Deferred Examinations and Special Consideration

Deferred Examinations and Special Consideration

Exam Assistance

If you are unable to sit for your exam, or if you had or are experiencing something that will affect your performance during the exam, keep in mind that you are able to apply for a Deferred Examination or a Special (Assessment) Consideration.

What is the difference?

Deferred Examinations: What is it?

A deferred exam is the sitting of an examination at a time other than the scheduled time/date. Students can apply for a deferred exam if they are unable to sit the exam during the regular scheduled time due to extenuating circumstances. From the university’s website, examples of extenuating circumstances are:

  • An unexpected illness or exacerbation of illness
  • The illness/death of a family member
  • Trauma
  • Misadventure
  • Being a victim of crime

It is advisable for the student to sit the exam (if they are able to) and apply for special assessment consideration for the marking of the examination in the first instance.

Special Assessment Consideration: What is it?

If you apply for Special Assessment Consideration, you would still sit for your exam on the regular scheduled date. The only difference is that the examiner would take your extenuating circumstances into consideration when they mark your assessment piece. The examples of extenuating circumstances for special consideration are the same as the examples above.

What is not considered “extenuating circumstances”?

According to the Procedure : Student assessment (coursework), Students will NOT be approved for a Deferred Assessment or Special Consideration where:

  1. where the condition or circumstances are the consequence of a student’s own action or inaction, either direct or indirect;
  2. where the independent professional assessment and opinion provided of the student’s illness or event are not likely to affect the student’s capacity to undertake the assessment concerned.
  3. the illness or event and their impact are not severe or relevant to the assessment type and the deadline. Illness or events that are not regarded as severe enough to warrant a deferred examination include:
    • Mild Illness (a cold, mild virus, sore throat)
    • Interruption to study during the semester
    • Misreading or misunderstanding the timetable

Key points to note:

·         No deferred assessment where appropriate adjustments for disadvantage has already been made under special assessment arrangements or special consideration.

·         No Special Assessment [application will be accepted] where a deferred Examination application has already been approved to change the dates of the assessment item from the dates that the application for special consideration covers.

·         Independent supporting documents are compulsory for deferred exams and highly recommended for special consideration applications.

Which one do I apply for?

It depends on your circumstances. Generally, if you are able to make it into your exam, it would be recommended for you to sit for it and apply for special consideration instead. If you are unable to sit the exam, apply for a deferred exam instead. 

How do I apply?

An application form must be completed and lodged online within three business days of the original due date of the assessment task. Applications will not be accepted after three business days unless serious illness or misadventure prevented you from submitting the form within this period.

You can apply for Deferred Exams and Special Assessment Consideration online by following steps:

1.      Login to ISIS using your UID and password

2.      From the home page, navigate to “Manage My Degree” on the left hand side of the home screen

3.      Select Manage Special Considerations and Deferred Examinations from the list and click Apply

4.      Your eForm should open in a new window.

5.      Once your eForm is complete, refresh ISIS to view changes.

ANU has created a Student Quick Guide to Deferred Exams and Special Assessment Consideration application which you can access here:

More information is available on ANUSA website:

Ongoing support:

If you require mental health support during this time, please call the ANU Counselling Centre at 6125 4224 or Lifeline at 13 11 14.

If you would like to have a chat about your options and what would be best in your case, feel free to have a chat with our Student Assistance Team at ANUSA. They can be emailed at

Good luck with your exams!


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