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  • Writer's pictureBella Rawson

Cambridge Veterinary Medicine Interview Questions

It's interview season! Many of you will be preparing to log onto that Zoom call and face the interviewers of various Cambridge colleges, the hopes of getting and offer and spending the next six years of you life in the city. (I'm in Year 3 and I'm already tired, but don't let that put you off - we may all be exhausted, but I promise it's good fun too!)

I've put together a list of questions in the style that you may be asked at interview. Please note, these are only for practice, and should be used only as a guide to get you used to/aware of the style of things that you might be asked. It is not a guarantee that these topics will come up, nor that this is what you will be asked. I'm also only a student, so this comes with the usual disclaimer that I'm not involved with admissions in any way, and these are only intended as a guide.

1) Influenza is an RNA virus. It replicates in the nucleus, and is an acute respiratory virus.

Why do you think the virus replicates in the nucleus?

The host cell nucleus contains the splicing machinery, allowing the virus to hijack and use it to splice its own genome. This means that the virus doesn't have to encode additional proteins into its prepackaged genome, helping to keep it small. It may also have something to do with protection from the immune response - the nucleus already contains genetic material, so it is unlikely to send warning signals when RNA enters it, unlike the cytoplasm.

What dangers does the virus face in the cytoplasm?

How does a virus exit the cell?

Since you understand that: Tamiflu is a drug that prevents the virus particles from leaving the cell. How do you think it does that?

2) Have you heard of brachycephaly?

What kinds of problems does it cause?

What clinical solutions might be available to these dogs?

How might brachycephaly cause eye problems?

3) Blood Smear Picture

What do you see here?

You might say red blood cells and white blood cells. You might want to specify the presence of monocytes, basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils and granulocytes.

When might this be used in a clinical setting?

What might you expect to see if the organism was infected with parvovirus, and how would this change if it was infected with a parasite?

4) Acyclovir is an anti-viral drug mainly used in the treatment of Herpesviruses. This is its structure.

What does this look similar to?

DNA nucleotide

Given you know that, how do you think it might work?

5) This is a skull of an animal.

Is it a herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore?

Omnivore! Look at the teeth - not completely flat (battery like teeth are key for herbivores to grind plant material) but not just canine like (needed for ripping meat). Might use teeth for crushing nuts too.

Is it a prey or predator species?

What animal is it from?

This animal likes to forage for food. How is the skull adapted to allow this?

There is a bone in the end of the nose, the os rostri. What do you think this might be for?


I hope this was helpful and informative, and as always if you have further questions you can email me or book a Zoom call with me where I'll answer any questions you may have, for less than the price of a cup of coffee

If you have any information you think would be useful to include in this guide, or you notice anything missing, please drop me a message using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

And finally, want five FREE secrets to making an AWESOME vet school application? Click here to get the guide!



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