Cambridge Veterinary Medicine Interview Questions

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Interview Essentials

Cambridge places a higher emphasis on A Levels than GCSEs when assessing applicants for Vet Medicine. All applicants must sit the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment, which we have provided more detail on below. The typical offer will be A*AA, and you must be taking Chemistry, with at least one from Biology, Physics and Maths. Most applicants take Biology, although all three of these subjects are considered equally. Don’t worry too much about your choice of college, as colleges generally get an applicant number in line with their quota, so you won’t do better trying to strategically pick colleges with higher quota numbers, for example. Quotas for Vet Med are: Churchill 2, Clare 4, Downing 2, Emmanuel 4, Fitzwilliam 3, Girton 9, Caius 2, Homerton 4, Jesus 3, Magdalene 4, Murray Edwards 5, Newnham 3, Pembroke 2, Queens’ 3, Robinson 4, St Catharine’s 5, St John’s 4, Selwyn 4, Sidney Sussex 2, Trinity Hall 2.

The university states that ‘our experience suggests that [applicants taking three science subjects]… are more likely to be successful than those taking two.’ As such, being shortlisted for interview will be much more of a challenge if you are offering only two science subjects. However, it is still entirely possible, and the university welcomes applicants who have recently decided on Vet Med and therefore offer only two sciences, for example.

Admissions Statistics for Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge

The university interviews more than 70% of applicants for Vet Med. In the most recent set of data there were 407 applicants, and 90 places were offered. This led to 79 students successfully taking up their place.

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Interview Key Dates

Expect interview dates to be roughly in line with other Cambridge courses – from the end of November to the middle of December. You’ll likely have two interviews of 30 minutes each, conducted on the same day. Decisions on offers will be made in early January to mid January. Offer holders are then invited to an offer holders’ open day, which is typically in February.

Interview Format and Purpose for Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge

As stated, you should expect two half-hour ‘discussions,’ on the same day. The university provides a clear overview of what it looks for from its Vet Med applicants. These attributes are:

  • commitment to a veterinary or veterinary-related career,
  • good problem solving skills,
  • an aptitude for discussing scientific and mathematical concepts,
  • enthusiasm for discussing veterinary cases they have seen
  • keenness to discuss veterinary/scientific issues, especially those encountered from wider reading or research, and
  • evidence of an ability to balance work and leisure activities.

You should be ready to work through challenging questions which cover new ideas or concepts that you are not familiar with. However, the university tries to make the Vet Med interview as relaxed as it can, even down to students not being required to dress smartly.

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Additional Assessments

All Vet Med applicants will have to take Cambridge’s NSAA, or the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment. This is the same test that those applying to study Natural Sciences will take. It is formatted as follows: 

  • Section 1: Multiple choice questions in Mathematics, plus one science of your choice (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) (60 minutes)
  • Section 2: Extended multiple choice questions in Biology, Chemistry or Physics (60 minutes

In Section 1, you are required to answer the mathematics questions, after which you can choose between Biology, Chemistry, and Physics – you therefore answer questions on two different subjects. You cannot use a calculator in Section 1.

Section 2 features three parts, of which you only have to answer one. There are 20 multiple choice questions in each part. This means that you choose between Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and answer questions on your strongest subject. As in section 1, calculators are not allowed.

You will not have to submit any written work.

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