Please review the COVID-19 Examination Policy Addendum for policies and procedures specific to examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examination Administration Policy (PDF)

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Examination Administration Policy
Doctor of Pharmacy Program
The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy


The College’s Technical Standards state that student pharmacists must demonstrate compassion, integrity, and a concern for others. This requires a professional and ethical demeanor appropriate to educational level, responsibility for personal actions, and emotional stability under stressful conditions that may come from their professional education.

This examination policy was designed with these standards in mind and with input from both faculty and students. The policy’s purpose is to provide expectations for student conduct related to examinations and ensure examinations given at the College of Pharmacy are adequately and consistently administered and supervised to minimize opportunities for dishonesty. Aside from maintaining academic integrity, examination procedures prepare the student for the stringent expectations of the professional licensure process.

Students should be empowered to uphold the highest degree of academic integrity and to expect the same of their classmates. It is understood that not every possible scenario regarding academic integrity can be covered within a policy; therefore, the College and its faculty may take reasonable measures to enforce the spirit of this policy in keeping with the expectations of society and the profession of pharmacy.


This policy is in effect for all examinations given within REQUIRED coursework, as well as all other required independent examination assessments (e.g. Knowledge Exams) within the Doctor of Pharmacy program. If examinations are given within elective courses, adoption of this policy is recommended and encouraged.

Student Responsibilities 

I. Technology Requirements

  1. Students must possess a computing device and accessories that meet the specifications outlined in the COP Technology Requirements for their cohort (
  2. Students must install and maintain a current version of the electronic testing software application (on an approved device) for use during electronic examinations.
  3. Students should be familiar with their laptop, testing software, and instructions prior to downloading an examination.
  4. Students are expected to:
    1. use an approved device that is virus free.
    2. have an A/C power cord available AND a fully charged battery (at least 2 hours) for cases in which there is a power disruption during the examination OR an electrical outlet is not near the student’s assigned seat.
    3. use a privacy screen.
    4. ensure that the internal clock is set to the correct date and time (CST/CDT).

II. Timing and Attendance at Examinations

  1. Students requiring accommodations must self-identify to the course coordinator as outlined in the course syllabus.
  2. Students are expected to be present for all examinations. All absences require appropriate documentation and course coordinator approval.
    1. Students missing an examination due to an EXCUSED absence will be permitted to take a make-up examination timed at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
    2. Students missing an examination due to an UNEXCUSED absence may be granted the privilege of taking a make-up examination; however, the student will receive a penalty to their exam score (see Penalties).
    3. In any case where a delayed or makeup examination is necessary, a comparable but different examination may be given. Faculty may assess the student’s knowledge in a different format from the original exam (e.g. multiple choice may be replaced with essay questions).
  3. Students must be on time for examinations. Students arriving more than 15 minutes late, without proper justification, will be subject to penalty (see Penalties). Student’s arriving late must open the examination at the front of the room in the presence of the proctor before taking their assigned seat. They will receive no additional time unless extenuating circumstances are cause for the delay and were unavoidable.
  4. Examination start times will not be delayed due to a hardware or software problem with a student’s laptop. Students encountering a technical issue during an exam should notify the proctor for instructions (see Technology Issues).
  5. Students are responsible for bringing their approved device to the examination room with the exam file already downloaded. Additional time will not be granted for downloading exam files when it was available prior to the exam session.

III. Examination Procedures

  1. Students will bring their student identification to all examinations and swipe them at the attendance kiosk when entering the examination room. ID cards should be placed next to the computing device during the examination in a location that is clearly viewable by proctors.
  2. Students are expected to maintain a decorum and demeanor consistent with accepted academic and professional standards at all times during examinations. Lack of professional decorum may result in dismissal from the exam, which will be considered an unexcused absence with associated penalty (see Penalties).
  3. Students will be randomly seated during each examination. Students should refer to the seating assignments posted at the attendance kiosk to determine their seat for each examination. Failure to sit in the proper assigned seat will be considered a lack of proper decorum and be subject to penalty.
  4. Students are allowed ONLY the following items at their seat:
    1. Approved computing device devoid of taped-on notes or markings that could be construed as “cheat sheets”
    2. Privacy screen
    3. University of Iowa identification card or driver’s license
    4. Power adapter
    5. Standard (non-mechanical/non-refillable) #2 pencils
    6. The following items provided by College if deemed necessary by Course coordinator:
      1. Scratch paper
      2. Non-programmable calculator
    7. Clear water bottle devoid of markings or labels
  5. Students must leave ALL personal items in student lockers or place at the front of the testing room if a locker is unavailable. Restricted items include everything not specifically mentioned in item 4 above. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Food and drinks
    2. Books, notes, study aids, etc. (unless specifically permitted by the Course Coordinator for each individual exam)
    3. Mechanical/refillable pencils/pens/pencil cases
    4. Bulky coats or hoodies with pockets (students are instead encouraged to dress in layers, ideally in sweaters/light jackets)
    5. Hats with a bill or brim
    6. Watches (regardless of type)
    7. Electronic devices
    8. Activity tracking devices
    9. Cell phones
    10. Programmable/graphing calculators
    11. Any other devices capable of storing/transmitting/receiving information
  6. Students may be asked to turn out pockets, remove jackets, change position, or provide other means of assurance to demonstrate compliance with this policy. One’s body should be void of writing referencing exam content. All items are subject to inspection.
  7. Proctors will confiscate restricted items until the exam is completed. Possession of restricted items will be considered a lack of proper decorum and be subject to penalty. Serious breaches (e.g. cheat sheet) will result in dismissal from the examination and review of circumstances for academic dishonesty (see Penalties).
  8. If there is a need to communicate with a proctor, the student should raise his/her hand. Students should not leave their seats until their exam is completed unless requested by the proctor. A technology problem (see Technology Issues) may warrant the student coming to the front of the room.
    1. Student inquiries related to interpretation or context of exam questions will NOT be answered by the proctors. Concerns with the question may be noted using the Question Feedback feature or, in the case of paper examinations, by notifying the proctor when turning in the examination. Questions will not be addressed during the examination but will be reviewed by the faculty and addressed as needed after the examination.
    2. Students witnessing suspected cheating should notify the proctor discreetly and immediately (see Academic Dishonesty).
  9. Students will not be excused from the exam room without good reason. Those granted permission by the proctor, should turn over all papers or enable the “Hide Exam” function so it cannot be viewed by a classmate. No more than one student will be allowed to leave the examination room at one time. During absence, students should not use any communication device or consult any reference.
  10. Students must turn in all materials provided (e.g. exam, answer sheet, scratch paper, equation sheets) prior to exiting the examination room.
  11. When completing the exam, students must submit and have receipt of their uploaded exam confirmed by the proctor before leaving the exam room by displaying the green confirmation screen. Students experiencing difficulty submitting their exam will be referred for technical assistance.
  12. After submitting the exam, a student must leave the examination room and any adjacent area to prevent disturbing those students still taking the examination.

IV. Technology Issues

  1. Students should follow the procedures outlined below when experiencing technology issues such as the following:
    1. Unable to download examination file or device failure after downloading examination file but prior to the examination start time.
      1. Report the issue to the Course Coordinator prior to the start of the examination
      2. Bring device and charging cord to the Pharmacy Helpdesk prior to the start of the examination to ensure a diagnosis and appropriate support measures are taken to enable the student to take the examination as scheduled.
    2. Device freezes/fails during an examination
      1. Bring device to the proctor at the front of the room
      2. Restart the device (proctor will note amount of time needed for restart).
      3. If unable to restart and resume the examination, leave the device at the front of the room and obtain a paper copy of the examination.
      4. Take the device and charging cable to the IT Helpdesk to ensure a diagnosis and appropriate support measures are taken immediately following completion of the examination.

V. Academic Dishonesty

  1. Students are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct.  In reference to examinations and examination review sessions, the Code of Conduct specifically speaks to violations of classroom civility, cheating (including aiding and abetting of cheating), and the inappropriate use of technology resources.
  2. Students should be cautious of behaviors that give the appearance of cheating (e.g. talking during exams, wandering eyes) and should take measures to protect their own work.  Individual penalties may be applied for possession of items deemed as evidence of cheating or those construed as intended for that purpose.  
  3. Violations of the Code of Conduct will be referred to the Honor Council.   
  4. Proctors may move students during the examination to avoid or suspend possible instances of cheating. If a widespread breach of the Code of Conduct is suspected, particularly in the case of emergency matters/evacuation, the proctor and/or Course coordinator may cancel the remainder of the examination and reschedule a new exam at a later date.
  5. Students who witness or become aware of acts of academic dishonesty during an examination or examination review session should report the concern as soon as possible. The student should:
    1. alert a proctor if at all possible so that the proctor may assess the situation.
    2. record the events witnessed in writing and the proctor informed as soon as possible following the act for their own records.
    3. report the situation with records to the Honor Council or Associate Dean for Professional Education as the Code of Conduct outlines.

VI. Interruptions during an Examination

  1. If a fire alarm or other emergency condition occurs during an examination, either paper or computer‐based, students will immediately cease taking the examination and evacuate the building. All materials should be turned over and left on the desk. Laptops should be closed.
  2. Students may be asked to evacuate to a specific location. Students are to remain in full view of the proctors where they can hear the all-clear announcement.
  3. Students may not discuss the examination with any other person or access any materials including electronic devices. The Code of Conduct will be in effect, and students should monitor themselves and others to ensure compliance.
  4. After the fire alarm or other cause of interruption has ended, students will return to their assigned seat immediately and if possible, resume the examination when announced by the proctor to do so. Students returning later than 10 minutes following the “all clear” signal may be excluded from continuing the examination.
  5. The proctor will resume the examination adding additional time equal to that lost during the interruption if time permits. Students returning late will not receive additional time above that given to all students.
  6. In the event of a prolonged interruption of 15 min without a foreseeable resolution, the examination should be cancelled and rescheduled for a different date.
  7. If a breach of the Code of Conduct is suspected, the proctor and/or Course coordinator may cancel the remainder of the examination and reschedule a new exam on a later date.

VII. Penalties

  1. Missing exam without proper excuse (unexcused absence): 30% deduction from student’s earned exam score
  2. Late for exam (> 15 min) without proper justification of unavoidable delay: 30% deduction from student’s earned exam score
  3. Possession of restricted items:
    Item will be confiscated until exam is concluded (kept if evidence of academic dishonesty)

Restricted Items: Level of Infraction




(no apparent intention of academic dishonesty) 

Food/drink, pen, tissues 10% deduction from student’s earned exam score


(some concern regarding possibility for academic dishonesty)

Watches, personal calculator 30% deduction from student’s earned exam score


(high likelihood of or evidence of academic dishonesty)

Cell phone/ 2-way communication device, written resource, cheat sheet

Also: Early/Late exam access/submission without authorization

Exam score of 0% and report to Honor Council
  1. Students may be reported to the Honor Council for repeat offenses.  
  2. Students may be subject to additional penalties imposed by the Honor Council in keeping with the PharmD Code of Conduct and University Policy.

Annual Assessments

The P1-P3 Knowledge Examinations and other independent Collegiate Assessments will follow the above policy. Jurisdiction for all aspects of these assessments falls to the Collegiate Assessment Committee and enforced by the Assistant Dean for Assessment and Curriculum.  The PCOA (Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy).


Note: This student section is part of a larger, faculty approved policy that also includes course coordinator and proctor responsibilities.  It has been shortened for handbook purposes for items pertinent only to students.