When circumstances get in the way of study
It's rare to get through three years or more of a University Degree without at least once falling sick, getting injured or having something else affect your ability to study effectively. Any of these issues can stop you making assignment deadlines or make you miss an exam.
La Trobe has a policy that makes allowances for circumstances out of your control but don't expect them to understand your case without you following the correct procedures. Below are some tips on making Special Consideration work for you and avoiding some common errors.
Special Consideration - over 15% of total assessment
Circumstances that affect your studies may include illness, injury, mental health problems, family trajedy or similar serious issues. Things that are out of your control may prevent you from going on placement, completing assessments on time or sitting exams. You may apply for Special Consideration
no later than 3 days after your assessment deadline or scheduled exam. If you are unable to attend a placement, let your placement officer know as soon as possible before applying for special consideration.
The Special Consideration team will look at your application and any supporting documentation before arriving at an outcome. They will look at the seriousness of the issue and whether your supporting documents concur with your claims. The BSA Student Advocate can assist you with your application. Possible outcomes can include:
Special Consideration Granted
1 extension or re-sit granted (for unsubmitted assessment tasks or missed exams)
2 adjustment of marks (up to 5% can be added to your submitted assessments and completed exams)
Special Consideration Not Granted
1 no extension or re-sit granted
2 no adjustment of marks
Applying for an extension
For assessment tasks under 15% of your total assessment you should negotiate directly with your lecturer or subject coordinator for an extension.
Email your lecturer and explain your issue as soon as you realise it will stop you completing your task before your assessment deadline. Ask for an extension and estimate how much extra time you might need to complete the task. Be ready to negotiate the time needed or to send more information/supporting documents.
If they refuse and you don't think it's fair you can take the matter up with your course coordinator or seek help from the BSA Student Advocate. Remember that gaining an extension is not your right - you can only put your case and hope that your lecturer (or course coordinator) will deem your reasons justified.
For assessment tasks over 15% of your total assessment follow the Special Consideration process.
I feel ill on the day of an exam, should I stay home?
This is a really tricky question to answer because there's no solid criteria to know whether your illness is severe enough to justify a re-sit at another time.
If you don't think you can sit your exam under any circumstances
make an appointment immediately with a doctor and get them to fill in a medical impact statement
. This provides more detailed information than a doctor's certificate and is often required as supporting documentation.
submit your application for Special Consideration
within 3 days of your exam. If you don't have your supporting documentation to attach in that timeframe, let them know it's coming and send it as soon as you get it.
If you decide to sit your exam but your illness affects your performance
Follow the same procedures as above even if you think you've definitely passed or definitely failed.
You won't know what your mark is until it assessed so don't assume anything. Applying for special consideration can get you an extra 5% in marks which could mean the difference between a pass and a fail.
What if I'm too ill to submit a special consideration?
If you're recovering from an operation, in a coma, or severly debilitated by grief or illness during the 3 day deadline, a friend or family member may submit an application on your behalf. If that doesn't happen, you can make a special application at a later date when you are physically capable. Allowances for very serious cases will be made.
Can I appeal the decision?
If you think the decision is unfair or has not assessed your situation correctly you may appeal. Ask the BSA Student Advocate for assistance with an appeal.