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Computer Based Testing Policy

MSUCOM utilizes a “bring your own device” computer-based testing model for examinations, using the software applications approved by MSUCOM and the Department of PA Medicine. Students will be provided with instructions and access to download the software to their device. 

The following policies apply to all computer-based examinations associated with MSUCOM courses:

Electronic Devices and Examination:

  1. It is the responsibility of each individual examinee to ensure that the correct examination has been downloaded to his/her personal electronic device no later than 1:00pm the business day before the exam. 
  2. All technology-related issues including, but not limited to: device functionality, battery power, and compatibility with testing platforms are the responsibility of the examinee. 

Arrival and Check-in at the Exam:

  1. A valid photo identification card is required to take any examination, and can include an MSU issued student ID, or government issued driver’s license, passport or military ID. 
  2. The photo identification must be presented in order to enter an examination. Failure to do so will prohibit an examinee from being able to take the exam, and they will be directed to the excused absence policy in the course syllabus. 

Personal belongings:

  1. Examinees are only allowed to possess their testing device, computer mouse and mouse pad, keys, writing utensils, power cord, battery power pack, device charger and soft earplugs at his or her seat.  Every effort will be made to provide a quiet testing environment, but students are encouraged to bring earplugs to assist with these efforts. 
  2. Examinees are not permitted to bring into the room or access any unauthorized items during the examination, which include, but are not limited to: cell phones, earphones, wallets, watches, fitness bands, books, notes, hats, food, drinks, purses and backpacks. 
  3. Nothing may be worn on an examinee’s head other than for religious purposes. 
  4. If prohibited items are brought into the exam room, proctors have the right to examine the item. This may include examination of devices such as cell phones for evidence of academic misconduct. 

Food and Drink:

  1. There is no food or drink allowed in the testing room.
  2. Any exceptions to this rule will require documentation of need from the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities or a medical provider. 

Test Time:

  1. Examinees must be in their seats and ready to start the test five (5) minutes before the scheduled start time of the examination. 
  2. If an examinee arrives after that time, or if an examination is missed, the course syllabus will define the consequences and procedures for obtaining an excused absence. 


  1. If a student is not in the examination room before the examination room door closes, they will be considered absent from the exam. This includes late arrivals.
  2. Students who are absent may request an excused absence as defined by the Excused Absence Policy and related procedures. 
  3. If an excused absence is granted, the student will be permitted to take a make-up examination at a date, time, and location and in a format determined by the course coordinator. 
  4. If an excused absence is not granted, the student will be permitted to take a make-up examination (if available, see course syllabus) but with a penalty as defined below. If more than one course has items on the examination, the penalty will be applied to the score for each course. 
    1. On the first unexcused absence, there will be a 10% deduction in the score(s). 
    2. On the second unexcused absence, there will be a 20% deduction in the score(s), and a face-to-face meeting with a program administrator will be required. 
    3. On the third unexcused absence, there will be a 20% deduction in the score(s), and the student will meet with a COM PA Medicine administrator for review of conduct. 
    4. Any further unexcused absences from an examination will be reviewed by the Promotions Committee for unprofessional behavior. 
  5. These unexcused absences are cumulative and will be tracked longitudinally across the curriculum, beginning with a student’s first day of matriculation. 
    1. ​​Example: If a student receives an unexcused absence in semester 1 and then again in semester 4, the absence in semester 4 will count as his/her second unexcused absence. 


  1. Examinees have the option of taking breaks during examinations that exceed one (1) hour in length. No breaks are permitted for examination less than one (1) hour in duration, unless documentation of need is provided. 
  2. Exam room staffing will determine the number of examinees allowed on break at one time. There must be at least one proctor in the exam room at all times. 
  3. No additional time will be added to the examination period to compensate for breaks taken by examinees. 

Exam Completion:

  1. Upon completion of the exam, each examinee must show the final confirmation screen to exam administration staff to verify that the answer file has been successfully uploaded. 
  2. Once the successful upload has been verified, exam administration staff will then allow the examinee to exit the exam room. 
  3. A failure to demonstrate a successful upload of the answer file will result in the examinee being required to stay in the assessment room until the entire time allocated for testing has elapsed. 
  4. Each examinee must return all proctor administered materials (including scratch paper) to exam administration staff before exiting the room. 

Unexpected Technology Issues:

  1. In the event that a student experiences a technology failure with their personal device or the testing platform software, the examinee must raise his or her hand immediately to inform exam administration staff. 
  2. If the failure occurs before the examination begins, exam administration staff will provide a substitute device, if available, for the totality of the examination. If no substitute device is available, the examinee will complete the examination via paper test and scantron. 
  3. Upon completion of the examination, the substitute device or filled-in scantron and paper examination must be returned to the exam administration staff. 


  1. All communication between examinees during the examination is strictly prohibited.
  2. Exam administration staff will not answer questions regarding examination content.
  3. If the examinee believes there is an error on an examination item, exam administration staff will instruct the examinee to answer the item to the best of his or her ability with the information provided.
  4. When testing platform software provides the opportunity for examines to comment on specific items, this feature should be utilized by examinees to raise concerns or questions. If the option is not available, examinees should use the piece of scratch paper provided to make comments on specific questions. 

Academic Integrity:

All examinees must adhere to the policy listed above and any additional instructions provided by the exam administration staff. A failure to do so may be considered a violation of MSU and MSUCOM & Department of PA Medicine policies on academic integrity and may result in disciplinary actions up to and including receiving no credit for the examination, being required to end the examination immediately, and/or sanctions imposed as outlined in the “Medical Student Rights and Responsibilities” document, including dismissal from the College. 

Approved by the Faculty of the Department of PA Medicine on March 16, 2020