What is the Veterinary Technician National Exam?

The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is the benchmark for judging an entry-level Vet Tech’s level of knowledge and competency in order to be licensed to practice in veterinary technology in a commercial setting. It is administered every January and June. The exam is in a constant state of being updated, where it is reviewed and constantly re-done making it the most qualified testing tool in the evaluation of candidates for licensure.

Almost Universally Accepted

There are some jurisdictions that do not use the VTNE but usually do not have any licensing at all. Ones that do require a passing score is just one criterion for obtaining a license. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards owns the exam in contracts with administering agencies, also partnering with the Professional Examination service (PES) for continuous examination development as well as administration services regarding the exam.

New Eligibility Requirements
Anyone wishing to take the VTNE past Dec. 31, 2010, will need to be a graduate from a veterinary technology program has been accredited by the AVMA or CVMA or program that has been approved by whatever regulatory board has jurisdiction where that exams being given. To date, all Canadian provinces and most US states require this of perspective exam takers. If you’re not sure if your program is accredited you can check here:

• For accredited programs in the United States.
• For accredited programs in Canada.

Online examinations available here
If you’re in the states of Washington, Tennessee, Oregon, Illinois, Delaware, Arkansas, and Arizona and you want to take the VTNE, you must also apply to your respective state for its eligibility requirements before you can apply at the VTNE website. You can find your jurisdiction authority by going to the Boards and Agencies Directory.

The test wants to you to prove that you’ve been educated
Before taking the test, you’ll need to send your school transcripts to put on file at the AAVSB. This does not apply to test takers in Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Tennessee, Washington and Oregon where your transcript must be sent direct to the state. Do not send transcripts personally. These must be sent by the school because the AAVSB will not accept anything other than transcripts sent in a sealed and walked directly from the school. Incomplete transcripts or copies made by students will not be acceptable. Anyone unsure if the school attended sent the proper documentation should contact [email protected] or call 816-931-1504, asking for extension 228. The address to send official school transcripts is: AASVB, VTNE Program, 380 West 22nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64108.

Can I Take the Test More Than Once?
Candidates are allowed to take the VTNE a total of 5 times (since January 1, 2006). If you wish to take the exam after a fifth time, you must apply to the AAVSB Board of Directors for approval. Additional information about the VTNE can be found at the AASVB online FAQs.

See additional VTNE study tips.

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  • what is the vtne
  • Hello! Our son has worked in California for 12 years in a California Veterinary starting by cleaning stalls to now assisting in surgery, etc.—-must he send transcripts from Wash. State Univ. from the late 80’s—no degree, but 2 years in Geology & 2 in Music. Or, can he just apply for the test through you or who/how? Seems he should be in hurry to beat the Dec. 31 deadline? Please help! Thanks!

  • Midwestern CVT

    YOUR SON (not YOU) should be going to the AAVSB site and determining what the requirements are for HIS application for certification in California and what HE needs to do to accomplish that.

    Part of becoming a licensed PROFESSIONAL is doing things yourself, not having Mommy do so.

    Not blaming him (we can’t always control our parents) but poor form on your part, Mom: If he’s been working in a profession for 12+ years – it’s HIS job to get this done.
    Cutting the cord is LONG PAST DUE!

  • Nikki

    Hello, I live in Wa State. I am about to enroll in a Veterinary Tech program that is accredited by the avma… I am glad I found this site, it has helped me a lot! I do have a question..I found that the exam is a 2 part? Is there anything I should research in addition to what I learn in school? It said something about state laws..

  • Amy

    If you are in school for a 4-year veterinary technologist program, do you have to wait 4 years until you’re able to take the exam, or can I still take it in 2?

  • Benita

    My question is the same as Amy’s. Is it possible to take the exam if you have substantially completed degree course work and have the transcript to prove that necessary courses have been successfully completed. This is for Oregon.

  • imani p

    @ Nikki…your school should explain the testing process and the requirements for your state in detail during some part of your program…if not you can go to the vtne website…just type vtne in google and it will come up…select the eligibility section and then select your state. Most states do require some type of jurisprudence exam which covers state laws of Veterinary medicine and practice…not a big deal…and should be covered in depth by your program.

  • Vet Tech

    Chill my friends, the VTNE exam is actually very easy. Buy a study guide off Amazon and cram in 1 week. Don’t sweat it!

  • Andy

    Yikes! I hope the commenter below isn’t talking about those scam sites!!

    My two cents is that you should use vetprep or vtstudy and then pay the the AAVSB the $45 to take their “official” practice test right before the ‘big’ day. Done.

    Here are the links:




    • vet tech study guide

      thanks for the vet tech study guide links

  • Alevet2

    Hi, I would like to know if I’m a Doctor in Vet Medicine in another country than Canada or US, and want to be a vet tech in Ca or US…do I still need to be a graduate from a veterinary technology program ??? Or..can I only take the test since I’m already a doc in veterinary Medicine (and have all my diplomas to prove it)? Thank you!

  • I used Peterson’s “Master the VTNE” study guide and had no problems with my test. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a study guide.

  • Alyssa

    Hello! I am looking in to enrolling in a distance veterinary technician program. I live in the state of Missouri.

    Is this the test that’s referred to, on the internet, as the “state boards test”. Is this the final ta-da before you’re basically of any value as an educated veterinary technician?

    Also, I have been trying to find anywhere that tells me how much this particular test costs. Any help??

    Thanks a bunch!