North American Veterinary Licensing Examination

The successful completion of NAVLE is necessary in order to practice veterinary medicine in the United States and Canada.

This exam includes 360 multiple-choice items. Of the 360 items, only 300 are scored. There will be a total of 7.5 hours at the testing center. This includes 6.5 hours of testing time, 15 minutes for orientation/tutorial, and 45 minutes for a break.


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Special accommodations are available for approved examinees. Prior approval is required for most accommodations. Those such as being able to eat or take medication during the scheduled break time, does not require advanced approval.

Examples of testing accommodations that do require prior approval include small group setting, Braille test materials, and large print test materials.

What topics/species does this exam assess?

The two major categories that will be assessed on this exam are Data Gathering and Interpretation AND Health Maintenance and Problem Management.

Beneath Data Gathering and Interpretation, you are expected to perform activities such as:

  • Obtain history and perform physical examination.
  • Determine the animal’s status.
  • Record important information.
  • Create a problem list and differential diagnosis.
  • Interpret information and develop a working or final diagnosis.

Beneath Health Maintenance and Problem Management, you are expected to perform activities such as:

  • Name and assess prevention, treatment, and management alternatives.
  • Implement an action plan
  • Gauge outcomes
  • Understand professional behavior, communication, and practice management.

These activities relate to the below species.

  • Canine
  • Feline
  • Pet birds
  • Other small animals
  • Bovine
  • Porcine
  • Ovine/Caprine
  • Cervidae
  • Equine
  • Camelidae
  • Poultry
  • Public health
  • Non-species specific

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How do I apply to take the exam?

To be licensed in the United States or US territories, you must submit the NAVLE application to ICVA and to the state/territorial licensing board.

You may submit a paper or online application. If applying online, you may pay via VISA or MasterCard.

Different instructions apply when looking to be licensed in Canada.

What is the cost of the exam?

The cost for taking the exam in North America is $635 USD. The cost for taking the exam overseas is $935. The exam fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

What are the testing dates locations?

NAVLE is administered during two testing windows per year. The first is during a two-week period in the month of April. The second is a four-week period November-December.

There are various testing centers throughout North America and several international sites.

What should I do the day of the exam?

Bring an original form of identification. It must contain your name, signature, and a photo. Also, bring your Scheduling and Admission Permit. You are allowed to write your confirmation number at the bottom of the Scheduling and Admission Permit, but ensure there is no other writing on the document.

If you do not have the hard copy of this form, you may submit it electronically, via a smartphone.

If you do not have either format of the document, you may request to reschedule your exam. If this request is approved, additional fees will apply.

If needed, an on-screen calculator will be available for your use.

Items such as books, papers, and purses are prohibited from the testing area.

What happens after I take the exam?

If you take the exam during the November-December window, your score will be reported by mid-January. If you take the exam during April, your score will be reported by mid-May.

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What is the passing score for this exam?

A passing score is 425 or greater.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?

The licensing board of each state has its own policy with regard to re-taking the exam. Contact your state board.

Taking the NAVLE is not a feat you have to prepare for alone. Mometrix understands the importance of being thoroughly prepared so that you do well the first time. Knowing this, we’ve created a comprehensive study guide and convenient flashcards that you can use for long-term study sessions, or when you only have a few minutes of study time to spare.

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NAVLE Study Guide

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 13, 2023