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does my son have good enough gcse grades to become a vet?

(38 Posts)
Shazy123 Sat 13-Oct-12 00:17:47

My son had his gcse results this summer: 6A's, 5b's and 2C's. I personally know he could have done better! He's resitting his Chemistry as he had a 'C' in the summer module but all ready had 2A's and an A in his courswork, so he had a 'B' overall. By resitting that one module hopefully he'll then have 7A's. He's taken Bio, Chem, Phys and Maths for A level, which he's finding hard work. He's also doing the bacc. I've told him to drop one of the A levels if he's finding it too much work but he says he's enjoying them all. He is working very hard at the moment, so long may it continue. The problem we have is that people are telling him that his Gcse grades are not good enough to even think about applying for veterinary, as he will be competing against those who have straight A*. He's done aprox 5 weeks work experience and has got some lined up as well. We also live on a beef and sheep farm, so he has a lot of experience with lambing etc. Personally if he manages to do well in his A levels, he'd make a really good vet. Do you think his grades will let him down??

NatashaBee Sat 13-Oct-12 00:23:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ponders Sat 13-Oct-12 00:25:50

he's doing 4 A levels and the bacc? which bacc is that?

what do vet school websites say about admission criteria? (I wouldn't have a clue!)

DevaDiva Sat 13-Oct-12 00:29:03

I know people that got mediocre gcse grades and are now docs and lawyers. IF he buckles down he will be fine just needs to keep his eye on the goal. What do his teachers say?

Ponders Sat 13-Oct-12 00:30:36

this is Liverpool

'A minimum of 10 points at GCSE (where A*/A = 2 points, B = 1 point, C = 0 points) in at least 7 different subjects, to include a minimum of grade B in English, Mathematics and Physics (or dual science including Physics)'

I think he has that from what you said - assume all his science grades were B or better?

Shazy123 Sat 13-Oct-12 00:33:07

According to the vet websites his gcse's are fine, but people still tell him that he'll be competing against students with straight A*. I don't know what his predicted As grades are yet, as he hasn't done any exams yet. I know at the moment he's finding it a lot of work, but he's constantly working, so fingers crossed

Shazy123 Sat 13-Oct-12 00:33:50

His science grades were A's and Maths was an A grade

Ponders Sat 13-Oct-12 00:33:57

Edinburgh doesn't have any GCSE requirements????

'For UK applicants, the only minimum entry requirement at Standard Grade or GCSE is in English. You will need Standard Grade 3 or GCSE C grade.'

but they do want straight As at A level "in one sitting & at the first attempt"

Ponders Sat 13-Oct-12 00:38:32

I believe plenty of relevant experience is just as important as grades (it is for med school too) & he's obviously got loads of that smile

which people are saying his grades won't be good enough, Shazy?

Shazy123 Sat 13-Oct-12 00:41:52

We haven't had a parents meeting yet since he started A levels. He gets on really well with the teachers and are like his friends. You've made me feel better about people you know that had mediocre grades at gcse's and have done well. I think he's quite determined, it's just the people that keep on trying to put him off. His teachers are very supportive of his idea of wanting to be a vet, and not one of them has tried to put him off

BeckAndCall Sat 13-Oct-12 07:24:55

I would be pessimistic at this stage and be looking for good alternatives - zoology, for instance.

The vet school websites give the minimum grades that are acceptable to apply. The people they give offers to in practice are very different - there are reports somewhere but I'm sorry I don't have a link. The fact is that in practice vet students have as good GCSEs as med students - usually most A *s - but there are always exceptions depending on personal circumstances and school background so never say never.

DeWe Sat 13-Oct-12 09:27:44

When I was applying it was harder to be a vet than a doctor.

I'd say that those GCSE results don't rule him out, as long as the As are in Maths and science, whic you say they are.

If i's his ambition and he's happy to pull the stops out to get safe As at A-level I think it's a reasonable ambition, and the work experience will do him well. Could he see if a local vets practice would let him do some there too?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 13-Oct-12 09:30:21

As a vet who regular mentors students applying to vet school I would say if he buckles down works hard gets loads of work experience he is definitely in with a shot. In most cases the criteria for getting an interview are on personal statement and predicted A level grades as long as theGCSE boxes are ticked.
Getting a volunteer work experience post at a vets on Saturdays is a huge help in application it helps you to be up to date on current issues such as TB etc.
Having outside interests is also really important as unfortunately we have terrible substance abuse and suicide figures in our profession so the colleges look for interests that will enable individuals to make new friends when they inevitably move away from their family and friends.
There is positive descrimination for boys they do get in on lower grades than girls as we desperately need to rebalance our profession.
If you want to pm me I can give more advice.

zzzzz Sat 13-Oct-12 09:39:37

lonecat why do you need to rebalance your profession? Not a dig, just genuinely interested.

OneHandFlapping Sat 13-Oct-12 09:45:19

Hmm don't like that rebalancing the profession remark - ie must rebalance a profession that has a preponderance of women. I don't hear so much about rebalancing eg the engineering or IT professions - both notorious for the predominance of men, by letting in women with lower grades. And in fact any discussion of doing so is met with outcries of tokenism.

LoneCat, what evidence do you have that this happening?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 13-Oct-12 09:47:07

We have far too many women in the profession which is making certain areas difficult to cover. This relates back to the 80s and 90s where 95 to 97 percent of graduates were female. Our profession should be a reflection of society so around 50:50 male:female.

zzzzz Sat 13-Oct-12 09:53:45

I don't agree with positive descrimination at all. Why should your profession reflect society? By which I mean how would that improve vet unwary practice?

I was on of 3 women out of 130 on my engineering course a university.

zzzzz Sat 13-Oct-12 09:54:11

Sorry about the unwary! grin

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 13-Oct-12 09:54:17

Onehandflapping I equally encourage male and female students to apply, but I accept that we do need more men in the profession to get better balance. My practice last employed a male vet in 1996, last vet job I advertised I had 56 applications only one was from a man.
The issue has been discussed at length by our ruling body.
There is positive discrimination in other areas for women my sister sees this for herself as a construction engineer.

OneHandFlapping Sat 13-Oct-12 09:54:37

Because of our gendered society, few professions are 50:50. Why should a well paid profession where women predominate have to reflect society, when well paid professions where men predominate don't?

Is it because you think it is in some way more natural for men to succeed than women?

OneHandFlapping Sat 13-Oct-12 09:55:58

I have never heard of a scheme of positive discrimination for construction engineers. Can you link to it?

Shazy123 Sat 13-Oct-12 09:58:31

He's been on work experience with 3 different practices over the summer and other school holidays. I've never seen him so happy, he had such a good time, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We also test do whole herd testing TB at home, as we are now under restriction. My son does all the paperwork when we do the TB testing. We're also due a whole herd test again in the next half term so he'll be home to help again which is good. We've been sponging our ewes this year, and my son has done all that (we have photographs of him). They are due to lamb Christmas time on wards so he'll be home over the Christmas holidays to help with the lambing. If ever we have any interesting calving etc at home we take photographs. We have one of him pulling a calf, and obviously he's pulled many lambs. We have neighbours who have a lot of horses, and they have offered for him to go on work experience there. He's also been offered to go to kennels nearby. We have many large milking farms nearby too, but have not approached any of those yet. He has also plans of going to a pig farm. Next summer he wants to go for a few weeks to a local zoo, but he hasn't been in touch with yet, but we have read on their internet sight that they don't allow anyone who is under 18 to help with the zoo animals - so will have to enquire about that.
In my opinion, he's a real peoples person, and when he was out and about over the summer he enjoyed meeting all the different people and characters. He gets on particularly well with the older generation listening to their stories. He does visit old peoples homes occasionally and takes part in a service for them on Sundays.
I do hope he manages to get his grades, as at the moment he hasn't got a plan 'B'!
Does anyone know that if he does not get the grades, could he do an animal BTEC management course?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 13-Oct-12 10:09:47

Excellent farming back ground will stand him on really good stead.
A lot of these gender issues in the end boil down to the factor that our profession has a lot of anti social lone working without it most practices are economically unviable and women are more reluctant to do it than men. I don't feel men have a right to do this job and have vigorously defended this in the past just accept the fact that many many women don't want to do antisocial lone working. It doesn't bother me, but it does many women.

lljkk Sat 13-Oct-12 10:16:25

I know locally of people who had similar GCSE results & got accepted to Oxbridge Vet study, so don't despair. He'll never regret giving it a try, but might be a case of strategic application choices on UCAS forms (high results choice(s), medium, insurance choices etc.)

DoverBeach Sat 13-Oct-12 10:16:55


Have you looked at the Unistats website? It tells you what grades students had when they actually took up their places.

This is the link for Unistats/Nottingham/Veterinary Medicine Unistats

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