Exam Environment Policy – Foundations/Clinical

Foundations and Clinical Phase Exam Environment Policy Statement
Students are required to attend scheduled examinations and adhere to rules conducive to a functional testing environment with academic integrity.

Requirements, Procedures and Guidelines
Examination schedules are developed by careful consideration of students’ need for preparation time and cognizance of the University’s administrative holiday schedule and religious observances. As part of the students’ professional development as a physician-in-training, there will be times when they are expected to prioritize their medical school schedule. With the exception of documented illness, personal or family emergencies or religious holiday observation, a student will not be permitted to take the exam at a different time.

Examination Schedules
During the Foundations Phase, exams are scheduled on fixed dates. With the exception of documented personal illness or personal/family emergencies, students are not permitted to take exams at a different time. All personal plans must be made around scheduled exam dates.

Students are on their honor not to discuss course information or share answers during the examination.

Examination Environment

Arrival for Examination
Students must arrive on time for examinations. The start time for an exam is posted in the Curricular Management System, Elentra, and is the time at which all students are expected to arrive. Due to the nature of starting exams with large numbers of students, the actual start time may be delayed after the posted start time. Exams will begin as quickly as is feasible after the posted start time.

Exams have specified start and end times. Students will not be allowed to continue exams beyond the posted end time. The consequence of this is that students who arrive late may not receive the full allotted exam time. Students will not be seated for exams more than 30 minutes after the actual exam start time. Exceptions may be given for emergency situations at the discretion of the Block Director.

During the Examination
Items allowed at seat during examinations

  • Computer/laptop/tablet (if using for exam)
  • Mouse/keyboard (if using for exam)
  • Soft foam earplugs
  • Green laminated sheet
  • Dry erase pen
  • Beverages in covered containers

Items not allowed at seat during examinations

  • Cell phones
  • iPads/tablets (unless using for testing)
  • iPods/media devices
  • Watches with alarms, computer, or memory capability
  • Calculators (will be provided if needed for particular exam)
  • Paging devices
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Recording/filming devices
  • Reference materials (book, notes, papers)
  • Backpacks, briefcases, luggage
  • Coats, outer jackets, headwear (religious headwear is allowed)
  • Food

No questions or requests for clarification of exam items are permitted during the examination. Identification of typographic errors or formatting issues may be raised with the proctor. If necessary, corrections will be posted. If students wish to share a problem with a particular question, leave a comment within the computer software, which will be reviewed by the Block Faculty.

Technical Difficulties
If students encounter technical problems during an exam, they should raise their hand to immediately notify a proctor.

Students may not leave the testing area during the examination, except to go to the restroom.

  • Only one student is allowed to go to the restroom at any given time.
  • For NBME exams, students must be accompanied to/from the restroom by a proctor.
  • Students should not be absent for more than five minutes.

If a student begins an examination and does not complete it for any reason, their exam will still be scored and applied toward their grade.

Irregular Behavior
Students seen to engage in any of the following behaviors will be noted and reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Curriculum:

  • Disrupting testing conditions of other students
  • Copying answers from another student
  • Allowing answers to be copied by another student
  • Receiving or providing unauthorized information about the examination content
  • Using notes during the examination
  • Writing on green laminated sheets prior to starting exam
  • Making notes on anything besides the green laminated sheets
  • Removal of green laminated sheets from the testing room
  • Continuing to work after time is called by the proctor

Resources for Standards of Academic Conduct

Rescheduling of Examinations​

  • Students must be present for scheduled examinations (including anatomy pin tests) except in the event of illness or personal/family emergencies.
  • Only a Foundations Dean (or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for students in Seattle) can approve an exam absence-not a block leader.
  • Exams cannot be rescheduled or moved to a different Foundations campus for personal events or research presentations.

For more details, please consult the attendance and absentee policy posted on the UW Medicine website.

Exam Accommodations
Students who have a letter of accommodation from Disability Resources for Students (DRS) at UW can receive accommodations for examinations. After DRS has granted accommodations to a student, the School of Medicine will put these into place as soon as is reasonable depending on the particular course, the exam format, and the accommodations required.

Examination schedules are developed by careful consideration of students’ need for preparation time and and cognizance of the University’s administrative holiday schedule and religious observances. As part of the students’ professional development as a physician-in-training, there will be times when they are expected to prioritize their medical school schedule. With the exception of documented illness, personal or family emergencies or religious holiday observation, a student will not be permitted to take the exam at a different time.

Examination Schedules
In the clinical curriculum, Patient Care Phase and Explore and Focus Phase required clerkships (Emergency Medicine and Neurology or Neurosurgery) are required to have a final examination with the most common type of exam being the National Board for Medical Examiners (NBME) subject exam; clinical electives may have an exam or clinical skills assessment. Other performance evaluations include a mini-CEX, which is a review of a component of the physical examination relevant to the clerkship, demonstration of patient-centered communication skills, or other skill or knowledge taught as part of the clerkship.

Examinations for required clerkships occur on the final Friday of the clerkship. Students may be required to travel more than one hour to their exam site. Guidelines for permitted time off for travel to the exam site are outlined on the Clerkship Exam Schedule Guidelines. For questions regarding specific exams, students should contact the UW School of Medicine Testing Service, somtests@uw.edu, or the clerkship administrator for that specific clerkship.

Examination Environment
Students are on their honor in the clerkship testing environment. The NBME subject exams are managed under the same strict guidelines as the USMLE licensure exams. It is unacceptable for students to share exam questions with students in subsequent clerkships; sharing exam questions, is considered a breach of professional conduct.

Arrival for Examination
Exams will have check-in times and start times. Students are expected to arrive by the check-in time to facilitate a timely start to the exam. Students who arrive after the actual exam start time may not be allowed to take the exam.

During the Examination
Items allowed at seat during examinations

  • Green laminated sheet/dry erase pen (for NBME exams)
  • Blank scratch paper/pen/pencil (for NBME exams)
  • Soft foam earplugs

Items not allowed at seat during examinations

  • Cell phones
  • iPads/tablets (unless using for testing)
  • iPods/media devices
  • Watches with alarms, computer, or memory capability
  • Calculators
  • Paging devices
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Recording/filming devices
  • Reference materials (book, notes, papers)
  • Backpacks, briefcases, luggage
  • Coats, outer jackets, headwear (religious headwear is allowed)
  • Beverages or food of any type

No questions or requests for clarification of exam items are permitted during the examination. If a student feels there is a problem with a particular question, students should answer to the best of their ability. A student can also notify a proctor about the problem, and they can report it to the appropriate testing authority.

Technical Difficulties
If students encounter technical problems during an exam, they should raise their hand to immediately notify a proctor.

Students may not leave the testing area during the examination, except to go to the restroom.

  • Only one student is allowed to go to the restroom at any given time.
  • For NBME exams, students must be accompanied to/from the restroom by a proctor.
  • Students should not be absent for more than five minutes.

If a student begins an examination and does not complete it for any reason, their exam will still be scored and applied toward their grade.

Irregular Behavior
Students seen to engage in any of the following behaviors will be noted and reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Curriculum:

  • Disrupting testing conditions of other students
  • Copying answers from another student
  • Allowing answers to be copied by another student
  • Receiving or providing unauthorized information about the examination content
  • Using notes during the examination
  • Writing on green laminated sheets prior to starting the exam
  • Making notes on anything besides the green laminated sheets/scratch paper
  • Removal of green laminated sheets/scratch paper from the testing room
  • Continuing to work after time is called by the proctor

Resources for Standards of Academic Conduct

Rescheduling of Examinations​

  • The final decision regarding whether a student may or may not reschedule the examination rests with the Clerkship Director.
  • If a student needs to reschedule an examination for any reason, the student should contact the Clerkship Administrator and/or Clerkship Director prior to the start of the exam, if possible.
  • If a student is approved to take their examination on an alternate date, the student is responsible for contacting the Clerkship Administrator (and Regional Administrator if outside Western WA) to schedule the alternate date/time.

Exam Accommodations
Students who have a letter of accommodation from Disability Resources for Students (DRS) at UW can receive accommodations for examinations. Exam accommodations must be requested from the Department as early as possible.

 

Effective: Current
Last updated: March 31, 2021
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Curriculum Office, somgov@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu