This semester, the new Extenuating Circumstances Application (ECA) has replaced the previous Special Consideration Application.

Under the previous Special Consideration System, students would have the opportunity to apply for special consideration for an assessment mark. This could result in extra marks applied to their raw score, if they had extenuating circumstances which impacted their mark/grade, or deferral of their examination to a later scheduled date. Under this system, students were not notified on how many marks their assessment was adjusted by.

Students who have an Education Access Plan (EAP) may not need to apply depending on their plan. Students with an EPA should contact the Accessibility Office for further advice.

Under the new ECA system, applications can only be made for an assessment task worth more than 20% and where assessment extensions are sought, they must be of ten working days or more. Any deferral of exams must be completed through the new ECA system.

ECAs may be submitted up to five days past the deadline for an assessment or exam date. Applications after this date will only be accepted if students can show evidence of serious misadventure, illness or incapacity that prevented them from submitting the form.

For assessments worth less than 20%, or where a student requires a short-term extension of less than ten working days applications should be submitted in writing to the course convenor, or through the previous extension system in your academic college i.e. the CASS extension application form.

An application for extenuating circumstances will be accepted if the circumstances were unexpected or could not be foreseen by students, or the incidents were unavoidable, and have had a “demonstrable and significant” impact on a student’s studies or abilities to undertake an assessment. The onus is on the student to provide evidence to prove that extenuating circumstances have occurred.

Students will be required to select one of the following grounds for adjustment in their application:

  • 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.


Additionally, circumstances are considered not extenuating if:

  • Circumstances are the intended or reasonable foreseeable consequence of a student’s own action or inaction and could have been reasonably avoided.
  • Illness or event where the impact are not severe or relevant to their assessment type and/or the deadline
  • Independent professional assessment and opinion of the student’s illness or event does not substantiate the students claim that they have been affected by extenuating circumstances.


The University notes that supporting documentations must be scanned and attached to the application. Documents can include:

  • Documents/certificates from health or other professionals. Medical certificates are only valid if it attests to incapacity at the time of scheduled assessment. Medication documents, where appropriate, should include the date the personal circumstances began or changed and how the circumstances impacted the student’s studies.
  • Letters of support from an ANU staff member. Where appropriate, these documents should also include the date the personal circumstances began or changed and how the circumstances impacted the student’s studies.
  • A police report.
  • A death certificate.


Requirements for independent supporting evidence:

  • During the initial application, you are not required to provide certified copies of documents meaning, students can provide photocopies or scanned copies. However, the ANU may ask for the certified copy during later stages of the application. Students can access a list of persons authorized to certify documents here. Documents may be subject to verification from the issuing body. Fraudulent documents will result in disciplinary action.
  • All submitted documentation must be in English, or an official translation must be provided. The ANU has a list of accepted translators. Both the original document and the translated document must be provided.
  • Photographs, audio files or videos with content that may be considered distressing must not be submitted. In general, the University rejects photographs, audio files or videos as appropriate evidence, on the grounds that authenticity of these media cannot be verified.


Even if a student can show grounds for adjustment, the outcome of the application may differ. On its website, the ANU does not mention what the criteria for receiving each outcome is. The outcomes are:

Approved: altered assessment due date
Approved: deferred examination
Approved: alternative assessment
Approved: modified assessment weighting
Not approved.

Unlike the previous system, the adjusting of marks/grades for an assignment in light of extenuating circumstances is no longer an available option. This means that a student can no longer appeal the mark they have received despite an unavoidable and previously unknown incident having occurred.

Students can nonetheless receive an outcome with modified weighing for the assessment, such that an assessment which was formally 35% may have a decreased weighing on the student’s total grade if the student receives the relevant approval for their application.

For students who are not happy with the outcome of their ECA, requests to review decisions relating to the ECA can be made within 20 working days of the publication of the final coursework.

How to Apply:

Log into ISIS.

From the NavBar, which is a compass icon located on the top right-hand side of the screen, select ‘Menu’

Select ISIS.

Select ‘Degree Management’.

Select ‘Manage my Degree’.

The ‘Manage my Degree’ page should open to options for Extenuating Circumstances Application. Select the application and apply.

The ANU does not provide a time frame to expect an outcome notification. Students are not guaranteed approval for ECA. Students will be notified of their outcome, either approved or denied, through their student emails. 

Approved outcomes may be communicated to the respective course convenor. 

If you have any questions about the processing of the ECA eForm please contact or phone +61 2 6125 3236.

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