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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 1804
Location: Reading
I know it is not of interest to most but, in case it is, this is a quick heads up that the assessment exams for Oxbridge fall on Wed 30th October 2019 which is slap bang in the middle of half term for us next year. We had planned to take a holiday then, before it all got too pressured, but thankfully hadn't booked it yet.

DD really likes Cambridge vet school.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9443
Location: Herts
Yes this is going to have a lot of impact, not least on the schools which will have to open to staff the tests.

I am sure there must be Y13 students who have already booked a holiday for half term who are going to be caught out by this.

Many private schools have a two week half term so even more likely to go away. It seems silly that every single school that has even one student sitting will have to open right in the middle of half term.

Hopefully there will be an option to sit at another school. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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It falls in our half term this year too - we are a state school but have a two week half term - there are always staff around over holidays - including the exams officer so not too much of a biggie.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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Good luck to your Dd Reading Mum! I liked Cambridge vet for dd1, but my dd did not fancy an extra year of study, even if it gives an extra degree-she just wanted plain vanilla, 5 years is long enough, to get earning ASAP, and no icing on the cake! Dd2 is fancying Cambridge Nat Sci or engineering though, but we don’t need to worry, if at all, until next year, it’s still worth making a mental note though. Thanks for heads up,


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Thanks silverysea. Cambridge was #1 but a visit to Bristol may have just knocked it from the top spot. We'll see.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:16 pm
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Hi Reading Mum

My dd has just started as a first year vet student at RVC and is absolutely loving it so good luck to your dd through the process. If I may offer a couple of tips ... make sure she has a back up plan whether it be to take a gap year by boosting her application and reapplying or to divert to something else and try to enter vet med as a graduate. My dd, despite 22 weeks' very varied work experience and 3 uni interviews out of 3 (Bristol doesn't do interviews), she only had the one offer in the end. Interestingly, 5 out of 7 of them in her flat didn't get in to vet med and are doing bio-veterinary science with the aim of applying to vet med as a graduate. When they say it is tough to get into, they mean it and all the unis have different written forms to fill out, work experience requirements and different ways of interviewing. Many veering towards computer tests, group tasks or multi mini interviews (like speed dating) all of which can be difficult to prepare for and is a learning experience in itself.

My dd also had Bristol as number one spot up to a year prior to application. They have a great farm centre on their site and many other good facilities. Something to consider though, is that last year was the first I believe that they didn't interview vet students (despite still interviewing vet nursing and medicine) and they also dropped their work experience requirements down to 2 weeks, from 8 weeks. I believe these requirements still apply again this year. I know that the previous year (when they had 8 weeks) was when A level results were lower than expected and so you wonder if their high criteria created issues when results came out. However, they seem to have gone very much the other way. They were also so inundated with applications that UCAS had to intervene on their offer timetable to chivvy them up as they were way behind. It makes you wonder about the applicants and whether this could have a detrimental effect when they eventually graduate and try and find employment. One further point to consider about Bristol is in the Complete University Guide graduate survey, they have consistently ranked 7th place (out of all 7 UK schools with graduates) every year except one, since 2013. I know league tables aren't the 'be all' and it will be your daughter's decision ultimately to what feels right for her. That was the approach we took also, but this was certainly interesting to note in the bigger picture.

So good luck again and hope you found some of this useful. If not, apologies for being presumptuous!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Thank you very much.
Backup plan is GAP year and try again. I guess plan C would have to be an alternate degree and then graduate entry but I think the student finance numbers would be quite scary at that point.
School is geared up to prepare them for MMI, they say.
She is making sure she meets the work experience requirements - she has everything except RVC vet practice observation sorted as they only consider experience in the 18 months prior to application and quite a lot of hers is older than that. She now volunteers weekly at a rescue centre which she is loving, and she is doing her DofE gold residential in a zoo which sounds fab.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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My dd is very happily ensconced in her vet course too but it was stressful for all of 6th form and then an awful scrabble to get everything organised in time, she had to drop a lot of things that would have been helpful like learning to drive, having a vacation, etc. I now look on a gap year as a Good Thing after all that. She decided she wanted to go to uni “when all her friends did”, way back in year 12, turns out some had planned gap years anyway, and it held much appeal by the end, but by then it was too late to defer entry. Some places don’t allow it I think but you have to research each one.

We also thought about Eastern Europe, after a gap year, there are good Vet schools there and the qualifications are recognised, there are plenty of nationals working from there. That was the plan if the grades weren’t quite enough to meet the offers.

I think there are more institutions coming on stream for vet med. It’s very competitive for places considering there is a shortage of vets.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Bristol's removal of the interview is interesting. I understand it was done for two reasons. First, the whole interview process was time consuming and expensive. Secondly, there was a view that interviewing is unfair to the "disadvantaged" applicant, who could not be expected to perform as well at interview as everyone else. That might indeed be so, but I am not sure it is a good reason to do away with interviews - vets need to have "people" skills every bit as much as "animal" skills and interviews are a good way to assess them. Still, there we are.
I suspect the lack of an interview requirement will have hugely increased the applications Bristol receives, with many (most?) applicants now putting Bristol on their list as an insurance against poor performance at interview/MMI. Given the irrelevance at Bristol of GCSE results, and the irrelevance of the personal statement (also being justified on "widening participation" grounds) I suspect that Bristol Vet School entry will become even more of a lottery than it was before.

(nb ref work experience, Bristol require a minimum of two weeks but full credit is only given for more than 8 weeks).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Liverpool said that they don’t even read the personal statement so any prospective vet med student will need to select their initial 4 strategically
No interview at Bristol
Personal statement ignored at Liverpool
No specific GCSE requirements at Cambridge
Etc


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