Idiopathic Issues

 
Follow Us

What’s Covered on the NAVLE®?

Posted by Cathy Barnette on October 11, 2021 at 7:15 AM
Cathy Barnette
Cathy Barnette is a practicing small animal veterinarian, freelance writer, and contributor to XPrep Learning Solutions. She is passionate about both veterinary medicine and education, working to provide helpful information to veterinary teams and the general public. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family and leading a Girl Scout troop.

Artboard 65-4

Icon-(1)In order to get the most out of your study time, you want to focus on those topics that will actually be covered on the NAVLE®.

Fortunately, this information is readily available! 

 

Download Now!

The International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA) publishes the NAVLE® Species and Diagnosis Guide, which contains detailed information on which diagnoses are covered on this exam for every species. Additionally, the ICVA publishes a guide to the NAVLE® Competency Domains, containing information on which clinical competencies will be tested.

While these two documents, totaling 52 pages in length, may make excellent bedtime reading some night when you’re suffering from insomnia, this summary will help you focus on what’s most important. 

In order to determine how many questions to ask about each subject, ICVA surveys large numbers of veterinarians regarding what species and conditions they see in their practices. Based on the results of the 2017 Veterinary Profession Practice Analysis, the current species percentages are set as follows: 

NAVLE® Topics: Species-Level Breakdown1

Species

Target Percentage

Canine 

25.6%

Feline 

24.3%

Equine

14.7%

Bovine 

13.3%

Porcine 

5%

Other Small Mammals

3.3% 

Ovine/Caprine 

3.3%

Pet Bird 

2.3%

Poultry

2%

Camelid/Cervidae 

1.7%

Reptiles 

1.5%

Aquatics

1%

Non Species-Specific 

2%

Instagram Post Template 3-Oct-25-2021-01-37-21-21-PM

Based on this information, you can easily get an idea of which species you should emphasize in your studies. For example, you might want to leave aquatic species off your study list, because it’s relatively unlikely that 1% of the test will make or break your NAVLE® score!

Reptiles have a few big/common diagnoses that tend to be important (metabolic bone disease, anyone?), so you may want to focus on those key topics without going into a lot of detail on reptiles. While you certainly can’t blow off all of those minor species, you can use the species-level breakdown to help you decide how to prioritize your time. 

In addition to providing a species-level breakdown, the ICVA also provides a breakdown of the types of skills they will be assessing with NAVLE® questions. While this may be less beneficial as a study tool, it can be interesting to see. 

NAVLE Topics: Competency-Level Breakdown1.

Topic

Target Percentage

Clinical Practice: Data Gathering & Interpretation

35%

Clinical Practice: Health Maintenance & Prevention

35%

Animal Welfare

6%

Client Communication

5%

Environmental Health & Safety

5% 

Practice Management

4%

Veterinary Public Health

4%

Communication with Veterinary Professionals

3%

Professional Development & Learning

3%

Artboard 64-4

As expected, clinical practice accounts for approximately 70% of the material covered on the exam. However, not all questions will be clinical in nature. It’s important to also consider other aspects of your veterinary training, so you’re prepared to answer questions on communication, practice management, and other “soft” skills. 

Use This Information to Your Advantage

Now that you have reviewed this information, use it to guide your studying. It’s only natural to want to spend time focusing on species that trigger uncertainty, but investing hours of study time on the diseases of camelids will probably afford you minimal benefits. 

As one of my high school teachers once told me, “work smarter, not harder.” Focus on those topics that will give you the most return for your time, in order to maximize your chances of passing the NAVLE®

A final note: in fifteen years of practice, no one has ever asked for my NAVLE® score. You don’t need a perfect score, just as a passing score!

New call-to-action

References

  1. International Council for Veterinary Assessment. (2017). North American Veterinary Licensing Examination Practice Analysis Executive Summary.
New call-to-action

Subscribe to our Blog!

Most Popular Posts

New Call-to-action

Posts by Topic

see all