Analysis of the first-time pass rate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care certifying examination (2010-2015)

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2018 May;28(3):187-191. doi: 10.1111/vec.12715. Epub 2018 Apr 6.


Objectives: To disseminate information regarding the annual pass rates for the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) certifying examination. To compare the first-time pass rates (FTPR) of ACVECC residents trained in academic and private practice settings.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: ACVECC examination.

Animals: None.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: Anonymized ACVECC examination performance data from 2010-2015 inclusive were analyzed. Overall pass rates and FTPR were calculated for all candidates and categorized by type of residency training program. The overall pass rate for all candidates was 64.3%. The median pass rate for the 6-year period was 63.8% [IQR 59.3-67.3%]. The FTPR for residents trained in academic programs was significantly higher than for residents trained in private practice (77.1% vs 47.2%, P < 0.0001). When residents were subdivided by species-focus of training program, there was no significant difference between academic versus private practice training programs for large-animal candidates (P = 0.2), but there remained a significant difference between residency training programs for small-animal candidates (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Between 2010 and 2015 residents trained in academic training programs were significantly more likely to pass the ACVECC certifying examination compared to those trained in private practice training programs. The causes of this difference are uncertain, are likely multifactorial and warrant further investigation.

Keywords: ACVECC; Angoff; examination performance; pass point; residency training.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Certification*
  • Critical Care
  • Education, Veterinary / standards*
  • Education, Veterinary / trends
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States