Basis of Assessment

Policy 540.10

Policy Statement

  1. Students will be assessed by faculty on the basis of their total performance within the context of curriculum and course objectives. Such an assessment will take into consideration knowledge, skills and behaviors deemed essential for a career in medicine.
  2. The Larner College of Medicine, in accordance with Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standards, requires providers from any discipline who provide sensitive health or mental health service to students not be involved in the assessment of student academic performance or the decisions regarding their advancement and/or graduation.
  3. Student performance is assessed in coursework and globally.
    1. Coursework
      1. Foundations Level: Student performance will be graded as Pass, Marginal Pass, or Fail. The Marginal Pass grade indicates sub-optimal performance, but is recorded as a "Pass" on the medical student’s transcript. Narrative evaluations will be provided whenever students have three or more small group sessions (12 or fewer students) with the same faculty. Narrative comments will be included in the student’s record and may be included in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). (Refer to 2.5. below).
      2. Clerkship and Advanced Integration Level courses: During the clerkship level student performance will be graded as Pass or Fail. At the Advanced Integration level, some courses are graded as Pass,  Fail, or Honors; others are graded as Pass or Fail. Clerkship students will receive formative narrative feedback at mid-rotation and summative narrative assessment at the end of the rotation. The summative narrative assessment is included in the MSPE. (Refer to 2.5 below).
      3. In all courses and clerkships longer than four weeks, students will receive an assessment of their performance at or near the course midpoint.
    2. Global assessment.
      1. End of Level Clinical Skills Examinations: During the four years of medical school, students are required to take and pass two end-of-level Clinical Skill Exams (CSE). The first occurs at the end of the Foundations Level and the second occurs at the end of the Clerkship Level.
      2. National Board of Medical Examiners Comprehensive Basic Science Exam (CBSE):  Each student must take this examination near the completion of the Foundations Level. This exam is formative only.
      3. USMLE Step Examinations:  Students must take and pass The United States Medical Licensure Examination Steps 1 and 2CK.
      4. Student total performance is continuously assessed.
      5. The MSPE is a summative evaluation of a student’s academic and clinical work during medical school.
  4. All grades and narrative comments are included in the student’s academic file. Students have the right to review their files in accordance with general university policy at any time. Students will be apprised of their overall performance and final academic status at the end of each course or clinical rotation. For specific policy related to student access to their records and MSPE, refer to Policy 919.00 Medical Student Records: Student Access.
  5. There are circumstances when a grade of Pass does not by itself ensure that a student will advance in the curriculum. Such circumstances are evaluated by the Advancement Committee.

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Related University of Vermont Policies

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

  • 9.4 Assessment System
  • 12.5 Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment/Location of Student Health Records


  • 5/20/2014 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 9/18/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 3/17/2020 Reformatted [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/16/2020 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 4/26/2022 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 7/19/2022 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Director of Academic Achievement)

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