5.3: Exam Policy for Pre-Clerkship Courses

Per the Stanford University Honor Code faculty can determine the best exam environment for their tests and make any requirements they see fit with regard to how students take the exam.

To uphold the spirit of the University’s Honor Code and to create consistency across courses in the pre-clerkship curriculum, the Office of Medical Education provides the following guidelines for closed-book examination environments in our required MD courses:

  • Students will complete exams in the rooms assigned by the course.
  • Exams are non-collaborative and, unless otherwise noted by course faculty, closed book.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated by the course director, use of any electronic device to access other resources, including (but not limited to) the internet, your notes, and your colleagues, is expressly forbidden and constitutes a violation of the Stanford Honor Code.
  • The use of personal listening devices is expressly forbidden in the exam setting.
  • Students with disabilities or other special needs for which they may need accommodations should notify the Dean of the Office of Medical Student Affairs and the Office of Accessible Education well in advance to receive appropriate accommodation for exams. Once students receive an official accommodations letter, they must let the School of Medicine Education Specialist and their course directors know of their accommodations request no later than the end of the second week of the quarter every quarter in which they are requesting accommodations.
  • Please see Section 3.12 Policies and Resources for Mobile Devices for more information about BYOD policies governing final exams.

Final Examinations Pre-clerkship Courses

Final examinations are scheduled by the Office of Medical Education, which posts tentative dates and times by the end of the previous quarter and final schedules by the end of the second week of the quarter. Students anticipating conflicts in examination schedules should seek to resolve them with course instructors.

Students are expected to remain on campus during the final exam period and should not book travel or other plans until they have confirmed the dates that they must sit for their final exams. Final exams should take priority over other commitments and students are advised to plan accordingly.

Final examinations are governed by the regulations below:

  1. Students are expected to take the final examination unless at least 24 hours prior to the examination they have received formal written approval for either dropping the course from the course director or for obtaining an incomplete from an Academic Advising Dean. Incompletes are given for significant personal or medical reasons beyond the student’s control. If a student does not appear for the examination and has not been granted a drop or an incomplete, the student will receive a fail.
  2. Students are expected to report for their examinations at the time and place designated by the Office of Medical Education or the course director, unless the course director has made alternative arrangements. While examinations are not “proctored” as such, students must take the examination in the designated location within the prescribed examination time. Students are expected to adhere to the Honor Code at all times during examinations.
  3. When the final examination or its appropriate substitute is not an in-class examination (e.g., when an instructor assigns a take-home examination, paper, or project in lieu of an in-class examination), the schedule and format of the final examination, or its substitute, will be determined no later than the end of the second week of the quarter and, if changed subsequently, may be only a modification approved by a majority of the students in the class.
  4. Students with documented disabilities who have registered with and been determined by the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to require special examination accommodations are responsible for notifying both the School of Medicine Learning Strategies Education Specialist and their course directors at the beginning of the quarter or when their accommodation letter is given that they will need accommodations. Unless students receive accommodations mid- quarter, they must let the School of Medicine Learning Strategies Education Specialist and their course directors know of their accommodations needs no later than the end of the second week of the quarter for which they are receiving accommodations. Reminder: students needing exam accommodations are to contact the OAE first, prior to notifying their course director(s).
  5. Feedback on written examinations is to be as complete as practicable.

Please note: In the COVID-era and beyond, there may be marked changes to the above policies. Our procedures will need to adapt to the changing landscape of county, state, and university regulations.

updated August 2023