The Phase I examination is a 2-hour examination composed of 100 multiple choice questions, covering all aspects of veterinary general pathology. The Phase I examination tests knowledge of mechanisms fundamental to disease in animals such as principles of cellular injury, inflammation and repair, hemodynamic disorders, physical and chemical injury, neoplasia, congenital and genetic diseases, molecular pathology, and infections. The mechanisms tested in this section are “general” in that they relate to most animal species and exclude entities in single species. The Phase I examination must be passed in order to be eligible to take the Phase II certifying examinations in veterinary anatomic or clinical pathology.
Phase I Examination Dates
March 14 or
The cut score (passing point) for the ACVP Phase I Examination is 64/100 points. The cut score was set based on a standard setting study conducted in 2017 and applied to the 2018 Phase I Examination. To pass an examination, a score equal to or greater than the cut score must be achieved. The cut score will remain the same for all future examinations until a new standard setting study is conducted. For all future Phase I examinations, candidate scores will be equated with the 2018 examination. Additional information on the cut score and equating process can be found here.
Phase I Reading List
Phase I Sample Questions
Administration of the Phase I Examination. The Phase I examination is administered in partnership with Castle Worldwide Inc. (Castle), a certification and licensure testing company. Castle utilizes more than 500 testing locations throughout the United States and Canada, as well as more than 225 international testing centers. Testing centers usually are located in commercial areas of cities so that public transportation and restaurants are typically available. All sites offer accessibility to disabled individuals. The internet-based test delivery system (PASS) is easy to use and requires no previous computer experience. The PASS demonstration, available to all candidates via the internet prior to the examination, guides candidates through all system features and functionalities and allows candidates time to become familiar with the system prior to beginning the examination.
Candidates will receive a notice by email to schedule at a testing center about 45 days prior to the testing date for the Phase I examination. The notice to schedule will provide candidates with a unique username/password and the URL address to access Castle's online test scheduling system to select a testing location, based on seating availability within Castle's network of test sites.
Phase I/Castle FAQs
See the ACVP Certifying Examination Candidate Handbook for detailed information