BCSE (which is the first exam of whole certification and licensing thing) assesses your concepts of the basic sciences to practice veterinary medicine. BCSE ensures you know everything inside out to maintain competence throughout life.  

It is designed to assess basic and clinical veterinary sciences knowledge. The knowledge level expected to receive a passing score on the BCSE is that of an entry-level US/Canadian veterinarian (i.e., new graduate of an CVMA/AVMA-accredited veterinary school).​ CVMA/AVMA-accredited veterinary schools are those vet schools which are present in US, Canada and Ross university which is presented in Caribbean. All the graduates of vet schools outside US/Canada have to take this exam in order to qualify for the NAVLE.  

How this exam works and what It tests:

Anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, toxicology, pathology (anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, and pathophysiology), medicine (etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment), anesthesia, surgery, diagnostics, diagnostic techniques and diagnostic imaging), animal welfare

(euthanasia, species appropriate behavior, abnormal animal behavior, pain assessment and management, signs of abuse, species specific husbandry, and restraint techniques), preventive medicine (disease prevention, epidemiology, nutrition, public health, and regulatory programs). BCSE is a one-day examination. It is a pass-fail exam only. 

In general, the BCSE is around 4 hours long computer based exam. These 4 hours are 3 hours and 40 minutes (220 minutes) of exam time, there is no any break with a 20 minutes of the tutorial. The BCSE questions consists of multiple-choice and other formats; such as match the column, drag & drop and hot spot. You should answer all the questions because your score will be based on the number of correct answers you mark (one point for each question correct). There is no any kind of negative marking. Twenty-five of the 225 questions will not be scored. These additional questions will be mixed with scored questions. You will not be able to distinguish between them.

Content Outline of the BCSE administered on or after July 10, 2014.


Test Content Area/Domain

Subdomains included within each area

Number of

1. Anatomy (18-20)

2. Pharmacology, Physiology, and Toxicology  (28-32)


3. Pathology

(Anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, and pathophysiology)  (20-23)

4. Medicine

(Etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment)  (50-55)

5. Anesthesia  (20-23)

6. Surgery  (22-25)

7. Diagnostics

(Diagnostic techniques and diagnostic imaging)  (22-25)

8. Animal Welfare

(Euthanasia, species appropriate behavior, abnormal animal behavior, pain assessment and management, signs of abuse, species specific husbandry, and restraint techniques)  (6-7)

9. Preventive Medicine

(Disease prevention, epidemiology, nutrition, public health, and regulatory programs)   (14-15)


TOTAL        225 questions



  • Cunningham physiology

  • Merck Veterinary Manual

  • Youtube

  • Google

  • Your brain

  • ZUKU REVIEW 6 months premium subscription is the best tool. It is a software that you buy for a specific, timely subscription, and do questions, read explanations. I Always buy it online. Do not be a cheap ass and be downloading that old ass pdf copies. Why Buy? because they keep updating it. All its questions are base on researches. So if new research comes up, they change the answer and keep on adding more recent items. I would say you buy six months even if you want it for two months because it comes with a reset option. Do ZUKU first time system-wise, study mode( you will know what I am talking about after you buy) Do the block first, finish it, then read the explanations, highlight the important stuff on the software. After completing the study mode start the test mode 1 month before your exam date.


Things you only need if you are a reasonably good student:

  • Merck Veterinary Manual

  • Zuku Review subscription.

  • Youtube and Google

  • I made my own notes during my 9th sem and preparation which will cover all the species and topics and these notes were the best thing I made. They helped me in every aspect. (not the notes you make in class).

Things you probably DO NOT need:

Medicine books, pharma books, pathology and other heavy weight books etc. 


Subjects and Pattern of study:
Months 1-3:

Merck Veterinary Manual and study mode of zuku.

Months 1-5:

complete the study mode of zuku

Months 5-6:

Zuku's test mode (timed questions) complete, final review and exam ;)


How to start studying:

I finished the physiology book in my ninth semester and meanwhile used to study merck manuel as well. Right after the completion of my 9th semester the above mentioned was my way of studying. this worked best for me but it can be a bit different for you.

If you still have any question you can contact me in the given section.

Official Website Resources: