Alternative Exam Arrangements - Section contents

Sometimes you need to make alternate arrangements for assignments and exams due to circumstances outside of your control. Below are the resources you need to help you get on with Uni, even with life’s ups and downs.

What is an Alternative Exam Arrangement?

An Alternative Exam Arrangement (AEA) is an adjustment or alteration to the scheduled conditions or format of an examination. AEAs must be approved by the University, must still meet the academic requirements of the subject and course, and are only available if you can demonstrate that circumstances outside your control will adversely affect your performance and/or ability to undertake the scheduled assessment.

AEAs apply to all timed exams, including:

  • End of semester and end of year exams
  • Supplementary and special exams
  • In-class and mid-semester tests
  • Practical exams

Whether AEAs are available to you, or what form they might take, depends on the assessment task and on your situation. AEAs can range from a one-off adjustment for a single circumstance with a short-duration impact, right through to longer-term arrangements for students facing ongoing academic challenges needing equitable adjustments right throughout their study. AEAs are determined on a subject-by-subject basis, and depend on the assessment tasks of the subject. Adjustments for in-class tests, for example, may differ to those for formal exams.

Who is eligible?

Alternative Exam Arrangements (AEAs) may be approved if you are unable to participate effectively in scheduled examinations for reasons outside your control. Students who may be eligible include:

  • Elite athletes or performers
  • Defence reservists
  • Students with ongoing medical or psychological conditions
  • Emergency volunteers

AEAs may also be awarded on compassionate grounds, or for significant religious or cultural reasons. Alternatively, you may have experienced trauma or a sudden, acute illness or injury that makes participating in your normal examination impossible or difficult.

What sort of adjustments can be made?

Arrangements will vary according to individual circumstance. Possible arrangements include:

  • Additional reading and/or writing time
  • Rest breaks
  • Completing examinations on a computer
  • Organising a scribe to write for you
  • Sitting your exam in a different venue or at a different time.

How can I apply?

  1. Read the policy to check if your circumstances are eligible
  2. Contact Student Equity and Disability Support (SEDS)

Applications for an AEA normally need to be accompanied by relevant supporting documents (e.g. a substantiating letter from a health professional or accredited elite extra-curricular body.)

Special Consideration

The University supports students who suffer sudden academic disadvantage. If you are significantly affected by exceptional or extenuating circumstances close to or on the day of your exam, you are encouraged to attend your exam, and apply for Special Consideration within the deadlines via my.unimelb.