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Deferred Exams

Deferred examinations may be granted in limited circumstances and for legitimate, documentable reasons only, such as:

  • Scheduling conflict with another exam (please give a minimum of 10 business days notice to ensure deferral is granted).
  • Serious and incapacitating illness.
  • Religious reasons (fill out the request form).
  • Extraordinary personal or family circumstances (e.g. death in the family).

To be considered for deferred exam privileges, students must submit a petition as described below.

The following are not considered legitimate reasons for requesting a deferred exam:

  • Appealing for more study time.
  • Travel arrangements or vacation plans during the final exam period.
  • Illnesses that are not incapacitating and/or not supported with proper documentation.

Deferred Midterms

Note: Not all course instructors allow deferments.

The information on this page does not apply to midterm tests. Policies on deferring midterms may differ by course, program, department or faculty. Contact your instructor for details. Some instructors, programs, departments and faculties do not allow any deferral of midterms at all.

Deferred Final Exams

Final exams are a mandatory part of most courses. Students are expected to write the final exam for a course as scheduled by the Examinations Office. The majority of students complete a degree without ever deferring a final exam.

If you are unavailable to write the exam at the scheduled time due to documented extenuating circumstances or if you miss a final exam for legitimate reasons, you must appeal for deferred examination privileges.

All appeals for deferred exams must be directed to the petitions committee in the faculty in which the course is offered rather than the one in which you are registered. If you are unsure of the faculty in which the course is offered, contact Academic Advising. Be sure to see if faculty offering the course in question has additional faculty-specific information on exam deferrals.

Scheduling Conflicts

Petitions Based on Extenuating Circumstances

If you are unable to write an examination as scheduled for reasons other than a scheduling conflict as detailed above, or if you miss your exam for an unavoidable reason, you may appeal to the petitions committee in the faculty that offers the course. In some cases this may mean petitioning a faculty headquartered on a campus other than your home campus.

Supporting documents must be original (copies are not accepted), come from an official source, and be specific to the date of the missed exam. All documentation is subject to confirmation. Any falsification or fabrication of documentation will be addressed through academic misconduct procedures.

Required Documentation for Petitions

What Happens if a Deferral is Granted?

Most students will write deferred exams during the next regularly scheduled deferred exam period. Typically, this takes place in the last week of the month following the originally scheduled exam. For example, if you successfully petition to defer a fall term exam scheduled for December, you will write your exam in the last week of January unless otherwise instructed. A grade of "DEF" will be assigned until the examination is written. See the academic calendar for more details.

Students who require their final grade sooner to meet prerequisite, progression, or graduation requirements may, time permitting, be able to write a deferred exam during a faculty-designated period commonly referred to as a "slip day." Slip day exams are typically held during or soon after the regularly scheduled examination period.

A non-refundable deferred examination fee applies in most circumstances. The fee effective as of Sept. 1, 2015, is $60. This fee is subject to change without notice. Please note that deferrals on the grounds of religious observance may be exempt from the deferral fee.

In exceptional circumstances, students may be eligible to be exempted from writing the final examination in a course. This is known as aegrotat standing. For more information, refer to the policy section on aegrotat standing in the academic calendar.

Students Registered with the Accessible Learning Centre

If you are registered with the Accessible Learning Centre (ALC) and entitled to exam accommodations, you should schedule exams by following the ALC's procedures as detailed on exam accommodation and schedules.

Exam conflicts resulting from accommodations (i.e. exam spacing or overlaps in exam times) are handled directly by the ALC consultants. Students are required to notify their consultants of exam conflicts by exam booking deadlines. Petitions are not normally required. Lazaridis School of Business and Economics students, however, may be required to submit a petition. Check with the Lazaridis School petitions coordinator for details.

ALC students requiring a deferral are to follow the same procedure detailed on this page. If your deferral has been approved, refer to the ALC's accessing accommodations for deferred exams.


Multi-Faculty Forms

Faculty-Specific Forms and Information