Examining the Validity of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) Time Constraints

J Vet Med Educ. 2018 Fall;45(3):381-387. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0217-026r. Epub 2018 Feb 2.


Individuals who want to become licensed veterinarians in North America must complete several qualifying steps including obtaining a passing score on the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). Given the high-stakes nature of the NAVLE, it is essential to provide evidence supporting the validity of the reported test scores. One important way to assess validity is to evaluate the degree to which scores are impacted by the allotted testing time which, if inadequate, can hinder examinees from demonstrating their true level of proficiency. We used item response data from the November-December 2014 and April 2015 NAVLE administrations (n =5,292), to conduct timing analyses comparing performance across several examinee subgroups. Our results provide evidence that conditions were sufficient for most examinees, thereby supporting the current time limits. For the relatively few examinees who may have been impacted, results suggest the cause is not a bias with the test but rather the effect of poor pacing behavior combined with knowledge deficits.

Keywords: NAVLE; assessment; licensure; statistics; time limits.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Education, Veterinary
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Humans
  • Licensure*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • United States