STUDY DESIGN: Interventional training sessions. OBJECTIVES: To examine the effectiveness of training medical students in the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI). SETTING: A Peking University teaching hospital. METHODS: A total of 46 medical students were involved in the study. First, they had a 2-h self-study session with the ISNCSCI booklet, followed by a 10-item questionnaire. The booklet was allowed for use as a reference during this assessment. Two days later, the questionnaire was repeated without the use of reference. Students then had a session with case discussion, followed by a final questionnaire. RESULTS: After the initial self-study session, the mean score (max. 10) on the questionnaire was 7.67 ± 1.49. Two days later, the mean score of the second test was 7.96 ± 1.15. All key points of the ISNCSCI were supplemented during the second session with case presentations. The mean score of the final test increased significantly to 9.61 ± 0.88 (P<0.01) in comparison with the previous tests. The overall correct response rates by students in determining sensory level, motor level and American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale of the training case were 89.1%, 84.8% and 91.3%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The training effectiveness of ISNCSCI through self-study is reliable. The correct answers to key points could remain for at least 2 days without the need to use a reference. However, some specialized knowledge could not be transmitted without more detailed discussions and case presentations. Utilization of cases is a valuable method in training ISNCSCI and can improve the overall training effectiveness.