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Qualifying Examination (for May 15, 2014 candidates only)

(If you have selected this link in error, please refer to the link for candidates applying after March 1, 2014)

Step 3 of the PAVE Program assesses basic veterinary science proficiency. The Qualifying Examination (QE) covers basic science or pre-clinical subjects taught in the first three years of the curriculum of accredited veterinary schools. The last administration of the QE is May 15, 2014.


The QE Blueprint

The QE is a 200 item, multiple choice test administered using a web-based delivery. It is constructed using the following examination blueprint:


Anatomy, 22% (includes gross and microscopic anatomy, and principles of radiology and diagnostic imaging)

Physiology, 23% (includes physiological chemistry/biochemistry, neurobiology, genetics, endocrinology, reproduction, and nutrition)

Pharmacology, 14% (includes principles of anesthesiology)

Microbiology, 20% (includes bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, immunology, public health, food safety, and epidemiology)

Pathology, 21% (includes clinical pathology and toxicology)

The QE blueprint does not classify items by animal species or veterinary practice role. Many items on the QE are not species specific, or are applicable to more than one species. The examination includes items dealing with all animal species that might be encountered by veterinarians in private clinical practice in North America.

QE Eligibility Requirements

All PAVE candidates must complete Steps 1 (Application and Credentials Verification) and 2 (English Proficiency) in order to be eligible for the Qualifying Examination. If a candidate fails to meet the eligibility requirements for the QE, they will not be permitted to sit for the examination. Please see the PAVE Standards and Policies for additional information.

Please click here for further information on How to Apply for the PAVE Program.

QE Test Sites

Candidates are asked to indicate their preferred testing location on their online application. The National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME) will then establish test sites that are within a reasonable distance of the candidate. The NBVME will notify candidates of their test site by e-mail no later than 3 weeks prior to the test date. At that point, if the candidate would like to change their test site, the NBVME may be able to move them to another site already established for that administration.

All requests for test site changes must be made no later than seven (7) business days prior to the examination date.

QE Authorization Letters

Authorization letters will be sent to each approved candidate via email. Authorization letters are emailed approximately 6 weeks prior to the test date. If you do not receive your authorization letter, or must request a duplicate copy, please contact the NBVME.

QE Results

Results of the QE are available approximately 6 weeks after the test date. Pass/Fail results are sent via email, followed by a hard copy score report containing specific score information. If a retake is necessary, you will be allowed 5 business days from when your results are emailed to apply for the next QE, regardless of the posted application deadline. The fee to retake is $1500.

Please remember to notify the program administrator by email of any address or email changes, so that you receive communication in a timely manner.

QE Preparation

AAVSB does not offer preparatory courses or recommend any specific study aides. However, an online practice test is available at, and there are sample questions printed in the Candidate Handbook.

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