Guidelines for Exam Administration

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Following are general guidelines for exams administered in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Additional requirements may be posed by the individual course director.

Expectations for students

  • Take the exam during the originally scheduled time, excepting extenuating circumstances. Students are required to take all examinations at the specified time. A student may be excused from this rule for extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Extenuating circumstances are normally defined as sudden personal illness. Doctor appointments of a routine nature or vacation time are not considered to be extenuating circumstances for which students can be exempted from the regularly scheduled exam date. Such occasions will be promptly reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. In the event of inability to attend a scheduled examination due to sudden illness the student is required to inform the course director prior to the examination and to be evaluated by the Student Health Service. In the event that the student cannot reach the relevant course director, the student should contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • Students are expected to be punctual and should be assembled in the designated exam area before the official start time of the exam. Tardiness will not be excused except in extenuating circumstances. For purposes of the exam, “tardiness” will be defined by the course director or exam proctor.
  • Not share study materials, exchange information, collaborate or communicate with others during the exam.
  • Place all personal items in designated area.  (Cell phones must be turned off and pagers set on pulse.
  • Hand their registration card, laminated sheet and pen to the proctor prior to leaving the room.

Special accommodations

Any student needing accommodation for exams should review the school’s Students with Disability Policy in advance of exams.  Students needing accommodations should meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in advance of exams to discuss his or her request. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will inform course directors of approved exam accommodations.

Expectations for faculty

  • Exams should be proctored by the course director or a designee appointed by the course director comfortable with proctoring and exam administration guidelines. Exams will not be proctored by Office of Medical Education/Office of Medical Student Education Staff. NBME subject exams are proctored by the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Administration should be fair to all students.
  • If the faculty member answers a substantive question or clarifies an issue, the same should be communicated to ALL students, including those in separate rooms or at different times.
  • Reasonable adjustments should be offered to students who require special accommodations, including a separate testing room or additional time. Course directors are notified of these students through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  • If a student behaves inappropriately, the course director should notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs immediately (see below for examples of inappropriate behaviors).
  • All requirements of students should be communicated to all students PRIOR to the start of the exam.


The following examples are intended to be representative of behaviors that constitute cheating in the context of an exam. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list.

  • Looking at or copying from another student’s test.
  • Collaborating with another student during the test without authorization.
  • Using lecture notes or textbooks during an exam without authorization.
  • Possessing crib notes during an exam.
  • Using signals/signs to obtain answers from others.
  • Utilizing a calculator, cell/smart phone, smart watch, computer, or any other device or learning aid without authorization. This includes storing, receiving, and/or accessing course matter stored on such devices.
  • Obtaining assistance in answering questions on a take-home exam without authorization.
  • Obtaining advance copies of exams or quizzes by any means.
  • Having someone else take an exam in your place.
  • Feigning illness or submitting misleading statements to avoid taking an exam at the scheduled time.
  • Changing an answer on a graded test and claiming the question response was incorrectly marked wrong.