Special Consideration


What is Special Consideration?

Special Consideration is given to students whose performance during the teaching session, in an assignment or in an exam has been affected by serious misadventure, accident or extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Applying for and receiving special consideration means that those circumstances are taken into account when we calculate your grade.

When can I apply for Special Consideration?

You can apply for Special Consideration when circumstances beyond your control impact adversely on your performance. These circumstances may include things such as severe and/or grave illness, misadventure or accident. You may seek Special Consideration for an assessment task or tasks, or for your attendance or overall performance in a unit or units or in a final exam or final deferred exam.

For an overview of Special Consideration, watch this short video: Introduction to Special Consideration at UWS (opens in a new window).

You will need to notify the University of your illness, misadventure or extenuating circumstances, as well as provide supporting documentation which demonstrates the severity and/or gravity and timing of the circumstance which has affected your academic performance.

Applying for an extension for an assignment

There is a separate process for requesting an extension for an assignment or assessment task. You will need to complete and submit the Request for Extension form no later than 5.00pm two working days after the due date of the assessment task. Make sure you read the important information at the top of the form before you submit it.

You can get a copy of the Request for Extension form on the Student forms page. Please also read the Guidelines for Students – Assessment Extension (opens in a new window), which is part of the Assessment policy.

Types of Special Consideration

You may seek Special Consideration for an assessment task or tasks, or for your attendance or overall performance in a unit or units or in a final exam or final deferred exam.

If you're unsure which type of Special Consideration you should be applying for, find out your options using the Which Special Consideration should I apply for? (opens in a new window) video.

  • Special Consideration (during the teaching session)
  • Special Consideration (during the formal exam period)
  • Deferred exam applications
  • Unable to attend deferred exam

Applying for Special Consideration

You can now apply for all types of Special Consideration online using the Special Consideration & Deferred Exam eForm. All applications for Special Consideration must contain appropriate supporting documentation to substantiate the circumstances that are impacting on your studies. Applications without supporting documentation will not be considered.

You should read through the information below carefully, and refer to the Special Consideration policy before you apply.

How to complete the online application

  1. Log into MyUWS and click the 'eForms' link on the left menu
  2. You will then enter a system called the 'eForms Centre'. Click the 'Find Forms' button, then select 'Special Consideration/Deferred Exam' from the list of online forms available
  3. The form will then open. Complete the form, including attaching supporting documents. You must have a 'soft copy' of your supporting documents (i.e. scanned copy) so you can upload them with your application
  4. Submit the form online. You will receive an email (to your student email account) acknowledging that your application has been successfully submitted
  5. You will also receive an email notification advising you of the outcome of your request

Note for Mac users
You will need the following programs to access eForms:

  • OS X v 10.4 x (PowerPC) or later
  • Flash Player 9 or later
  • Firefox 2.0.0.1 (or later) or Safari 3.0.0 (or later)

Special Consideration (during the teaching session)

You may apply for Special Consideration During Teaching Session if you have suffered severe and/or grave illness, misadventure, accident, or have extenuating circumstances beyond your control. For a step-by-step guide to applying, watch the How to complete an in-teaching session Special Consideration Application (opens in a new window) video.

These circumstances must have:

  • prevented you from meeting an assessment deadline or
  • caused you to perform below your usual standard during an assessment or
  • prevented your from attending a compulsory component of your course

You may be considered for Special Consideration for:

  • an assessment task in one unit of study or
  • part or the whole of a teaching session for one unit of study or
  • for part or the whole of a teaching session for more than one unit of study
Application deadlines

Applications must be lodged online via eForms no later than 5.00pm of the second working day after the due date of the assessment (working days are defined as Monday to Friday, not including public holidays).

For applications in one or more units in a teaching session the Special Consideration form must be lodged as soon as you are aware that you may have extenuating circumstances that could affect your studies.

Special Consideration (during the formal exam period)

You may apply for Special Consideration if you have been seriously ill or have other extenuating circumstances beyond your control at the time you sat a final (end of session) exam or final deferred exam.

Normally requests will relate to situations where you:

  • believe your studies and academic work have been adversely affected such that you will be unable to perform in the examination at your usual standard or
  • you are unable to complete the final exam or final deferred exam due to ill health or another cause
  • Application deadlines
Step-by step video guides:

Application deadlines
Applications must be lodged online via eForms no later than 5.00pm of the second working day after the date of the examination (working days are defined as Monday to Friday, not including public holidays).

Late applications may be granted if evidence is provided to support extenuating circumstances affecting the submission of your application. If this happens, you should contact Student Central.

Deferred exams

If there are exceptional circumstances where the severity/gravity of the events prevent you from attending your exam, you may apply to sit a deferred exam.

What happens if I can't attend a deferred exam?

If you have approval to sit a deferred exam but are unable to attend on the day due to illness or misadventure, you may apply for Special Consideration.

You must lodge the eForm along with supporting documentation, no later than 5.00pm on the second working day after your scheduled deferred exam.

Supporting documentation

All Special Consideration applications must include supporting documents (refer to supporting document reference list) as evidence to support the claim. It must clearly indicate the severity and/or gravity of the circumstances, the extent of the impact and the relevant dates. To understand more about supporting documentation and what you may need, check out the Do I need supporting documentation? (opens in a new window) and Which documents are acceptable? (opens in a new window) videos.

Applications without supporting documentation will not be considered.

How to submit your supporting documentation

You must provide an electronic copy of all your supporting documents. Hard copy documents will not be accepted. If your supporting documents are hard copies, you will need to scan them and attach them as electronic copies.

You can submit your supporting documents as part of the online application process. Otherwise, all supporting documentation must be submitted no later than two working days after you submit your application.

Submitting documentation separately to your application
All supporting documentation that is not included with your application must be emailed to your Unit Coordiator. 

For auditing purposes you must keep either the original or certified copy of all supporting documentation you attach for at least one year. The University conducts audits to validate the information students provide in their applications. You may be contacted any time within one year of submitting your application and required to produce either the original or a certified copy of all supporting documentation. Documentation that has been fraudulently altered or manipulated may constitute non-academic misconduct.

After you've applied

To find out more about what happens after you've applied for Special Consideration, watch the What to expect after you've applied for Special Consideration (opens in a new window) video.

Need help?

Read the Guide to applying for Special Consideration & Deferred Exam [DOC, 1743 KB] (opens in a new window) or watch one of our step-by-step video guides:

If you need further help completing your application, you can contact one of the following services: