Grading Policy

Grades breakdown into three components: 1) summative evaluation, 2) NBME exam, and 3) cases / topic presentations / mini-CEX. The first two components are graded on the H/HP/P/F system. The third component is Pass/Fail. It should mean something to get Honors. We anticipate that final grades for the whole class will be: 25% Honors, 25% High Pass, and 50% Pass. Hopefully, no students will Fail. Be assured that there is no preset curve and that 100% of students can receive Honors if deserving. Overall, it is difficult to get Honors in the clerkship unless you do really well on both the summative evaluation and final exam.

If you Fail the clerkship because of the evaluation then we will recommend repeating the clerkship to the Student Progress Committee. Repeating the clerkship means that you will repeat every component (CEX, exam, etc.) even if you passed that component the first time. See the final exam tab and the table below to understand how the exam will impact the grade. If component 3 is failed, the final grade will be no better than Pass.


Summative EvaluationNBME Subject TestCases / Topic / Mini-CEXFinal Grade
Honors HP or Honors Pass Honors
Pass Pass High Pass
High Pass Honors Pass Honors
HP Pass High Pass
Pass Pass Pass
Pass Honors Pass High Pass
HP or Pass Pass Pass
Any passing grade Any passing grade Fail Pass
Fail Pass or Fail Fail
Fail Any grade Pass or Fail Fail


Our goal is fair and objective grading. We will review all three components and the written comments from preceptors on each student. Special communication directly with the preceptor may be needed in certain cases.

Of course, grading is not a perfect process. Students challenging their final grade will be handled promptly on an individual basis by the clerkship director.

Unexcused or unannounced absences may drop your grade one level or result in a Fail grade.