School of Medicine



All web-based Medical School Clinical National Board Subject Examinations (NBME) are managed by the Office of Evaluation, Assessment and Education Research. All students must provide their own laptop in order to take these examinations, as well as the Comprehensive Basic Science Exam given at the end of Foundational Sciences classes during the second year of medical school.

The Office of the Curriculum is responsible for the management of all Foundational Sciences examinations. View Foundational Sciences examination schedule.

View the NBME Clinical Exam Schedule.

The Simulation Program is responsible for the management of all simulation activities and exams.

Students are expected to complete and pass all medical school exams as defined in individual courses and clerkships.

For foundational sciences exams, students will not be permitted to bring backpacks, notes, purses, bags, electronic devices (including cell phones, smart watches, or calculators) or medical equipment into the exam testing area unless otherwise indicated by exam proctor prior to exam. Students should leave these items at home or in the lockers assigned to them by Student Affairs. For clinical exams, students are required to bring laptops, as the exams are administered electronically. Other items will not be permitted in the examination area. For Simulation exams and activities, no personal items (except stethoscopes) or outside notes will be allowed into the exam room.

Students are required to act with integrity while taking all medical school examinations. Contents of all exams are considered confidential and are not to be shared with other students through verbal or written communications. In addition, the use of outside materials (i.e. written materials, electronic devices) is strictly forbidden on all exams (except in specific cases, in which the students will be notified by the exam proctor ahead of exam). Failure to adhere to these policies could result in corrective actions up to and including dismissal from Baylor College of Medicine.


Exam Absence


Students are required to sit for examinations as scheduled. Unauthorized absences will result in a grade of Fail for the examination.

If a student is ill, he/she will be required to have the student's own personal physician submit a written report of the illness, without including private health information, to a dean in the Office of Student Affairs to be granted an authorized absence. In cases of emergencies (e.g., death of immediate family member) or a conflict with religious holiday a dean in the Office of Student Affairs must be notified and may authorize absence from the examination. The dean in the Office of Student Affairs will notify the applicable curricular faculty and/or clerkship directors of any emergency or excused absences.

Students who have an excused absence from a foundational sciences or clinical course examination for any reason are required to notify the Office of Student Affairs and to find out the date and time of the make-up examination. Dates and times of make-up examinations are determined by the Office of Student Affairs/The Office of the Curriculum.

Students who will be absent from a Simulation exam or activity must immediately contact a dean in the Office of Student Affairs who will notify the Simulation Program manager, as well as the course/clerkship director and course coordinator to determine the appropriate course of action.

The Office of Student Affairs will provide the student with a written summary of the plan and any action items.


Exam Tardiness


Students should report to the exam area in advance of the scheduled exam, as communicated in email prior to the exam by the exam proctor.

Students who are late for pre-clerkship exams should quietly enter the exam testing area and check in with the proctor at the front of the room. If a student is late, he/she will be required to sign an Exam Observation Form. Should the student be late two or more times, he/she will be reported to a dean in the Office of Student Affairs and the PACE Committee.

Students who arrive late for clinical exams (CBSE and NBME Shelf Exams) will not be permitted to enter the exam testing area and will need to report to a dean of Student Affairs. The student will be responsible for rescheduling the exam with the dean.

Students who are late for required Simulation activities and exams may not be permitted to take the exam and may be required to pay a rescheduling fee. The rescheduled date will be determined by the course director and Simulation Program manager. The student will be required to pay the rescheduling fee at the time of the make up exam.


Exam Accommodations


Foundational Sciences Curriculum


Examinations in the foundational sciences courses are given during the course. The course grading rubric and evaluation procedures, as well as information regarding remediation, is provided in the Course Overview Document for each course.

View Foundational Sciences examination schedule and remediation exam schedule.

In general, multiple choice examinations will follow the format of the National Board of Medical Examiners. Narrative evaluations may be submitted by course directors for foundational sciences courses based on the SOM Narrative Assessment Policy. (Policy 28.1.11) (login required).

At the conclusion of the foundational sciences curriculum, all students are required to take the web based Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners. A passing score is required on this examination before a student can begin the clinical curriculum.

Students failing to earn a passing score on the CBSE are offered a second attempt examination usually administered in February of a student's second year. The repercussions for failure to pass the Comprehensive Basic Science Examination a second time is left to the discretion of the SOM Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement but may result in a student repeating a substantial part of the foundational sciences curriculum.

Students who do not have passing grades in all foundational sciences courses or a passing score on the CBSE will not progress to the clinical curriculum until such courses/exams are successfully remediated in the Spring Term(s). 


Core Clinical Clerkships and Electives


A grade and narrative summary are rendered by the faculty for all academic work on the Core Clinical Clerkships and full-time clinical electives. Departmental examinations, oral examinations and clinical skills examinations may be required at the discretion of the department and the course director.

National Board Subject Examinations are required in the Core Clerkships of Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, Neurology and Family Medicine (Family Medicine began in the 2015-2016 academic year) are administered by the Office Evaluation, Assessment, and Education Research. Subject examinations are given at the conclusion of the clerkship.

The weight given to the National Board Subject Examination in determining the final grade is at the discretion of the department. However, a passing grade is required of each student before a final grade for the course can be entered on the student's transcript. All make-up and repeat examinations of the National Board Subject Examinations for course work taken during the first three years of enrollment must be completed by June of the year prior to the students’ graduation.

Any grade of Fail, Incomplete, or Deferred rendered during the students last year of enrollment must, in any event, be cleared of all course requirements by April of the year of graduation. This policy has been established by the Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement, so that all Incomplete and Deferred grades would be cleared by July of the student's senior year. It also allows these grades to be included on transcripts and dean's letters required for residency applications. There are no exceptions to these policies.

National Board Subject Examinations are given on the last day of the respective rotation. All students are required to take the web based examination at the conclusion of the rotation. Examinations can be changed only with the permission of a dean in the Office of Student Affairs. The student is responsible for scheduling the make-up examination with a dean in the Office of Student Affairs. At the time of the make-up examination, the student must be officially enrolled at Baylor.


Revised Dec. 2, 2021


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