Policy Student Services Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy

Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy

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To specify the policy relating to Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations.


To provide students with the right to equity and fairness when undertaking the assessment components of their studies through Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations.


This policy applies to all James Cook University students.


Definition of terms used in this policy are as per the Policy Glossary, with the following additions:

In this Policy the following terms have the meanings set against them respectively.

‘Assessment Committee’ – a College or Division committee established to oversee assessment outcomes for a suite of courses and or subjects for the purpose of assuring quality of assessment as per the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy and the Student Results Policy.

‘College’ – a learning and teaching delivery entity within an Academic Division of the University, this may also include other Divisional entities such as Learning, Teaching & Student Engagement, the JCU Pathway College and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre.

‘Deferred Examination’ — an Examination awarded in accordance with the Deferred Examinations Procedure, to a student who has not Sat, or will not Sit, for an Examination in the subject in question on the original date set for the Examination. Results which can be awarded after sitting a Deferred Examination include all results available in the subject.

‘Extenuating Circumstances’ - an unexpected event or circumstance that is outside a student's capacity to prevent or overcome that demonstrably affects their capacity to complete learning and/or assessment tasks, or achieve the level of attainment typical of their previous performance in the subject or course. These could include:

  • medical or psychological conditions or events
  • loss or bereavement – e.g. death of an immediate family member
  • family relationship breakdown
  • hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment resulting in severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
  • relevant obligations to military or jury service or service to emergency services such as the SES

‘Sit/Sat for an examination’ – attend/ed the Examination and was presented with the examination materials

‘Special Consideration’ — an adjustment or accommodation made when marking or moderating an Examination or at an Assessment Committee meeting to take into account that a student’s preparation for an Examination has been, or is being, adversely affected by Extenuating Circumstances.

‘Special Examination’ — an Examination offered to a student in accordance with the Special Consideration, Supplementary and Special Examinations Procedure. Results which can be awarded after sitting a Special Examination include all results available in the subject.

‘Supplementary Examination’ — an Examination offered, in accordance with this procedure, to a student who has failed to satisfy the Assessment Committee that they should be awarded a passing result in the subject in question following the completion of all assessment. The only results for a subject which can be awarded after a student sits for a Supplementary Examination are ‘SP’, ‘SPC’, ‘SS’, ‘N’ or ‘U’.


  1. The policy has been instituted to support students who would under normal circumstances reach their usual demonstrated performance level in a subject but are affected by Extenuating Circumstances.
  2. The policy addresses requests from students who are affected by Extenuating Circumstances during a study period and or a formal examination period. This policy should not be utilised repetitively in order to manage longer-term illness, disabilities or other ongoing circumstances. Students in such circumstances should be encouraged to utilise the University’s internal academic and/or personal support services or seek external support to manager their circumstances in such a way as to enable them to attend and complete scheduled examinations and assessments.
  3. Examination types which may be used for non-routine Examinations are:
    1. Supplementary Examinations;
    2. Deferred Examinations; and
    3. Special Examinations.
  4. Students may only apply for Deferred Examinations and/or Special Consideration.
  5. Appeals
    1. A student may appeal decisions made under this policy or its procedures only in relation to an application made by the student for a Deferred Examination or for Special Consideration. (see Student Review and Appeals Policy)
    2. There is no further right for an internal review of, or appeal from, a decision made under this Policy or its associated Procedures. For clarity, there is no further right of appeal under the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedures.

Related policy instruments

Special Consideration, Supplementary and Special Examinations Procedure

Deferred Examinations Procedure

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy

Policy Glossary

Student Review and Appeals Policy

Student Results Policy


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect


Approval date

Implementation date



18-1 01/11/2018 05/12/2018 Minor amendments to reflect establishment of Student Appeals Policy. Chair of Academic Board




Minor amendment clarifying the definition of Supplementary Examination to be consistent with Student Results Policy

Manager, Student Finance and Examinations




Further minor amendments to align with revised Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Procedure; to address Academic Board (3/16) recommendations and to incorporate changes approved in the establishment of the Student Results Policy approved by Academic Board (2/2017)

Manager Student Finance and Examinations



Not yet implemented

Waiting for procedures before publishing

Approved at Academic Board 20/06/2016 Refer to AB (3/16) minutes for details





Roles amended to reflect organisation re-structure

Policy Officer




Amendments as approved by Academic Board – 30/09/13 – refer to A/B minutes (5/13)







Examination, Supplementary examination, Deferred examination, Special examination, Special consideration