By Lara McKirdy
Pepper Grinder is a Peppercorn series providing news and reporting relevant to ANU law students via Peppercorn’s Facebook Page and biannual Magazine.
With the second half of the semester bringing assignments you didn’t know about until the week they were due, it’s critical to understand your options when it comes to getting deferred exams, emergency extensions, and also just getting an EAP.
Edit - An initial version of this article referred to Special Consideration. For those who wish to learn more about Extenuating Circumstances Applications, please visit this ANU page.
Deferred examinations are rescheduled exams that you may sit weeks to even months after your scheduled exam takes place. These have an extremely high threshold for acceptance, which requires that you must have been “incapacitated” at the time of your exam. ANU policy specifically states that having cold, flu, gastroenteritis or gastrointestinal irritation, menstrual cramps are “insufficient” to satisfy this threshold. To put it clearly, the ANU expects you to be able to do your exam while vomiting in a bucket, buckled over in pain, or passed out over your laptop.
If you were unable to sit your exam, firstly contact CoL Enquiries, or the relevant course convener (for non-law exams) to say that you were incapacitated and to put them on notice. The staff at CoL Enquiries are so incredibly understanding, will reply promptly, and will provide you with next steps and instructions for your deferred examination application.
Then, you must apply no more than three days in advance or up to three days after your scheduled exam. Although ANU’s business days rule applies, for example Saturday or Sunday do not count in the ‘three days’, it’s advisable to apply as soon as possible even on the weekend because it bodes better for your application.
You must apply through ‘Manage my Degree’ on ISIS and follow the prompts to complete the application. To complete the application you will require 1) a personal statement and 2) a medical certificate.
Due to the high threshold for successfully getting a deferred examination, it’s strongly advised to visit a doctor or pharmacist in person, and request that they specify in the medical certificate that you were ‘incapacitated’ or words to that effect so long as that’s also their opinion. Lastly, make sure your medical certificate accords with your personal statement and, as law students, you would know that it’s most beneficial to adopt and apply the exact wording in ANU’s policy to ensure your application satisfies ANU’s requirements. Medical certificates are ‘ironclad’ so always use this as supporting documentation.
The ANU Examinations Department will contact you regarding the outcome of your application and then will subsequently email you regarding your rescheduled exam time.
We all know how to get extensions. For extension requests that are less than 10 days, you must apply through the Assessment Extension Request Form unless your convenor specifies an alternative. For extension requests that are for 10 working days or greater, you must use the ECA eForm on ISIS. Like the processes above, you must apply through ‘Manage my Degree’ on ISIS and follow the prompts to complete the application. To complete the application, you will require 1) a personal statement and 2) a medical certificate. As always, your personal statement must accord with your medical certificate.
It is really important to remember that you can only apply for an extension up until the day before it is due unless you have a medical certificate (for the assessment due date) or EAP. If you apply for an extension on the day without a medical certificate, it could very well be rejected and you may have to make a late submission or forego receiving a grade for that assessment.
With respect to the number of business days to request for an extension, it’s important to remember that if you’re requesting for a period that goes over the weekend, the weekends don’t count as business days, so for example a 2-day extension from Friday to Monday actually doesn't include Saturday and Sunday. You can use this fact to get more days to complete the assignment by making a smaller request rather than getting rejected for a larger request. Your convenor will usually allow you to negotiate or will just provide a closer due date when your request is approved.
Educational Access Plans (EAPs) are also ‘ironclad’ and allow you a number of arrangements:
Extra writing time in exams
Extra break time in exams
Extra reading time in exams
Successfully get extensions even when applying on a due date
No need to submit medical certificates with extension requests (just EAPs).
Eligibility for EAPs are
Physical, mental and internal disabilities
Mental conditions – depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD
Other medical issues – migraines,
If you are an elite athlete
Firstly, make an account with Access and Inclusion (A&I). You may do so here. Then follow the prompts to complete the registration form.
Secondly, make an appointment with A&I. If they don’t email you with a scheduled appointment within a week, contact them here:
+61 2 6125 5036
Ensure you attend your appointment – if you do not attend your appointment to discuss your education needs then you will not receive an EAP.
Then, attend a doctor’s appointment with your preferred GP to acquire supporting documentation. Preferably complete a Health Practitioner’s Report, however, other documentation evidencing the ‘condition’ will be sufficient.
Upload supporting documentation to your account:
On the far left, click on ‘my Access & Inclusion supports’ to drop down the options
On the far left again, click on ‘Documents’ and follow the prompt to upload a document
Types of supporting documents include a Mental Health Plan, or other doctor’s document that demonstrates the condition or situation. However, a Health Practitioner’s Report is preferable and you will eventually need to submit this anyway.
Lastly, sign your EAP. Once your EAP has been prepared, it’ll be emailed to you for signing. Proofread it so that all arrangements are suitable and then sign it and download to keep on your laptop.
If you got this far into the article, then you’ll be in good stead for receiving the support that you deserve during your time at ANU. Don’t hesitate to reach out to ANU if you ever need support, and good luck!