Unable to sit your exam or submit your assessment by the due date?

Check if your circumstances fall under Special Consideration and apply with supporting documentation before the deadline.

Jump to Special Consideration

Need some more time on your assessment?

Check if a Short Extension is available for your assessment and apply before the due date for automatic approval.


Jump to Short Extensions

Special Consideration

When illness or circumstances beyond your control interfere with your assessment performance, you may be eligible to apply for Special Consideration; a process for assessing the impact of unexpected, short-term events on your ability to complete a specific assessment task.

 Application process

Who can apply?

This Special Consideration process is available to all students except: Higher Degree Research Candidates and UNSW Diploma students.

If you have a long-term medical or mental health condition, are living with a disability or are the primary carer for someone with a disability, Equitable Learning Services can provide you with ongoing support throughout your studies.

Check if your circumstances are eligible

Your circumstances may be applicable for Special Consideration if they are:

  • short-term,
  • unexpected and beyond your control,
  • substantially disturbed your assessment performance,


  • occurred during an important study or assessment period and lasted for 3 days in a row or a total of 5 days or,
  • prevented you from completing or attending an assessment on a specific date or due date.

Before submitting an application

When to apply

You should apply for Special Consideration as soon as possible and at the latest you must apply within 3 working days of the assessment due date.

A late application may be considered in exceptional circumstances. If you are applying late, your documentary evidence will need to include additional and adequate information to explain how your specific circumstances made it impracticable for you to apply on time.

Applications submitted outside the required timeframe will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Note for offshore students:

Offshore students who are applying for special consideration due to their timed assessment (ie. exam, quiz, test) being held between 10pm and 7am their local time, must apply at the latest, 5 days before the scheduled date of the timed assessment.

Fit to Sit rule

In addition to your circumstances being applicable, you must also comply with UNSW's Fit to Sit rule.

If you access or sit a timed assessment on the scheduled date, then you are declaring yourself fit to do so and you will no longer be eligible for Special Consideration.

How does the Fit to Sit rule work?

For short exams (ie. up to 24 hrs in length), tests (online or in class), presentations and other timed assessments

Before: You can apply, however if you access or sit the exam/test or other timed assessment on the scheduled date, you will no longer be eligible for Special Consideration.

During: If you feel unwell or are impacted by other circumstances to the point that you cannot continue with your timed assessment, you must:

  • stop working on the assessment,
  • tell a staff member immediately that you are unwell (ie. your Course Coordinator, Tutor or Exam Supervisor - they must be advised before the end of the timed assessment),
  • apply for Special Consideration within 3 working days of the assessment date. Your supporting evidence must be dated within 24 hours of the assessment date.

After you have accessed and/or attended the timed assessment: You are not eligible for Special Consideration. Exceptions will be considered if it is clear that you were prevented from making an informed decision.

More information can be found in this Guide to Special Consideration.

Prepare your supporting documentation

When you apply for Special Consideration, you must provide UNSW with sufficient and appropriate evidence that clearly shows the details of your circumstances.

Your evidence must identify the:

  • Circumstances: Describe the situation in as much detail as possible.
  • Time frame: Include dates and length of the circumstances.
  • Severity: How serious the circumstances are and how they have impacted you and your assessment performance.

The evidence you provide will be used in assessing your application, so it is very important to provide all relevant supporting documents.

  • For medical circumstances, use this professional authority form as a supporting document. Backdated or out of date medical certificates may not be accepted.
  • If your supporting documentation is not in English, please submit this and we will attempt to have this translated. Where documentation cannot be translated, you may be asked to have this translated by a NAATI accredited translator. If this occurs, you should supply copies of the original document and a complete English translation.
  • If you provide falsified documents in support of your application, then this will result in one of a range of penalties, from failure in the course to suspension or exclusion. In some cases, the matter could also be reported to ICAC.
  • See the list of common supporting documents and evidence required, in this Guide to Special Consideration.

How to submit your application

Once you have supporting documents, you can apply for Special Consideration via this portal:

Special Consideration portal

If you encounter log in issues or need help,
please see this step-by-step guide to using the portal.

Short Extension

Short Extension is a new process that allows you to apply for an extended deadline on your assessment without the need to provide supporting documentation, offering immediate approval during brief, life-disrupting events. 

It is currently available for some assessments only. Check your course outline or Moodle to see if this is offered for your assessments.  

Application process

What is the difference between a Short Extension and Special Consideration?

Short Extension

Availability: Not all assessments and courses have a Short Extension available. These are pre-determined by the course authority and must be stipulated in your course outline, Moodle page or any other relevant Learning Management System (LMS). 

Eligibility: Where a Short Extension exists for an assessment, all students enrolled in that course in that term are eligible to apply.

Duration of extension: 1-7 days (pre-determined by the course authority and stipulated in your course outline).

Outcome: Automatically approved once the request is submitted.

Supporting documentation: Not required. 

Application deadline: Assessment submission due date. No late applications are permitted.

Special Consideration

Availability: All students are eligible to apply as long as you meet the Special Consideration eligibility criteria. 

Duration: If approved, this can vary based on your circumstances and the period of impact on your supporting documentation.

Outcome: This will vary and is based on the type of assessment and on your circumstances. Not all applications are approved.

Supporting documentation: Mandatory.

Application deadline: 3 working days after the assessment due date. 

How to know if a Short Extension exists for your assessment

Short Extension availability for any assessment will be published in the course outline and/or the relevant Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle. 

Not all courses or assessments have the option for a Short Extension. This is pre-determined by the course authority before the start of each term.

When to apply

You may apply for a Short Extension for an eligible assessment from the start of the Term until the assessment due date and time. No late applications are accepted.

How to submit your application

Submit your application via the Short Extension Student Portal, available on the Special Consideration login page:

  1. Log into the Short Extension Student Portal (picture)
  2. Select 'Request for Short Extension' once you have logged into the Short Extension Student Portal (picture).
  3. Enter your course code in the search bar and click 'Search'.
    Note: Where a Short Extension is not available, the portal will return no search results and refer you to Special Consideration, if eligible (picture).
  4. Review the list of eligible assessments for Short Extension in the course you searched and select 'Apply Now' for the assessment you want to apply for (picture).
  5. Review your application details and select 'Confirm', then 'Yes' to submit your application (picture).
  6. Check the Short Extension Student Portal for a confirmation of the Short Extension for that particular assessment.

Short Extension Student Portal

Use the term codes below to ensure you submit your application under the right Academic Term:

See next

After applying

What happens next?


Answers to frequently asked questions

Online assessments

Prepare for your online assessments and exams

More support

Support services available to students

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