Exam Policies for Medical Students

Medical Student Exam Policy

Postponing or modifying exam schedule; Excused absences

A student who is unable to take a scheduled exam due to medical or family emergency must immediately notify the course manager. In an emergency where the course manager cannot be reached, students must contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at (617) 358-7466. Within ten days of the exam, all students must submit a written explanation for missing the exam to both the course manager and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. All explanations must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Students should arrange directly with the course manager to take make-up exams, if indicated.

  • Exams are not to be postponed or taken early, unless for a compelling reason (personal illness or family emergency)
  • Students may need to provide supporting documentation for all early, late, delayed, or missed exams
  • Students who arrive late will take the exam with remaining time
  • Students who miss an exam, unexcused, will receive a 0 for that exam

Scheduled Exam Times

NBME exams will be administered in the afternoon, due to a pattern of NBME technical difficulties. Students are expected to report for their exams per the start time provided by their clerkships. End times provided are approximate, based on starting the exam on time without any complications. NBME technical difficulties, personal laptop issues, and/or weather issues have the potential to substantially delay examination end times; students should take this into account when scheduling travel (flights or any other travel arrangements) after examinations. While it is the rare occurrence, NBME online difficulties have delayed end times by over 4 hours. The school does not guarantee end times and will not reimburse or reschedule a student who misses an airline flight due to an extended NBME end time.

Shelf Exam Laptop Certification Process

Prior to testing, students are required to follow certification procedures as provided on the Alumni Medical Library website.

Pre-certification is an important step in preparing for the NBME exams as it helps identify potential software conflicts and issues prior to the exam, and visiting the Library Help Desk after failing a certification allows our Library staff to troubleshoot these in advance of the exam.

Students who fail to certify their computer prior to the administration of an NBME exam may be unable to take the exam on the scheduled date and the student which may affect their overall grade.

Approved by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on November 9, 2017