Exam Assistance Blog

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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, extenuating circumstances constitutes as:

  • 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?

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

(The full list of minor illnesses and events can be found here: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_004604)

If your application is successful, you would be issued an interim result of DA (Deferred Assessment), and be notified of when and where your deferred exam will take place.

Your course convenor would notify you of the outcome of your application. If your application is successful, the outcome may be any one of the below (depending on your circumstance):

  • Adjustment to the individual assessment item result
  • Adjustment to the course result
  • Additional supplementary assessment
  • Offer referral to support services.

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. 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 to one of our Student Assistance Officers at ANUSA. They can be contacted on 6125 2444, or emailed at sa.assistance@anu.edu.au.

How do I apply?

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 main menu, navigate to: > ISIS > Degree Management > Manage My Degree
  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.

You can also upload documents via the eForm as well. ANU has created a Student Quick Guide to Deferred Exams and Special Assessment Consideration application which you can access here: http://www.anu.edu.au/files/resource/SCDE_Student_Quick_Guide.pdf

Ongoing support:

If you have a disability or medical condition that may require adjustments to how the standard exams are usually conducted, you can contact Access and Inclusions for a special (alternative) examination arrangement. Access and Inclusion will consider the nature of the disability or medical condition and make recommendations on the arrangements that would minimise the impact of the disability when taking the exam. A two weeks’ notice prior to the exam is required when applying for a special (alternative) examination arrangements. You could read more about it on the Access and Inclusion page here: http://disability.anu.edu.au/dsc-services/special-alternative-exam-arrangements

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

Good luck with your exams!


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We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which ANUSA operates.
We recognise the continuing connection to lands, waters, and communities of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and commit to standing with our first nations people.

Contact ANUSA (02) 6125 2444