How To Study For and Pass the VTNE

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Studying For Test

Studying For Test


Studying for the veterinary technician national examination can seem like a daunting task. You will never know what they will decide to put on the test or what they won’t. Statistically, the pass rate of this test is only 63% so it is imperative that you study hard for this test.

It is best to start preparing as early as possible to prepare for anything they could throw at you. I like to allow 2 months to prepare fully for the veterinary technician national exam. 3 months is optimal for the time to prepare and as such, I recommend starting to prepare for it on your last semester of school.

I am not allowed to give sample questions or give any information specific to the examination but I will give you tips and tricks on studying and passing the examination. I graduated school with a 4.0 and my lowest test score in school was a 94. I had one of the highest scores you could get on the VTNE. This is the reason I want to help others succeed because I worked extremely hard to get to where I am now.

Studying Your Prep Books

There are two prep books that you should buy for sure when you start preparing for your examination. You should buy the Questions and Answers book fourth and fifth edition so you can get experience with a variety of different questions.

I also suggest buying the Mosby Comprehensive Review for Veterinary Technicians. I would read this book about 1 to 2 hours per day so you can finish it or read a good chunk of it prior to your test. The Mosby Review is separated into nicely divided sessions that cover each domain of the VTNE. If you do not have much time to read or before the test then I always suggest the pharmacology session first then clinical laboratory second.

Both question and answer books are split into multiple sessions such as anesthesia, mathematics, medical terminology, and so on. I recommend that you do two sections per week. Write your answers on a separate piece of paper and check it with the answer key found in the back of the books.

Circle any question that you get wrong so you can review it later. I prefer to go through all of the questions that I missed one week to two weeks before the test. The wonderful thing about the prep books is that they provide detailed feedback. You can write down the feedback if you do not feel like you have retained the information.

AAVSB Practice Tests

I like the AAVSB practice tests. There are two tests available for $45 each through the AAVSB which are very identical to the actual exam in how the questions are asked. You cannot get any practice exam better than the one written by the test makers themselves.

The AAVSB says that your success on the practice test can often indicate how you are going to do on the official examination. It does not mean you should stop studying.

Vet Tech Prep Versus Zuku Review

Many people are on the fence of deciding which vet tech review program they want to do. Choosing to do an online review program can significantly increase your chances of passing the exam. Both programs also give you money back if you do not pass the first time around.

I am biased toward Vet Tech Prep because I did both review programs before taking my exam. I actually went through both review programs twice. Vet Tech Prep is better structured and is better programmed than Zuku. The formatting and the design is also much superior to that of Zuku. It is also unfortunate that Zuku does not give you the option of eliminating answers like the actual test but Vet Tech Prep does.

I like to go through each question and write down each question that I do not know so I can study it the week before the test or a few weeks before the test. What I actually do is come up with an answer in my head before I even look at the selections because this builds memory better over time.

Vet Tech Prep and Zuku both come with review pages that you can download. These pages are jam packed with useful information which will really help you on your test.

I found the pages from Vet Tech Prep to be very helpful on my exam, especially as it relates to specific drugs, suture material, and anatomy. There is a great page on drugs which lists all the complications and contraindications for common drugs. I focused most on groups of drugs instead of specific drugs unless there was something about the drug that popped out at me such as esophageal stricture associated with doxycycline.

VTNE Mobile Applications

I would use only one VTNE app for studying and even then, it will never compare to the book work or Vet Tech Prep. I would use the AAVSB VTNE app for studying if you had to choose one app to use. Please know this app is not actually made or endorsed by the AAVSB.

Anyone can make an app and write questions without any credential at all other than knowing how to program. I have found quite a few errors in a few applications.

Vet Tech Prep and the books are written by veterinarians with a lot of experience in the field with the help of veterinary specialists.

Organize Your Time and Priority

Spend your time working on what the book work indicates that you still need work on. Prioritize your time toward practical questions rather than focusing a ton of time on not practical questions.

I would focus on the 12 cranial nerves and the fact that bradycardia can be caused by the vagus nerve being stimulated rather than the hounsfied unit of blood for example.

I would still answer the hard questions for practice on the off chance they are asked, but I would set my sights on more common questions. The VTNE practice tests were much more practical than any other practice test I took. What you choose to study will mostly depend on what you need more experience with.

I Focused Mostly On:

  • Drug groups (sulfonamides, lincosamides, etc.)
  • Anesthetics
  • Fluid rates and dosing medication
  • Large animal parasites and diseases
  • Radiography processing
  • Anatomy of the heart

The Use Of Mnemonics

Mnemonics is the use of a system for improving and assisting in memory. I used this system for memorizing mathematics and the vitamins more easily.

In school I learned the abbreviation KGMM which stands for kilogram, gram, milligram, and microgram. The strategy is that you divide by one thousand to go one conversion left and times by one thousand to go one conversion to the right. I skipped the conversion metrics that no one ever uses and that I have never seen on a practice test.

I would focus on the most important math problems that you might encounter in the real world and on the test. Focusing too much on long dilution questions might not be worth your time but I would do them at least once.

I would spend most of my time on on converting units of measurement, calculating fluid rates, and figuring out dosages. It is also important that you know how to do C1V1 C2V2 type questions. The two AAVSB practice tests available emphasizes these concepts and so did my school.

I also learned that all dogs eat krispy kreme. This will help you remember that vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble and the rest are water soluble.

Study Diagrams

The next favorite thing I did to prepare for the VTNE is study diagrams of the heart and dental diagrams of popular species of animals. I find that I learn better by diagrams because I can better visualize what I am studying.

Old School Notes

I always tell people to review their school notes if they have time because I feel like a lot of my test could have been found in my school notes. Even a quick read through can significantly boost retention because you are seeing it for a second time. Reading anything for a second time that you have written before can improve your memory of that subject.

Eliminate Options Instead of Guessing

Give up any thought that you have of guessing or choosing C as the best answer because it is surrounded by what people refer to as disasters. Computer based tests have built in algorithms for generating test answers and shuffling them around.

The best technique is to logically go through each choice and decide if it is even a possible answer or not. You can scratch out options throughout the exam that you want to eliminate as a choice. It might not be unusual for you to find the answer by strategic elimination of wrong answers.

VTNE Test Taking Strategy

There is 170 questions that you have to answer with 20 pilot questions that do not count toward your total score. These are questions that are being tested for the addition to future tests. Test is graded on a 200 to 800 scale with question points being scaled based on difficulty.

The first go through I answered all 170 questions in 45 minutes. You can take an hour if needed to go through the questions if you feel like you need more time. This is just a suggestion and what I did so do not feel like you have to do this.

I went with my first guess for every question without thinking too much into it as your right answer is usually always right. I went back to question 1 after this step. I took the rest of the time thinking about the questions and logically going through each choice to make sure my answer made sense.

I even did math problems again because I wanted to see if I arrived at the right answer more than once. I ended my test with 40 minutes left.

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