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Deferred Exam Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The purpose of these procedures is to direct students and staff on the process to be followed when requesting and organising a Deferred Exam.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) The following definitions apply for the purposes of these procedures

  1. Deferred Exam - a late exam conducted after the timetabled final exam due to a student's serious misadventure, accident or other extenuating circumstances.
  2. Exam - a time limited assessment task used to assess learning outcomes and which is conducted under supervision.
  3. Final Exam - an exam which takes place during the Formal Exam Period.
  4. Formal Exam Period - the designated period, at the end of the teaching session in which final exams, followed by deferred exams, are timetabled. The dates of Formal Exam Periods are published at the same time as teaching sessions, and are considered periods in which students must be available to sit exams.
  5. Supplementary Exam - an additional exam organised by a school as an Assessment Consideration or as a final assessment task in a course.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Examinations Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Applying for a Deferred Exam


(4) Students who are unable to attend a Final Exam due to serious illness, misadventure, accident or circumstances that are beyond their control may apply for a Deferred Exam using the online form.

(5) The Deferred Exam Procedures will not apply where a student has entered the exam room for the final exam. The Special Consideration Policy will apply for students who become ill during the exam.

(6) Applications must include an explanation as to how one or more of the following circumstances prevented attendance on the scheduled date of the Final Exam:

  1. medical conditions or events;
  2. psychological trauma, impairment or incapacity arising from an event;
  3. physical trauma leading to impairment or incapacity resulting from an accident;
  4. substantial change to routine employment arrangements or status;
  5. substantial unanticipated change to routine accommodation and residential arrangements or status;
  6. sporting or cultural commitments only where a student has been selected, through a formal documented process, to represent or participate in a state, national or international event;
  7. military commitments where a student is a member of the armed forces involved in a compulsory exercise;
  8. military reserve commitments where a student is required to attend a compulsory exercise;
  9. emergency service commitments only where a student is required to attend an emergency situation and the requirement to attend is specified in supporting documentation;
  10. legal commitments, where a student is called for jury duty or is subpoenaed to attend a court, tribunal or hearing, and the requirement to attend is specified in supporting documentation;
  11. compulsory involvement in a ceremony or significant cultural activity of a unique nature where the requirement to attend is specified in supporting documentation from a relevant official or leader of the event/activity.

(7) The following factors would not normally be considered as grounds for a Deferred Exam:

  1. routine demands of employment and employment-related travel;
  2. difficulties adjusting to university life, to the self-discipline needed to study effectively, and to the demands of academic work;
  3. stress or anxiety normally associated with exams, required assessment tasks or any aspect of course work;
  4. routine financial support needs;
  5. lack of knowledge of requirements of academic work;
  6. difficulties with English language;
  7. difficulties with visa arrangements that could have been reasonably anticipated;
  8. scheduled anticipated changes of address, moving home, house moves etc.
  9. demands of sport, clubs, social or extra-curricular activity (other than to represent or participate in state, national or international sporting or cultural events);
  10. recreational travel (domestic or international);
  11. planned events, such as weddings.

(8) Applications may be submitted before the Final Exam, but no later than the second working day after the scheduled date of the Final Exam.

(9) In exceptional circumstances, a student may provide documentary evidence to justify why they did not submit the application within that time.

Supporting Evidence

(10) Applications for a Deferred Exam must be accompanied by written evidence in accordance with the Deferred Exam - Supporting Evidence Requirements. The written evidence must identify and support the serious illness, misadventure, accident or circumstances that prevented attendance on the scheduled date of the Final Exam.

(11) Applications will normally not be considered if documentation does not provide sufficient information to support the claims made in the application. The University will not approach third parties such as hospitals or the police, to obtain documentation on behalf of the student.

(12) The University may contact medical practitioners or other third parties to verify the documentation submitted. Students are required to keep all original or certified copies of supporting documentation for a period of twelve months from the date of submission of their application, as this may be requested at any time for auditing purposes.

(13) If a student submits falsified documents, the University may take action in accordance with the Student Misconduct Rule.

Part B - Consideration of Applications

(14) The Senior Manager, Student Operations, or nominee, will:

  1. consider applications for Deferred Exams on a case by case basis;
  2. notify the student in writing of the decision;
  3. refer the application to the School if the documented duration of the student's incapacity extends beyond the dates when Deferred Exams are held; and
  4. publish the Deferred Exam timetable to students at least five working days prior to the Deferred Exam, where possible.

(15) A Deferred Exam will only be approved where the severity and/or gravity of disruption or circumstances is of such an extreme nature that the student will not be able to sit the exam and where a rescheduling of the exam is demonstrated to be the only reasonable option.

(16) Deferred Exam applications should not be utilised repetitively in order to manage longer-term illness, disabilities or ongoing severe disruptive circumstances. In such circumstances students should refer to the University’s Disability Policy and should seek advice from staff in Counselling and Disability Services.

(17) The decision regarding a Deferred Exam is final.The standard complaints handling process regarding procedural fairness, compliance and authority to act will apply.

Students unable to attend the Deferred Exam

(18) Students who are unable to attend the Deferred Exam because of illness or misadventure may apply for Special Consideration.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(19) The types of supporting evidence that should be provided in support of an application for a Deferred Exam are set out in the Deferred Exam - Supporting Evidence Requirements.