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Phase I Examination

2022 Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination

April 4, 2022: Pearson VUE Test Centers, North America and Europe
April 5, 2022: Pearson VUE Test Centers, Asia and Australia

Examination Registration

  • ACVS registration opens: September 30, 2021
  • ACVS registration deadline: November 1, 2021

Pearson VUE appointment scheduling

  • Available on shortly before November 18, 2021. Candidates may schedule appointments following receipt of the authorization email from ACVS.

Eligibility and Limits

To be eligible to take the Phase I examination a resident must submit a signed ACVS Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination Statement of Resident Eligibility form with their registration. The form is required of all currently active residents and post-training examinees, regardless of whether they have been previously found eligible by ACVS. Refer to the Residency Training Standards and Requirements for complete policies. The form is not required from candidates who have transitioned from the traditional three-part Certification Examination.

The examination must be passed within six years of the start of the residency. Individuals who transitioned from the certification examination should review the policies in the information pamphlet regarding time limits.

Examination Materials

  • 2022 Phase I Surgical Knowledge Examination Information Pamphlet - The pamphlet contains all examination rules and security policies, details on the format of the examination, the schedule, and a suggested reading list.
  • 2022 Phase I Reading List
    • Large Animal 2022 changes
      • Equine Surgery has revised chapters

      • Textbook of Veterinary Physiology has been updated to the latest edition (Cunningham J, Klein B. 6th Edition, 2019)

      • Farm Animal Surgery has revised chapters

      • Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia has revised chapters

      • Textbook of Veterinary Anatomy has been updated to the latest edition (Dyce KM, Sack WO, Wensing CJG. 5th Edition, 2017)

    • Small Animal 2022 changes
      • Veterinary Surgery: Small Animal now has specific pages and stopping points noted.
      • Textbook of Medical Physiology has been updated to the latest edition (Guyton AC, Hall JE. 14th Edition, 2020)
  • 2022 Phase I Examination Contingency Plan
  • Sample Questions
  • Tips for Taking the ACVS Examinations


Registering for the examination consists of submitting the online application and paying the examination fee.

  • Deadline: November 1, 2021
    • Submit your online application and examination fee payment no later than 111:59 pm Eastern Standard Time, November 1, 2021. Mailed examination fee payments must arrive by close of business (5 pm Eastern time) on November 1, at the ACVS office.
  • Submit the online registration application at www.acvs.org/apply
    • Online registration opens September 30 for eligible candidates. The application includes identification, eligibility form, requests for accommodations, if applicable, and signing the Phase I contract.
  • Pay the Examination Fee: $565
    • Pay the fee online with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express
    • Submit the Phase I Payment Authorization Form to ACVS. The payment form includes form fields and should be downloaded and opened with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
    • The examination fee is refundable only due to extenuating circumstances as detailed in the information pamphlet.

Schedule Appointment with Pearson VUE

Candidates whose examination materials are in order will receive an Examination Authorization email from ACVS on or shortly before November 18, 2021. This email will include the Candidate ID number and Authorization ID number. Both numbers are required to schedule and take the examination at a Pearson VUE test center. Visit www.pearsonvue.com/acvs to schedule your appointment.


In the event that a candidate needs to cancel their examination registration, the candidate must contact ACVS and Pearson VUE, if they have scheduled an appointment. Refer to the information pamphlet for refund policies.


Common questions are answered in the Examination FAQ. Address other questions about the Phase I Examination to Steve Brodt at sbrodt@acvs.org or (301) 916-0200 x123.