Applications made on psychological grounds

Students Exams & Results Applications made on psychological grounds

If you are applying for a deferred exam or special consideration on psychological grounds in relation to an exam, your supporting evidence must include:

  • an original recommendation (or certified copy) on letterhead from a counsellor. The document must include the full name and signature of the counsellor together with contact details of the counsellor or the medical practice. It must also state:
    • The date on which the counsellor examined you
    • The nature, severity and duration of the psychological condition
    • The counsellor's opinion regarding the impact of the psychological condition on your performance/ability to sit an exam on the date concerned, as applicable.
  • In your application form you must draw a connection between the psychological condition and its effect on your performance in/ability to sit each exam covered by your application.

Counsellors in JCU's Counselling Service – and those in private practice as well – are qualified professionals. Any documentation you request will be the expert opinion of the counsellor, based on the evidence provided by you and in light of their professional training/knowledge/experience. Counsellors in the Counselling Service offer counselling help and support for students suffering from a range of personal and psychological disorders that may present as: stress, emotional distress, depression, extreme anxiety, panic attack or in other ways.

Please note the following points:

  • A counsellor may refuse to provide you with a written recommendation in support of your application.

  • A counsellor's recommendation is only a request to the examiner to take relevant psychological factors (emotional distress and/or mental health issues) into account in making a decision about granting special consideration or a deferred exam. The counsellor does not make any decisions regarding your application, but provides written recommendation for the express purpose of assisting academic staff to make an academic judgement.

  • When deciding whether or not to support a student’s case, any or all of the following may be considered: the presenting issue, mental health status including assessment, previous case notes, academic record/performance during semester, documentation provided by the student, and information provided by others.

  • If your distress or mental health is related to a recent unplanned or unexpected event, condition or circumstance, then the counsellor may want to see documentation about this as part of their assessment of you and any ongoing treatment.

  • It is easier for a counsellor to make an assessment and provide support for your application for special consideration or a deferred exam if you have previously visited the counsellor for assistance. If you are a new client, it can be very difficult for the counsellor to recommend special consideration, as they will not have background information and/or knowledge of your situation.

  • The counsellor may, where appropriate, and after discussion with you and an assessment of your situation, provide you with a letter, or complete the relevant section of your application form.

  • JCU counsellors are generally not able to provide a recommendation for an application based on psychological grounds unless you have seen them prior to applying for special consideration or a deferred exam.

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