Other Evaluation Instruments

During the academic and clinical years, in addition to their regular course and rotation evaluations, PA students are required to take several special tests, as follows:


The PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool) is a standardized multiple-choice exam, administered once in each year of the PA curriculum, which will include NCCPA board topic questions. The School of Physician Assistant Studies uses the PACKRAT scores as a measure of how an individual student’s clinical knowledge base has progressed during his/her training. This information may be used to make decisions affecting promotion, graduation, or remediation.


The OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) is administered once each year and measures a student’s ability to perform a relevant history and physical examination for a common primary care problem on standardized patients. Students who fail to achieve an overall passing grade of 71% may be required to remediate at the discretion of the School.

Comprehensive Summative Examination

The Comprehensive Summative Examination (CSE) is a multi-dimensional 180-question examination administered in the Spring semester of the clinical year, just prior to graduation. Like the PACKRAT and OSCE, it is a measure of the clinical knowledge accumulated throughout the two years of the curriculum and may be used to make decisions about a student’s academic standing in the School.