Deferred examinations

The University may make alternate provisions for undergraduate and graduate coursework students who are unable to attend a formal examination at the prescribed owing to extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstances are defined as circumstances that were unpredictable and unavoidable. 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.

Wherever possible a student should sit their examination at the prescribed time, and if necessary apply for an extenuating circumstances adjustment to be applied to the examination.

A preference not to use Proctorio will not normally be considered grounds to defer an examination.

How to apply

Applications are completed using the deferred examination eForm, via ISIS.

A Student Quick Guide is available under the 'Resources' box on this page.

Applications should be accompanied by independent supporting documentation.

Supporting Documentation

Supporting documentation from any relevant independent person (or authority) must be included with the application, for example:

  • documents/certificates from health professionals (a medical certificate is only valid if it attests to your illness at the time claimed)
  • letters of support from an ANU Accessibility Adviser
  • letters of support from an ANU staff member
  • a police report
  • a death certificate.

Where appropriate, medical certificates, letters of verification and statements should include: 

  • the date your personal circumstance began or changed; and
  • how your circumstance affected your ability to study.

Requirements for independent supporting evidence

  • You must not submit photographs, audio files or videos with content that may be considered distressing or graphic. In addition, for any application where you are required to provide supporting evidence, photographs, audio files or videos are generally not considered appropriate evidence as their authenticity cannot be verified.
  • You are not required to provide certified copies of documents during the initial application process. However, the University reserves the right to require applicants to provide original documentation subsequently. Any document submitted may be audited and is subject to verification from the issuing body.
  • Documentation must be in English or an official translation must be provided. You should submit copies of the original documentation and the English translation of these documents.


FAQ's about deferred examinations

What can I do if my deferred examination application is lodged later than five days after the scheduled examination?

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

How will I be notified about the outcome of my deferred examination application?

Students will be notified of the outcome of the application via their student email account.  The Examinations Office will contact students via their student email account if an application is incomplete, so it is important to check your email account regularly.

Will I receive an outcome before my scheduled examination?

Outcomes for deferred examination applications may not be resolved before the scheduled examination.

Can I have multiple attempts at an examination?

No. Wherever possible, students should sit their examination as scheduled and apply for an extenuating circumstances adjustment. Where sitting the examination as scheduled is not possible due to severe illness, or unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances, seeking to defer the examination is the appropriate action.

When will my deferred examination be scheduled?

Students will be advised of the details of their deferred examination by the relevant ANU College/School or the Examinations Office. The timing of the examination is set at the discretion of the ANU College/School.

Students are encouraged to seek support whenever needed. 
Please visit the Health, Safety & Wellbeing webpage for available support services.