GRE for Vet School: What You Need to Know

October 12, 2023
4 min read


Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, & Admissions Officer, Columbia University

Reviewed: 10/11/23

Do you need to take the GRE for vet school? This article will provide you with everything you need to know to get started.

A person marking the GRE exam

If you're an aspiring veterinarian with dreams of providing expert care to animals, you've likely considered the challenging yet rewarding path of attending veterinary school. To take that crucial step towards your desired career, you must first navigate the admissions process, a significant aspect of which is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 

In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of the GRE for vet school and provide valuable insights to help you excel in this critical examination. Whether you're a recent graduate or a career changer, understanding the GRE's role in your journey to becoming a veterinarian is essential, so let's dive into what you need to know.

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What Is a Good GRE Score for Vet School?

Smiling vet student

The GRE is a standardized test that assesses a candidate's readiness for graduate-level education and is used by numerous schools, including some veterinary programs, to evaluate applicants.

As the competition for vet school spots intensifies, it becomes essential for prospective students to understand what constitutes a good GRE score for vet school. While there is no definitive one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each veterinary program sets its own admission standards, there are some general guidelines and considerations to keep in mind.

GRE Score Range

The GRE consists of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each section is scored separately, with the Verbal and Quantitative sections having a score range of 130 to 170 in one-point increments. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments.

Different veterinary schools may have different vet school GRE requirements when evaluating applications. Some schools might have a specific minimum GRE score requirement, while others consider GRE scores alongside factors such as undergraduate GPA, veterinary experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements.

Researching Veterinary Programs

To determine what constitutes a good GRE score for a specific veterinary school, thoroughly research the program's admission requirements. Veterinary schools often publish their average or median GRE scores of accepted students, which can serve as a helpful reference point for prospective applicants.

Furthermore, prospective students should consider reaching out to the admissions offices of the veterinary schools they are interested in attending. This direct communication can provide invaluable insights into the weightage of GRE scores in the admissions process and any other factors that might be considered.

Competitive Scores

The definition of a "good" GRE score can vary between programs. Generally, a competitive GRE score for vet school falls within the upper percentile. Scoring above the 75th percentile in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections is considered quite strong. 

For example, a combined score of around 320–325 or higher on the Verbal and Quantitative sections would be regarded as competitive for many veterinary programs.

Preparing for the GRE

Preparing for the GRE is essential to achieve a competitive score. Many test-takers opt for study resources such as GRE test prep books, online courses, and practice exams. Taking practice tests under timed conditions can help familiarize students with the exam format and improve time management skills.

Additionally, some candidates may choose to retake the GRE if they believe their initial scores do not reflect their true abilities. However, before retaking the test, it's crucial to verify the policies of the specific veterinary schools being applied to, as some schools may consider the highest score, while others might average multiple attempts.

Average GRE Scores for the Top Vet Schools

The following table presents a comprehensive overview of the top veterinary schools renowned for their excellence in veterinary education, along with their respective average GRE scores.

Vet School Average GRE (Quantitative) Average GRE (Verbal)
UC Davis 167 N/A
Colorado State 154 160
Cornell 160+ 153+
Ohio State 164 153
NC State 155 146
University of Wisconsin 156 156
Texas A&M 155 154
University of Illinois 154 153
Washington State 157 154

Vet School Average GRE (Quantitative) Average GRE (Verbal)
Tufts 167 155
Virginia Tech 150 150
University of Tennessee 153 155
Louisiana State 144 153
Tuskegee University 300 300
Western University of Health Sciences 153 152
Midwestern University 152 152
Lincoln Memorial 150 151

The average GRE scores for vet school hover between 155 and 160 for both the quantitative and verbal sections.

List of Vet Schools That Don’t Require GRE Scores

The following vet schools do not require students to submit GRE scores for the admissions process: 

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • Auburn
  • Iowa State
  • Purdue
  • University of Minnesota
  • Michigan State
  • Kansas State
  • University of Missouri
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Arizona
  • Long Island University

These institutions have joined the growing trend of emphasizing holistic application assessments, prioritizing qualities beyond standardized test scores in their selection of future veterinarians.

FAQs: GRE for Vet School

Here are a few common questions about GRE for vet school.

1. Is the GRE Required for Vet School?

The GRE requirement for vet school admissions varies among different veterinary programs. While some veterinary schools require applicants to submit GRE scores as part of their application package, others may not consider the GRE. 

2. Do GRE Scores Really Matter for Vet Schools?

The importance of GRE scores for vet school admissions can vary among different veterinary programs. While some schools consider GRE scores as part of the holistic evaluation process, others may place less emphasis on these scores

3. What GRE Score Is Needed for Vet School?

The specific GRE score needed for vet school can vary depending on the individual veterinary program's admissions requirements and competitiveness. There is no universal minimum or target score applicable to all vet schools. 

To increase their chances of gaining admission, prospective students should aim for a competitive GRE score that falls within the upper percentile. Generally, scoring above the 75th percentile in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections is considered strong. 

Applicants need to research the admission standards of the veterinary schools they are interested in and consider the significance placed on GRE scores in combination with other application components, such as academic records, veterinary experience, recommendation letters, and personal statements

4. Can You Get Into Vet School with a Low GRE Score?

Yes, getting into vet school with a low GRE score is possible, but it can make the admissions process more challenging. While a strong GRE score can positively impact an applicant's chances of acceptance, veterinary schools typically take a holistic approach to evaluating candidates. 

If applicants have a low GRE score, they can still improve their overall application by excelling in other areas and showcasing their dedication to veterinary medicine. Some schools may also have more flexible GRE score requirements or consider the applicant's entire application package before deciding. 

It is crucial for applicants with lower GRE scores to thoroughly research the specific admission criteria of the veterinary schools they are interested in and take steps to strengthen other aspects of their application to increase their chances of acceptance.

5. When Should I Take the GRE for Vet School?

When planning to apply to vet school, it is essential to carefully consider the timing of taking the GRE. Most veterinary programs have specific application deadlines, which may vary from school to school. 

As the GRE score is a crucial component of the application, taking the test well in advance is generally recommended to ensure scores are available when submitting applications. Candidates should aim to take the GRE at least several months before the application deadlines.

Final Thoughts

The GRE is a significant aspect of the vet school application process, but its importance can vary among veterinary programs. While a competitive GRE score can undoubtedly bolster an applicant's chances of acceptance, it is crucial to recognize that vet schools take a holistic approach when evaluating candidates. 

The GRE score is just one component of a comprehensive application that includes academic achievements, veterinary experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. Aspiring veterinarians should thoroughly research the admission requirements of their chosen veterinary schools and use GRE preparation as an opportunity to strengthen their overall application. 

Whether a candidate achieves a high or lower GRE score, dedication, passion for animal care, and well-rounded experiences are pivotal in showcasing their potential to thrive in veterinary medicine. 

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