Advanced search

Get £10 off your first lesson with Mumsnet-Rated tutoring service Tutorful here

retake english gcse or not for poss vet course application?

(31 Posts)
robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 11:51:21

DS got a 6 for english language but rest of GCSEs were higher grades. He is in 6th form but thinking of vet course for uni. Should he retake the eng lang gcse. School says it probably wont matter if A levels are good but what do people think? Have to book it before Friday.

RoganJosh Wed 29-Nov-17 11:52:20

So many jobs require maths and English GCSEs as a minimum that I’d say just do it.

DubaiismyBlackpool Wed 29-Nov-17 11:55:01

If it’s less than a B retake.

My DD desperately wanted to be a vet but only gained a C in English lit at IGCE. Everything else, including English language, was an A.
It’s hugely competitive and I’m not even sure a re take would be accepted, sorry.

Marine Zoology is a good alternative and only 3 years of study at Newcastle.

Good luck to you and your DD.

DubaiismyBlackpool Wed 29-Nov-17 11:56:27

Meant to say, on the application forms 2 years ago, they said B and above for GCSEs.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 12:01:30

Thanks - a 6 is supposed to be a B equivalent but sounds lower somehow as 9 is the A** and 8/7 an A. I think we better go for it, if they don't want retakes then they wouldn't like the 6 so I guess it might be worth it.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 12:03:42

He has got 11 A* or A (or number equiv) plus this 6 for eng language which seemed to be due to one paper.

Needmoresleep Wed 29-Nov-17 13:10:05

Look up entry requirements for the different vet schools. And if you are still unsure, he can email their admissions.

Some med schools demand good grades in English, but from what I recall it tended to be an A in either Lit or Lang, not necessarily both. I assume vet schools will be similar.

And yes these courses are competitive, but few applicants will be perfect. Unless he really needs to resit, I would focus on acing the other selection criteria.

KeiraTwiceKnightley Wed 29-Nov-17 13:19:33

I'm an English teacher. My understanding is that a 6 is required for medical school applications so assume the same for vets. But check the course requirements online.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 13:24:39

Thanks, just been looking at various mumsnet threads and it's really putting me off. We are not horsey or farmy but DS is interested in zoos and wild animals. He has done work experience at a vets though. I have just read a link someone posted about vets being depressed and not that well paid anyway and that there are too many vet graduates for the jobs going. To be honest with one DD studying art at uni and the other musical theatre I thought vet might be quite safe option (although obviously really hard to get onto the degree). Now I am not so sure.

sashh Wed 29-Nov-17 13:33:56

Thanks - a 6 is supposed to be a B equivalent but sounds lower somehow as 9 is the A* and 8/7 an A*

No an 8 is A*+, the new 9 grade is the top % of 8 grades so it depends on other students. I wouldn't bother with a resit, this is the first year of 9-1 grades so there is some leniency.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 13:54:12

Thanks this is really helpful and exactly what I wanted. If a 6 meets the minimum requirements then maybe it doesn't need to be more plus you then have the issue that the result is obviously a resit due to being a year later so maybe it would look like he failed it first time round? Probably overthinking here. Also doing second time round auditions for DD for drama schools and helping her with UCAS applications so I think I am in fretting mode.
Sashh -So 7 is an A and 6 an okay B then?

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 29-Nov-17 13:58:53

Robin sadly it is true depression and suicide is a huge issue in my profession. I have worked both sides of the Atlantic and not week goes by without something on my Facebook page about a suicide. Over the last 15 years salaries have fallen in real terms and compared to similar professionals doctors, dentists, lawyers etc. They are much lower combine that with client expectations of gold standard medical care for tuppence hapenny.
I would steer any child of mine away from the profession. I am working to have left clinical practice in the next 5 years.

karriecreamer Wed 29-Nov-17 14:06:33

Look up entry requirements

Yes, but it's still a competition. If they get lots of applicants with similar qualifications/abilities but where others have better GCSE English grades, it may push your son down the list. There are limited numbers of places on courses, so it's not a matter of meeting entry requirements, it's more a matter of beating the competition.

My niece and nephew both fell foul of competition. They both worked towards getting the minimum qualifications for their preferred higher education courses, which they achieved. But neither has managed to get a place on any courses they wanted, despite being "qualified" for them. They've asked a few for feedback and the answer has always been the same - oversubscribed course and others had better qualifications!

To the OP, if you think he'll put the effort in towards improving his grade, do it.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 14:18:55

Karrie yes he would, he is conscientious and I think he would up the grade but if there wouldn't be a big difference between having a 6 or a 7/8 then I'm happy to leave it. I just didn't want to have that one thing be an issue with unis.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 14:28:38

Lonecat, any advice for potential courses/careers as an alternative? It's not my area at all. He is doing biology chemistry and maths A levels. He is kind and sensible and hard working but not competitive or hugely ambitious or one of the real top high fliers at school. A good chance of A's at A level with putting the work in and got A's and A* for the other gcses inc the 3 sciences and maths.

hmcAsWas Wed 29-Nov-17 14:35:30

I wouldn't bother with the retake - its a B equivalent

"Yes, but it's still a competition. If they get lots of applicants with similar qualifications/abilities but where others have better GCSE English grades, it may push your son down the list. "

I doubt it. Just make sure your son stands out in other ways. Has he done a Duke of Edinburgh award and plenty of volunteering / work experience in an appropriate animal setting (vets / dog home etc)

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 29-Nov-17 14:54:39

Robin resilient and robust would be two of the main character features I would suggest current candidates would need to be.
Biomedical science, animal science, veterinary nursing degree (they don't face the same level of pressure that vets do, but can do minor surgery, run their own clinics etc). The other option would be veterinary science and then work in associated industry such as the drug companies etc.
I used to tell people what a great job I had and how much I loved it, but the unpleasant and unrealistic expectations of a significant proportion of clients has worn me down. I have been qualified for a number of years and of the 100 of us who graduated two are no longer with us and around 40 have left clinical practice, 20 are in referral practice ( dealing with insured clients or those who are financial able to access their treatment). Several work in the paraprofessional industry and only about 30 of us work in ordinary veterinary practice.

titchy Wed 29-Nov-17 15:08:12

English is fine. Forget Dof E. Lots and lots and lots of different work experience. Just a small animal vets on its own isn't enough. Lambing, stables, zoo, even an abattoir are expected. There are only 8 universities that do VetMed - it is way more competitive than medicine, but it tends to be the work experience that is the differentiator rather than a rogue GCSE.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 15:47:39

Thanks, titchy you sound like you have been through this! He does have DofE but did for enjoyment anyway. Will be on to some work experience asap then at least he can have the option even if he decides to do something else. Lonecat, it is good to have an insiders perspective.

TheFrendo Wed 29-Nov-17 16:40:33


an 8 is A*+

That's not correct. The 7/8 boundary is lower than the A/A* boundary. This means that some students who received an 8 this year would have 'only' got an A last year.

Witchend Wed 29-Nov-17 17:02:15

Check first because a lot of places say they're not interested in retake grades.

tiggytape Wed 29-Nov-17 17:09:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UrsulaPandress Wed 29-Nov-17 17:25:31

A know a pupil who did loads and loads of work experience including in an abbatoir and he still didn't get accepted into Vet School. He went to the Royal Agricutural College and did a pony patting course and loved it.

tiggytape Wed 29-Nov-17 17:36:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

robin64 Wed 29-Nov-17 18:03:48

Thanks Tiggy and everyone, that's interesting. If the 6 is not going to be an issue and even might be less of an issue than submitting a retake mark then it is probably best to leave it. He got a 7 for Lit. I saw his paper and it was one question that knocked his mark down really but in fairness it wasn't his best work so I agree with the mark. It's good to hear the different views. I think I might research some other courses with him anyway. God it seems daft to be worrying about 11 A and A* grades not being good enough. He's got 12 gcse's because he took geology in yr 9 which was optional. Not sure he or we are up for the white hot competition involved for vet school. Really appreciate the thoughts, it's helped.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: