North American Veterinary Licensing Examination
NAVLE® Bulletin of Information for Candidates
November 12 to December 8, 2012
April 8 to April 20, 2013
Updated June 27, 2012
The policies, procedures, requirements and other information in this bulletin pertain to applications for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE®) for the testing windows specified above. This bulletin contains important information. Please keep it for reference throughout your application, testing, licensure and score transfer process.
Copyright © 2012 by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME®). All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without permission from the NBVME.
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GENERAL NAVLE INFORMATION
This bulletin contains procedural and policy information for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE®). You should become familiar with all aspects of this bulletin. Please note that while every attempt has been made to provide accurate and definite information, the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME®) may need to change or revise policies and procedures that affect the NAVLE program. Changes will be posted on this website as soon as they are determined. You should check this website for the most current information about NBVME policies and procedures.
All test questions used in the NAVLE are owned solely by the NBVME and are copyrighted. Any reproduction by any means or distribution of NAVLE questions without the express written authorization of the NBVME will result in appropriate legal action.
Primary Objectives of the NAVLE
The primary objectives of the NAVLE are as follows:
- To provide a comprehensive objective examination to state, territorial, or provincial boards charged with the licensing of veterinarians
- To protect the public by ensuring that veterinarians demonstrate a specified level of knowledge and skills before entering veterinary practice
- To assess the professional competency of veterinarians in terms of their qualifications to enter private clinical practice
- To provide a common standard in the evaluation of candidates that will be comparable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
- To contribute to the veterinary profession through the development of improved definitions of the relationship between knowledge and professional practice
- To facilitate interstate/interprovincial licensing reciprocity for practicing veterinarians
Computer Based Testing (CBT)
The NAVLE is administered on computer. CBT offers enhanced security measures for the examination process. Security of the test materials is ensured by the encryption of data prior to transmission to the test centers. Audio and video monitoring in the test centers enhances the proctoring of the examination, and digital cameras are used to identify NAVLE candidates. Test forms are assigned from many different content-parallel test forms created from large banks of test questions. Different test forms are used on different examination dates, in different locales, and even on the same day within the same test center. These enhancements improve the ability to administer the NAVLE conveniently and securely and provide further assurance that veterinarians who successfully complete it have fairly met the examination requirement for veterinary medical licensing.
Description of the Examination
Each form of the NAVLE consists of an optional 15-minute tutorial and 360 multiple choice questions administered in six blocks of 60 questions each. You will have 65 minutes to complete each block, for a total of 390 minutes (or six and one-half hours) of total examination time. All candidates will have the same number of questions and the same time allotment. Within each block, you may answer questions in any order and review and/or change your answers. When you exit a block, or when time expires, no further review of questions or changing of answers within that block is possible.
The NAVLE is designed to assess your knowledge of veterinary medicine as it relates to entry-level private clinical practice. The examination covers all animal species commonly seen by private practitioners in North America. Approximately 15%-20% of the NAVLE questions will include graphic or pictorial information (such as a photograph or radiograph). Pictorial information will be displayed in a viewer window that provides zoom, contrast adjustment, and panning capabilities for pictorial information. Sixty of the 360 questions will be used as field test questions. They will not be counted in scoring and will be intermingled with scored questions. You will not be able to distinguish between the two.
You will have 45 minutes of total break time which may be used to make the transition between blocks and for breaks. Breaks are not fixed - you will have the personal flexibility to use this time to suit your needs. Breaks may only be taken between blocks of questions.
APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS
Assistance for NAVLE Candidates
The NBVME office stands ready to help answer your questions or resolve problems you may encounter with the NAVLE application and registration process. Please do not hesitate to contact our office by mail, telephone, or email, if you need assistance. It is better to ask for assistance than to assume that everything is fine, only to discover too late that you are unable to take the NAVLE because of problems with your NBVME NAVLE application, your state NAVLE application and approval, or your Scheduling and Admission Permit.
To reduce the potential for misunderstandings and to ensure the privacy of candidate information, the NBVME office will correspond only with the candidate regarding NAVLE application, request for test accommodations, fee payment, registration, and score reporting questions, unless the candidate specifically authorizes the NBVME, in writing, to correspond with a third party. The NBVME may, however, correspond with the appropriate licensing board and/or veterinary school official regarding a candidate’s status in the NAVLE program.
The NAVLE is administered only to bona fide candidates for licensure to practice veterinary medicine. This includes candidates who:
- have graduated from or are enrolled in a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association, or
- are enrolled in or hold certificates issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG), or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE). Candidates who are enrolled in ECFVG or PAVE must have completed the Step 3 examination requirement of the respective program before they may be approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE.
If you have not graduated from veterinary school at the time of application, you must have an expected graduation date no later than eight months from the last date of the applicable testing window.
If you are a candidate who is repeating the NAVLE, please refer to the Retake Policy information elsewhere on this site.
Candidates with Documented Disabilities
If you have a documented disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and require test accommodations, you must contact the licensing board through which you are seeking NAVLE approval to obtain information regarding testing accommodations, application procedures and documentation requirements before you apply for the NAVLE. All accommodations must be approved by the licensing board and the NBVME.
If your accommodation request requires that you have extended testing time for your examination, you must take the NAVLE over a two day period.
It takes time to review the documentation necessary to approve test accommodations. If you do not submit the required documentation to your licensing board in time to allow the board and the NBVME to review it, you will not be eligible for accommodations.
All supporting documentation must be provided to the state or territorial licensing board prior to, or at the time of, submission of your NAVLE application.
Candidates with Pre-existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could affect your ability to take the NAVLE on your scheduled test date, or if you have a medical condition that requires frequent use of the restroom, notify NBVME of your condition at the time you submit your NBVME NAVLE application.
Candidates who Require Personal Items in the Testing Room
Unauthorized possession of personal items while you are in the secure areas of the testing center is prohibited. However, in certain limited circumstances, exceptions to this policy may be made for medical reasons, provided that permission is granted in advance of the test day. If you have a medical condition that requires you to use medication, an external appliance, or an electronic device in the secure areas of the test center, please submit a written request and documentation to the NBVME at the time of your NAVLE application. If the medical issue develops after you have submitted your application, please contact the NBVME immediately.
Examples of appliances and devices to which this policy applies include, but are not limited to, insulin pumps, inhalers, medications, TENS units, hearing aids, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and casts. If you are unsure whether you should request an exception, please contact the NBVME.
You are not required to obtain advance permission to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses during testing, or to consume food or take medication on authorized breaks. All personal items, including those permitted as an exception under this policy, are subject to inspection at the test center. If you bring an item, including an appliance or device, to your examination without obtaining permission in advance, you may not be permitted to test, you may be required to relinquish the item, and/or you may be investigated for irregular behavior.
NAVLE Application Process for Licensure in Canada
If you are applying to take the NAVLE in order to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in Canada, you must contact the Canadian National Examining Board (NEB) in Ottawa directly and follow their NAVLE application procedures and requirements. NAVLE application and fee payment must be made directly to the NEB (not to the NBVME) by their application deadline date. NEB and provincial licensing board contact information can be found elsewhere on this site.
NAVLE Application Process for Licensure in the United States and U.S. Territories
TWO APPLICATIONS must be submitted by NAVLE candidates.
● Application #1: NBVME NAVLE application
A link to the NBVME NAVLE application is available on the NAVLE Application Procedure Chart on this website during application periods. Application and payment can be submitted electronically. Click here for information on how to apply for the NAVLE on-line and pay the fee by Visa or MasterCard.
● Application #2: State or territorial NAVLE application
NAVLE candidates must apply for approval to take the NAVLE through one state or territorial licensing board. Each jurisdiction sets its own eligibility requirements for the examination, and you are responsible for obtaining the necessary NAVLE application materials from the jurisdiction in which you plan to seek licensure (or from their designated NAVLE application processor). Please refer to the NAVLE Application Procedure Chart for state NAVLE application submission information. Because the NAVLE application requirements, deadlines, and application fees vary among jurisdictions, contact your chosen board well in advance of the NBVME NAVLE application deadline. U.S. state and territorial licensing board contact information can be found under the Veterinary Licensing Boards section here.
You can apply for NAVLE approval through one board only, and your score will be reported to that board. You may not change your licensing board after your eligibility file has been submitted to our test vendor. Once you pass the NAVLE, you may request score transfers to other jurisdictions through the VIVA program administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. See the NAVLE Score Transfers section on this site for more information.
The NAVLE fee is $560, payable in U.S. funds. An additional overseas fee of $275 will be assessed for candidates taking the NAVLE outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada.
Licensing board application and approval fees vary. Because the method of payment will vary from one board to another, you are advised to contact your chosen board (or their designee) for accurate information on how to submit the application fee. You will not be permitted to take the NAVLE unless both the licensing board fee and the NAVLE fee have been paid.
The NAVLE has been approved by the Veterans Administration (VA) for VA education benefits. Call 1-888-442-4551 or visit www.gibill.va.gov for more information.
The NAVLE fee is nonrefundable. If you do not take the examination during the testing window for which you were approved, you must submit a new application and pay the full fee to take the NAVLE during a subsequent window. If there are extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for you to take the NAVLE once you have submitted your application and paid your fee, contact the NBVME office for guidance.
The deadline for applying to the licensing board and to the NBVME will be no later than August 1 for the November-December testing window and January 3 for the April testing window. You should contact your chosen board early, because some boards have an earlier deadline. Both the national application and fee, and the licensing board NAVLE application and fee, must be received by the designated offices by their respective deadlines.
If you fail the November-December examination and you are eligible under your licensing board’s retake policy, you may reapply for testing during the subsequent April NAVLE testing window through the same licensing board. The application deadline for these repeating candidates is February 15.
Change of Name or Contact Information
In order to receive examination materials (e.g., instructional e-mails, score reports, etc.) without delay, you must notify the NBVME and your state licensing board in writing of any name, e-mail address, postal address, or telephone number changes. Notification of a name change must be accompanied by an attested photocopy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court judgment from a name change petition. For additional information on ID and name requirements, refer to the Scheduling and Admission Permits and Identification Requirements section of this bulletin, and the Scheduling and Admission Permits page of this site.
The NBVME has recommended to licensing boards that candidates not be approved to take the NAVLE more than five times, and that they not be allowed to sit for the examination at a date that is later than five years after their initial attempt. Each of the final two attempts must be at least one year from the previous attempt. This recommendation is included in contracts with licensing boards, and took effect beginning with the fall 2007 NAVLE administration. Any attempts by a candidate to pass the NAVLE prior to the fall 2007 administration do not count toward the five attempt limit. If state law permits an applicant to take the NAVLE more than five times, or if state law restricts an applicant to fewer than five attempts, state law will prevail. A table of licensing board policies on NAVLE retakes is available on this website. Candidates who successfully complete the NAVLE may not retake the examination without the express written permission of the NBVME and the state requiring the individual to retake the examination.
In order to implement the NAVLE Retake Policy stated above, the NBVME reserves the right to notify licensing boards of all previous attempts by a candidate in any jurisdiction. This notification will not include score information.
Prometric Test Centers for Computer Based Testing (CBT)
The NAVLE is administered in Prometric Test Centers (PTCs). Prometric provides CBT services for professional licensure, academic assessment, certification, and for various other professional and academic needs. Prometric administers testing programs for educational institutions, corporations, professional associations, and other organizations.
All PTCs are set up similarly. This not only helps enhance security, but also provides the same standards of comfort and uniformity for all candidates.
The NAVLE is administered in the United States, U.S. Territories, and Canada, and at selected PTCs in 13 testing regions overseas, as listed on the NAVLE application. There is an additional fee of $275 for overseas testing. Locations of PTCs available for the NAVLE can be found at the Prometric website (www.prometric.com/NBVME).
Prometric test center locations are subject to change, and there is no guarantee that a center listed on the Prometric website at the time of application will be available for a future NAVLE administation. In the event a Prometric testing center closes, affected candidates will be advised by the NBVME on making alternate testing arrangements at another site.
Scheduling and Admission Permits
After you submit your completed applications, have paid the NAVLE fees, and are deemed eligible by a licensing board, the NBVME will send you, no later than September 25 for the November-December testing window and February 27 for the April testing window, an e-mail message with instructions on how to access your NAVLE Scheduling and Admission Permit on-line. Scheduling and Admission Permit information will also be posted on the this website as soon as permits are available.
You must print your Scheduling and Admission Permit before contacting Prometric. Your Scheduling and Admission Permit will contain a Scheduling Number and instructions for making a testing appointment at a PTC, and will specify your testing region and the testing window during which you are eligible to take the examination. Review your first and last names on your permit and compare them to your first and last names as listed on the government-issued, signed, photo identification you plan to use for entrance into the PTC. If your first and last names do not exactly match, contact the NBVME immediately so that a revised permit can be issued for you prior to the start of the testing window. (The only acceptable difference would be the presence of a middle name, middle initial or suffix on one document and its absence on the other.) If you anticipate a name change prior to your test date (e.g., due to a change in marital status), be aware that whatever name appears on your identification must be the same name that appears on your permit. You will not be admitted to the testing center if there is a name mismatch. For additional identification requirements refer to the Scheduling and Admission Permit and Identification Requirements section of this bulletin, and the Scheduling and Admission Permits page of this site.
Keep your Scheduling and Admission Permit in a secure location until your test date, because you must have your printed Scheduling and Admission Permit with you for entrance into the PTC. If you do not bring your Scheduling and Admission Permit to the test center, you will not be permitted to take the NAVLE. Your Scheduling and Admission Permit contains a unique Candidate Identification Number that you must enter into the computer to unlock your examination. Test center staff do not have access to this number. Prior to reporting to the PTC on your scheduled test date, you can log into the permit website to access and reprint your Scheduling and Admission Permit if necessary, but you cannot print a copy of your Scheduling and Admission Permit at the Prometric center, and the NBVME will not provide a faxed copy.
A sample Scheduling and Admission Permit can be found here.
Scheduling a Test Date
The testing windows are November 12-December 8, 2012, and April 8-20, 2013. To obtain your preferred test center and date, contact Prometric as soon as possible after printing your Scheduling and Admission Permit. Appointments are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. If you delay scheduling an appointment, you may not receive the location or test date you want. Try not to schedule on or near the last day of your eligibility period. If something unexpected happens (e.g. you become ill), you may need the extra time remaining in the testing window to reschedule. Please note that PTCs are closed on major holidays and some, but not all, centers are open on weekend days.
If you do not take the examination during the testing window for which you were approved, but wish to take it in the future, you must reapply and pay the fees again. A new Scheduling and Admission Permit is issued to approved candidates for each testing window.
When you contact Prometric, you will be asked for information from your Scheduling and Admission Permit and be given details regarding the test center and dates available on or near the date and location you specify. Please make sure to have alternate test locations and dates in mind, in case your first choices are not available. When scheduling, Prometric will provide you with a Prometric Confirmation Number, which you should record in the designated space on the bottom of your Scheduling and Admission Permit. You will need this number to confirm, reschedule, and/or cancel your testing appointment with Prometric. The NBVME does not have access to your Prometric Confirmation Number.
Scheduling a testing appointment for a specific date at a PTC should not be considered a guarantee that the scheduled test time or location will be available. The PTC at which you are scheduled may become unavailable. In that event, Prometric will attempt to notify you in advance of your testing appointment to schedule a different time and/or center. However, on rare occasions, rescheduling an appointment for a different time or center may occur at the last minute because of the unavailability of a PTC. To avoid last-minute problems, reconfirm your appointment with Prometric at least one week in advance and maintain flexibility in any travel arrangements you may make.
Changing Testing Appointment or Location
If you are unable to keep a testing appointment on your scheduled date or at your scheduled location, you may change your date or location within that testing window and within your chosen testing region using the Prometric contact information on your Scheduling and Admission Permit. You will need to provide your Prometric Confirmation Number (given to you by Prometric when you made your original appointment) when you reschedule. A request to reschedule an appointment must be made by noon local time (of the region in which you are registered to test as noted on your permit) at least two business days before your testing appointment. When contacting Prometric by telephone, you must speak with a representative. Leaving a voice mail message does not satisfy the requirement to provide advance notice.
If you need to reschedule your appointment but cannot provide at least two business days’ notice, you must contact the NBVME for further information. You will be charged a rescheduling fee and will have to wait to reschedule your appointment until your eligibility has been reset. Having your eligibility reset does not guarantee an opening will be available within the testing window or during any extension granted by the NBVME.
If you need to change your testing region, at any point after your eligibility file has been submitted to our test vendor, your eligibility must be reset, and a new Scheduling and Admission Permit must be issued for you. You will be required to pay additional fees. Any changes in your testing region must be made at least 14 days prior to the start of the testing window.
PREPARING FOR THE NAVLE
Test Question Format
The NAVLE includes only single questions with one best answer. They consist of a statement or question followed, in most cases, by five options arranged in alphabetical or logical order (a few items may have four or six options). The response options for all questions are lettered (e.g., A, B, C, D, E). Examinees are required to select the best answer to the question. Other options may be partially correct, but there is only ONE BEST answer.
Sixty sample test questions and an answer key are available elsewhere on this website.
Practice Examination and Tutorial
You can find a practice examination with 20 additional sample items, formatted as a practice test with the same tutorial and general software interface used by Prometric to deliver the NAVLE. This software includes, among other features, clickable icons for marking questions to be reviewed, automated review of marked and incomplete questions, and a timer panel indicating the time remaining in the test. You will also be able to practice using the zoom, contrast adjustment, and panning capabilities for pictorial information. Although the software is simple and intuitive, it is highly recommended that you practice before your test date, because practice at the test center will be limited to a 15-minute tutorial.
NAVLE Self-Assessments are available for purchase elsewhere on this website. Each 200-item assessment costs $50 and the fee is non-refundable. English versions and French versions are offered, and a score report is available immediately after completion of a self-assessment. The score report shows the percentage of items answered correctly for the total assessment, and for each of the main topic areas. It indicates the performance of a comparison group of candidates on the same items, and it includes a projected NAVLE score based on the participant’s performance on the assessment. Answers to individual questions are not provided. See the NAVLE Self-Assessments page on this site for more information.
Strategies for Answering Single One Best Answer Questions
- Read each question carefully. It is important to understand what is being asked.
- Try to generate an answer and then look for it in the list of options.
- Alternatively, read each option carefully and eliminate those that are clearly incorrect. Of the remaining options, select the one that is most correct.
- If you are unsure about an answer, it is better to guess, because unanswered questions are counted as wrong.
Policies and procedures governing administration of the examination have been established to ensure that no candidate or group of candidates receives unfair advantage on the examination, inadvertently or otherwise.
Efforts are made to ensure that the examination is administered under standard conditions and is consistent with the principles on which the examination is developed and scored. However, if the integrity of the examination process is jeopardized, the NBVME reserves the right to invalidate all or any part of an examination.
Physical security of examination materials will be controlled through computerized, electronic transmission of encrypted data. Observation of the testing sessions will be aided by use of audio and video monitors and recording and other equipment available at test centers. All testing sessions for the NAVLE are monitored by staff at the test center. Failure to adhere to the instructions of the test center staff during the examination may result in a determination of irregular behavior.
Candidates observed engaging in possible violation of test administration rules or other forms of irregular behavior during an examination will not necessarily be told of the observation by test center staff at the time of the examination.
You may not bring any personal belongings into the testing room, including, but not limited to mechanical or electronic devices, brimmed hats, book bags, backpacks, purses, books, notes, study materials, calculators, watches, recording or filming devices, radios, electronic paging devices, cellular telephones, food, or beverages. If you bring any personal belongings to the test center, you must store them in a designated locker outside the testing area. Upon reasonable suspicion, such personal belongings and their contents may be inspected.
Any materials that reasonably appear to be reproductions of any NAVLE materials will be confiscated. Making notes of any kind during an examination, except on the materials provided by the test center for this purpose, is not permitted.
Candidates may not use a telephone or other communication device or access reference materials at any point during the examination, including breaks, for any purpose related to test content.
Candidates are not permitted to communicate with, seek aid from, or provide aid to any other candidate during the examination.
Please be aware that there will be test takers from other professions taking examinations during your test administration. Their examination formats and schedules will differ from your schedule. There may be low levels of background activity audible as they arrive, take their examinations, and depart. Candidates are allowed to bring soft-foam earplugs into the testing room. However, they must be out of the packaging and ready for inspection by test center staff during check-in. Earplugs must be left at the workstation during all breaks.
Rules of Conduct for the NAVLE
NAVLE candidates must agree to the following rules of Conduct:
1. You are the person named on the Scheduling and Admission Permit for the examination.
2. You will not give, receive, or obtain any form of unauthorized assistance during the examination or breaks.
3. You should not bring to the testing center, and you may not have in your possession or access at any time during the examination administration, any reference materials.
4. Before entering the testing room, you will place in a locker all personal belongings in your possession, including cellular phones, your purse and/or wallet, pagers, personal digital assistants, notes, paper, and, if you inadvertently brought them with you to the testing center, any reference materials.
5. You will not leave your testing station for breaks unless the break screen is visible on your monitor. It will be considered a violation of the Rules of Conduct if you indicate on the center log that your break screen is visible when it is not.
6. You may not use a telephone or other communication device or access reference materials at any point during the examination, including breaks, for any purpose related to test content.
7. You will not remove materials in any form (written, printed, recorded, or any other type) from the test center.
8. All examination materials remain the property of the NBVME, and you will maintain confidentiality of the materials. You will not reproduce or attempt to reproduce examination materials through memorization or any other means. Also, you will not provide information relating to examination content that may give or attempt to give unfair advantage to individuals who may be taking the examination. This includes posting regarding examination items and/or answers on the internet.
If you violate these Rules of Conduct, you may be directed to leave the test center before you complete the examination. Also, evidence of violation of any test administration rule, including these Rules of Conduct, will result in actions being taken under NBVME policies and procedures on irregular behavior. If you are found to have engaged in irregular behavior, your score report and transcripts will include this finding, and you may be barred from taking the NAVLE in the future.
All NAVLE candidates must agree with the following statement before they will be able to take the examination: “This examination contains test materials that are owned and copyrighted by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME). Any reproduction of these materials or any part of them, through any means, including, but not limited to copying or printing of electronic files, reconstruction through memorization and/or dictation, and/or dissemination of these materials or any part of them is strictly prohibited.”
Irregular behavior is defined by the NBVME as any behavior that undermines the application, assessment, or certification processes of the NBVME or that threatens the integrity of the NAVLE certification process. Anyone having information or evidence that suspected irregular behavior has occurred should submit a written, signed statement to the NBVME providing a detailed description of the incident and/or circumstances and copies of any supporting documentation and evidence. Insofar as possible, such reports will be handled confidentially; however, the NBVME will not investigate and/or act on unsigned or verbal reports. Irregular behavior may occur prior to, during, and/or following examination application and administration.
Such behavior may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- disclosing examination information by using language that is substantially similar to that used in questions and/or answers from NBVME examinations when such information is gained as a direct result of having been an examinee; this includes, but is not limited to, disclosures to students in educational programs, graduates of educational programs, educators or anyone else involved in the preparation of candidates to sit for the examinations; and/or
- receiving examination information that uses language that is substantially similar to that used in questions and/or answers on NBVME examinations from an examinee, whether requested or not; and/or
- copying, publishing, reconstructing (whether by memory or otherwise), reproducing or transmitting any portion of examination materials by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, without the prior express written permission of NBVME or using professional, paid or repeat examination takers or any other individual for the purpose of reconstructing any portion of examination materials; and/or
- possessing unauthorized materials during an examination administration (e.g., recording devices, photographic equipment, electronic paging devices, cellular telephones, reference materials); and/or
- failure to adhere to PTC regulations; and/or
- using or purporting to use any portion of examination materials which were obtained improperly or without authorization for the purpose of instructing or preparing any applicant for examination; and/or
- selling or offering to sell, buying or offering to buy, or distributing or offering to distribute any portion of examination materials without express written authorization; and/or
- removing or attempting to remove examination materials from an examination room, or having unauthorized possession of any portion of or information concerning a future, current, or previously administered examination of NBVME; and/or
- disclosing what purports to be, or under all circumstances is likely to be understood by the recipient as, any portion of or “inside” information concerning any portion of a future, current, or previously administered examination of NBVME; and/or
- communicating with another individual during administration of the examination for the purpose of giving or receiving help in answering examination questions, copying another candidate’s answers, permitting another candidate to copy one’s answers, or possessing unauthorized materials including, but not limited to notes (except on the laminated note boards at the test center); and/or
- looking in the direction of another candidate’s computer monitor during the examination if such may reasonably be interpreted as affording the opportunity to copy the work of another candidate; and/or
engaging in any conduct that materially disrupts any examination or that could reasonably be interpreted as threatening or abusive toward any examinee, proctor, or staff; and/or
impersonating a candidate or permitting an impersonator to take or attempt to take the examination on one’s own behalf; and/or
- falsifying information on application or registration forms; and/or
- the use of any other means that potentially alters the results of the examination such that the results may not accurately represent the professional knowledge base of a candidate.
Any irregular behavior will be reported to the NBVME and will constitute grounds for the NBVME to:
- bar you from one or more future examinations or permanently; and/or
- terminate your participation in the examination; and/or
- invalidate the results of your examination and any prior examinations; and/or
- withhold your scores; and/or
- fine you in an amount that reflects damages suffered by NBVME, including its costs of investigation and the costs of replacing any items that must be removed from the item bank; and/or
- censure you; and/or
- sue you for damages and civil remedies; and/or
- pursue prosecution of you for any conduct that constitutes a criminal or civil violation; and/or
- take any other appropriate action.
Candidates also understand and agree that the NBVME may withhold their scores and may require them to retake one or more portions of an examination if the NBVME is presented with evidence demonstrating to the NBVME, in its sole discretion, that the security of those portions of the examination has been compromised, notwithstanding the absence of any evidence of their personal involvement in the compromising activities. Candidates further understand and agree that the examination and related materials utilized in the NBVME’s examinations are copyrighted as the sole property of the NBVME and must not be removed from the test area or reproduced in any way, and that reproduction of copyrighted material, in whole or in part, is a federal offense and may subject them to the sanctions listed above.
Any irregular behavior or violation of the test administration rules may, in the sole discretion of NBVME, be reported to the applicable board or boards of veterinary medicine, which could jeopardize your potential for licensure. In addition, if NBVME has reason to believe that a candidate may have engaged in irregular behavior, it may notify the applicable board or boards of veterinary medicine, even if the investigation is ongoing and no findings have been made.
If you have any questions or doubts about whether an activity might constitute irregular behavior, you should contact the NBVME Executive Director for clarification.
You should arrive at the test center 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. If you arrive late, you may not be admitted. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late, you will not be admitted to the test center.
After you present the required identification, you will sign a test center log, be photographed, and store your personal belongings in your assigned locker.
Scheduling and Admission Permit and Identification Requirements
Upon arrival at the test center, you must present your Scheduling and Admission Permit and an unexpired government-issued form of identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) that includes both a photograph and your signature. The first and last names on your identification form must exactly match the name on your Scheduling and Admission Permit. The only acceptable difference would be the presence of a middle name, middle initial or suffix on one document and its absence on the other. You will not be admitted without these items or if there is a name mismatch. Name changes or corrections cannot be made within 7 business days of a scheduled testing date. If your government-issued identification form contains only a photograph, a second form of unexpired identification with your signature is required, such as a student ID or credit card. The first and last names on your secondary ID also must exactly match the name on your Scheduling and Admission Permit. If you cannot take the NAVLE due to the circumstances described above, you must contact the NBVME for further information. You will be charged a rescheduling fee and will have to wait to reschedule your appointment until your eligibility has been reset and the issue with your identification resolved. Having your eligibility reset does not guarantee an opening will be available within the testing window or during any extension granted by the NBVME.
General Instructions for Taking the Examination
You will be provided with a laminated note board, dry erase markers, and an eraser. Test center staff will instruct you to write your name and Candidate Identification Number (CIN) on the laminated note board. After you write your name and CIN on the note board, test center staff will collect your permit and escort you to your assigned testing station and provide brief instructions on use of the computer equipment. You must enter your CIN to start the examination. Do not erase your name and CIN from the note board until the end of your test day, because you may need to enter the CIN several times throughout the day. You may then take the optional 15-minute tutorial prior to starting the first block of the examination.
Once you begin a block of 60 items, no authorized breaks are provided during that block. You will have 65 minutes to complete each block. During blocks, the block and daytime clocks continue to run even if you leave the testing room (e.g., for a personal emergency). If you leave during a block, the test center staff will report that fact as an irregular incident. In addition, the "unauthorized break" screen, described in the examination tutorial, may appear on the monitor at your workstation during a testing block. As explained in the tutorial, the unauthorized break screen will appear after a defined period of inactivity (no mouse click or key entry). Thirty seconds before the appearance of the unauthorized break screen, an "inactivity timeout" warning will appear. If you do not click as instructed on the warning screen, the unauthorized break screen will appear after 30 seconds. You will then have to enter your CIN to continue with the examination.
Each time you leave the testing room, you are required to sign out and sign in when you return. You must present your government-issued photo identification each time you sign in.
Each block ends when its time expires or when you exit from it. The test session ends when you have started and exited all blocks or the total time for the test expires. You will sign out as you leave the test center and receive a Test Completion Notice.
After you start taking the examination, you cannot cancel or reschedule unless a technical problem prevents you from completing your examination. If you experience a computer problem during the test, notify test center staff immediately. The testing software is designed to allow the test to restart at the point it was interrupted. In most cases, your test can be restarted at the point of interruption with no loss of testing time. However, it is possible that a technical problem may occur that does not permit you to complete your examination. In that event, arrangements will be made to allow you to test at a later date at no additional charge.
Your entire testing session is scheduled for a fixed amount of time. The computer keeps track of your overall time and the time allocated for each block of the test. At the start of the testing session, you have a total of 45 minutes of break time. This allotment of time is used for authorized breaks between blocks. Authorized breaks include any time taken between test blocks, whether you take a brief break at your seat or you leave the testing room. If you complete the tutorial or other blocks of the test early, the remaining time will be available as additional break time. It will not be available to complete other blocks of the test. As you progress through the blocks of the test, you should use the features available in the testing software to monitor how many blocks are remaining and how much break time is remaining. If you take too much break time and exceed the allocated or accumulated break time, your time to complete the last block(s) in the testing session will be reduced.
When time in a block runs out, you will not be able to move to any new screens within that block, and the computer will close the block. After you complete or run out of time for each block during the test, you must respond when the computer asks you to indicate whether you want to take a break or continue. After you complete all of the test blocks, you may be asked to answer some survey questions about your testing experience.
SCORING AND SCORE REPORTS
Scoring, Analysis, and Standard Setting
In the scoring of the NAVLE, one point is awarded for each correct answer. Test questions are not weighted, and additional points are not subtracted for incorrect responses.
After all responses are recorded, an analysis is conducted for each examination question that produces statistics descriptive of difficulty and discrimination. When such analysis and/or candidate comments indicate the need, specific questions are reviewed again by one or more test committee members to ensure that the answer key is correct. Any question that fails to perform acceptably may be dropped from both the current scoring key and from the test question pool. Examinations are then scored for all candidates.
The minimum passing score for the NAVLE is established by criterion-referenced (also known as content-based) methods. Using content-based standard setting means that an established level of proficiency in the content is required in order to pass. If all candidates meet this criterion (passing standard), then all candidates will pass; if only 50% meet the passing standard, then only 50% will pass.
Whether a candidate passes or fails is not influenced by the relative performance of others taking the examination. Equating methods are used to maintain the same passing standard from administration to administration, despite potential differences in ability levels of candidate groups and/or question difficulty across administrations. Calculating the scores in this manner facilitates both comparisons of individual performance and comparisons of examinations from year to year.
Your score report will be formatted to meet the specific requirements of the licensing board through which you were approved to take the NAVLE. The information that may be included on your score report is outlined below.
Score reports will show a pass or fail designation and either one or both of the score categories described.
Pass or Fail Designation
The NBVME recommends to licensing boards that an individual candidate's passing status on the NAVLE be determined based on the criterion-referenced passing score approved by the NBVME. The NAVLE passing standard is determined by a panel of veterinarians who are experts in the content areas assessed by the NAVLE. This panel reviews the NAVLE and makes judgments as to the test performance required of entry-level veterinarians. The collective judgments of the panel members are used to establish a NAVLE score representing the lowest acceptable passing score on the examination. Candidates who achieve a score equal to or higher than this criterion-referenced passing score receive a "pass" classification.
Three-Digit Scaled Score
This score is expressed on a numerical scale that ranges from 200 to 800. On this scale, a score of 425 is equivalent to the criterion-referenced passing score established by the NBVME.
Two-Digit Scaled Score
This is a locally derived score that ranges from 0 to 99, with the passing point set at either 70 or 75. The passing points used for locally derived scales are equivalent to the criterion-referenced passing point recommended by the NBVME. Thus, your passing status is unaffected by the conversion from the NBVME scaled score to the locally derived scaled score. Depending on the licensing jurisdiction's locally derived passing point, the scaled pass point of 425 is equivalent to different local scores. For example, a locally derived passing score of 70 in Maine and a locally derived passing score of 75 in Georgia are equivalent to the 425 scale score pass point. Note that these scaled scores are neither percent correct scores nor percentile ranks.
Scoring Process, Score Reports, and Diagnostic Reports
As you take the NAVLE, your responses will be recorded and stored by the computer. After you complete testing, these responses are transmitted to the National Board of Medical Examiners for scoring. The NAVLE score report shows your score and a pass/fail designation. Your score report is sent to the licensing board through which you were approved. The licensing board (or its designee) will report your NAVLE score to you. Scores for the November-December examination will be reported to licensing boards by February 1 and scores for the April examination will be reported by mid-May.
If you fail the examination, your score report will be accompanied by a one-page diagnostic report, showing your areas of relative strength and weakness on the major content areas of the NAVLE.
If you sat for the NAVLE, but it is determined that you were not eligible, or that you engaged in irregular behavior, scores for that examination will not be reported or, if previously reported, may be rescinded.
Uniform and precise procedures ensure that the score reported for each candidate to the licensing board is an accurate reflection of the responses recorded by the computer, and the validity of scores has been historically verified. You may confirm with the NBVME that the score reported to you by your licensing board is indeed the identical score as reported to the NBVME by the testing vendor.
NAVLE candidates are not permitted to review their examinations.
School Score Reports by Candidate Consent
The NAVLE application includes a consent statement, authorizing the NBVME to report individual NAVLE scores, identified by name, to the candidate’s veterinary school. This consent is only for candidates who are senior students at AVMA accredited veterinary schools. Scores for candidates who grant consent will be reported to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the candidate’s veterinary school (or his/her designee) as soon as possible after the scores are reported to licensing boards. In addition, for candidates who do not pass, the school will receive a copy of the candidate’s diagnostic score report. A candidate’s score and diagnostic score report will not be made part of such candidate’s academic record. Schools will be required to keep the score reports confidential, and to use the information only for internal purposes at the veterinary school. Candidates are under no obligation to agree to the consent statement, and scores for candidates who do not grant consent will not be reported to their veterinary school. A candidate’s decision whether to release his or her score will not affect the candidate’s student status at the veterinary school. Consents for Canadian candidates will be collected by the Canadian National Examining Board as part of the NEB NAVLE application. Candidates may change their consent status by submitting a written request to the NBVME by fax or e-mail at any time up to the opening of the testing window.
If you believe that the administration of the examination or the examination conditions adversely affected your performance, for consideration, you must send a signed, written request to the NBVME for an investigation. Such requests must be received by the NBVME within 10 days following your test date. Indicate the date and location of the administration and provide a description of the event in as much detail as possible. Filing a complaint with Prometric staff, although advised, is not sufficient in and of itself.
Each grievance filed with the NBVME will be evaluated. If your grievance cannot be substantiated through analysis, or if it is determined that your performance was not adversely affected, the score as reported will stand. However, if your complaint can be supported, appropriate corrective action will be taken.
NAVLE Score Transfers
Your initial NAVLE score will be reported to the licensing board through which you received NAVLE approval and to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). This initial score reporting service is included in your examination fee. All subsequent requests by you for NAVLE score reports must be directed to the Veterinary Information Verifying Agency (VIVA), operated by the AAVSB. The NBVME does not process score transfers. Through an agreement with the NBVME, the AAVSB maintains all national veterinary licensure examination results in a secure file at its national headquarters. NAVLE scores may be used by the NBVME for statistical purposes and may be released to third parties provided all candidate identification has been deleted prior to release.
When requesting your scores be sent to one or more jurisdictions, you must make your request through the AAVSB’s website, or send a written request to the AAVSB’s VIVA by mail. Contact the AAVSB for the current cost of score transfer requests.
An AAVSB VIVA Score Transfer Application form is available on the AAVSB website. Your scores cannot be transferred until after they have been reported to the initial licensing board.
For information regarding VIVA, please visit the AAVSB website (www.aavsb.org) or call (877) 698-VIVA.
DEVELOPMENT AND CONTENT
Test questions for the NAVLE are written by veterinarians representing all aspects of the profession, including academicians and private practitioners, many of whom are members of specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties. With the assistance of staff from the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®), each newly written test question is reviewed by a test development committee. Questions that seem problematic are revised or discarded. All accepted questions are then reviewed and validated by at least three experts in the field of veterinary medicine for accuracy, content relevance, importance, and difficulty. The NAVLE is prepared in a manner to meet the testing standards of the American Psychological Association.
The NAVLE is constructed according an examination blueprint, which was derived from a job analysis conducted by the NBVME in 2009 and approved in 2010. There are two dimensions to the blueprint: activities and animal species.
Activities are tasks that veterinarians perform in practice, and are grouped into three main categories. Weights are assigned to each category and subcategory based on its relative importance in practice.
Animal species is the other dimension of the NAVLE blueprint. Weights are assigned based on the relative importance of the various animal species categories to the overall practice of veterinary medicine in North America.
The numbers listed in the blueprint represent targets for the number of items for each category out of the 300 scored items on each form of the NAVLE.
NAVLE PROCESS SUMMARIZED for U.S./U.S. Territorial Licensure
- Two applications are required. It is your responsibility to make sure both the licensing board office (or their designated NAVLE processor) and the NBVME have all the required paperwork and fees by their respective application deadlines in order for you to be registered and approved for the NAVLE.
Application 1: Apply for the NAVLE.
- Complete the NBVME NAVLE application and pay the corresponding fee by the application deadline of August 1 for the November-December testing window and January 3 for the April testing window. During the application periods, you can apply on-line, or you can fill out the paper application and send it to the NBVME to be received by the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.
- Enter your name on the NAVLE application exactly as it appears on the non-expired government issued photo identification you plan on presenting at the testing center on the day of your examination. Name changes or corrections cannot be made within seven business days of your scheduled testing date. If the first and last names on your identification and Scheduling and Admission Permit do not match exactly, you will not be allowed to take the NAVLE.
- The NBVME NAVLE fee is $560. There is an additional fee of $275 for overseas testing. For applications submitted on-line, fees can be paid with MasterCard or Visa. For applications submitted by paper, fees can be paid by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order (payable in US funds).
Application 2: Apply through a licensing board for approval to take the NAVLE.
- All NAVLE candidates must apply for NAVLE approval through one state or territorial licensing board, and each jurisdiction sets its own eligibility requirements for the examination. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary NAVLE application materials from the jurisdiction in which you plan to seek licensure. Because the requirements, deadlines, and application fees vary among jurisdictions, contact your chosen board (or their designated NAVLE processor) well in advance of the application deadline. U.S. state and territorial licensing board contact information can be found here.
- Request a NAVLE application packet from the licensing board office where you want a license to practice veterinary medicine (or from their designated NAVLE processor). Return all required paperwork and fees to the licensing board office (or their processor) by their deadline, so the board can approve you to take the NAVLE. If you are applying through Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont or Virginia, click here for more information. The NBVME is handling applications on behalf of the aforementioned states.
- If you are a candidate with a documented disability wanting to test with special accommodations, contact your licensing board (or their processor) early to obtain the required paperwork, and submit it along with your supporting disability documentation to that board (or their processor). Do this prior to submitting the NBVME NAVLE application (Application 1).
- If you are approved by a licensing board to take the NAVLE, a Scheduling and Admission Permit will be available for you to print on-line no later than September 25 for the November-December testing window and February 27 for the April testing window. If you have not received an e-mail from the NBVME with the on-line link by the permit availability dates, contact the NBVME office. Make your testing appointment as soon as you access and print your Scheduling and Admission Permit in order to get the date and testing center you prefer. You can find available testing center locations at www.prometric.com/NBVME.
- When scheduling your testing appointment, Prometric will provide you with a Confirmation Number. Record this number in the space provided on the bottom of your printed Scheduling and Admission Permit.
- Contact Prometric (noth the NBVME) to confirm your testing appointment one week prior to your testing date, using the Prometric Confirmation Number provided to you by Prometric at the time you scheduled. NBVME does not have access to confirmation numbers.
- Arrive at the test center 30 minutes prior to your appointment with your non-expired government-issued, signed photo ID and your Scheduling and Admission Permit. Permits cannot be printed at the Prometric testing center.
- Scores will be reported to the board through which you applied approximately four weeks after the close of the testing window. Boards report scores to their approved candidates. If you want to have your scores transferred to another licensing board, contact AAVSB at 877-698-8482, or www.aavsb.org.