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Not Getting in is not the End of the World

Spring semester must be the busiest time of the year!  I feel like I just started my spring classes a few weeks ago, and here I am preparing for finals.  It is also the time people have just received their letters for vet school!  Congrats to everyone who applied, and an extra congrats for those that got in!

On a lot of the tours I give, I am encountered with a lot of "what if" questions from concerned parents and potential students.  Because so many people are now faced with pressing what if questions, I wanted to address some of them with my own personal and professional opinion!


Q: What if I don't get into vet school?

A:  Don't worry!  First off, take a breath.  Is this your first time applying?  I have met some people who got in the first time, and some who took six times to get in. The average number of times applying to vet school before getting in is about three, so don't worry!  The first step is to figure out why you didn't get in.  Our admissions advisers offer a range of dates to review your application with you one on one and go through what needs improvement and what was fine.  After knowing what you need to work on, you can spend the next year improving it!  Grades?  Apply for a master’s program or alternate education to bump up your GPA. Experience?  Contact vets from around the area.  Someone will be open to letting you shadow or even work as an employee!


Q:  What if I decide I want to go to med school/dental/nursing etc. instead of vet school?

A:  What's great about the BIMS undergrad program is that it primes you for almost any professional field.  All (or a majority of) the classes that are required for medical and veterinary school are required with a BIMS degree.  It is already part of your curriculum, so knowing that you don't need to take any extra classes is a relief!  Your next step is to set up an appointment with a professional school adviser.  They can direct you in terms of testing, shadowing, and any other qualifications required for med school.  Something to be aware of: the earlier you realize you want to switch your path, the more time you will have to focus on that career goal. This means more time to study for the standardized test as well as more time to log some hours!


Q: What if I don't have a lot of shadowing hours from high school?

A: There are many opportunities to shadow here in the College Station/Bryan area.  The vet school provides many different opportunities with animals, vets, and vet techs.  There are two main types of shadowing to focus on, which include shadowing hours specifically with a vet, and experience hours that essentially include anything involving handling or working with animals.  Veterinary hours must be gained specifically with a vet, but you can shadow large animal, small animal, exotics, etc.  As far as animal experience goes, this can be a lot of different things, ranging from showing animals, fostering, being a ranch hand, and even animal ownership (max of 100 hours).  You'll have up until October 1 of the year before you want to be admitted to get these hours!  They can't be earned overnight, it'll take some time to rack up enough hours to be competitive, but just a few hours each week adds up!


Q: What if I'm not a good test taker?  I'm really nervous about the GRE.

A: The GRE does play a big role in terms of getting an interview and being admitted.  Good news—there are plenty of classes to help you out.  I personally could not afford the classes, so I found some other cheaper options that ended up helping me out a lot!  A bad GRE score is not the end all of things, it can be compensated with a higher GPA/a lot of experience etc. If you are also qualified with the ADA, the GRE can be accommodated for your specific needs! Something that a lot of the vet schools offered me (including Texas A&M) was a type of "calculator" that helped me predict what I should get on the GRE based off of my grades and experience in order to make me competitive.  This gave me an actual number to focus on, as well as an idea on where I was ranked.


These have been some of the most popular questions I have been asked.  I don't have all the answers, so, ultimately, any concerns one has should be directed to an adviser!

This will sadly be my last blog update for the school year, so best of luck to everyone with school!

Thanks and Gig 'em,