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We're sure you've already heard how competitive it is to get into veterinary school. Sure, it's competitive – but it's not impossible. If you've got good science and math skills and an interest in helping animals, follow your dream. Who better to help you than the people who've already been there?
Why are grades important? They can indicate your intelligence, your study habits, and your dedication and drive to succeed. Those are all qualities veterinary schools are looking for when they evaluate applicants. When a school sees an "A," they think you studied hard, did well, and learned.
So, what if your grades are good but not great? Does that mean you've got no chance? No, it doesn't. Veterinary schools are looking for well-rounded students. They're looking for future leaders. You can make yourself a better candidate by getting good (or great) grades as well as experience and leadership skills.
That said, check out your school's undergraduate catalog for courses that aren't on the vet school prerequisite list but might be good courses to give you a "leg up" and better prepare you for the coursework you'll have in vet school. For example, consider taking upper-level anatomy & physiology, zoology, microbiology, animal science/animal production, nutrition, and histology courses, to name a few. It's possible that taking these courses as an undergrad can make the comparable vet school classes much less stressful for you because you've already got a good foundation in that subject.
It goes without saying that volunteering or working for a veterinarian is very important. Not only does it expose you to your potential career (so you know what you're getting into, so to speak), but it also might provide a good recommendation for you from the veterinarian.
Varied experience is also helpful. If you have the opportunity to work in a research lab or for veterinarians who work with different species, that's a bonus that can make you more appealing to a veterinary school admissions committee. Get as much experience as you can while you have the opportunity.
Most of us dread public speaking, but that's all the more reason to take a class or two. Becoming more comfortable speaking to larger audiences will come in handy later in life.
2014 American Veterinary Medical Association