Fourth-year veterinary students scored a college record on their national licensure test this year, topping the national average score for first-time test takers from the 28 veterinary medicine colleges in the United States.

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) class of 2011, which is due to graduate in May, recently received its first-take exam results from the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE), and scored a whopping 96 percent, eclipsing the national average of 95 percent and surpassing last year’s CVM record of 91 percent.

“”This is great validation of all the efforts and hard work established by CVM and WesternU,”” said Teresa Y. Morishita, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACPV, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Poultry Medicine and Food Safety for CVM. “”Within five short years, we’re already achieving similar standards as other long-established veterinary schools.””

CVM graduated its first class in 2007.

The NAVLE is a requirement for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in all licensing jurisdictions in North America. The NAVLE consists of 360 clinically relevant multiple-choice questions.

Each senior veterinary medical student first passes the NAVLE in order to be a licensed practicing veterinarian. After passing this exam, students then take a state exam in the state they wish to become licensed, said Morishita.

Eighty-seven out of 91 fourth-year CVM first-time test takers passed. The remaining four students have a chance to retake the test in April, providing an opportunity to beat last year’s final pass rate of 97 percent.

Last year’s national final pass rate was 98 percent, according to 2009-10 NAVLE candidate performance data provided by Dr. John R. Boyce, Executive Director for the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

“”WesternU’s CVM students continue to excel with each succeeding year and have set a new standard for our classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014 to follow in their footsteps and raise the bar each year,”” Morishita said. “”We’re right on target, preparing our students to have the basic knowledge that is needed to be successful veterinarians.””