With the Semester One examination period officially starting this week on 2 June, understanding what options are available to you if you have been adversely affected by circumstances out of your control is important. There are two options available for students: to either apply for special consideration or a deferred exam.

 Special Consideration

Receiving special consideration means that you will sit the exam at the same time you normally would, but your examiner will take extenuating circumstances into account when marking.

ANU defines extenuating circumstances as “circumstances that were unpredictable and unavoidable.” Some examples of extenuating circumstances are being a victim of crime, misadventure, trauma, the illness/death of a family member and an unexpected illness (including COVID) or exacerbation of an existing illness. 

To apply for special consideration, you will need to complete and lodge an application form on ISIS within three business days of the original date you would have sat the exam. 

You’ll also need to supply supporting documentation, such as documents from health professionals (a medical certificate is only valid if it attests to your illness at the time of the scheduled assessment), a letter of support from an ANU staff member, a police report, or a death certificate. 

ANU has advised that these documents should include “the date your personal circumstance began or changed; and how your circumstance affected your ability to study”.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are able to use a medical certificate or relevant documentation from ACT Health or another health jurisdiction to support their application for special consideration.

 It is not guaranteed that requests for special consideration will be approved, and this is up to the discretion of individual academic colleges.

Deferred Examinations

Students who are unable to attend an exam because of extenuating circumstances (as explained above), can apply for a deferred examination. ANU has stated that “wherever possible a student should sit their examination at the prescribed time, and if necessary apply for special examination consideration”.

As with applications for special considerations, applications for deferred examinations must be submitted at least three business days before the date of the original examination, unless misadventure “prevented [students] from submitting the form within this period”.

Students who test positive to COVID-19 and are unable to see a medical practitioner are able to submit other forms of documentation. These include personal statements written by the student, medical certificates issued by a pharmacist, a statement from a University staff member familiar with the student’s circumstances, certificates from counsellors and other registered medical practitioners, letters of verification from Heads of Halls and online medical certificates.

Like special consideration, deferred examinations are not guaranteed and if granted, the date of the deferred examination is set at the discretion of the specific ANU college.

If this content has triggered any concern, distress or impacted on your wellbeing, ANU provides a number of services to support student health and wellbeing including: 

Student Safety and Wellbeing 

email: student.wellbeing@anu.edu.au 

website: Health, safety & wellbeing – ANU 

ANU Counselling  

email: counselling.centre@anu.edu.au 

website: ANU Counselling – ANU 

The ANU Wellbeing and Support Line available 24/7 

phone: 1300 05 0327 SMS: 0488 884 17 

There are also a number of services in the community that can be accessed after hours including:

ACT Access Mental Health is a 24-hour mental health emergency access and support service.           

Phone: 1800 629 354 or 6205 1065 

1800 RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. 1800 RESPECT provides phone or online support for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, sexual assault, domestic or family violence. 

1800 RESPECT is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 

Phone: 1800 737 732 

Lifeline:   13 11 14

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Crisis Line

(02) 6247 2525

ANU Women’s Department


ANU Queer* Department


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