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About ACVP


American College of Veterinary Pathologists
2424 American Lane
Madison, WI 53704

Telephone: +1-608-443-2466
Fax: +1-608-443-2474


Certifying Exam Information

In order to certify professional competency, the College has established standards of training and experience, and two certifying examinations recognized by the American Board of Veterinary Specialties of the American Veterinary Medical Association. For eligibility to sit the examination, the candidate must have satisfactory standing in the profession; graduated from a recognized college or school of veterinary medicine or be legally qualified to practice veterinary medicine; and completed training adequate to acquire knowledge sufficient to assume responsibility for the broad spectrum of assessment and interpretation of specimens, problems and situations encountered by veterinary pathologists.

Candidates for certification may be examined either in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology or Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Members, please consider applying to serve as an examination proctor.

Important Exam Information

Certifying Exam Dates

  • 2015: Phase I - March 19, 2015: Castle Worldwide Testing Centers
    • Deadline: December 10, 2014
    • UPDATE: Scores will be reported to candidates on or about April 28, 2015
  • 2015: Phase II - September 8, 9, 2015: Ames, Iowa
    • Sponsor Verification Form (PDF)
    • NEW: Due to the fact that the Phase I examination results will not be completed until on or about April 28th, we have extended the deadline to request a refund to May 1st, 2015
  • 2016: Phase I - March 10, 2016, Castle Worldwide Testing Centers
    • The application deadline for both Phase I & II will be December 10, 2015
  • 2016: Phase II - September 13, 14, 2016 in Ames, Iowa
  • 2017: Phase I - March 16, 2017: Castle Worldwide Testing Centers
  • 2017: Phase II - September 12, 13, 2017 in Ames, Iowa
  • 2018: Phase I - March 15, 2018: Castle Worldwide Testing Centers
  • 2018: Phase II - September 4, 5, 2018 in Ames, Iowa

Examination News for 2014 and Beyond

Changing the ACVP Certifying Examination Passing Point, Effective in 2014

UPDATE FOR 2014 EXAM:Change in format for multiple choice questions for the ACVP Certifying Examination
Starting in 2014, all multiple choice questions on the ACVP certifying examinations will have four potential responses (one correct response and three incorrect responses). The number of possible responses was reduced from five to four based on a review of studies that indicate reducing the number of possible responses from five to four improves the quality of question and has no detrimental effect on the performance/robustness of an examination. It has added benefits in reducing the reading demanded of candidates, as well as, the amount of time and effort required by Examination Committee members to produce and document the fifth response option. We make this change consistent with the advice of the College's testing consultant, Castle Worldwide.

New Examination Style
Gross images for the gross pathology section of the certifying examination are either presented as a single image or alongside a second, related image with results from an ancillary diagnostic technique that is normally available on the gross necropsy floor. Examples of ancillary testing include but are not limited to impression smears, scrapings, Wood's lamp, or quick stains. Read more.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
Beginning in 2016, newly-issued Diplomate certificates will be time dated, and these Diplomates will be required to fulfill ACVP-developed requirements to maintain their certification. The evaluation of Diplomates for maintenance of certification will occur every 10 years from the date of their initial certification. The requirements and procedures for documentation of this maintenance of certification program are under development by the ACVP. This webpage will be updated with the current information when it becomes available. The ACVP will not rescind an initial certificate unless a date of expiration was a condition of the original certification.

Newsletter Articles:

Examination Instructions

Anatomic Pathology

Clinical Pathology

Studying for the Examination

Reading Lists for the 2014 Examination

Note that reading lists are posted AFTER each year's exam and provide the source of the exam questions for the year indicated. Therefore, reading lists will always be a year behind. They are not meant to be comprehensive nor do they indicate what the candidates for the next year's exam should read. However, the sources for the exam questions do tend to come from roughly the same sources each year. These lists are not all-inclusive lists, and the exam will not necessarily be limited to these references. Journal articles in print or electronically released before 1 March 2014 are considered in preparation of the exam.

Sample Questions

Statistical Evaluation of Multiple Choice Questions
Each section which is composed of multiple choice questions is graded by computer and evaluated statistically. Representative multiple choice questions from previous years are presented below with their specific statistical evaluations included.

  • PROP represents the proportion of candidates taking that section who responded with the correct answer.
  • RPBI (Biserial Correlation) is a correlation coefficient which indicates the relationship between examinees' performance on a given question compared to their success in that section overall. In general, an ideal value will be greater than 0.3 and indicates the degree to which examinees who performed well on a given question were those that performed well on the section overall.

Anatomic Pathology

Clinical Pathology