Help at exam time

You can get help if you’re feeling unwell or are facing special difficulties in the time before exams or final assessments.

Your options

Your options will depend on the type of assessment, how close it is to the due date or exam, and the work you have completed for your course so far. Options could include:

  • an extension for your assignment
  • sitting the exam in a separate room
  • getting help from a reader or writer
  • re-weighting your assessment, or
  • applying for a form of ungraded pass known as an aegrotat.
Your faculty office can explain each of these options and connect you with the right person who can help.

The aegrotat pass

An aegrotat pass is an ungraded pass awarded to a student who is not well enough to either (1) take or prepare for an examination or (2) complete a piece of assessment due in the last three weeks of teaching. The cause may be illness, injury, or other factors beyond your control. To get an aegrotat pass, you need to show that you were on track to pass your course.

Serious circumstances

To apply for an aegrotat pass, you need to be ill, injured, or impacted by other serious circumstances that are verified by a health professional.

The aegrotat process is only used for situations that are serious, acute, and beyond your control:

  • major illness or injury
  • death of someone close to you
  • a critical personal situation involving your health or wellbeing (or of a relative or close friend)
  • other exceptional circumstances beyond your control.

If you have an ongoing impairment or condition, contact Disability Services as early as possible during the trimester to discuss your situation.

How aegrotat passes are approved

To approve your application, the associate dean needs to be sure you have largely met the learning outcomes for your course. This involves looking at the assessments you have completed  so far on the course. If you have missed much of the course or have done poorly, your application is likely to be declined.

This approach helps to maintain the University’s high standards. It ensures passing grades are awarded only to students who complete a course (or who would have, if it hadn’t been for exceptional circumstances).

Your health provider can’t approve your application. They only assess if you are ill, injured, or impacted by other serious circumstances, as specified in the aegrotat pass policy (see section 9.4.2 (b) of the Assessment Handbook).

Course exceptions

You can apply for an aegrotat pass for most courses, but there are exceptions:

  • Teacher education students cannot apply for an aegrotat pass for any course that is part of a teacher education programme. But there is an alternative process available. Contact your faculty office for further information.
  • School of Music performance students cannot apply for an aegrotat pass for courses that have performance assessments. This varies by course, so contact your faculty or school office to confirm details.

When to apply

You can apply for an aegrotat pass during the last three teaching weeks of a course or during the exam period. You can’t apply for an aegrotat pass if your assessment is due before the start of this period. This means:

If your course runs in... You can apply for an aegrotat pass either during the last three weeks of teaching or during the…
Trimester 1 mid-year examination period
Trimester 2 end of year examination period
Full year end of year examination period
Trimester 3 summer examination period

The last day you can submit an aegrotat application is 10 working days after your last exam or assessment submission date. Late applications may be accepted under exceptional circumstances—for example, if you are in hospital. Check with your faculty office. You will need to provide a reason why your application is late.

Sitting exams after applying for an aegrotat pass

You may have applied for an aegrotat pass before an exam, but then feel well enough to attend it on the day. In that case, you should still sit the exam. Student Health and Counselling (Mauri Ora) can help organise alternative exam facilities, so you can sit your exams.

Application process

After discussing your situation with your faculty office, follow the steps below if an aegrotat pass  is your best option.

1. Fill in the aegrotat application form

Print and complete the aegrotat application form. Printed application forms are also available from your faculty office, Student Health and Counselling.

2. See your health provider for evidence to support your application

You need evidence from a health provider to support your application for an aegrotat pass. You can choose the health provider–Student Health, Student Counselling or a relevant private health provider (e.g. GP, hospital, physio, midwife etc.).

If you see Student Health or Counselling, tell the receptionist that you are applying for an aegrotat pass when you make your appointment. The GP, nurse or counsellor will assess you and complete a medical certificate for your application.

If you see a private health provider, ask them to fill in the second page of the aegrotat application form.

3. Submit your aegrotat application form and evidence

If you visited Student Health or Counselling for evidence to support your application, leave your completed application form with them after your appointment. They will forward your application form and medical certificate to your faculty (or faculties) on your behalf.

If you visited a private health provider, they will scan and email your completed application form and medical certificate directly to your faculty. They’ll also give you a copy to take to your faculty office as backup. Your faculty will forward a copy to any other faculty, if required.

Your faculty needs both the application form and the medical certificate to accept your aegrotat application.

Your faculty office will confirm by email they have received your aegrotat application.

4. Wait for a decision

Aegrotat processing starts once your final grades are released. Aegrotat applications are usually decided within four weeks of grades being decided. Your application will be held by your faculty until your final grades have been released.

During this time, your record will either display a fail grade or ‘GP’ (grade pending), which will be adjusted once a decision has been made on your aegrotat application.

Your aegrotat application will either be:

  • progressed if you failed the course, or
  • stopped if you passed the course.

If it is progressed, the associate dean will assess your application based on your performance in other course assessments. The faculty office will email you as soon as they receive the decision on your application.

After you apply

Appealing a decision

If your application is declined, you may appeal the decision. The appeal process is outlined in the email advising you of the result of your application.

Prerequisite courses

Sometimes the course for which you’ve applied for an aegrotat pass may be a prerequisite for another course. If that course is starting soon and you haven’t yet received a decision, contact your faculty office for help. You may be able to start the next course (and attend associated tutorials and labs) while the decision is pending.

Your grades

Aegrotat passes are ungraded

When you get an aegrotat pass, you will see a ‘G’ on your transcript instead of a normal passing grade in the C- to A+ range. An aegrotat pass is treated as a pass in all other respects. You won’t need to repeat the course and you will be eligible for any courses for which the course was a prerequisite (as long as you meet all other requirements).

Aegrotat and GPA

There is no GPA value for an aegrotat pass. Check with your faculty about if and how your aegrotat pass will affect selection for other courses within that faculty.

Passing grades and aegrotat passes

If you applied for an aegrotat pass but still managed to pass your course anyway, your aegrotat application will not proceed. The passing grade will be recorded on your academic transcript. You may feel the passing grade does not reflect your ability in the course. In that case, you can apply to your faculty for a letter explaining your performance may have been impaired. Your faculty office can tell you how to apply for this letter.