Veterinary students, like other professionals, have to take a licensing exam to be able to practice. This test proves we have enough knowledge to practice veterinary medicine, and it covers all major domestic species, even odd ones like ferrets and parrots! We take this exam around early December, which means in the first half of our clinical year, on top of rotations, we’re spending our spare time studying for boards.
There are NAVLE prep packages that can be purchased to help guide our studying toward what we need to know to pass the exam. These have quizzes, full-format practice exams, and other useful study guides such as fact sheets, powerpoints and podcasts that cover various subjects within the realm of veterinary knowledge.
This may just be how I learn, but I feel like the information I’m learning on rotations is far more valuable than the random facts I’ve been studying for my boards. I learned more about swine medicine on my one-week rotation than I have trying to do the quizzes in the swine section of the prep. It’s amazing how much more I retain information when I see it in action rather than trying to read it. That’s how I’ve been all through vet school, though, so I can’t be surprised. One really good thing about the prep is that I can use it to “study” for rotations as well. I wasn’t quite sure what to look at for my equine general practice rotation, so I went and did equine questions in the prep program and was like “Oh! Good, a review of dentition,” or “Oh yeah, I should reread the estrous cycle.” If I do get a question wrong, I like that there are links to outside information, like the Merck Veterinary Manual, that allow me to read further into the question and learn why I got it wrong, or in general just review stuff I’m not super familiar with.