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Should I sit my exam?

If you have respiratory or cold/flu like symptoms take a RAT test. If it is negative and you feel well enough you should attend your exam. We strongly recommend that you wear a mask. If you return a negative RAT test but don't feel well enough to attend your exam you should seek medical attention.

In all cases, if you do not sit your examination, your application must be supported by documentation from either your Health Professional or an appropriate third party to confirm that you were prevented from sitting your examination at the time of the examination itself.

Please note, if you test positive for COVID ensure you have reported your positive test and stay home until well. We recommend following Te Whatu Ora guidelines and isolate for 5 days.

What should I do if I don't know whether or not I'll be sitting the exam?

You can wait until the day of the exam, or up to 5 calendar days after the exam, and then apply - you don't need to apply for Special Consideration prior to the exam.

Can I make more than one application?

We strongly recommend that you make one application for all the papers you wish to apply for. However, if you need to add papers after making an initial application you can submit a second application (see below).

Can I add a paper to my application?

If you have already submitted an application, you won't be able to add a paper to your existing application. Please submit a new application for just that paper within 5 calendar days of the exam for which you are applying, and include appropriate supporting documentation relevant to that paper.

Can I change something in my application?

If you wish to make a change to your application, please email

What supporting documentation should I provide?

The nature of the supporting documentation will depend on your circumstances. If your application is related to illness (including Covid), an accident or bereavement see Supporting documentation for special consideration on the Special Consideration page.

If the reason for your application does not fit the above criteria, some examples of documentation are:

  • Police report if they were involved
  • Supporting letter from a third party who is aware of your circumstances, e.g. government department, airline, lawyer
  • Supporting letter from one of the University of Otago support services that you have engaged with
  • Supporting letter from the warden or head of your college who is aware of your circumstances

In all cases a Supporting Statement is recommended and should be completed by an appropriate third party who can confirm your circumstances.

What do the different application decisions mean?

  • Approved: you meet the criteria for Special Consideration for all or some of the papers that you applied for, and your request for Special Consideration will be forwarded to the relevant Department teaching the paper to determine an outcome.
  • Declined: your application did not meet the criteria for Special Consideration, and no further action will be taken.
  • On hold: we are currently holding your application for a set amount of time to give you an opportunity to provide further information or we are awaiting a Health Declaration from Student Health.

Not all the papers I applied for were approved – why not?

This means that the documentation that you supplied did not verify that you met the criteria for Special Consideration for those papers that were declined.

It is important to note that each examination is assessed separately, and impairment which is significant in terms of one examination may not be significant in terms of another at a different time.

I was given the choice of a Special Examination and an alternative assessment method. What happens if I don't make a decision by the deadline?

If you have been offered a choice between a Special Examination and another outcome, e.g. to keep your original mark, accept an adjusted mark, or accept an Aegrotat Pass, you have 8 calendar days from the date of your portal notification to make the choice.

If you don't select your preference by the deadline we will assume that you do not wish to sit the Special Examination. Student Administration will update your Academic Transcript if the other choice was an adjusted mark or Aegrotat Pass.

If your choice was between retaining your original mark and sitting a Special Exam, no changes will be made to your Academic Transcript. You will receive a portal notification once the result has been finalised.

How do I arrange my Special Examination?

You will be notified of the date, time and location of your special examination via your student email. Your Special Examination will normally be sat in Dunedin, but the time, date, and venue won't appear on eVision.

  • Special examinations for semester 1 are usually held in the first two weeks of semester 2
  • Special examinations for semester 2 are usually held in late January to early February the following year

Note: If your special exam is departmentally run the timing and location of your special exam may vary to what is noted above. If you haven’t heard about this contact the department.

My application for Special Consideration was accepted, but my marks for the paper are quite low. Why is this?

Outcomes of a special consideration application are released after the official release of confirmed results. If you are to sit a special Examination, the original result will remain blank until the result of the Special Examination has been confirmed.

I intend to graduate in December this year. Is there anything else I need to know?

If you are a finalist and have applied to graduate in December, you may not be able to graduate until the Special Consideration process is complete. Please email for advice.

I applied for Special Consideration for a paper that's a prerequisite for a paper I'm enrolling in next semester. What effect will this have on my studies?

If your result hasn't been finalised in time for course approval, this will affect your enrolment. Further information is available on the Prerequisites page.

I am not happy with the outcome of my special consideration application. What can I do about this?

If it is an application for a final examination you can request a review of your outcome. See the section Review of the outcome of a special consideration application in a special exam.

If the outcome is for special consideration in a special examination you would need to request leave to appeal through the Appeals Statute.

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