Student assessment

Students writing in a lecture hall

All courses in all four years of the MD Program at the University of Toronto are transcripted Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), which is commonly referred to as Pass/Fail at other institutions.

This policy was introduced beginning in the 2009-2010 academic year. Up to 2008-2009, all courses with the exception of the first-year clinical skills course, ASCM 1, had been transcripted as Honours/Pass/Fail (H/P/F).

This change is congruent with our competency-based curriculum and approaches to student assessment. It is also in line with the trend in grading policy across Canada.

Numerical results

Individual assessment components (e.g. exams) may be given a numerical mark, which may or may not be shared with the student depending on the practices of the course in question. As component marks, these results will never appear on transcripts or other documentation provided by the MD Program to external individuals or organizations.

Furthermore, we will calculate numerical grades for each course for the purpose of determining the recipients of academic awards and identifying students whose performance is below expected standards and who may therefore require either extra work, remediation, or repetition of a course or year. These confidential numerical final grades will never appear on transcripts or other documentation, but will be reserved exclusively for internal use.

Evolution of our grading system

Our shift from an Honours/Pass/Fail system to Credit/No Credit came about thanks in large part to a concerted student effort facilitated by the Faculty. In response to feedback about the H/P/F system, the MD Program leadership invited the student body to conduct a formal dialogue on grading policy. Following a public debate, student town hall meetings, position papers, podcasts, and other strategies, students voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in 2008 to replace H/P/F with CR/NC. The Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Committee (UMECC) unanimously agreed to support the students’ stance, and after review and acceptance by the Faculty’s Education Committee, the policy change was granted final approval by Faculty Council in March 2009.

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