I recently heard an instructor state that when circling, the pilot "... must execute a single, continuous maneuver once the landing approach is initiated. Don't level off." In his experience this would be a reason to fail a check ride.
When checking the AIM, I found the following:
5-4-20.f: Circling Minimums: Pilots should remain at or above the circling altitude until the aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers.
Translating the phrase "continuously in a position" to "continuous descent" seems to me a bit of a stretch. I understand that you don't want to descend below your circling MDA altitude for purposes of obstacle clearance. However, once on final, does a correction for a "below glide slope" condition truly justify failing a student? Wouldn't leveling off be considered a "normal maneuver"?
Is there a CFII out there who could shed some light on this? Are there any additional performance/evaluation requirements that are not codified in the AIM?