I want to know all about Veterinary Technician National Exam – VTNE certification


The VTNE is a test given to credential entry-level veterinary technicians. The VTNE is administered throughout the US and Canada at PSI testing centers. You must earn a passing score to be classified as competent and credentialed as a vet tech. Each state or provincial agency is responsible for the application process and credentialing procedures in respect to determining licensing or certification.

What is the VTNE certification?

The VTNE certification is the Veterinary Technician National Exam. This exam is used to evaluate a candidate’s competency to become an entry-level veterinary technician. Having a passing score on the VTNE gives the veterinary technician the VTNE credential.

How much does it cost to take the VTNE?

The cost to register and to sit for the VTNE exam is $320.

How do you become VTNE certified?

To become VTNE certified, you will need to first complete an approved course of study, such as a vet tech prep program. This can usually take up to two years to complete. After graduation, students are able to take the VTNE.

Is the VTNE exam all multiple choice?

The VTNE exam contains 200 multiple-choice questions.

How long do you have to take the VTNE?

Test-takers are given four hours to complete the VTNE.

How do you sign up for the VTNE exam?

To sign up for the VTNE exam, you will need to first verify that you are eligible to take the VTNE. Once your eligibility has been verified, you can submit your application online at the AASVB website. After your application has been approved, you will then be able to schedule your exam date.

What is the pass rate for the VTNE?

The three year average passing rate for the VTNE is 76%. This percentage is based off of March 2014 to February 2017.

What is a passing score for the VTNE exam?

The passing score for the VTNE varies from state to state. In some states, the VTNE is scored on a range from 200 to 800 with the passing score being set at 425. For other states, the VTNE is scored on a range of 0 to 100 with a passing score set at 90.

Who Can Take the VTNE?

The most common classification by most states and all provinces will be those who graduated from a veterinary program accredited by the American or Canadian Medical Association. However, in three U.S. states alternate training or degrees are allowed in certain instances. Specifically Alaska, California and Wisconsin have strict On-the-Job Training (OJT) or alternate degree requirements. Contact each state for further details.


What is on the Exam?

  • Abbreviations including basic metric units, other common metric units, US customary units of measurement, units of time, symbols and other common abbreviations.
  • Basic metrics – weight/mass, volume and length
  • Other common metrics – milliequivalent, cubic centimeter and meter squared
  • US Customary – cup, fluid ounce, gallon, grain, drops, pound, ounce, pint, quart, tablespoon and teaspoon
  • Units of Time – day, hour, minute and second
  • Symbols – percent, greater than and lesser than
  • Other common abbreviations – a few examples include body sore, central nervous system, both eyes and white blood cells

Domains specifically 9 primary areas of responsibility. The following material broken down by domain will be included on the exam with the percentage of questions appearing on test listed in parentheses: pharmacy & pharmacology, surgical nursing, dentistry, laboratory procedures, animal care & nursing, diagnostic imaging, anesthesia, emergency medicine/critical care and pain management/analgesia. These are also referred to as the task area statements.

  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology (12%) – apply knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology as it pertains to the use of biological and pharmacological agents; prepare and administer pharmacological and biological agents; instruct the client regarding safe and proper use.
  • Surgical Nursing (11%) – apply understanding of physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology as it pertains to surgical nursing; preparing and maintain surgical environment, equipment, instrument and supplies; preparing patients for procedures; operate as both sterile and non-sterile surgical technician.
  • Dentistry (7%) – utilizing apply knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology as it pertains to dentistry; preparing and maintain environment, equipment, instrument and supplies for dental procedures; perform or assist with dental procedures; educate the client regarding dental health.
  • Laboratory Procedures (12%) – apply understanding of physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology as it bears on laboratory methodologies; gather, prepare and manage specimens for outside or in-house laboratory evaluations; perform laboratory tests and procedures; maintain laboratory equipment and related supplies.
  • Animal Care and Nursing (22%) – utilizing knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology as it pertains to animal nursing and care; carry out and record primary and continual evaluations of physical, behavioral, nutritional, and environmental status of animals; conduct animal nursing procedures; carry out clinical diagnostic procedures; educate about animal safety and care; provide a safe, comfortable, and clean environment for animals; maintain equipment to guarantee quality of test results and safe operations.
  • Diagnostic Imaging (7%) – utilize your knowledge of pathophysiology, anatomy, and physiology as it pertains to diagnostic imaging; manage equipment.
  • Anesthesia (16%) – utilizing knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology as it bears on anesthesia; help to develop the anesthetic plan; administer anesthetic plan to ease diagnostic, surgical, or therapeutic procedures; maintain equipment; educate the client about anesthetics and anesthesia.
  • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care (6%) – employ understanding of pathophysiology, anatomy, and physiology as it applies to emergency medicine and critical care; perform triage and document primary and continual evaluations; perform emergency nursing procedures; perform critical care nursing procedures.
  • Pain Management/Analgesia (7%) – apply knowledge of anatomy, pathophysiology, and physiology as it concerns pain management and analgesia; diagnose need for analgesia and support development of pain management plan; educate the client.
  • Veterinary Knowledge will be covered extensively. There is a list of 50 knowledge statements that you should study to prepare. This list includes, but is not limited to anatomy, normal physiology, toxicology drug classification, surgical procedures, principles of animal behavior, public health and professional ethics. Please refer to aavsb.org for the complete list.



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