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Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination

The Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE) is designed to assess basic and clinical veterinary sciences knowledge. The knowledge level expected to receive a passing score on the BCSE is that of an entry-level veterinarian (i.e., a new graduate of an accredited veterinary school). The computer-based BCSE consists of 225 multiple-choice questions, many with graphics, which must be completed within a 220-minute test session. In addition, your four-hour testing appointment will include a brief tutorial to introduce you to computer-based testing and an exit evaluation at the end.

Graduates of a non-accredited veterinary school must first pass the BCSE to be eligible to appear for the NAVLE and the PSA/CPE. Such candidates may then choose the order in which they will appear for the latter two exams.

North American Veterinary Licensing Examination

The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE®) comprises 360 multiple choice questions, which are administered one at a time by computer. Approximately 15% to 20% of the questions will include relevant graphic or pictorial information (photograph, radiograph, chart, etc.). This exam is designed to measure one’s general knowledge base in the various scientific disciplines required in veterinary medicine. The NAVLE requires one full day to complete.

Limit on NAVLE Attempts

Unlimited NAVLE attempts are allowed as of the November-December 2017 NAVLE testing window. Within any seven-year NEB examination period candidates are allowed to take the NAVLE during any testing window without any mandatory waiting period after a failed attempt.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to undertake remedial training before applying for a new attempt.

Preliminary Surgical Assessment for the CPE

This Qualifying Examination will assess the candidate’s ability to:

  • Prepare a cadaver for a sterile abdominal surgical procedure;
  • Prepare himself/herself for a sterile surgical procedure;
  • Perform a ventral midline celiotomy (approximately 10 cm in length) and close the ventral midline celiotomy, subcutaneous tissue and skin on a cadaver.

Maximum time: 1.5 hours from initiation of cadaver preparation to completion of surgical procedure (placement of final skin suture in the cadaver).  Candidates not completing the surgical procedure in this time period will fail the Qualifying Examination.

After the examination the examiners will use 30 minutes to have a short exit interview with the candidate to let them know which skills they have to work on. The results of the examination and a short feedback on the tested skills will be sent to candidates by the NEB office. 

There is no limit on retakes for the PSA.

Clinical Proficiency Examination

The Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) is a practical examination of the candidate's medical and surgical skills. It is designed to assess the candidate's ability to handle actual medical, surgical and diagnostic problems in a clinical or hospital setting. The CPE involves the examination and treatment of live animals and the performance of routine laboratory procedures.

Each of the exams is described in greater detail here:

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