Skip Navigation
 

MUSC Bulletin | College of Medicine

College of Medicine | Grading Systems

Grading Policy in the COM1 & COM2 Integrated Curriculum

The Honors/Pass/No Pass System: Student grades are reported to the registrar at the end of each semester. You will receive a semester grade for each of the four themes and the grade will be recorded as H, P, or NP. Grades are achieved as follows:

Grade

Average of Scored Evaluations*

Completion of all Professional and Academic Responsibilities

H

≥ 90%**

Must be completed

P

<90 – 70%***

Must be completed

NP

< 70%

Or failure to complete professional and/or academic responsiblities (regardless of the score.)

* Scores are not rounded for determination of H/P/NP.

** Following determination of passing, points earned in other graded theme-specific components are combined with points from block and practical exams to determine   the final theme grade.

*** Minimum passing score of 70% must be achieved by points earned in block exams and practical exams.

Block exams: Block exams: At the close of each of the blocks, students take a fully integrated objective exam. Questions from subject matter of each of the themes are co-mingled and, in some cases, clustered under a single clinical scenario. The block exam is designed to reflect USMLE Step I exam structure. (Practice quizzes are provided during each block. The quizzes allow students to become familiar with the type and format of questions found on the Block Exam.) Graded responses on the block exam are sorted to provide theme grades which are reported as a raw score and % grade. Block exam scores are combined with scores from theme-specific graded activities detailed below to provide the final 4 theme grades for the semester.

What are examples of academic and professional obligations?

  • Successfully meeting all deadlines for on campus assignments and off campus appointments with senior mentors
  •  Attendance at small group meetings/sessions/labs for any/all of the themes
  • Completion of laboratory dissection/teaching assignments in preparation for teaching effectively within your dissection team
  • Attendance at all lectures scheduled for CiM, Research Topics, and all other invited speakers/guests
  • Timely completion of online evaluations of  blocks, themes and the teachers within each theme using the on-line E*Value system

Evaluation of the Blocks and Themes:  You will be given the opportunity to evaluate the overall blocks, themes and the teachers within each theme using the on-line E*Value system. The Dean’s Office will notify all students via email when these required evaluations become available.  E*Value evaluations and comments are anonymous, but the software used in the course and faculty evaluation administration permits us to know which students have completed the evaluations. Students who do not complete the theme and faculty evaluations cannot be considered for Block Honors Designation.

Honors Designation in Blocks: You may achieve Honors Designation in each of the twelve preclinical blocks by the following achievement:

  • Overall average ≥ 90% on all combined, graded subject matter in the block
  • 100% completion of all academic and professional obligations required of the deadline

A record of your Block Honor Designations will be maintained in the Dean’s Office for inclusion in scholarship and/or research applications, consideration of AOA designation or other honors, and for documentation within the Dean’s letter (MSPE) which is an important component of each student’s residency application packet.

Remediation of Failed Theme and Demonstration of Competency:

At the end of each semester students receive a grade for each of the longitudinal themes. If an overall average is <70% but ≥ 60% in one or more themes, students are given the opportunity to remediate the failed theme(s) prior to the start of the next academic semester. Theme-specific remediation exam includes an individual exam from each of the blocks that contributed to the failure.  Successful remediation of a theme requires a score of at least 70% in each of the individual block component exams. A grade of P (Pass) is recorded for each theme that is remediated successfully.  Failure to remediate results in a final theme grade of NP (Fail).

Note: Students who receive a semester theme grade < 60% are ineligible for remediation and a theme grade of NP (Fail) is recorded. 

Grading System for the Clinical Curriculum

A. 3rd Year Clerkship & Selectives Failure (Approved on May 1st, 2015)

Each clerkship, selective, and required course, sets criteria for failure, pass, and honors for the course prior to the start of each academic year. These criteria will be made available to students at the beginning of each clerkship/course in written form. All clinical faculty and residents assess the clinical performance of students using the standardized COM Clinical Performance Evaluation (CPE).

A student will FAIL the clerkship or selective if any one of the following conditions is met:

  • Clinical Performance Evaluation grade of 2.5 or lower, or at the discretion of the course director if the following occurs, one (1) or more ratings of “rarely, if ever”, or four (4) or more ratings of “inconsistently”.
  • Remediated written exam grade at a minimum of at least two (2) standard deviations below the national norm for that exam.
  • A failing grade on any secondary component (of the grade).
  • Additionally, a student is eligible for failure at the discretion of the Clerkship Director for unprofessional behavior.

What if a student fails some component of the grade?

  • If a student fails the clinical component of the grade (CPE), the student must repeat the course. The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) and the academic transcript will reflect the failure and repeating of the course.
  • If a student fails the written examination, the student will receive a grade of “Incomplete” (IN) and will have the opportunity to remediate that exam. The student shall retake the written examination no later than the first offering of the examination during the student’s senior year. The student will not be eligible to receive honors for the written exam or for the course as a whole regardless of the score obtained on the remediated exam. A note will be made in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) of the need to remediate the exam. If the written examination is failed a second time, the student must repeat the course. The MSPE and the academic transcript will reflect the failure and repeating of the course.
  • If a student fails a secondary component of the grade (i.e., OSCE) the student will receive a grade if “Incomplete” (IN) and will have the opportunity to remediate that portion of the grade. The student will not receive honors for the course as a whole regardless of their performance on the remediated component. If the secondary component is failed a second time, the student must repeat the course.  A note will be made in the MSPE of the need to remediate that component.

B. Policy: 3rd Year Clerkship Honors (Approved on November 18, 2011)

The criteria for the designation of Honors will be determined by each clerkship and approved by the appropriate academic committees. Each clerkship will publish Honors criteria prior to the start of the academic year and will make this information available to students at the beginning of the clerkship in written form. NOTE: Selectives are not eligible for Honors.

 C. Policy: 4th Year Electives and Externship Failure (Approved on May 1st, 2015)

Each Elective, Externship, and required course, sets criteria for failure, pass, and honors for the course prior to the start of each academic year. These criteria will be made available to students at the beginning of each course in written form.

All clinical faculty and rotations will assess the clinical performance of students using the standardized COM Clinical Performance Evaluation (CPE).

A student will FAIL the elective or externship if any one of the following conditions is met:

  • Clinical Performance Evaluation grade of 2.75 or lower (with the exception of Internal Medicine which is a clinical grade of2.80 or lower), or at the discretion of the course director if the following occurs, one (1) or more ratings of “rarely, if ever”, or two (2) or more ratings of “inconsistently”.
  • A failing grade on any secondary component (of the grade).
  • Additionally, a student is eligible for failure at the discretion of the Course Director if the student receives any comments of concern about the professional behavior of the student.

What if a student fails some component of the grade?

  • If a student fails the clinical component of the grade, the student must repeat the course.
  • If a student fails a secondary component of the grade (i.e., OSCE) the student will receive a grade of “Incomplete” (IN) and will have the opportunity to remediate that portion of the grade. The student will not receive honors for the course as a whole regardless of their performance on the remediated portion of the grade. If the secondary component is failed a second time, the student must repeat the course. 

D. Policy: 4th Year Electives and Externship Honors (Approved on May 1, 2015)

A student will be eligible for honors at the discretion of the course director if the student achieves a Clinical Performance Evaluation clinical grade of 3.60 or higher (with the exception of Internal Medicine which is a clinical grade of 3.81 or higher) with no ratings of “rarely, if ever” or “inconsistently”.

E. Policy: Formative and Summative Feedback and Timeliness of Grading (Approved by UCC electronic vote: 9/26/12)

In accordance with LCME standard 9.4, 9.7, 9.8, the directors of all preclinical themes, courses and clerkship rotations in a medical education program must design and implement a system of fair and timely formative and summative assessment of medical student achievement in each theme, course and clerkship rotation.

Formative Feedback (Approved on November 18, 2011; revised June 1, 2012)

  • Each theme will offer scheduled mid-point formative feedback regarding performance and achievement of requirements in weekly small group activities.
  • Each clerkship or core rotation will offer purposeful opportunities for formative feedback regarding clinical performance and achievement of requirements (i.e., patient diagnosis log) at the mid-point of the rotation.
  • An assessment of the student’s performance
  • Confirmation of an adequate learning environment (conducive to learning, demonstrates professionalism, safe.)
  • Confirmation of adherence to education hours policy
  • Review of diagnosis logs
     

Summative Feedback

Each theme, clerkship or core rotation will provide students with summative feedback regarding their performance in the theme, clerkship or core course in order to help students identify strengths and weaknesses and improve knowledge, attitudes and skills as they progress throughout their preclinical and clinical training.

Timeliness

To ensure the timeliness with which medical students are informed about their final performance in courses and clerkship rotations, final grades will be available within 40 calendar days (not business days) of the end of a course or clerkship rotation. A central grade submission tracking system in the COM Dean’s office is designed to track grade submission timeliness for the clinical courses and offer feedback to course directors regarding compliance with timeliness on an ongoing basis. Data from this tracking system will be reviewed semi-annually in the Clinical Sciences Curriculum and Evaluation Subcommittee.

F. Policy: Narrative Feedback (Approved by UCC electronic vote: 9/26/12)

Each theme, clerkship or required course must provide students with a narrative summary of their individual performance in the course. This narrative may include both comments intended for formative feedback and comments intend as a summative description. In preclinical themes, narrative feedback should be provided for graded writing activities and participation in small groups.  Summative comments from clerkships will be submitted to the Dean’s office for inclusion in the medical student performance evaluation.

G. Policy: Disclosing Remediation (Approved on November 18, 2011)

Any written examination or OSCE failure must be reported to the dean’s office by the corresponding course or clerkship. In addition, the failure and/or remediation of either a written examination or an OSCE must be disclosed in the narrative description of the student’s performance for the clerkship or required rotation. (E.g., “The student passed the examination on the second attempt with a very solid performance.”)

  
Last Published with Edits:August 15, 2016 10:04 AM
Last Comprehensive Review: August 2016
 
 
 
 

© 2016  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer