Last November, the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination replaced the National Board Examination and Clinical Competency Test as the sole national examination for veterinary medical licensure in the United States and Canada.
Both the NBE and CCT were offered for the last time in April 2000. The National Board Examination Committee for Veterinary Medicine cited reasons of clinical relevance, convenience, savings, and faster scoring for choosing to move from the paper and pencil examinations to the computer-based NAVLE.
During the four-week testing window in November-December 2000, about 2,900 candidates took the eight-hour examination, which consists of 360 multiple-choice questions. Approximately 10 percent of the test questions include some type of pictorial or graphic relevant to clinical practice.
The examination is administered at designated Sylvan Technology centers across North America. Candidates may take the NAVLE for the first time on any day during the testing window six months prior to their anticipated graduation.
Although the price of the NAVLE is about the same as the combined cost of the NBE and CCT, switching to a one-day examination is expected to eliminate the need for overnight accommodation for many of the candidates.
The computer format also allows for quicker reporting of scores to licensing boards.
Dr. John Boyce, executive director of the NBEC, said test results from the inaugural run of the NAVLE are comparable to those of the NBE and CCT. Some minor adjustments to the NAVLE are needed, but "overall, it went well," Dr. Boyce said.
The NAVLE will be administered again in April 2001.
For additional information about the NAVLE, contact the National Board Examination for Veterinary Medicine at (701) 224-0332; or www.nbec.org.