Block testing processes, policies and procedures
Competency-based Honors-Satisfactory-Fail assessment model
The College of Pharmacy uses a three tiered grading scheme of Honors, Satisfactory and Failure (HSF) which requires that students achieve at least 80% competency on each assessment (or more stringent for some courses as defined in each course syllabus). Some courses may not offer an honors designation. Important aspects of the model include frequent testing, testing over smaller amounts of material and multiple attempts to meet competency.
All courses utilize the HSF assessment model. Some courses utilize a block test approach which is described in detail in the sections below. Non-block tested courses, lab-based courses, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) include HSF specifics within the course syllabi and/or manuals.
View our frequently asked questions flyer for more information about the HSF competency-based assessment model.
Block testing process overview
Initial test – will be given every two weeks on Monday per the semester block testing schedule. Students will be informed of exam results within 1-2 days of taking the exam.
Re-test – will be given to any student who does not meet competency on the initial test. The mandatory re-test will occur on Friday, the same week as the initial test (see semester block testing schedule). Before taking the re-test, students are encouraged to consult with instructors in order to clarify content or get additional instruction.
Extended Learning Experience (ELE) test – any student who does not successfully meet competency on a re-test is required to attend an end-of-semester ELE session (see semester block testing schedule). The student will be given the opportunity to seek assistance from their instructors to prepare for the ELE test. The ELE test is the third and final time for a student to demonstrate competence. Students who do not pass the ELE test associated with this course will be assigned a failing grade for the course.
The purpose of the re-test and ELE test is to allow students to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the academic material to meet the established standard of competency. It is not intended to provide an opportunity to increase a passing score to a higher level. Accordingly, the maximum score recorded for any re-test or ELE test will be 80%*, regardless of the actual score a student received.
*or higher for some courses as noted in individual course syllabi
Block testing schedules
Click on the link above to access the Absence Report Form. This form is required for all absences for block-tested courses.
Test administration policy
The policy is guided by ACPE Standard 10.17 Academic Integrity: “To ensure the credibility of the degree awarded, the validity of individual student assessments, and the integrity of student work, the college or school ensures that assignments and examinations take place under circumstances that minimize opportunities for academic misconduct. The college or school ensures the correct identity of all students (including distance students) completing proctored assessments.”
The following test administration guidelines will be followed for all block tests and are only applicable within the testing room.
- Students should arrive before the scheduled start time for all exams. If a late student arrives to an exam after another student has already completed the exam and left the room, he/she will not be allowed to start the exam.
- Students who experience an absence on a test day need to complete and submit an Absence Report form as soon as possible. For further questions, related to the absence process please refer to the Block-tested Course Absence Policy and Missed Test Policy.
- Students are not permitted to ask questions during an examination; however, a written challenge or explanation to specific questions may be provided using the electronic comment card feature of ExamSoft®.
- Students are not permitted to leave the examination room before completing the exam, except in the case of extreme need - in which case a proctor will need to accompany the student if the student intends to return to finish the exam.
- Students are required to leave their testing device within the testing room during the scheduled breaks between test blocks. This requirement is for initial exams, retests, and ELEs. Students can only remove their devices if they have completed all testing for that day.
- Instructors reserve the right to re-administer any exam, to specific individuals or to the entire class, in the event of any irregularity.
- Seating for exams will be randomized (random assignment to a row) or otherwise assigned. Proctors may choose to re-seat students at any time during the examination. Each student is expected to sit in the row to which he/she has been assigned. If there is a specific issue with the row assignment, please contact one of the proctors in the room for resolution to the problem.
- Random spot checks of one or more rows will occur during each block testing session to verify that students are sitting in their assigned rows. If a student is found to be sitting in a row different from the assigned row without approval, student behavior will be reported as a professionalism issue to COP Student Services with a Student Concern Tracking form.
All desks are clear of books, notes, cell phones or other devices.
- All personal items such as backpacks, purses, notebooks, food/drinks, etc need to be left at a designated site in the classroom, prior to picking up scratch paper (Spokane). In Yakima, students will be seated and the proctors will distribute the scratch paper.
- With the exception of laptops, writing utensils and specified resources approved by the instructor, students may not bring any other personal items to their assigned seat in the testing room.
- All laptops should remain closed until the proctor announces that the assessment is about to begin. At that point laptops may be opened.
- Scratch paper/equation sheets should not be written on prior to the start of the exam. Once the proctor displays the passwords, students may write on their scratch paper and/or equation sheets.
- A closed top water bottle may be placed on the floor next to the student seat. No other food or drink is allowed.
- All electronic devices, including cell phones, are prohibited during exams. They should be silenced and left in backpacks and purses prior to seating. Ear buds and/or headphones are not allowed during exams.
- Scientific calculators are allowed during the block tests. Graphing calculators are not allowed unless you are notified that they will be allowed for a specific assessment.
- Students wearing hats will be required to remove them during the test, or orient them so the brim is toward the back.