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Student Central

Special examinations / reasonable adjustments

You must make yourself available at the time of the scheduled exam. You will fail the examination if you cannot sit the exam on the day and at the time scheduled unless circumstances support an application for Special Exam. Misreading the timetable or early departure for vacation is not accepted as grounds for granting a special examination.

If you're unable to sit your exam at the required time, and you can prove certain special circumstances, you may be able to apply for a reasonable adjustment or a special examination.

These are usually only granted due to disability, special circumstances or immediate, extreme misadventure as a result of special circumstances.


  • Reasonable adjustment

    Reasonable Adjustment is defined as being a ‘process to help you minimise the impact of certain adverse and unforeseen circumstances on your progression and performance in units of study’. There are two categories of Reasonable Adjustment that you may be eligible for:

    • Alternative Examination Conditions
    • Special Consideration

    Alternative Examination Conditions

    To accommodate a verified disability, medical or other condition, alternative examination conditions can be implemented to ensure you are provided the same access to exams. CDU must take into account circumstances that are beyond your control and have an actual or potential impact on a your ability to access and participate in an exam.

    Special Consideration

    If you consider that your examination performance has been affected by illness, disability or other special circumstances, you may be eligible for Special Consideration. Note: additional marks are not an outcome of an approved application for special consideration.

    If you have a disability and/or medical condition and require adjustments to assist you to access and participate in other aspects of your study, please contact and register with Access and Inclusion.

    Special examination

    Special examination may be granted if, as a result of special circumstances, you were or will be unable to sit for an examination on its specified date.

    If you have attempted your exam you shall not be granted a special examination except on the grounds of an unforeseen and non-pre-existing illness arising at the time of the examination as testified by a medical certificate, signed by a qualified medical practitioner.

    In such a case, you must leave the examination within the first 30 minutes of the examination period. After 30 minutes, you will no longer be eligible for a special examination and must apply for reasonable adjustment / special consideration.

    You may be granted only one special examination for each unit attempt.

    Please note: misreading the content of the central examination timetable or early departure for vacation does not constitute a valid reason to request a special examination.  Be aware that your exam can be scheduled on any day during the central examination period.

  • Semester 1 - 2021

    19 - 25 July 2021

    Semester 2 - 2021

    24 - 30 January 2022
  • Disability

    A verified disability that affects access to and participation in an examination.

    Immediate, extreme misadventure 

    Debilitating illness which occurs during or on the day of the examination, or the death of a family member in the days immediately preceding the examination.

    Special Circumstances

    A situation that is beyond the student's control, is not reasonably foreseeable and which prevents the student from engaging in the examination. Examples may include: sudden illness or disability, loss of employment, an inability to obtain a student visa, death of a student or close family member (parent, sibling, spouse or child), natural catastrophe or political or civil uprising.

    If you have an approved Access and Inclusion Plan (AIP) from Access and Inclusion, you're not required to submit an application. 

  • Reasonable adjustments can vary depending on your circumstances.

    If you have a verified disability or that experience immediate, extreme misadventure or special circumstances; the adjustments may include:

    • amanuensis/scribe
    • specialised equipment
    • permission to take medicine during examination
    • additional writing time
    • additional reading time
    • speech synthesiser computer
    • computer movement – permission to move about during examination
    • rest breaks (maximum 10 minutes per hour).

    Any approved reasonable adjustments will only apply for the examination period for which you are applying. Students seeking permanent reasonable adjustments should contact Access and Inclusion for further information.

    If you are aware in advance that you will be unable to sit for an examination at the place appointed, or have special needs or support requirements, you may apply to the University for Reasonable Adjustments at least 21 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period.

    If you experience immediate, extreme misadventure or special circumstances you may apply for special consideration.

    Special consideration is a form of reasonable adjustment that may be requested if you sit an examination and consider that your performance was affected by illness, disability or other special circumstances.

    You will need to apply in writing, no more than seven days after the examination, to Student Central. This application must be accompanied by a medical certificate (in the case of illness) or a statutory declaration and corroborative evidence in other cases. Special consideration shall consist of:

    • Special Examination, if not previously granted for that unit attempt for that student
    • Alternate assessment to be determined by the Lecturer
    • Final Grade based on prior work in the unit. Subject to approval by the College Dean.

    The granting of additional marks and/or leniency in the marking of an examination is not a possible outcome for any applications for reasonable adjustment.

    Special examination may be available to you if, due to special circumstances, you were not able to sit the scheduled examination or you completed less than one hour of the examination.

    If you apply for special examination for reasons other than medical grounds, shall submit, with the application, a statutory declaration stating the facts upon which the application relies and shall offer such corroborative evidence as may be available.

    Generally, an application for special examination must be made not less than seven days prior to the relevant examination, and not more than seven days after the relevant examination

  • The University will consider all requests for reasonable adjustments and special examinations. However, a request that is considered to compromise academic standards (i.e. a request to waive the requirement to complete the examination) will not be granted.

    Other situations where reasonable adjustments or special examinations would not normally be approved include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • situations or events where the consequences could have been reasonably anticipated
    • stress or anxiety normally associated with completing an examination
    • difficulties in adjusting to the demands of university life
    • difficulties in developing the self-discipline need to study effectively
    • planned events such as weddings, family reunions etc
    • recreational travel
    • demands of social, sport or clubs – except for the participation in NTIS training camps, national or international level sporting events or involvement in a significant cultural event
    • routine demands of employment.
  • The process for applying for Special Examinations and/or Reasonable Adjustments during a central examination period is governed by the Higher Education Examination Policy (PDF 154KB) and requires students to complete and submit the relevant eForm

    If you are seeking either a special examination or reasonable adjustment due to medical reasons, your medical practitioner will need to supply a medical certificate.

    Please note:  the Higher Education Examination Policy specifies precise time frames for applications for reasonable adjustments for examinations. To ensure the best possible outcome, students should observe the time frames stated in the policy. 

  • The type of evidence you provide is determined by the circumstances that form the basis of your request.

    Your evidence should provide enough information about the severity or gravity of your situation to allow a reasonably informed decision to be made regarding your request.

    Students with a disability are welcome to discuss reasonable adjustments for examinations with Access and Inclusion.

    In some circumstances, documentary evidence can be of a personal nature that demands a high level of confidentiality. In this case, you may wish to contact the counselling service or Access and Inclusion to discuss your application.

    After viewing your documentary evidence, the Disability Liaison Officer or counsellor may be able to provide written confirmation that they have sighted your evidence and that it is consistent with your application.

    Your evidence may include:

    • Medical – Certificate provided by a health professional such as a medical practitioner, psychiatrist or physiotherapist who is registered with a relevant professional regulatory authority.
    • Compassionate reasons – Supporting letter from a psychologist, social worker, medical practitioner, religious leader, funeral director or a Statutory Declaration accompanied by corroborative evidence.
    • Hardship/trauma – Supporting letter or report from a psychologist, social worker, medical practitioner, police officer or a Statutory Declaration accompanied by corroborative evidence.

    All applications for a special examination for reasons other than medical grounds are required to also provide a statutory declaration stating the facts upon which the application relies and shall offer such corroborative evidence as may be available.

    The university will not approach doctors, hospitals or police to obtain documentary evidence on your behalf.  It's your responsibility to submit your requests on the appropriate form with documentary evidence to Student Central

    Please note: any information provided to the University is governed by the University's Privacy and Confidentiality Policy (PDF 797KB).

  • The decision to grant or decline an application for reasonable adjustment or special examination is made by the Associate Director of Academic Administration (or delegate).

  • If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your application, you can lodge a complaint in accordance with the Academic Grievance Procedures (PDF 82KB).

    You'll be required to provide a summary of your complaint and evidence-based reasons to support your case.

    For further information and advice, please visit the Complaints Management Unit or email

  • Contact Student Central for advice regarding procedures relating to:

    • examinations
    • special examinations
    • reasonable adjustments for central examinations.

    If you have a disability, we recommend you register with Access and Inclusion.

    If you have personal issues that are adversely affecting you studies, make an appointment with a CDU counsellor.

    Please note: it's your responsibility to submit your application and all supporting documentation to Student Central within the specified time frames.

Additional information