Extenuating Circumstances Application

The University supports coursework students where extenuating circumstances have impacted their learning experience.

Accepted grounds for an Extenuating Circumstances Application (ECA) will in most instances be previously unknown and unavoidable incidents that have a demonstrable and significant impact on a student's ability to study or undertake an assessment item.  

Please note that this process does not apply to all assessment tasks or circumstances:

  • the assessment task must be worth 20% or greater; and
  • where seeking an assessment extension, it must be for 10 working days or greater.

Grounds for Adjustment

Grounds for an adjustment are:

  • Medical: e.g. significant illness/injury; significant exacerbation of condition registered in access plan;
  • Hardship: e.g. victim of significant crime including family and domestic violence; financial hardship; significant car accident or widespread public transport issues; significant broad spectrum IT issues; sudden, unavoidable primary caring responsibilities;
  • Compassionate: e.g. death/sudden serious illness of immediate family member or close friend;
  • Elite: e.g. sport or performer event;
  • Duties: e.g. essential, military, emergency/volunteer emergency services;
  • Disaster: e.g. significant natural disaster/geo-political event: e.g. flood, fire, pandemic, earthquake, tsunami, outbreak of war, terrorism, cyber-attack;
  • Indigenous cultural duties: consistent with the ANU Reconciliation Action Plan. 

Assessment Extensions

If you require an extension of 10 working days or less to a non-examination based assessment item do not submit an ECA form. Applications for short-term extensions must be submitted in writing to the Course Convener, or via the process outlined by your College/School. 

Students who are unable to sit an examination should apply via the ECA form for an assessment adjustment. 

Please note: Students should disclose any and all previous extensions granted for the assessment item. This includes extensions granted by the Course Convener and/or College.

Students who are experiencing long-term illness or ongoing difficulties may contact Accessibility for further information about ongoing support. 

How to Apply for an ECA 

Applications are completed using the ECA eForm, via ISIS. A Student Quick Guide is available under Resources on this page.Applications should be accompanied by independent supporting documentation. 

Supporting Documentation

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

  • documents/certificates from health or other professionals (a medical certificate is only valid if it attests to your incapacity at the time of the scheduled assessment);
  • letters of support from an ANU staff member; 
  • a police report;
  • a death certificate.

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

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

​All relevant supporting documentation must be attached to an application. Documentation lodged elsewhere on campus for other purposes will not be considered as part of an ECA. 

Where an incident occurs during a centrally invigilated examination an incident report may be generated.

The granting of assessment adjustment is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the Registrar, the Associate Dean (Education), and/or their delegate. 

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. Any fraudulent documentation identified will result in disciplinary action.
  • Documentation must be in English or anofficial translation must be provided. You should submit copies of the original documentation and the English translation of these documents.


  • Outcomes from an ECA are limited to the following: 
    • Approved: altered assessment due date;
    • Approved: deferred examination; 
    • Approved: alternative assessment; 
    • Approved: modified assessment weighting;
    • Not Approved.
  • Please note, the adjusting of marks/grades for an assessment, examination or course is no longer a supported adjustment. 

    Students may not apply for more than one ECA for the same assessment.

The applicable legislation, policies and procedures are published on the right-hand side of this page. 


FAQs about Extenuating Circumstances Applications 

What do I do if I was not able to submit my assignment by the due date?

Where an assignment is submitted after the due date students are penalised by five percent of the possible marks available for the assessment task per twenty-four hour block, or part thereof. Applications for extensions (less than ten working days) are submitted in writing to your Course Convener, or delegate. If approved, penalties do not apply within the extension window.

What do I do if I was ill and did not attend my examination?

If you have missed your examination due to illness, incapacity or misadventure then you should submit an ECA. An application form must be completed and lodged within five business days of the original date of the assessment.

How will I be notified about the outcome of my ECA?

Your application will be considered by the Registrar, Associate Dean (Education) and/or delegate. Adjustments may or may not be applied. Please note that an ECA application does not mean that a change will be made to your assessment item. All outcomes will be notified to your student email account.

What can I do if my ECA is lodged later than five business days after the due date of the assessment task?

Applications will not be accepted after five business days unless serious illness, incapacity or misadventure prevents you from submitting the form within this period. Evidence addressing the cause of any delay must be provided with the application. 

Please see the Health, Safety & Wellbeing webpage for available support services.