Saturday, April 25, 2009

Applying to Vet School: The Tests

I know many people have questions about some of the standardized test that you have to take to apply for veterinary school. So, I thought I would briefly go over each one, and tell you what I can about them. Don’t use this post as the sole source of your information as tests are always changing and my memory could be a bit foggy. Please consult the veterinary school you are applying to in order to determine which ones you have to take.

General GRE:
Really this test assesses all the basic knowledge: reading, writing, and arithmetic. The best way to prepare for the test is to buy some of the “GRE prep books” that are available at multiple book stores. Now, don’t let the size of the prep book or length of the test scare you too much. I really didn’t have time to study too much for it and I did well. Honestly, some for the material you may not have looked at for years, so it’s good to refresh before the test. Hopefully, this will jog your memory and it won’t be hard to pick it up again. That being said, it’s impossible to learn all the material the week before the test, so I hope you have been paying attention in school for the past 12-16 years. For the “essay” portion I highly recommend going to the GRE website and looking at samples and the tips they give you there. I’m not the best writer in the world ( I’m sure you have found multiple problems with spelling and grammar in my posts) , but looking at the site helped me do very well on this portion.

Biology GRE:
I’ll always remember this test because it just seemed to take forever. I remember being halfway through and being so bored I wanted to lay my head down and sleep. Luckily, the last half or so of the test is interpreting lab information which was a little easier. The first portion of the test is felt like they opened a biology textbook, randomly found a sentence, and wrote a question. The questions were pretty random, and some I really don’t ever remember learning in my schooling. It’s a tough test, but don’t be scared. When I took the test it was 200 multiple choice questions, you lost ¼ point for answering wrong, 0 points for not answering, and 1 point for a correct answer. Using that data we determined ( please don’t take the fallowing information as fact, as scoring rules my have changed) if you only get 84 questions correct, and left the rest blank you could score a 600, which was about the average for students accepted to vet school. The moral of the story is don’t worry to much, it’s a tough test and everyone struggles. The best way to prep for this test is again prep books designed for the Biology GRE. These are very helpful books, but remember the best way to be prepared is to play attention in all your science/biology classes you go though in high school and undergrad ( STUDY HARD). If you want a “subject” to really focus on I would recommend botany. Many pre-vet student don’t take much botany, and really struggle with this portion of the Biology GRE ( myself included).

Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT):
I have never taken this test, and I think it is fairly rare for vet schools to require this test, but it could become more common. Therefore, I can only tell you basic information on it. It is 300 multiple-choice questions: 50 Biology, 50 Chemistry, 40 Reading, 40 Math, and 50 verbal questions.

My next post will cover a very important aspect of your application. This is again something anyone can work on, your letters of recommendation. Don’t forget about these, they can make or break your chances of being accepted to veterinary school.


cgirl4e said...

Good blog!

I have some questions and I'm not sure of how busy you might be, but I was wondering if perhaps I could email you or vice versa some questions regarding college before vet school?

I understand that you may not be an expert in All-Things-Vet related, but I do not personally know anybody pursuing a veterinary career, so I thought it would be a great start to see what you thought.

My email is Thanks!

Julia said...

Thanks for the blog! All i ever hear about to how to apply to Medical School. But anyways I have a question. When do undergraduate students usually take the GRE and apply to veterinary school. I know for medical schools and pharmacy schools the students often take their tests and apply pretty early.


jonp21 said...

I took my GRE the summer before I applied to vet school. Say you want to start vet school in August of 2011, then I would take the GRE in the summer of 2009, then applications to veterinary schools will likely be due by October of 2009, maybe earlier. That's just what I did, but each school may have different time frames. Remember you can retake the GRE, so take it early, so you can retake it if you need/want to. Hope that helps.

┼čenyuva said...

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting all of this! I am about to begin my junior year as an undergrad and I am constantly stressing out about Vet school. This is great and has really helped me to relax and realize that it is something I can accomplish!

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Study Smarter!

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