Academic consideration

What is student academic consideration?

At the University of Wollongong, we understand that life happens. Academic Consideration can help minimise the impact of short-term events that are beyond your control, and which significantly impact your ability to complete an assessment task, affecting your progress in a subject.

Academic Consideration can be considered for a range of assessment items including exams, assignments, presentations and compulsory attendance/participation.

As part of applying for consideration, you can request what kind of assistance you are seeking from the following:

  • An extension of time to submit an assessment task
  • A deferred assessment task or in session test
  • A deferred end of session exam; or
  • Consideration of compulsory attendance/participation

The Student Academic Consideration Policy provides further information.

Academic Consideration is not intended to be used for managing the impact of disabilities or long-term/ongoing medical conditions (including psychological conditions). Students in these circumstances are supported by the Office of Student Accessibility and Inclusion.

When to apply?

You must apply for Academic Consideration as soon as possible after the issue occurs.

At a minimum you must apply no later than the due date for an assessment task or before sitting an exam.

If you are hospitalised or experience some other unavoidable circumstance which prevents you from applying on time, you should include evidence of this with your application.

If you become unwell or an extenuating circumstance occurs during an exam (which prevents you from completing the exam) you must notify your exam invigilator immediately.

To be eligible for Academic Consideration your circumstances must:

  1. Be beyond your control – not due to your own actions or inactions and;
  2. Be unforeseen – you could not have reasonably foreseen the circumstances and planned for or avoided them and;
  3. Significantly impair your ability to meet the requirements of the subject’s teaching/learning and/or assessment tasks as defined in the Subject Outline.

Examples of eligible circumstances include:



Short-term illness or injury (medical grounds)

  • You come down with a bad flu and are unable to sit your exam.
  • You are hospitalised for 48 hours and cannot work on your essay, so now you need 2 extra days to submit.

Difficult Personal Circumstances

  • You are evacuated from your home due to bushfires or flooding and lose three days in working on your report.

Loss or bereavement

  • A close family member passes away and you need to attend the funeral on the same day as a scheduled in-class test.

An adverse experience

  • You are unexpectedly evicted from your property and cannot submit your essay on the due date due to moving and being without internet.
  • You are the victim of a crime which results in significant distress and lost time to work on your assignment.

Unavoidable commitments

  • You are required to attend an interstate conference for your job which runs at the same time as a compulsory in-class quiz.
  • You are attending your sister’s wedding which is on the same day as a compulsory in-class quiz.
  • You have a specialist medical appointment which you cannot reschedule for a long time, and it is on the same day as a compulsory in-class quiz.
  • You have been selected for Jury Duty over a period where you have compulsory laboratory classes for your subject.

Simultaneous in-session tests

  • You have two final exams scheduled on the same day and time and need to request a deferred exam at a later date for one of them.

Technical issues experienced at the time of assessment

  • You cannot log into your online exam due to a technical issue, and you can provide a screenshot of the error message. You need to resit the exam at a later date.

Military or emergency service

  • You are an SES volunteer and are called to assist with an emergency, resulting in lost time to work on your essay.

Participation in sporting events at state, national or international level with an official sporting body

  • You are a member of a NSW sporting team, and you need to attend an event interstate at the same time your final exams are being held.

In addition to the above, international students will also be considered for Academic Consideration for:

  • Major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country that has impacted your family and requires emergency travel or consular support;
  • Inability to begin a course of study on the start date due to a delay in receiving your Student Visa;
  • Circumstances where your ECOE or Student Visa may need to be extended due to the failure to pass one or more subjects, but where these failures have not resulted in an intervention strategy; or
  • Changes to family circumstances in your home country that have negatively impacted on your ability to pay tuition fees or reasonable personal living expenses.

Examples of ineligible circumstances include:

Academic Consideration will not be considered for common issues which interfere with daily life or are due to your own action or inaction. Some common examples of ineligible circumstances include: 

  • Misreading the course outline
  • Misreading the examination timetable
  • Holidays
  • Professional experience organised by you
  • Academic workload
  • Two or more assessments due on the same date
  • Work commitments (unless unexpected and unavoidable)
  • Submitting the incorrect assessment or exam paper
  • Volunteering commitments
  • Weddings/events that can be expected and anticipated may be considered for assessments that are held in person on the same day but are unlikely to be considered for things like assignments where you can plan for the event.

When to Provide Supporting Documentation

When you apply for Academic Consideration, you have the following options for providing supporting documentation:

I will provide the documentation now

Upload the documentation and submit it right away

I will provide documentation within three working days of the assessable item due date

This will save your application. You must come back to it and attach documentation no later than three working days after the due date of the task.

Supporting documentation not required (first application in session for written assessment, extension not exceeding 3 days)

Choose this option if you are eligible for a self-certified application (see below section for eligibility requirements).

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for self-certification, your application will be declined.

I have been advised via SOLS that I do not require supporting documentation

Only use this option if you have received a SOLS message confirming you are not required to provide documentation for this application.

This option is generally used when an issue is known to have impacted a group of students.

If this option is selected incorrectly, your application will be declined.

What Documentation to Provide

Students should use appropriate supporting documentation for their circumstances, as outlined in Schedule 1 of the updated Academic Consideration Policy. All documentation must clearly outline:

  • The name of the student
  • Date that the document was issued/signed/completed
  • Dates or duration of event/circumstance
  • For medical certificates, the health practitioners details (including Medicare provider number (if applicable), AHPRA/ARCAP registration number, contact details and severity of impact to complete assessment/exam).

Documents will need to be in PDF, JPEG, or JPG format. See online instructions on how to convert a word document into PDF.

Eligible Circumstances

Documentary Evidence Requirements

Short term illness, injury or health related matter (medical grounds)

  • Medical certificate from a *registered health practitioner; or
  • Professional Authority Form (PDF); or Absence from Work Certificate
  • Hospital Medical / Attendance certificate  

*Registered health practitioners include general practitioners, pharmacists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, registered psychologist, social workers and counsellors (for personal or family problems only)  

Difficult Personal Circumstances such as: natural disasters (e.g. fire, floods, earthquakes), housing insecurity, victim of domestic or family violence or abuse, and or family or relationship breakdown, e.g. divorce, separation.

Loss or bereavement

  • Professional Authority Form (PDF); or
  • Death certificate, death notice or funeral pamphlet; or
  • NSW Statutory Declaration Form to accompany secondary evidence. It must be signed in front of a Justice of the Peace or an authorised witness.
  • Formal letter (on official letterhead) from a funeral director confirming the date of the funeral and the relation to the student.
  • International students may submit statutory declarations where they are unable to obtain evidence from their home country.

An adverse experience (witnessing a serious accident, eviction notice or being the victim of a serious crime)

Unavoidable commitments such as:

  • One-off unusual work commitments that cannot be changed
  • Weddings that can be expected and anticipated may be considered for assessments that are held in person on the same day but are unlikely to be considered for assessments such as assignments where students can plan for this event occurring.
  • Significant Religious commitments 
  • Unavoidable medical appointments
  • Legal commitments or jury duty
  • Letter from an employer on an official company letterhead
  • NSW Statutory Declaration Form to accompany secondary evidence. It must be signed in front of a Justice of the Peace or an authorised witness.
  • Letter from a minister of religion (or the like) on an official letterhead confirming the nature and date of your religious commitment.
  • Professional Authority Form (PDF); or
  • Jury notice letter from a relevant authority; or
  • Copy of a summons, subpoena, court order and police reports

Simultaneous in-session tests

UOW subject outline or exam timetable, where assessable tasks are scheduled at the same time

Technical issues experienced at the time of assessment which can be substantiated (interruptions in online exams refer to the instructions within the Online Exams Procedures, Section 11)

Timestamped screenshot or photo evidence and proof of help request.  

Military or emergency services e.g. Active Service, ADF Reserve, SES

Letter from the armed forces or SES on official letterhead

Participation in sporting events at state, national or international level with an official sporting body

Selection confirmation on the letterhead of the state, national or international sporting body.

Using a Statutory Declaration as Evidence

If you will be using a statutory declaration as your supporting documentation, you should be aware of the following:

  • A statutory declaration is normally only accepted where it isn’t reasonable to provide other forms of evidence, or where it is reasonable that you will only be able to provide secondary forms of evidence.
  • Secondary forms of evidence may include things like flight tickets, photographs, receipts or any other form of document which supports your circumstances.
  • Normally, a statutory declaration will require some form of secondary evidence along with it.
  • A statutory declaration will not be accepted as documentary evidence for medical grounds (even when accompanied by secondary evidence).

A statutory declaration will need to be witnessed by a registered Justice of the Peace. You can use the ServiceNSW JP Finder to locate a JP in a location convenient for you.

For declarations made in NSW:  Refer to the NSW Statutory Declaration form. This declaration can only be witnessed by the following: Justice of the Peace, Lawyer, Solicitor, Notary Public, or Commissioner of the court for taking affidavits.


Interstate or International Declarations: Refer to the Commonwealth Statutory Declaration form, and view a list of Authorised witnesses.

You will not need to provide supporting documentation if it is your first application in the session, and you meet the following criteria:

  1. Written task type (eg. report or essay) and;
  2. Extension request of no more than three days and;
  3. Individual task (not group work) and;
  4. You apply at least one day before the due date.

To apply for Academic Consideration, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into SOLS
  2. Select ‘Academic Consideration’ from the left hand menu
  3. Read the information and instructions
  4. When prompted, provide information about:
    1. The subject and assessment tasks you are requesting consideration for (if you aren’t sure of the information, you can check your subject outline).
    2. The nature of assistance (type of consideration) you are seeking (eg. extension of time to submit a task)
    3. Your circumstances
  5. When prompted, choose the category of supporting documentation which applies to you:
    1. Provide documentation now
    2. Provide documentation within 3 working days of the task due date - you will need to return to your application and add document/s no later than 3 working days after the due date
    3. Supporting documentation not required – only choose this if you are eligible to self-certify your application
    4. You have been advised via SOLS that you don’t require supporting documentation – only choose this if you have received a SOLSmail notification waiving documentation requirements
  6. If you are required to provide supporting documentation, when prompted:
    1. Select the document type from the dropdown
    2. Select the document
    3. Read and agree to the terms
    4. Click upload
  7. Read and accept the declaration
  8. Submit your application or save it as a draft to return to it later

Approved applications

Approved Academic Considerations can result in:

  1. An extension of time to submit an assessment task
  2. Permission to undertake a deferred assessment task or in-session test
  3. Permission to undertake a deferred end of session exam
  4. An exemption of compulsory attendance or participation.

Please note, the outcome of your academic consideration application will be sent to your SOLS mail. If you have not received an outcome and it has been more than five (5) working days, please contact the Academic Consideration Support Team via AskUOW for further advice.

Declined applications

Applications for Academic Consideration can only be approved where the circumstances and supporting documentation meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Policy. If your application is not approved, you will receive a SOLS mail with the information on why it was declined.

For information about what you can do if your Academic Consideration application isn't approved, see 'What can I do if my Academic Consideration application is not approved?'

If you would like assistance understanding if you are eligible or would like assistance with the application process, you should:

If you have questions about your studies, require academic support or information about other support services provided by UOW, please contact a Student Support Coordinator.


How long will it take for me to receive an outcome?

Once you have submitted your application and any required supporting documents, you can generally expect to receive an outcome within 3 to 5 business days.


If you have been waiting longer than 5 business days:

  • Check your SOLS and UOWmail to see if you have been contacted for any further information to clarify your request
  • You can contact the AskUOW Team to follow up your application.

What should I do while I’m waiting for a response to my AC?

You should proceed with your studies and working on any assessment tasks to the best of your abilities based on your circumstances.

For example, if you have applied for a three-day extension to submit an essay, you should continue to work on your essay and submit it as soon as you can.

What can I do if my Academic Consideration application is not approved?

See AskUOW Knowledge Base article: What can I do if my Academic Consideration application is not approved?

What should I do if my circumstances are not eligible for AC?


See AskUOW Knowledge Base article: Am I eligible for Academic Consideration?


What should I do if I cannot get appropriate documentation to support my application?

See AskUOW Knowledge Base article: What documents can be submitted as 'supporting documentation' for Academic Consideration?

Why have I been contacted by a Student Support Coordinator?

See AskUOW Knowledge Base article: Why have I been contacted by a Student Support Coordinator about my Academic Consideration application?

I am a part of a group project and another group member’s performance is impacting my ability to complete the task (eg. They are not completing their part of the project). What should I do?

In the first instance, reach out to your Subject Coordinator for advice on the best way forward.

Can I apply for Academic Consideration for Professional Experience?

Yes. If you are unable to attend a mandatory part of professional experience you may apply for AC, provided you meet all other eligibility criteria.

What should I do if I cannot get an appointment with my doctor?


If you cannot get an appointment with your regular doctor, the options for you to consider are:

1. Would a pharmacy certificate suffice for your issue? If so, you can visit a pharmacy to arrange one.

2. Can you visit a walk-in medical centre? Some of these don’t require appointments.

3. Are you able to access a web doctor service? Ensure you are using a reputable provider.

I can’t afford the cost to get an appointment with the GP or pay for a Pharmacy medical certificate. What do I do now?

If you are experiencing financial difficulty which is impacting your ability to seek medical care, please get in touch with Support and Wellbeing

Where can I find a Justice of the Peace?

You can use the ServiceNSW JP Finder to locate a JP in a location convenient for you.

What happens with fraudulent documents?

  • The central Academic Consideration Team will periodically check the legitimacy of documents with the issuer.
  • In submitting documentary evidence for verification, students consent to UOW contacting the issuer of the document/s to confirm their legitimacy. Students consent to the release of information to relevant third parties for the purpose of verifying document legitimacy.
  • If you submit a document which is determined to be fraudulent, this will result in serious misconduct in accordance with the Student Conduct Rules and associated procedures.
  • The matter may also be referred to the State or Federal Police.