Special Consideration

Got valid grounds to get an extension for your HIST1001 paper? Here's how to apply!

Everything going wrong?

When events such as sickness, injury, misadventure or other circumstances beyond your control affect your performance in an assessment or exam, the University may grant you special consideration with regard to an assessment. Such special consideration is usually in the form of allowing extensions for submitting assessment work, additional assessment or allowing you to sit an exam after the exam date.

Any application for special consideration must be made as soon as possible and within 3 working days of the due date of the specific piece of assessment. Applications will only be accepted after this time in exceptional circumstances. Speak to the lecturer for your individual course as soon as possible and consult your Course Guide.

Arc can provide you with advice and assistance with your special consideration application. Find out more about special consideration and applications here.

Circumstances where applications will be granted:

Your circumstances are considered exceptional if it is short-term, serious and unavoidable if it arises from circumstances that:

  • Caused disturbance to academic work by a substantial degree due to illness or other cause and;
  • Could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by you
  • Were unexpected and beyond your control and;

And either:

  • Occurred during an event critical study period and was more than 3 consecutive days duration or a total of 5 days within the teaching period and; or
  • Prevented the ability to complete or attend an assessment task for a specific date (e.g. final exam, in class test/quiz, in class presentation) 

In addition to meeting these criteria, an absence or inability to complete an assessment task within the required time frame must be supported by a medical certificate or other document that indicates clearly that you were unable to comply (please see supporting documentation).

Applying for Special Consideration

To apply for Special Consideration:

  1. You must submit the application prior to the start of the relevant exam, except where illness or misadventure prevent you from doing so (UNSW has a fit to sit rule which means that if you sit an exam,
  2. you are declaring yourself fit to do so).
  3. The application must be made through the Special Consideration Portal or myUSW (My Student Profile tab > My Student Services > Online Services > Special Consideration).
  4. You must obtain and attach Third Party documentation before submitting the application. Failure to do so may result in the application being rejected.

Supporting Documents to include with application:

To give the University sufficient and appropriate information on which to base its decision about your request, you must support your application with certified official documentation. Find out more here.

Other important things to know

  • If you can't attend an exam because of illness or some other reason you need to provide supporting documentation dated the same day as the exam.
  • If you are not well enough to do so, DO NOT go to the exam. Go to the doctor, ask for a medical certificate and submit an application for special consideration. UNSW will consider your attendance proof that you were OK at the time of the exam. If you're not feeling well during an exam, let the invigilator know.  
  • Submitting your application is not a guarantee that you'll be successful. Your faculty can also take into account how you have performed in other assessment tasks in the course, plus your academic standing and your history of making previous applications for consideration.
  • Special Consideration doesn't mean that you are given additional marks in an assessment. Depending on the circumstances, you may be granted supplementary assessment, an aggregation of marks from previously completed tasks, or an extension.
  • Keep copies of your supporting documents but originals no longer have to be submitted to Student Central (now The Nucleus). UNSW will conduct back to source checks to verify all documents relied on.  


Full information about UNSW's Special Consideration policies can be found here.

Need more information?

If you are a UNSW student and Arc member we can give you free legal advice. Send us an email or book an appointment with us here.

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