Special assessment consideration

Special consideration is the process by which an examiner takes extenuating circumstances into consideration during the marking of an assessment item. Extenuating circumstances are defined as circumstances that were unpredictable and unavoidable. Examples of extenuating circumstances are:

  • an unexpected illness or exacerbation of an existing illness
  • the illness/death of a family member
  • trauma
  • misadventure
  • being a victim of crime.

If you require an extension to the due date of your assessment, do not submit a special consideration form. Applications for an extension of the due date for an assessment task are submitted in writing to the Course Convener.

Students who are unable to sit an examination owing to extenuating circumstances should see deferred examinations.

Students who are suffering long-term illness or difficulties should contact Access & Inclusion.

How to apply

Applications are completed using the special consideration 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 scanned and 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 of the scheduled assessment)
  • 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.

Where an incident occurs during an examination and the student is advised by an invigilator to obtain a medical certificate, an incident report will be written.  Students may request in the application submission email for the incident report be included with their application.  Please attach other supporting documentation, including a medical certificate.

Requests for special consideration will not be considered if the application does not include scanned copies of all relevant supporting documentation. Documentation lodged elsewhere on campus for other purposes will not be considered as part of an application for Special Consideration.

The granting of a request for special consideration is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the relevant ANU College.

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.

Allowances for supporting documentation for students impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

If you are unable to see a medical practitioner in person to access supporting documentation in a timely manner, ANU will accept the following additional forms of supporting documentation:

  • Online medical certificates (e.g. a medical certificate issued following a telehealth appointment);
  • Certificates from counsellors and other registered medical practitioners;
  • Head of Halls of Residence letter of verification;
  • Statement from a University staff member who is familiar with your circumstances;
  • Medical certificates issued by a pharmacist; or
  • A personal statement written by yourself.

Frequently asked questions about special consideration

What can I do if my special consideration application is lodged later than three days after the due date of the assessment task?

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.

How will I be notified about the outcome of my special consideration application?

Generally, you will not be notified. Your application will be considered by the Course Convener of the relevant course; adjustments to mark/grades will be made at the Convener's discretion. Please note that an application for special consideration does not automatically mean that any changes will be made to your assessment outcome. In extreme cases, you may be able to complete an additional supplementary assessment.

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

If you have missed your assessment due to illness or misadventure then you should apply for a deferred examination. An application form must be completed and lodged within three business days of the original date of the assessment. Applications will not be accepted after three days unless serious illness or misadventure prevented you from submitting the form within this period.