Unable to sit an exam?

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Despite all the planning and preparation that goes into exams, there are some circumstances you might not be prepared for.

An unexpected circumstance, such as a sudden illness or a bereavement, could mean you are unable to sit an exam, or possibly all of your exams. In this situation, you may be feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next.

If this happens to you, you first need to make your College Tutorial Office aware straight away that you will not be sitting the exam. You will be marked as absent and they will advise you from this point.

You should also contact a medical professional (where appropriate) for medical support. It is also important to obtain evidence of mitigating circumstances as close to the affected exam, or exams, as possible.

For an unexpected illness, medical evidence will need to be obtained from a GP or other medical professional to help explain your absence. Our Guidance on Medical Evidence explains what needs to be included in medical evidence.

Evidence of grave cause, such as a bereavement, could be a death certificate, hospital letter or letter from a coroner.

If you have to miss one or all of your exams, you can inform the University of your situation. The University has processes in place for students who have had mitigating circumstances that negatively impacted their exams. Depending on your course, the process available to you may be an examination allowance or examination review.

For all undergraduates and postgraduates on certain courses, you can see the examination allowances available to you in the guidance notes on the Student Registry’s website.

For postgraduates on the remaining courses, you can apply for an Examination Review if you have been impacted by an illness or grave cause during the examination.

The Student Advice Service is here to explain the options available to you and to help you identify the next steps. 

We can explain the possible outcomes of a procedure, support you in writing an application or just provide a listening ear. The Exams page on our website includes resources that might help to answer your exam-related questions. You can also speak to one of our advisors.

There are many other places in the University and colleges you can reach out for support. Visit the Student Wellbeing pages for further information about support for students or the Out of Hours support page on our website.

Good luck with the remainder of your exams!



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