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Graduation Competency Examination

The Graduation Competency Examination (GCE) is a comprehensive assessment of several of the key graduation competencies, including data gathering and interpretation, communication and interpersonal skills, and professionalism. The exam is scheduled at the end of the M3 year, and is a graduation requirement. The GCE will be administered in-person with three Standardized Patient (SP) Cases.

Class of 2025 Heading link


GCE Exam preparation information can be found on the SAIL website. You can also download this GCE prep guide (PDF 161 KB).

Standardized Patient Exam Dates

Be aware of the following dates, if you are a member of the class of 2025. Students are required to sit for this exam at the end of the M3 year if planning to graduate in May, 2025.

  • March 06 – April 04, 2024
  • May 08 – May 16, 2024
  • June 14, 2024
  • October, 2024 – TBA

General Exam Information Heading link

Individual exam dates will be assigned by the Office of Curricular Affairs (OCA) based on clerkship track, and a link to the on-line schedule will be sent to students via e-mail.

Clerkship Directors will be sent a schedule of when students need to be released for their GCE exam. Clerkships may request that students return to their hospital site following this session.  Students are asked to notify clerkship site staff 2-3 days before the exam date as a reminder.

Opting out

There are only two reasons for making a request to opt out of taking this exam during the designated testing period:

  1. You will have completed less than 5 of the 6 core clerkships because you are off-cycle by the time you are scheduled to sit for the Graduation Competency Exam.  Students are responsible for contacting Kati Helling in the Office of Curricular Affairs if they are not intending to take the exams during the designated time period.
  2. You will have RECEIVED PRIOR APPROVAL from the Assistant or Associate Dean for Curriculum to take the exam at a later date due to your unique circumstances. Students are responsible for contacting Kati Helling in the Office of Curricular Affairs if they are seeking approval to change exam date.

There will be a select number of exam slots in June, July and October reserved for students who haven’t completed their clerkships or were approved for rescheduling due to their personal circumstances.

Absence/Tardiness policy

Students who have not received approval, fail to contact Kati Helling to request a date change, and/or miss their scheduled exam date will be subject to the consequences listed here:

  1. Student will receive a score of 0% and will be required to sit for the exam at a later date, to be determined.
  2. Student cannot be assured of an on-time graduation if this requirement has not been met within the dates made available by the SAIL staff.

Due to their nature, these exams are tightly scheduled.  Students must appear ON TIME.  Students who arrive more than 10 minutes past the scheduled start time will be turned away and subject to the consequences listed above.

Students may petition the Office of Curricular Affairs for an excused absence or explanation for the tardiness.  

Scheduling issues

Scheduling issues should be directed to Kati Helling in OCA. Change requests should be made as early as possible, but at least 24 hours in advance.

Exam attire

Students are required to dress appropriately in order to sit for this exam, or they will be asked to reschedule.

Please wear professional dress and a clean white coat with your name tag, along with a face mask . This the required attire for the Standardized Patient Encounters of the Graduation Competency Exam.

Review opportunities

While procedural skills are not currently included in the GCE, we recommend that you review them. All procedural skills practice videos can be found on the SAIL Website.

Updated: February 15, 2024