At Birmingham University since 1966 the major medical examinations began to be replaced by a process of continuous assessment. This is based on fairly frequent tests, usually at the end of each course, including short essay questions, multiple-choice questions, and tests of ability in wards and laboratory. At the end of the first final-year course 96 students underwent assessment. Of these 77 passed; 19 were referred for re-examination, of whom a further 12 passed subsequently. The scheme was found suitable by both teachers and external examiners.