Clerkship Exam Fail FAQ

Students who are not on Academic Probation: You may proceed with scheduling an exam retake. Student Progress Committee (SPC) reviews all students who fail a clerkship exam, and will send a letter acknowledging permission to retake the exam, but you do not need to wait for this letter to schedule.

Students who are on Academic Probation: Your individual situation will be reviewed by SPC, which typically meets on the second Thursday of each month. In most (but not all) cases, SPC will approve a second attempt at the clerkship exam. Because students on Academic Probation may have other remediations to coordinate, you will need to wait for SPC permission prior to scheduling a retake. We also recommend meeting with Dr. Maya Sardesai (Assistant Dean for Student Development) about your overall progress.

Students must successfully pass a clerkship exam retake to meet graduation requirements. Currently, UWSOM requires students to score at the 3rd percentile or higher nationally for NBME subject exams in order to pass the exam. The 3rd percentile threshold will be based on when students sit for the retake exam. Because these thresholds change over time, this means that the passing mark for the exam may not be the same as when the original failed exam was taken.

Students who are on Academic Probation must wait for SPC to approve the retake prior to scheduling. All other students can schedule retakes immediately.

Students are responsible for scheduling their exam retakes. Students can retake the clerkship exam on any regularly scheduled clerkship exam administration (Fridays at the end of the 4th/6th/8th/12th week of any quarter–see dates below). We suggest that you schedule your exam retake as soon as possible; the farther you are from your original rotation, the more difficulty you are likely to have refreshing the specialty-specific content.

If you need to take time away from a rotation for an exam retake, you are also responsible for clearing the time away with your clerkship administrator.

Specific deadlines:

  • Step 2 CK: Any failed clerkship exams must be successfully remediated prior to taking this exam.
  • MSPE: For successful retakes to be reflected on the MSPE, these must be completed prior to Labor Day of the year prior to entering the Match.
  • Match Certification: Students with any unremediated Patient Care Phase clerkship exams will not be certified to participate in the Match.

  • Winter 2024: 1/26, 2/9, 2/23, 3/22
  • Spring 2024: 4/19, 5/3, 5/17, 6/14
  • Summer 2024: 7/19, 8/2, 8/16, 9/13
  • Autumn 2024: 10/11, 10/25, 11/8, 12/6
  • Winter 2025: 1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/28

Yes. Clerkship exams are remote proctored until further notice.

No. Given the stakes of these exams, it is important to set yourself up for success by being well rested and able to focus and concentrate on one discipline at a time.

Give yourself time to review clerkship materials, as well as get enough rest. Reach out to Academic Support if needed.

Yes. The MSPE will indicate that you were required to remediate a clerkship exam. However, neither exam score (original or retake) will appear on the MSPE. If you have more questions, please visit the MSPE webpage.

No. Regardless of whether you pass/fail the clerkship exam retake or what score you get, your original clerkship grade will not be changed.

You will be notified of your exam retake score within a week of taking it.

Students who fail the clerkship exam retake will be discussed at SPC.

Matt Cunningham, Ph.D.
Director of Educational Evaluation