Exam Policy

Emergency Numbers

Access to the testing labsSecurity8-4444
Computer problems
(includes fire alarms, power failures, etc)
HelpDesk8-2222
Miscellaneous issuesMedical Education8-5506

M1/M2 Courses Exam Policy

Most exams during the first two years are computer-based exams of approximately 100-125 questions. Regardless of length, exams in the M1/M2 years are scheduled for 1.5 minutes per question. Exams are scheduled in one of the four computer testing labs on campus. Students have access to the exam scheduler and have flexibility in choosing the time and place of their exam.

With input from course directors and the BSS, the Office of Medical Education (OME) schedules course exams every 3-5 weeks; most are scheduled for the final day of a course or module. Generally, assessments are scheduled for Mondays or Fridays. If a Monday, the Tuesday following the exam is lightly or not scheduled for classes. If a Friday, the Thursday before the exam is scheduled as a study day (no classes). Since the College of Medicine must share access to testing labs with the six other colleges of the Health Science Center (HSC), days and time may vary slightly to fit into the larger HSC schedule. National Board of Medical Examiner (NBME) policies regarding test administration are followed and the UTCOM honor code applies.

Students are expected to take exams during the scheduled time period. Exceptions will be allowed only in the case of serious illness or death in the family. Requests for delaying an exam must be submitted as early as possible and approved by the Office of Medical Education. OME will attempt to accommodate requests for delays for religious holidays. Those requests must be submitted to the OME at least 30 days in advance. If delays are allowed, the exam will be rescheduled for the earliest available time.

Computer problems encountered during exams should be referred immediately to the Help Desk (448-2222). In the case of emergency (e.g., fire alarm, power failure) students should shut off the computer and exit the building immediately. When it is safe to return, student should restart the computer. The testing software will readmit the student to the exam at the place where administration was disrupted with no loss of time.

M3/M4 Clerkships Exam Policy

Student evaluation in the clerkship portion of the curriculum includes written examinations as well as an increased emphasis on other forms of evaluation. Students completing required M3 clerkships will take a written exam at the end of the rotation. In all cases except Neurology, that exam will be the National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Exam (NBME). These exams are scheduled for the last day of the clerkship. NBME exams last 2 hours 30 minutes and are administered in one of the four computer testing labs on campus. Exams will be scheduled in two sessions, based on the clerkship and availability of the testing labs. A student unable to take a clerkship examination due to illness or other emergency situation must notify the director of that clerkship. Concerns affecting individual examination questions or other forms of evaluation, as well as final grades, should be directed to the appropriate clerkship director.

Students who fail the written examination but have passed the clinical portion of a core clerkship can retake the written exam once. The student will be assigned a letter grade of "R" until the written examination is retaken. The "R" grade will be replaced with the appropriate final grade after the student repeats the exam. The retake of` exams in clerkships taken in Blocks 5 through 10 must be completed by the first day of class in January. For those clerkships taken after Block 11 of the M3 year, the retake must be completed no later than the end of Block 8 prior to the year of graduation.

Required M4 clerkships and electives generally do not schedule written exams. But if a clerkship has a written exam, scheduling is the responsibility of the clerkship director.

It is an Honor Code violation if...

  • You test when you are not scheduled and another student is unable to access a computer.
  • You are in the testing center after the entire exam period has ended
  • You take an exam outside of the published testing times (e.g., during evenings or weekends)
  • You transcribe questions in any form, remove notes made on scratch paper, or provide information about any aspect of the examination to students who have not taken the examination. By taking the examination, each student pledges that he or she has neither given nor received any help on the examination.
  • You use a cell phone, PDA, or other electronic equipment while taking an exam.

Please Remember

  • Backpacks may be brought into the Center but must remain closed and be placed against the wall. Anything that is necessary to take an examination must be removed from backpacks before students enter the Testing Center.
  • No recording equipment, headsets, calculators, cell phones, PDAs, other mobile devices, books, class notes, other notes, etc. are to be used in the Computer Testing Center during these examinations unless specifically authorized by the Course Director.
  • The labs are under camera surveillance.
  • Scratch paper for use during these examinations will be provided in the Center.
  • You are expected to enter the Computer Testing Center at the designated time and immediately begin taking the examination.
  • The examination clock will begin when students log on to the examination.
  • You may use a pen or pencil and the scratch paper provided in the Computer Testing Center while taking the examination to work out problems or to write notes indicating those questions that you might want to review. This may begin only after logging into the examination. Used scratch paper must be discarded in the wastebasket provided. Do not remove scratch paper from the Computer Testing Center.
  • You are permitted to take breaks during the time allocated for the examination but additional time will not be provided. Minimize disruptions when entering and leaving the Computer Testing Center. The door to the room must remain closed at all times (no propping open) and you must use your ID card to re-enter.
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Contact Us

Office of Medical Education

910 Madison Avenue, Rm 1002
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-5506
Fax: 901-448-1488

Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Clint W. Snyder, PhD, MBA

Executive Dean:
David M. Stern, M.D.