ECFVG News March 2014


​New BCSE Content Outline

The ECFVG conducted a Job Task Analysis in 2012 to update validation of the knowledge, tasks and skills important for entry-level veterinarians entering the workforce in the United States and Canada, and to confirm or modify the content in the examinations used for critically assessing and evaluating ECFVG candidates (and National Examining Board (NEB) candidates in Canada).   The blueprint (also known as test specifications or content outline) of the Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE) is specifically based on the findings from a Job Task Analysis.  The BCSE blueprint currently in use is based on the results of the 2006 Job Task Analysis. 

The 2012 Job Task Analysis confirmed the content outline of the BCSE for the most part but identified two major domains that require modifications.  Specifically, Anesthesia and Surgery have been separated into two independent knowledge domains (previously they were grouped together) and Animal Welfare is a stand-alone domain and is no longer considered to be one of the sub-domains of Preventive Medicine.  In addition, there are some changes to the proportional distribution of questions across all subject domains of the BCSE blueprint.  These changes are being incorporated into a new blueprint of the BCSE which is scheduled to be launched beginning July 10, 2014.  This means that ECFVG and NEB candidates taking the BCSE on or after July 10, 2014, will see a change in the number and proportion of questions from select domains including Anesthesia, Surgery and Animal Welfare.
The content outline for BCSE administered on or after July 10, 2014, is given in the table below. All ECFVG and NEB candidates who will take the BCSE on or after July 10, 2014, should expect their examination to follow the specifications of the new content outline.  ECFVG and NEB candidates who have already scheduled their BCSE on or after July 10, 2014, and prior to receiving this announcement, will have the option of rescheduling their BCSE to a date prior to July 10, 2014.  Rescheduling of BCSE can be done directly through Prometric website.   

Please note that BCSE administered prior to July 10, 2014 will follow the current content outline.

Content Outline of BCSE administered on or after July 10, 2014.


Test Content Area/Domain
Subdomains included within each area
Number of Questions
1. Anatomy
2. Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology
Pharmacology, physiology, and toxicology
3. Pathology
Anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, and pathophysiology
4. Medicine
Etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment
5. Anesthesia
6. Surgery
7. Diagnostics
Diagnostic techniques and diagnostic imaging
8. Animal Welfare
Euthanasia, species appropriate behavior, abnormal animal behavior, pain assessment and management, signs of abuse, species specific husbandry, and restraint techniques
9. Preventive Medicine
Disease prevention, epidemiology, nutrition, public health, and regulatory programs

   225 questions