The NAVLE BOOT CAMP is Here to Help Veterinarians Pass Their Boards

← Back to the Blog

Our new boot camp helps veterinarians prepare for the NAVLE by combining our test-taking workshop and study skills course

A lot rides on the NAVLE — it’s the culmination of countless hours of lectures, studying and preparation. And it can be really nerve-wracking if you’re not a great test-taker and if your study habits leave a lot to be desired. That’s why we created our new NAVLE Boot Camp. The Boot Camp helps veterinarians prepare for the NAVLE by honing and rebuilding their studying and test-taking processes. 

NAVLE Boot Camp: What It Is

The NAVLE Boot Camp combines key elements from our STATMed Study Skills Class and STATMed Boards Test-Taking Workshop. If you’re a vet or vet student preparing to take (or retake) the NAVLE, this boot camp is designed to help you redesign how you study and rebuild your test-taking methodology. 

During the course, participants will learn robust study methodology tools like frameworking, dynamic reading and marking and retrieval practice. Students will also learn time management and planning strategies and boards test-taking and test-training tools in both small group and one-on-one meetings. 

To learn more about the NAVLE Boot Camp, check out the video above, where STATMed Learning founder Ryan Orwig outlines what to expect and how you can participate. 

When Is It

The NAVLE Boot Camp will be held twice a year, once in the winter and again in late summer. The first cohort will be held February 4-12. If you miss this date, reach out to see if we add more sessions. 

The course includes five live online small group meetings, 11 on-demand video lecture modules that students watch independently, and three live online one-on-one meetings. Each session has an agenda that fulfills our larger plan for each of our NAVLE students. The Boot Camp also includes homework to be completed between meetings. Check out the schedule below. 

How to Apply

Interested in attending the NAVLE Boot Camp? Contact us today to learn more and apply! 

This course is $2600 and payment plans are available. 


Hey, I’m Ryan Orwig, creator of STATMed Learning and I wanna talk briefly in this video about our new NAVLE Boot Camp. The NAVLE Boot Camp combines our STATMed Study Skills Course and our STATMed Boards Test-Taking Workshop for our NAVLE clients who are retaking their boards within a few months and want to both redesign how they re-study and how they rebuild their test-taking process. So I recommend this for our NAVLE candidates who need to improve performance significantly, and I can talk to you about that if that’s a question of what that means, by addressing both the study-based issues and test-taking-based issues.

So the boot camp’s gonna cover our core STATMed Study Skills for Boards Re-Study, the time management and workflow tools that are part of that sort of suite, that medley of study skills. I don’t think you can teach study skills without teaching the time management and workflow pieces. And then also the full Boards Workshop for test-training using the STATMed Method and the one-on-one feedback that really helps unlock that and helps you guys learn to show what you know on board exams, like the NAVLE. So here’s the basic sort of logistical setup for the NAVLE Boot Camp. You can see the cost and you can see here the dates for the early 2023 NAVLE Boot Camp.

February 4th through February 21st, but the back half, 13 through 21 is very flexible, where we’re scheduling individual meetings. So if you need to get done sooner, you can, and you’ll see the schedule how that all works here. If you’re watching this after the February 2023 window, which is entirely possible and likely, then just reach out and ask about upcoming NAVLE Boot Camp dates.

Format, it’s a live online meetings for small groups and for one-on-ones. There are a section of on-demand videos you have to watch and there’s obviously homework. And you can see here duration, where we’ve got the five meetings, the 11 on-demand videos, 3 live one-on-one meetings, and then all of your homework. The class size will be between 4 and 10 students. And what you would need is a broadband, stable broadband internet connection, and then a reliable internet connected device with webcam and microphone speakers, all that jazz, okay? So here’s a sample schedule. This is what the February 2023 boot camp will look like. Now, the only thing that’s missing here is, when we’re meeting in those group sessions, is it gonna be 9 to 11:00 AM? Is it gonna be 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM? That is to be determined in the coming days once we know what our group looks like. And in the green solo meetings, I mean, there’s a lot of flexibility there. That’s just this big window of time, days and times where people can slot in their individual meetings. There are three individual meetings spaced out over the span of those green blocks. It all works sort of organically in the flow, very external, explicit as we are in the boot camp. So the NAVLE Boot Camp essentially merges two of our main platforms, the Study Skills Course and the Boards Workshop.

So look here. I wanna show you how the two platforms combined to form the boot camp. So this, and this is way more detail than anybody needs to know, but I think why not put it out there? This is the basic structure of the one-on-one Study Skills Course, and you can sort of see those on-demand sessions where we sort of revisit the foundations and the intro, the big picture stuff, and then we teach frameworking on this day, that’s the key skill. That might take two to three hours in the group. I think teaching skills in small groups for study skills is better than individually. Sometimes you have to do it individually. I think the test-taking is better off taught on its own.

Then on Day 2 there, we’re gonna hit all the key reading skills that we need to hit. And then on Meeting 3, we’re really debriefing and unpacking and disseminating how we’re gonna unpack these individual skills into board review material and laying out more management tools working forward. And then the fourth meeting is split, where we sort of tie off the practice and application of the study skills, and then also start to roll in our Boards Workshop, the test-taking stuff.

Meeting 4 is followed by our first individual meeting, where we’re really gonna dive into the test-taking and give you individualized feedback. Then we have Meeting 5 where we’re still focusing more on the test-taking dissemination here. And then in our second solo meeting, it’s gonna really focus on a lot of feedback for test-taking. Followed pretty closely by our final third meeting, Meeting 3, where we talk about, yes, some of the test-taking, but also bigger picture, study skills, study methodology, how all these pieces, these two tracks are coming together.

And I like this flexibility at the end for the NAVLE Boot Camp because if you wanna be done within two or three days, you can. If you wanna be done by the 13th, 14th, 15th, you can. If you wanna get more work done and have Solo Meeting 2 around the 14th and then Solo Meeting 3 around the 19th, 20th, 21st, that’s fine. It’s very elastic and very customizable to fit the needs of each individual student as they’re prepping for their NAVLE.

And then if you’re interested, you can see the kinds of skills that are being disseminated within the boot camp. The study methodology and the time management and planning come from the study skills side and the boards test-training tools come from the workshop. And for those of us who really want the detailed breakdown, and you can see there’s a combination of on-demand videos, group meetings, homework and individual solo meetings. Now this is way more than most people are gonna want, and you don’t need to understand this stuff, but here it is for you. And so who’s taking the boot camp? Within the NAVLE sphere, who’ve taken the NAVLE, they’ve failed the NAVLE maybe once, maybe multiple times. So if you’re taking this boot camp, you are concerned with both study-based issues and test-taking-based issues.

They might say something on the study side like, “I’m familiar with most of what I need to know, but I don’t know how to find and fix the holes in my knowledge.” A lot of re-studiers are just globally familiar with what they need to know, but they can’t figure out what they concretely know, what they’re vaguely familiar with, familiarity is just enough to frustrate on test day for boards, and then where those holes are, much less than how to find and fix and consolidate them. I believe learning at this level has to start with organization and structure. For a lot of our boards people at this level with something like the NAVLE, it’s all swirling around. It’s too messy. It’s too disorganized. All of the skills that we’re teaching study-wise are top-down centric. Focusing on structure first, working inward to details, building these things externally and explicitly.

Maybe somebody who’s taken this would say, “Sometimes I missed questions because I’m super familiar with it, but I don’t know these deeper details. Like, my knowledge went three levels deep. This was asking for the fourth or fifth level. My knowledge just didn’t go there.” How can we do this? How can we fix this? The study skills boot camp, the boot camp is gonna address this. They might say, “It’s crazy to admit, but I don’t know the best ways to study, especially re-studying for boards.”

I hear this all the time. We don’t teach our highly intelligent, highly motivated adult learners in the medical field how to study. The boot camp’s gonna take care of that. They might say, “My study sessions are passive and lack structure, relying too much on re-reading or reviewing.” Or they might say like you’re punching the time clock. Like, “I’m putting in the time, why am I not getting the results?”

Methodology. Methodology is going to unlock that productivity and the outcomes. They might say, “I feel like I forget as much as I remember, and it’s worse over weeks and months of board study.” So it’s like I’m doing all this work to fill up this big bucket of water, carrying these heavy buckets of water up the hill, filling it up, but then when I come back and turn around, the bucket is leaky and I’ve lost all the water, all the work I’ve done. We need to implement study methods that are going to give us yield and retention and make it stick. Something we can come back to after initial study and not have to re-study it. Instead, build off of it, really get into the active learning with retrieval practice and tying in the knowledge.

A lot of our students end up saying something like, “I want to make studying feel like high intensity fitness training, like HIT training, but I don’t know the best ways to study to make it all stick over the long haul.” Exactly, back to what I said earlier, we don’t know how to study. And again, when you’re studying for something like the NAVLE, I feel like it’s gotta be on when you’re on, start when you’re starting, stop when you’re stopping. Not 10, 15 minute startup, not sort of meandering around that illusion of productivity. No, we wanna be able to have a game plan, see the big battle plan, come in, plug in, work hard, then be done and move on with our lives, and then be able to come back and pick it up where we left off. This is all key to how we need to learn to study for boards, and that’s what we’re covering in the boot camp, study side-wise. And likewise, like I said, you can’t teach study skills without teaching time management, methodology tools that plug in.

So people might say, “How do I plan, manage, and track study progress short and long-term?” I think you need a micromanager and a macro manager. I think you need to figure out how to offload cognitive burden for planning and tracking so that you’re not carrying any of that stuff. You might say, “Yeah, I used to be able to do that in vet school, in undergrad.” I don’t care. The arena’s different. We need different tools so that we can unburden our processor and show what we know. And then there’s similar test-taking concerns. So if you’re doing something like the boot camp, we wanna address this thing from the study side and the test-taking side. So test-taking concerns people would probably be bringing to the table, maybe not all of these, but at least some of them would be… They say, “I do great clinically, but I can’t translate what I know to the exams.” Being a good clinician and a good practicer is not always the same as being able to perform on the exam, especially learning to use what you know consistently on board style exams. They might say, “I always narrow down to two and pick the wrong one.” Sometimes you narrow down to two, like I said earlier, your knowledge goes three levels deep, it’s asking for that fifth level. That’s a study side issue. But if you’re somebody who’s like, “I narrow down to two and I’m always kicking away from the right answer.

More often than not, I realize I should have gotten it right when I’m consistently kicking the wrong way.” That’s getting into the test-taking mechanics. This is where reading and thinking intersect. It might have to do with an underlying philosophy you’re carrying with you. You might be a binary test taker, meaning you wanna know it all. Like, “I just feel better when I know it all.” Well, you can’t always. But if you are a binary test taker, that means you feel like you need to like, you like A. “I like A, but I don’t know everything about A and I’d like it if I knew more. I don’t know about this one thing if that fits everything else fits, but I don’t know about this one thing, so I’m gonna pick B.” “What do you know about B?” “Not as much, but I might have missed that day. I might have glazed over that.” This is a common pattern. There are many patterns like this.

Somebody might say, “I read the explanation, then realize I should have gotten it right.” That is a test-taking miss, and again, those are gonna happen every so often, but we’ve gotta really reduce the occurrence of those, to be consistently better over the course of a test as long and demanding as the NAVLE. They might say, “I miss or distort key clues, and I don’t trust myself.” Well, first of all, you gotta trust yourself. All you have is what you know. People always talk about their gut. “Sometimes I trust my gut, sometimes I don’t, or my gut leads me astray…” I don’t even know what the gut means. We don’t want that to be a part of our factor, playing such a heavy role into the way we are navigating questions, working questions, eliminating wrong options, choosing from the best of what’s left. I mentioned that binary test-taking mentality. That puts such a low ceiling on your ability to use what you know. We have to learn to be flexible.

Test takers using our partial knowledge, consistently working questions, eliminating wrong options, choosing from the safest of what’s left based on the parts of what we know. Easier said than done, but that is exactly how the workshop side of the boot camp is set up. They might say, “I’m always rushing to catch up and making unforced errors.” Time is a factor. So we have to streamline our test-taking process, cut out excess and work through it mechanistically. We want to offload the locus of control from our impulses and our desires and our impulsivity and put it on the STATMed system, the blueprint of the system. This test-taking process is very robust. It’s very mechanistic. It’s not about fixing one person’s test-taking, and saying, “Let’s see what you’re doing right and wrong.” If you do this, we’re tearing it to the ground and building our system in its place ground up. Bad test-taking is very behavioral. Bad test takers are probably doing the same two to five mistakes over and over and over again. So we wanna put this system in place to help corral and contain and give feedback so you’ll understand the system that we’re teaching first before you see the benefit, because you have to engage in targeted self-reflection to grow what’s called self-monitoring, your ability to regulate yourself in the run of play. The workshop’s piece of this, of the boot camp is gonna teach you how to do all this. That back end of the schedule is all this sort of test-taking stuff, and you can be studying using your new study skills while we’re adding the new test-taking stuff. I see test-taking and study skills as two parallel silos that work together as you’re working your way through boards prep. We talk about this on the study side of the boot camp. So you can bring all the stuff on board in a compact fashion so that you can then turn around and go take this thing. And I love attacking it from the study side and the test-taking side. For those of you that really want the comprehensive package, that’s what we’re doing with something like this. So here are a few frequently asked questions about the NAVLE Boot Camp: “What if I just need the test-taking?” Well, then that’s when you go do our boards workshop. You don’t even need to mess with all this stuff. If you feel like it’s just the test-taking and you don’t need the study stuff, which is a significant portion of the people that contact us for the NAVLE, then just do the workshop.

If I’m sending this to you directly though, there’s a good chance that we’ve already discussed this and you need both or you’re trying to figure out if you need both, that’s fine. Some people might say, “What if I just want the study skills?” Well, then you could just do the Study Skills Course. But, in these big crunch times, we don’t have time to run all those one-on-one Study Skills Courses. So, that might not be an option, given your test deadline if the deadline is

close. And then some might ask what other options do we offer. Well, we have our big STATMed class. It’s like a 10-day class, 30 to 40 hours of instruction. It teaches all the same study and time management tools, but it also teaches a few more weird, outside the box creative ones, like visual mapping and memory palace. We don’t do that. In the one-on-one Study Skills Course or the boot camp, there’s just not enough time for it, but some people like that. But the flip side is, while we do disseminate the architecture of the STATMed test-taking process in the STATMed class, it doesn’t have all that one-on-one training and feedback stuff that we see on the back end of the boot camp and the boards workshop.

That’s why the the NAVLE Boot Camp is ideally suited for people with a test that’s coming up in a few months. “Are payment plans an option?” Yes, we appreciate that this is expensive. We ask that you pay a portion of it up front, maybe break it into three or four payments. Pay the the first piece up front, then you just tell us when the second and third, second, third, fourth payments are gonna be due. We just ask that you pay them when you say you’re going to so I don’t have to come looking for it.

“How often will the boot camp be offered?” We’re gonna look at running this twice a year, once in the winter and once in the late summer for those upcoming NAVLEs.

“What are the group meeting times?” So we don’t have those built in yet as you can see in this current schedule. I’ll be locking those in several days before the boot camp starts. We will have that final definitive schedule put out before you would sign up for the boot camp.

“What happens in the group meetings?” Well, this is where we’re disseminating, assessing, modeling, giving homework feedback, having group discussions about the situation, about the individual skills, about how the skills go together, about what it’s like to take the NAVLE and struggle with the NAVLE. These sessions are confidential and are not recorded and cannot be missed. So when you see those five sessions, you have to be there for those, but it is confidential. We do not record those.

“What are the one-on-one meeting times?” Those are flexible for each student. You can see the span of time in the green on these schedules, and it is pretty flexible, okay? And it’s just the one-on-one meeting, once we set that schedule, I just ask that you make sure you meet that time, because my time is limited, right? So you just wanna make sure that you meet those meeting times.

“What happens in the one-on-one meetings?” Mainly, we’re really going over test-taking modeling and feedback, looking at your individual misses, looking at your growing process, modeling out deep analysis write-ups, assessing your own analysis, and answering questions as you start to put the pieces together. There’s always a plan for those, for the most part, and we are moving progressively on a conveyor belt as you are developing your test-taking skills. And we can also always use those times to look at and answer and troubleshoot and problem solve your growing study skills as well, which is a nice bonus that is kind of unique to the NAVLE Boot Camp. We’re East Coast time zone, so always keep that in mind. It’s better to always communicate in East Coast time zones since we’re working with people from all over the country.

And then, “What content do we use for homework?” We provide content on those first few days of study and those are more, almost like classroom-based and most of those are human medicine even though you guys are all NAVLE. It’s because those are about quickly giving feedback that that homework is carefully curated to help move each student and client along faster. But then once we get to Day 3, Day 4 and beyond, you guys are using your own relevant material for your NAVLE, okay? And then all the test-taking process training, you’ll be using your own question banks for those.

“How many students in the boot camp?” Minimum of four. So we have to have at least four to run the boot camp, and then we’ll max it out at 10. And that’s gonna affect how long some of these days go. “What goals should boot camp students have?” Well, I want you to be ready at the end of the boot camp to study independently, and then I want you to be able to train independently for the NAVLE using the STATMed process. There might be a small window there where you’re gonna have to develop more and we’ll talk about what that structure looks like as you continue to sharpen the skills closing learning circuits. But you’re not ready to take the test at the end of the boot camp obviously, but you will start studying during the boot camp. And as we’re then layering in the test-taking, I know that from most people taking the boot camp, that test is coming soon.

So we need to keep moving and we’ll be talking about this all the way through as you’re in. You don’t really have to worry about any of this because I’ll be leading the way, either me or my colleague David, will be leading the way and telling you what to do each step of the way.

And then one of the most popular questions is: “How much time post-boot camp will I need?” I mean, that’s variable for each student. Six, eight weeks is definitely the more desired window. Obviously, you could have more. If you get less than six weeks, I mean, that’s getting kind of tight. But again, it’s gonna always depend on each student’s situation, and I’m happy to talk to everybody about that on their own, okay? So hopefully this gives you a decent idea about the NAVLE Boot Camp.

As with all of our platforms, all of our services, I’m always happy to talk to anybody who has any questions about whether STATMed is the right fit for them and if STATMed is the right fit for them, then which of our platforms for you: Is it the NAVLE Boot Camp? Is it the STATMed Study Skills Class? Is the STATMed Boards Workshop or is it the one-on-one Study Skills Course? You might not know. This might give you some information. It might open up more ideas and more questions. I’m always happy to answer any of those questions. There’s never any obligation on your part. Thanks for listening to all this, and I hope you found it informative.