ACVCP Diplomate Exams


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The specialty of veterinary clinical pharmacology requires an advanced knowledge of the factors that complicate rational drug use for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in animals. This examination will evaluate the depth and breadth of the candidate's knowledge and comprehension of the specialty.

Notification of Intent

  1. Eligible candidates must notify the ACVCP of their intent to take Phase I of the certification examination before February 1st of the year of the examination. Make a reservation for a seat at the next Phase I exam by returning to your application. The "Navigation" menu drop down includes a link "Request Exam Reservation." This link will open a form by which you can send a notification email to the appropriate ACVCP officers. The same form is used to request exams for either or both phases.
  2. Candidates for the Diplomate Certification Examination shall pay to the College an examination fee of $200 (for Phase I) before sitting the Phase I exam.
  3. This fee is non-refundable whether or not the applicant takes the exam and must be received by the Treasurer post-marked no later than February 1st of a given exam year. Access information concerning submission of the Phase I examination fee by selecting "Fees" through the online Phase I application menu.
  4. A candidate who is deemed ineligible, or if eligible, who declines to take either Phase of the Examination after notification of intent has been submitted shall be required to pay an additional prescribed fee of $200 for Phase I when notification of intent is made again to take Phase I of the Examination
  5. A candidate who does not pass a Phase I Examination shall be required to complete a notification of intent and to pay an additional prescribed fee of $200 for subsequent reexamination of that failed Phase I exam.


  1. The Phase I Examination is an objective examination consisting of 500 multiple choice questions, with 250 questions delivered in the morning session and 250 delivered in the afternoon session. Ordinarily the examination will take place from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:00pm (local time for test taker). The passing point for the Phase I examination is set at 60% (300 correct of 500 multiple choice questions).
  2. Candidates may take both the Phase I Examination and the Phase II Examination in the same year. If a candidate so desires, he/she must apply for both phases of the exam by the February 1 deadline. If the candidate successfully passes the Phase I Examination, he/she may then be eligible for the Phase II Examination if all other credentials have been previously satisfied. If a candidate is approved to take both the Phase I Examination and the Phase II Examination in the same year, the Examinations will be given approximately 45 days apart, but one must pass the Phase I Examination before sitting for the Phase II Examination.
  3. You must notify the Examination Committee Chairperson if you have a medical problem, impairment, or disability that requires any special assistance or accommodation for the examination. This notification is needed 30 days prior to the examination date.


The Phase I Examination is designed to evaluate the candidate's advanced knowledge of the comparative pharmacology of principal drug groups employed in veterinary therapeutics. In order to apply the knowledge within the context of veterinary clinical medicine, a Diplomate is expected to understand the basic mechanisms and pathophysiological features of a wide variety of diseases occurring in the various classes of domesticated animals and to understand the role of drugs in modifying the disease process.


  1. The exam will be delivered using the computer-based testing system called Examsoft.
  2. Candidates will be required to bring their own laptops to the testing location.
  3. Candidates will need to install the testing app Examplify (testing application) on their laptops ahead of time. It is available for both the Windows and Macintosh platforms. The makers of Examplify provide an Exam-Taker Help Site that includes a "Get Started Guide", How-To Articles and Troublshooting Tips.
  4. Candidates must have administrator privileges to their laptop. If using a university/work laptop, failure to have proper privileges may cause issues with software functionality.
  5. A practice exam will be released several weeks before the actual exam. Candidates will complete this at home. During this practice period, questions should be directed to the Examination Committee Chairperson using this: (link). Completion of the practice exam will allow for troubleshooting of any technical issues, and also gives the candidates an opportunity to explore the software before the exam and see how the questions are structured.
  6. A second practice exam will be conducted on-site the day before the exam. During that session, candidates will be shown some Examplify tips and tricks. The schedules and process for exam days will also be reviewed.
  7. The candidates will need to download the encrypted exam files to their laptops ahead of time. They will only be able to open the exams once the proctor announces the passwords.
  8. During the exam, the candidates' laptops are locked down and they are unable to access the internet, computer files or any applications other than Examplify.
  9. At the end of the exam, the candidates' laptops are automatically unlocked, their internet access is re-enabled and their exam responses are uploaded to the Examsoft servers.

Results and Appeals

Phase 1 examination results will be communicated to candidates on the day of the examination. Candidates are not allowed to review their examinations and will not be notified of their total scores; they will be informed of whether their performance was a pass or a failure.

Candidates failing to pass the Diplomate Certification Examination may appeal this decision within 30 calendar days of the postmarked date of notification. The request for appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer and shall include a statement of the grounds for reconsideration and appropriate documentation.


Exam Blueprint

Examination Study Guide

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