Help at exam time

There is help available if you are feeling unwell or are facing exceptional circumstances in the lead up to exams or final assessment due dates.

Contact your faculty office to discuss your options and find out more about what help is available to you.

Your options

The options available to you 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 will explain each of these to you and connect you with the right person in your school or elsewhere in the University who can help.

Aegrotat pass

What is an aegrotat pass?

An aegrotat pass is an ungraded pass awarded to a student who has been unable to adequately prepare for, perform in, or attend an exam, or complete an item of assessment due in the last three weeks of teaching because of illness, injury or other serious circumstances beyond their control. To be granted an aegrotat pass, students need to have done well in enough of their previous course assessments to show they were clearly heading for a pass.

What are '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 situations that the aegrotat process is intended to cover are serious, acute and beyond your control:

  • serious illness or injury
  • bereavement
  • critical personal circumstance involving your health or wellbeing or that of a relative or close friend
  • other exceptional circumstances beyond your control

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

How do I apply for an aegrotat pass?

Once you have discussed your circumstances 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 or 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 (Mauri Ora) for evidence to support your application, leave your completed application form at Mauri Ora after your appointment. They will forward your application form and medical certificate to your faculty (or faculties if relevant) 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 and give you a copy to take to your faculty office as backup. Your faculty will forward a copy to any other faculty if required.

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

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

4. Wait for a decision

Your application will be held by your faculty until your final grades have been released. Then 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 information about your performance in other course assessments. The faculty office will advise you of the outcome by email.

Aegrotat pass applications are usually decided within four weeks of grades being 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.

If the course for which you’ve applied for an aegrotat pass is a prerequisite for another course and you have not received a decision close to when the next course is starting, please contact your faculty for help. You may be able to start the next course (and attend associated tutorials and labs) while the decision is pending.

Frequently asked questions

Students often ask these questions about the aegrotat process. Please talk to your faculty office if you need anything clarified.

When can I apply for an aegrotat pass?

You can apply for an aegrotat pass for an exam or another assessment that is due during the last three teaching weeks of a course or if serious circumstances develop during the exam period. If your assessment is due before the start of this period then you cannot apply for an aegrotat pass. This means:

If your course runs in...Then you can apply for an aegrotat pass during the last three weeks of teaching or the…
Trimester 1Mid-year examination period
Trimester 2End of year examination period
Full yearEnd of year examination period
Trimester 3Summer examination period

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

Can I apply for an aegrotat pass for any course?

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.

How are aegrotat passes approved?

For your application to be approved, the Associate Dean needs to be confident that you have largely met the learning outcomes for your course. They will do this by looking at the assessments you have completed before the final assessment and how well you have done in those. If you have missed much of the course or have done poorly, then your application is likely to be declined as you won’t be able to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes.

This approach helps maintain the University’s high standards by ensuring that only students who complete a course (or show they would have if it had not been for the exceptional circumstances) can achieve a passing grade for it.

Please note that your health provider cannot advise you whether your application will be approved.  They are only responsible for assessing if you are ill, injured or impacted by other serious circumstances to the extent that is reflected in the aegrotat pass policy (see section 9.4.2 (b) of the Assessment Handbook).

If I get an aegrotat pass do I get a regular grade?

No. Aegrotat passes are ungraded, which means that 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, so you won’t need to repeat the course and will be eligible for any courses for which the course was a prerequisite (subject to meeting all other requirements).

Does the severity of my illness or circumstances change the likelihood of me getting an aegrotat pass?

No. You must prove you are impaired to be able to apply for an aegrotat pass but approval of your application depends on being able to show you’ve largely met the learning outcomes for your course.

Should I still sit the exam if I have applied for an aegrotat pass?

If you have applied for an aegrotat pass because you were sick in the days leading up to the exam but feel well enough to attend it on the day, you should sit the exam. Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) can help organise alternative exam facilities to enable you to sit your exams.

How long will it take to get a decision?

Aegrotat processing starts once your final grades are released. Aegrotat applications are usually decided within four weeks of grades being decided. Your faculty will email you as soon as they receive the decision on your application.

What do I do if the course is a prerequisite for another course and I still don’t have a decision on my aegrotat application?

If the course for which you’ve applied for an aegrotat pass is a prerequisite for another course and you have not received a decision close to when the next course is starting, please 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.

What if I apply for an aegrotat pass but pass the course?

If you pass your course, your aegrotat application will not proceed and the passing grade will be recorded on your academic transcript. If you are concerned that the passing grade does not reflect your ability in the course, you can apply to your faculty for a letter explaining that your performance may have been impaired. Your faculty office can advise you how to apply for this letter.

How will an aegrotat pass affect my GPA?

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

Can I appeal the decision if my aegrotat application is declined?

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.

I need further information about this process. Who can I talk to?

Contact your faculty office if you need further information about what to do if you are unwell or impaired in the lead up to or during final assessment and exam time.  They will be able to explain any aspect of the aegrotat process and any other options that may be applicable.

See Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) or another health provider to get help with your impairment and for the supporting evidence you’ll need if you decide to submit an aegrotat application.