College of Medicine Exam Policy
Do not use your personal phone. There is a phone in the front of C109.
M1/M2 Exam Policies
These exams and testing policies are designed to help prepare you for Step 1 and your third-year NBME Shelf exams. We are in the process of integrating the NBME Basic Science Exams into the first and second-year classes.
Exams during the first two years are computer-based exams having approximately 100-125 questions. Regardless of length, exams in the M1/M2 years are scheduled for 73 seconds per question. Exams are scheduled in the C109 Computer Lab located in the GEB. There is no flexibility on this. Students have access to the exam scheduler and have flexibility in choosing whether they prefer to test in the morning or afternoon session.
Generally, assessments are scheduled for Mondays or Fridays. If scheduled on 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 for all assessments and exams. Students are expected to take exams during their scheduled time period. You may not change your time 48 hours prior to the exam nor can you select both testing times.
Exceptions for delayed testing 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. If delays are allowed, the exam will be rescheduled for the earliest available time. You may send your request to Ms. Norwood.
You should arrive NO LATER than 5 minutes prior to your exam time. We may begin the exam promptly at the scheduled start time or earlier. Failure to report to the exam location on time may result in not being allowed to take the exam at that time and will have to be rescheduled.
You are only allowed to bring your UT ID with your ID number into the exam. Your Badge must be located on your desk so the Proctor can log your workstation number. We will supply you with scratch paper and pencils for notes and calculations. Used scratch paper must be discarded in the wastebasket/recycle container provided & pencils returned. Do not remove scratch paper from the Computer Testing Center. Failing to do so may result in a failing grade on the exam.
Do not bring cell phones, cameras, calculators, smart watches, wallets, beepers, backpacks, briefcases, books, beverages/food, pencils, pen, paper, purses, coats, or hats. Approach the security for this exam as you did for your MCAT exam. You may wear a sweater or light jacket as the room may be cool. Failure to comply on USMLE exams can result in being directed to leave the testing center, a failing grade on the exam, and being barred from taking future USMLE exams.
In the case of emergency (e.g., fire alarm, power failure) students should power down the computer and exit the building immediately. When it is safe to return, student should return to the same computer station and 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 Policies
Student evaluation in the clerkship portion of the curriculum includes web-based examinations as well as an increased emphasis on other forms of evaluation. Students completing required M3 clerkships will take a web-based 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 ½ to 3 hours and are administered in the C109 Computer Lab located in the GEB. Exams will be scheduled in two sessions, based on the clerkship. You should always arrive NO LATER than 15 minutes prior to your clerkships testing time as we could begin the exam on time or earlier.
The exam format and tools are also the same as you’ve used for your MCAT and Step 1; you can highlight, strike through, notes, mark a question for review, pause, refer to your review list, etc. If your computer freezes during the exam, the time will not be deducted from your total exam time. Bathroom breaks will be deducted from your total time. To complete a practice exam please visit NBME Self-Assessments and click on Sample Assessment from the left navigation menu to launch the exam.
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 examination but have passed the clinical portion of a core clerkship can schedule a retake with Ms. Norwood and will be allowed to take the exam once. The student will be assigned a letter grade of "R" until the 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. Failing the NBME Shelf exam twice will result in you repeating the entire clerkship.
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 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 or other electronic equipment while taking an exam.
- Backpacks may not be brought into the computer lab but must remain closed and placed against the wall outside of the front entrance of C109. If you do not have a backpack and have valuable items such as cell phones, wallets, and keys they may be left with Ms. Norwood or the assigned Proctor for your exam. Make sure your cell phone is turned off completely.
- You will have a Proctor available for questions and for exam/computer issues as well as to keep down any disruptions that may happen during your exams.
- You will use the pencil and scratch paper provided in the computer lab 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 lab.
- You are permitted to take breaks during the time allocated for the examination but additional time will not be provided. Only one male or female student my leave the computer lab at a time and must enter and exit at the front of the computer lab. Please make an effort to minimize disruptions when entering and leaving the Computer Testing Center.