What is the NAVLE?

11 October 2023

The veterinary medicine programs featured by OzTREKK are AVMA accredited, which means graduates of these programs are eligible to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) along with graduates from AVMA accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and Canada.

After you’ve graduated from your AVMA-accredited veterinary program, you must register with the Canadian National Examining Board (NEB). The NEB reviews the credentials of graduates of non-Canadian colleges of veterinary medicine who wish to obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in Canada.

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Write the NAVLE
The NAVLE is a requirement to enter into private veterinary medical practice in North America. The exam is offered throughout North America and certain overseas sites at computer testing centers operated by Prometric, and is available during a four-week testing window in November–December, and a two-week window in April.

You are strongly encouraged to wait until all clinical rotations have been completed before sitting the NAVLE. This usually means waiting until November – December as these are invaluable for providing the general clinical awareness and experience needed to pass the NAVLE.

Once you successfully complete the NAVLE, you will be granted a Certificate of Qualification (CQ). You must complete this exam within 2 attempts, otherwise an additional Clinical Proficiency Exam (CPE) is required.

The examination consists of 360 multiple-choice questions, answered on computer at a private testing center. Sixty of the items are unscored pretest items, but the identity of these items is not apparent, and they are dispersed throughout the test. Approximately 15% – 20% of the items on the NAVLE include graphic or pictorial information relevant to the item (photograph, radiograph, drawing, chart, etc.). The 360 questions are divided by activity (e.g., data gathering and interpretation; health maintenance and problem management) and species (small animal/large animal/equine plus a small amount of public health).

  • All NAVLE items are relevant to entry-level private clinical practice.
  • There is a total of 6.5 hours test time (6 blocks of 65 minutes each).
  • A total of 45 minutes of break time can be taken during the day (including lunch).
  • The pass mark is 70%.

Because of this large number of questions and the time constraints, being successful requires a sensible exam strategy and familiarity with the format (lots of practice tests!).

Find out more about studying veterinary medicine and hear from a current Melbourne DVM student!


If you have any questions, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Veterinary Schools Admissions Officer at vet@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).