4 hours every Saturday morning), 6 months farm park (4h every Saturday morning), 1 week farm park, 1 week at another farm park, 3 days at an animal testing lab, 1 day at an abattoir (the university of bristols), 1 week equine vet, 1 week small animal vet

Extracurriculars: school newspaper, book club, DofE, retail job

Universities I applied to: Bristol, Liverpool, Surrey and Nottingham (where I’m currently at) and I got offers to all 4.

My tips: get references as you go, be chatty at interviews don’t just answer the questions ask hem how they are before the interview starts chat (especially true for MMI’s), if group activities be the timekeeper/the person who makes sure everyone is involved. If your school does any med school help join that as it’s similar enough for practice!
The first 2 posts of my GYG blog have some tips I often give to applicants as well as my story into vet school :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by flamingolover
In the veterinary medicine forum there’s loads of useful resources! There’s also applicant threads for various years with lots of helpful information

My a levels: Geography- A, Biology- A, Chemsitry- B

Work experience: 1 week lambing, 3 months cats protection (4 hours every Saturday morning), 6 months farm park (4h every Saturday morning), 1 week farm park, 1 week at another farm park, 3 days at an animal testing lab, 1 day at an abattoir (the university of bristols), 1 week equine vet, 1 week small animal vet

Extracurriculars: school newspaper, book club, DofE, retail job

Universities I applied to: Bristol, Liverpool, Surrey and Nottingham (where I’m currently at) and I got offers to all 4.

My tips: get references as you go, be chatty at interviews don’t just answer the questions ask hem how they are before the interview starts chat (especially true for MMI’s), if group activities be the timekeeper/the person who makes sure everyone is involved. If your school does any med school help join that as it’s similar enough for practice!


Would you say that volunteer work experience is more important than clinical? I’m finding it very hard to get into clinics. How did you get your lambing placement? Did you find that your gcse grades mattered at all throughout your application? I’ve heard Nottingham bases intervirws off gcse grades. Thank you so much you’ve helped a lot
Original post by Elizabeth200
Would you say that volunteer work experience is more important than clinical? I’m finding it very hard to get into clinics. How did you get your lambing placement? Did you find that your gcse grades mattered at all throughout your application? I’ve heard Nottingham bases intervirws off gcse grades. Thank you so much you’ve helped a lot

I know not the person you tagged but check out the NSA list for lambing placements, you can see which farmers offer free accommodation and meals so you don't necessarily need to be super close to them. I think at least 1 week (ideally 2) would be beneficial for clinical as that is the job you will be ultimately doing so seeing that is pretty key, but non-clinical is very important as pre-vet imo to learn the basics of the industries and handling skills, so do as much as possible with that too. From looking at your previous posts you have had a lot of advice on how to get work experience already. You have to meet the minimum grade requirements for every uni or you will be rejected, but getting higher than the minimum will not give you any merit - this goes for Nottingham too (but maybe not for Cambridge), they have other forms like situational judgement tests that will be sent to you and then they'll give out interview offers based on that (+ meeting minimum requirements but supposedly they don't look at predicted A Level grades, only if you meet the minimum GCSEs).
Original post by Elizabeth200
Would you say that volunteer work experience is more important than clinical? I’m finding it very hard to get into clinics. How did you get your lambing placement? Did you find that your gcse grades mattered at all throughout your application? I’ve heard Nottingham bases intervirws off gcse grades. Thank you so much you’ve helped a lot

I think you need at least 1 week of clinical preferably one large animal and one small animal. It’s really important to get an insight into the career and that’s honestly the best way. Volunteer work is also important for the animal handling. I recommended a small animal (dog/cat) and farm. Equine is also worth it but I didn’t get this. With getting into clinics are you phoning? Maybe try going in if you aren’t getting responses. Unfortunetly you might have to look further out and get a bus or some other transport. I was able to use my Wednesday afternoons to go to a clinic for 4 hours every Wednesday afternoon instead of PE

I got my lambing placement by going on the NSA (national sheep association) page for farms looking for students/help!

I wouldn’t say GCSE’s matter at all and haven’t heard of Nottingham picking on GCSE’s (mine weren’t excellent). I think as long as you tick the minimum box then it’s fine. If you want to be really sure you can always email the admissions team and ask.
Hi! I applied last year and am now in my first year of uni at RVC. Here's the info:

A levels: I did the French baccalaureate so a bit different but I got the equivalent of AAA (in biology, physics-chemistry and maths!)

Work experience: 1 week dairy farm, 3 weeks small animal vet, 2 weeks wildlife (bird ringing), 1 week equine vet, 2 weeks donkey sanctuary

Extracurriculars: vice president of Model UN club, president and founder of photography club, writer for school paper

Universities: Edinburgh (interview, rejected), Glasgow (rejected), RVC (offer and first choice), Bristol (offer) (in retrospect I should not have applied to scotland unis as a UK student, as the chances are so low)

Advice: all the advice that has been said so far is great! I would also say keep a journal or at least some notes when on work experience, and ask plenty of questions. This will come in handy during your MMIs (and later when you're in vet school!) as it will show you were truly interested. Don't compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to amount of work experience. If you have the minimum for each uni then you will be okay, if you have more that's great! There will always be someone that does more than you thanks to their circumstances/luck.
Make sure not to leave things to the last minute, this includes getting references as well as completing SAQs and various other forms unis may send you.
MMIs and other interviews can seem daunting, but they can also be very fun. Be cheerful, polite and try to enjoy yourself. Attend open days if you can and ask the student ambassadors as many questions as you want, about the course, the city, the social life, the teachers. Don't worry about annoying them, they will be more than happy to answer!
Finally easier said than dont but try to stay calm during the application process! It's a very stressful time and I remember refreshing my inbox a dozen times a day to check for interviews/offers, which in retrospect was silly.
If you have any other questions feel free to PM me! Good luck :smile:
Here are my stats:

GCSEs: 4As, 7A*s

A levels: A*A*A* in biology, chemistry, maths

Work experience (15 weeks total): 3 weeks small animal practice, 3 weeks mixed practice, 1 week boarding kennels, 2 weeks riding school/livery yard, 1 week visitor farm, 1 week lambing, 1 week dairy farm, zoo volunteering, 1 week lab

Extracurriculars: orchestra, choir, trad music, horse riding, school prefect (music and bio I think), public speaking and biomed enrichment courses through school

Universities: Cambridge (offer and first choice), Liverpool (offer and second choice), Edinburgh (invite to interview but withdrew my application), RVC (interviewed but wait-listed then rejected)

Tips: Great advice above. I would recommend keeping a log of what you do on placements and what you’ve learned so you can relate this to the profession during your personal statement and interviews. Also be prepared to talk about the skills you've developed both on placement and in life and how these will help you. Do practice interviews if you can. You can also stay up to date with current veterinary affairs by reading newsletters/magazines such as the Vet Times. Be sure to get a variety of work experience - practices and lambing are pretty much a must. Good luck!
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by Elizabeth200
Could successful applicants please let me know what alevels you did and your grades, what you did for work experience/extra curricular activities and finally which universities you applied for?
Im in my first year of Alevels at the minute, and I’m very clueless. Any information would be greatly appreciated thank you so much.

Hi! I'm currently a second year at Surrey. I got AAA at A-level in Biology, Chemistry and History. As I applied after covid, my work experience was quite limited but I did 1 week at a farm, 1 week at Cats protection, 1 week at a farm vet practice, 1 week at a small animal practice and worked for around a year and half at a livery yard as well as the Futurelearn MOOC course. I believe Surrey have completely removed their work experience requirements now but I would still recommend getting experience both in a vet practice and in a normal animal environment because I was able to talk about my experiences in my personal statement and my interviews. My extra curriculars included DofE and volunteering at a charity shop but I focused more on my vet work experience. I applied to RVC, Bristol and Surrey and got interviews for both RVC and Surrey. I would focus on getting work experience at the moment in preparation for your application next year and make sure you get references as you go along as it can be difficult to get them afterwards just because most of these places are so busy! I made notes of what I saw and did each day of my work experience so that I could remind myself before interviews which was helpful. I would say you probably don't need to start interview preparation this early, maybe start thinking about it the summer before applying but make sure to read up on the RCVS day one competencies.
Reply 9
Original post by flamingolover
In the veterinary medicine forum there’s loads of useful resources! There’s also applicant threads for various years with lots of helpful information

My a levels: Geography- A, Biology- A, Chemsitry- B

Work experience: 1 week lambing, 3 months cats protection (4 hours every Saturday morning), 6 months farm park (4h every Saturday morning), 1 week farm park, 1 week at another farm park, 3 days at an animal testing lab, 1 day at an abattoir (the university of bristols), 1 week equine vet, 1 week small animal vet

Extracurriculars: school newspaper, book club, DofE, retail job

Universities I applied to: Bristol, Liverpool, Surrey and Nottingham (where I’m currently at) and I got offers to all 4.

My tips: get references as you go, be chatty at interviews don’t just answer the questions ask hem how they are before the interview starts chat (especially true for MMI’s), if group activities be the timekeeper/the person who makes sure everyone is involved. If your school does any med school help join that as it’s similar enough for practice!

how did unis react to your B in chem? i assumed everywhere wanted the AAB or the AAA on results day despite an offer
Reply 10
Original post by Emstokes16
Hi! I'm currently a second year at Surrey. I got AAA at A-level in Biology, Chemistry and History. As I applied after covid, my work experience was quite limited but I did 1 week at a farm, 1 week at Cats protection, 1 week at a farm vet practice, 1 week at a small animal practice and worked for around a year and half at a livery yard as well as the Futurelearn MOOC course. I believe Surrey have completely removed their work experience requirements now but I would still recommend getting experience both in a vet practice and in a normal animal environment because I was able to talk about my experiences in my personal statement and my interviews. My extra curriculars included DofE and volunteering at a charity shop but I focused more on my vet work experience. I applied to RVC, Bristol and Surrey and got interviews for both RVC and Surrey. I would focus on getting work experience at the moment in preparation for your application next year and make sure you get references as you go along as it can be difficult to get them afterwards just because most of these places are so busy! I made notes of what I saw and did each day of my work experience so that I could remind myself before interviews which was helpful. I would say you probably don't need to start interview preparation this early, maybe start thinking about it the summer before applying but make sure to read up on the RCVS day one competencies.

hey, how did you find the mmi interview for surrey?
Original post by gabsava
how did unis react to your B in chem? i assumed everywhere wanted the AAB or the AAA on results day despite an offer

My predicted grades were AAA but Surrey and Nottingham offered me AAB. I was the first covid year so my grades got messed around a bit (initially the algorithm gave me BBC which was lower than my last set of mocks). Surrey ended up rejecting me but I got into Nottingham on the April cohort
Original post by gabsava
hey, how did you find the mmi interview for surrey?

Hi! I did it 2 years ago so they've changed the format since then but all the interviewers were so lovely and made feel at ease. I had done some mock interviews with some teachers at my school and got some tips from uni students who were on placement at the same vets that I did some work experience at so I felt really prepared, if these are options for you then definitely use them! Also make sure to research current affairs in the veterinary world (vet times is a good website for this), read through the RCVS day one competencies and recall some things you saw on placement that interested you as well. Good luck with your interviews!
Original post by flamingolover
In the veterinary medicine forum there’s loads of useful resources! There’s also applicant threads for various years with lots of helpful information

My a levels: Geography- A, Biology- A, Chemsitry- B

Work experience: 1 week lambing, 3 months cats protection (4 hours every Saturday morning), 6 months farm park (4h every Saturday morning), 1 week farm park, 1 week at another farm park, 3 days at an animal testing lab, 1 day at an abattoir (the university of bristols), 1 week equine vet, 1 week small animal vet

Extracurriculars: school newspaper, book club, DofE, retail job

Universities I applied to: Bristol, Liverpool, Surrey and Nottingham (where I’m currently at) and I got offers to all 4.

My tips: get references as you go, be chatty at interviews don’t just answer the questions ask hem how they are before the interview starts chat (especially true for MMI’s), if group activities be the timekeeper/the person who makes sure everyone is involved. If your school does any med school help join that as it’s similar enough for practice!

Hi, what did you put as your firm and insurance?
Original post by Jannet2ester
Hi, what did you put as your firm and insurance?

Firm- Nottingham
Insurance- Surrey
Reply 15
I applied last year and am now on a gap year set to go to notts in september!!
A levels:
Bio- B
Psych- A
Chemistry- B

work experience:
about 6 weeks small animal clinical in 3 different practices, including 1 day at a referral vets
about 2 weeks kennels

extracurriculars:
charity shop volunteering
prefect
school council
form captain
orchestra and choir
SEN peer mentoring
drama production
gardening

Applied to:
Uclan- offer
Uclan foundation- offer
Nottingham (with deferral) - offer
RVC (with deferral) - on hold until a few days before the deadline
Bristol (with deferral) - on hold then offer

my grades and work experience on paper look a lot weaker than most applicants which I knew before I even applied and while this was because of personal circumstances I wasn't given any special consideration by unis, I feel like what brought my application up to a more competitive level compared to applicants with a variety of work ex and As was the quality of my work experience, over a year down the line I'm still close friends with one of the vets I met and two of the SVNs I worked with and got a lot of valuable advice from them. I also did extensive research into areas of the vet world not covered by my work experience which I feel made me more knowledgeable than someone who had done the work experience (I learned more from the edivet mooc than the 3 weeks I spent at a stables after I finished my A levels)

also as someone who knew that they were going to struggle to get As and didn't apply with all As predicted if you're worried about grades at all I'd recommend applying to unis that have been lenient in the past- I knew that my predicted Bs wouldn't disadvantage my application at notts and that on results day they'd be more likely to consider me even if I didn't get the grades if my interview performance had been decent. liverpool also helps out students who don't get the grades once they've been made an offer and they've offered to defer offers if the applicant retakes or have the applicant spend some years on a biovet course before moving into the vet course without having to spend more than 5 years at uni.
Reply 16
Original post by clozapine
I applied last year and am now on a gap year set to go to notts in september!!
A levels:
Bio- B
Psych- A
Chemistry- B

work experience:
about 6 weeks small animal clinical in 3 different practices, including 1 day at a referral vets
about 2 weeks kennels

extracurriculars:
charity shop volunteering
prefect
school council
form captain
orchestra and choir
SEN peer mentoring
drama production
gardening

Applied to:
Uclan- offer
Uclan foundation- offer
Nottingham (with deferral) - offer
RVC (with deferral) - on hold until a few days before the deadline
Bristol (with deferral) - on hold then offer

my grades and work experience on paper look a lot weaker than most applicants which I knew before I even applied and while this was because of personal circumstances I wasn't given any special consideration by unis, I feel like what brought my application up to a more competitive level compared to applicants with a variety of work ex and As was the quality of my work experience, over a year down the line I'm still close friends with one of the vets I met and two of the SVNs I worked with and got a lot of valuable advice from them. I also did extensive research into areas of the vet world not covered by my work experience which I feel made me more knowledgeable than someone who had done the work experience (I learned more from the edivet mooc than the 3 weeks I spent at a stables after I finished my A levels)

also as someone who knew that they were going to struggle to get As and didn't apply with all As predicted if you're worried about grades at all I'd recommend applying to unis that have been lenient in the past- I knew that my predicted Bs wouldn't disadvantage my application at notts and that on results day they'd be more likely to consider me even if I didn't get the grades if my interview performance had been decent. liverpool also helps out students who don't get the grades once they've been made an offer and they've offered to defer offers if the applicant retakes or have the applicant spend some years on a biovet course before moving into the vet course without having to spend more than 5 years at uni.


I hope you don’t mind me asking but how did you manage to develop relationships with people whilst you did your work experience? I’m a very shy person which is not beneficial for me at all when it comes to my veterinary application. What kinds of questions should I be asking? When is it ok to ask questions? I don’t want to distract them but I also feel as though I’m getting nothing out of my work experience at the minute.
Original post by Elizabeth200
I hope you don’t mind me asking but how did you manage to develop relationships with people whilst you did your work experience? I’m a very shy person which is not beneficial for me at all when it comes to my veterinary application. What kinds of questions should I be asking? When is it ok to ask questions? I don’t want to distract them but I also feel as though I’m getting nothing out of my work experience at the minute.

not at all!! I'm autistic so I thought I'd struggle lots with this too but aside from feeling awkward at times I was okay! you'll have to be outgoing and enthusiastic while on wex to make the most of it as there isn't much room for being shy in such a fast-paced environment but it'll come with practice, i got really lucky in that I was very looked after at my first placement, and once I had that knowledge of what to expect and how to act I was a lot more confident going into wex at other places-- I found questions come quite intuitively and no question is silly- if you want to know something then ask it, i asked a ton that might have been obvious to people but id never set foot in a vet practice before wex so everything was new to me,, it just depends on what you're looking to get out of wex!!

the vets ive met have all been really great with questions so don't worry about asking them things at the wrong time!! worst that happens is they'll ignore you and just take that as a sign to ask again later-- you can also straight up ask the vet youre shadowing when the best time to ask questions is! I deffo learned more that helped me with my application while sitting in a vets car than in a practice so don't write anything off. weekends and ooh are also good quieter times to get to know the people youre with so volunteer yourself for those!!

staying at a practice longer also helps you get more and more out of it especially as you get to know the clients and patients and they'll start recognising you too, at one of my placements i went in to meet the team months before i was going to be there so i already knew peoples names and roles going into my first day and I spent a month there and though i loveddd being there it wasn't until the 3rd week that i truly felt like i was part of the practice and when i left one of the nurses who'd been there the longest said they liked me because it was like i was already a vet student and had made an effort to get to know the team.

to kind of like sum it up my advice is to remember you're here to learn and to be someone you'd want to work with and be friends with in a practice!

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