Unlike the other tests listed in this section, the NAVLE, or North American Veterinary Licensing Exam is designed to test your understanding of what you have already learned, while other tests are looking to see what you are able to learn. This test is more about what you know, rather than your ability to solve clever puzzles.

The NAVLE is a computer-based, multiple choice examination that consists of 360 questions. This test is required for licensure to practice veterinary and is administered by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, or NBVME. The NAVLE test replaced the old NBE (National Board Examination) and the CCT (Clinical Competency Test) back in November 2000.

Where to Take the NAVLE

The NAVLE is geven at testing centers that are operated by Prometric. There are approximately 300 different testing centers located in the United States. Besides the US locations, the NAVLE is also given at Prometric centers located in Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Canada. There are a few select testing centers overseas. Candidates may take the test in these locations as long as there is an AVMA accredited veterinary school located in the same location/country.

When to Take the NAVLE

According to most licensing jurisdictions, candidates are allowed to take the NAVLE for the first time on any day during the testing window, 8 months prior to their graduation date. Only seniors are allowed to take the NAVLE, and the ‘testing windows’ are in the fall and spring; November 15 through December 11 and April 11-23rd. Of course you’ll need to make sure seating is available, since most students face limited seating in their area.

NAVLE Test Specifications

Below is a list of the test specifications for the NAVLE test. There are three sections; Data Gathering and Interpretation, Health Maintenance and Problem Management, and Professional Behavior, Communication, and Practice Management. There are 300 scored items and 60 unscored pretest items within the test. There is a prep tutorial that is free of charge and available on the NAVLE website. The NBVME does not recommend a candidate study with other materials other than the ones produced by the NAVLE. Once you go to the website, you can find the information you’re looking for under the categories NAVLE Test Specifications and NAVLE Job Analysis. These two items will give you a basis for study material.

Retaking the NAVLE

Unfortunately, unlike the MCAT, students taking the NAVLE are only allowed 5 tries in their lifetime, and they are not allowed to sit for the examination at a date that is later than 5 years after their first attempt. This policy took effect in November of 2007, and any candidate who took the test and did not pass previous to November 2007, those tries do not count toward the 5-attempt limit. Candidate’s who have failed to take and pass the exam since November 2007, must refer to their board’s policy on retaking the test. Generally, a student is not allowed to retake the exam for the 4th and 5th tries within the same year of each other. Candidates may also contact the NBVME to find out policy rules.