Common questions you might have

Below are some common questions you might have regarding the application and processing of Special Consideration requests.

Before applying

The Special Consideration Policy applies to short-term, serious and unavoidable circumstances that arise after a study period has commenced, and where specific assessment task/s have been affected.

The University classifies circumstances serious and unavoidable if they:

  • could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • were beyond the student's control; and
  • caused substantial disruption to the student’s capacity for undertaking assessment for the unit(s); and
  • occurred during a critical study period and were at least three (3) consecutive days duration or a total of five (5) days within the teaching period; and/or
  • prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date (eg final examination, in class test/ quiz, in class presentation)

The policy applies to short-term unavoidable disruptions that have substantially affected your capacity to complete an assessment task. To be considered for a Special Consideration for:

  • Assessments with a due date where you have had substantial time to work on the assignment disruptions must be either:
    • at least three (3) consecutive days, or
    • at least five (5) days cumulatively.
  • Assessment scheduled for a specific date (eg exams, required class attendance, in-class tests or presentations) the disruption only needs to be at least one day duration (ie the date of the assessment).

You should apply for Special Consideration as soon as you are fit to do so after becoming aware of the unavoidable disruption. You should apply no later than five (5) working days after the assessment date. If you are applying more than five (5) working days after the assessment date, you must justify or explain this timing in your application. Applications submitted outside the required timeframe are only considered for Special Consideration in exceptional circumstances.

You only need to apply for Special Consideration for missing a class in one of the following cases.

  • The class participation or attendance counts towards your final mark (check your unit guide and iLearn) or
  • The attendance is a requirement for the unit, or
  • If you have an in-class assessment on that day (eg in-class presentation, laboratory practical)

When submitting your application, make sure you select all assessments that you are applying for. For example, different outcomes will be granted for Participation versus an Essay, so it is important you submit separate requests for each assessment task and unit. This will assist the University to provide you with an appropriate outcome as soon as possible.

Supporting documentation

You are required to submit appropriate official supporting documentation of your disruption. Examples of documentation for different kinds of disruption are listed on the Special Consideration page. Supporting documentation should demonstrate you serious and unavoidable disruption and clearly identify the dates or duration of the disruption.

If you are unable to complete an assessment task due to testing positive for COVID-19, apply for Special Consideration as soon as possible. You should provide evidence of your positive test result (ie a photo of your rapid antigen test result with a date or a confirmation email or SMS from the NSW Health after registering a positive RAT result plus a Statement of Fact) in the absence of a medical certificate.

If you submit a Statement of Fact, it must outline:

  • the nature of the disruption
  • how the disruption has impacted your studies, and
  • the dates/duration of the disruption

Photos are not considered appropriate supporting documentation for Special Consideration, so a photo of a positive rapid antigen test by itself is not adequate documentation for Special Consideration.

You may use a Statement of Fact as supporting evidence for all event categories, although a Statement of Fact is not recommended for multiple short-term events or events of an extended duration. For multiple short-term events, or events of an extended duration, it is advisable you obtain other recommended supporting documentation forms, for example a medical certificate for illness.

All forms of supporting evidence used for a Special Consideration application must:

  • identify the circumstances,
  • include dates and/or the length of the circumstances,
  • explain the severity and impact of the circumstances,
  • clearly describe how the circumstances have adversely affected a students capacity for effective study to which an assessment relates

You do not have to include other evidence when applying, however you may be requested to provide additional supporting evidence when your application is reviewed. If you are able to obtain other recommended supporting documentation forms when applying, it is suggested to use these documents rather than a Statement of Fact.

If your Statement of Fact does not include sufficient detail or does not allow for your circumstances to be confirmed as serious and unavoidable, it may not be accepted. Should your Statement of Fact not clearly demonstrate serious and unavoidable circumstances, you may wish to consider other independently corroborated documentation forms.

After you've applied

Once you have applied for Special Consideration, the University will assess the information and evidence you provided. The University will aim to let you know the outcome of your application via your student email address within 5 working days of receipt of the application and all necessary supporting evidence. If supporting evidence is provided after receipt of the application, the University will aim to let you know your outcome within 5 working days of receiving the documentation. Although the University aims to let you know your outcome as soon as possible, it may take 5–10 working days during peak period.

You can attach additional documentation to your application as long as the application is open in AskMQ. Please do not submit a second Special Consideration application to provide additional supporting documentation.

You should not wait until you receive an outcome for your Special Consideration application to submit your completed assessment. You should continue to work on and submit your assessment as soon as possible. If an extension is approved it will normally be equivalent to the duration of impact outlined in your documentation. Any extension granted will be applied from the original due date, not the date the Special Consideration was submitted, hence it is possible you may receive your outcome after the new assessment due date has already passed.

Once you sit an exam or submit an assignment, you are declaring yourself fit to do so. If you are feeling unfit to sit an exam or to submit your assignment, you should not do so. If you sit an exam or submit an assignment by the original due date after applying for Special Consideration, you will no longer be eligible for Special Consideration. It will be checked if your assignment is submitted by the original due date when assessing your application and if it has been submitted on time, Special Consideration is not applicable, and the application will be closed.

Please check your outcome email which will explain why your application was not approved, or may have advice or instructions for further actions if appropriate.

You can submit an Academic Appeal within 10 working days to appeal the outcome. Please make sure you read the policy before appealing.