A Guide to obtaining Special Consideration and Extensions
The information here is valid for Monash students as of August 2018*
Applying for academic special consideration and/or extensions can be a daunting experience. You may question whether you deserve one, or whether its too late to apply for one. Rest assured that we have all been there, and you do not need to put yourself down. We can't predict when something in our life will collapse, be it our mental health or anything else we desperately rely on to get us through the university.
This page will provide a guide to the Monash 'Special Consideration' and Extension process, and some advice from some seasoned students who have gone through it multiple times.
Applying for a Short Extension
If you only need a short extension, you may apply for an extension of 2 days pass the original due date. If this is for a Law unit, you must fill out an Application Form and submit it to your chief examiner. This process will be different depending on the faculty in charge of the unit. As this is only a 2 day extension, it will be a relatively easy process, but if you need longer, you will need to apply for 'Special Consideration'.
What is Special Consideration?
As a Monash student, assessment (assignments, tests and exams) are used to demonstrate what you have learnt in the law units you are studying. However, no one can predict when something in your life will be turned on its head, and if this happens, you may be eligible for Special Consideration.
If Monash accepts your circumstances are 'exceptional' enough, you may be given a long extension on the assessment, a different piece of assessment or a deferred exam.
How to Apply
The application process is different depending on what type of assessment you wish to receive Special Consideration for.
In-Semester Task: fill out the online application form, and attach your supporting documents.
End of Semester Exam: use this link to access the online application process. You will need to log into your WES and navigate to 'Deferred Exam Applications' under the heading 'Course Progression'.
End of Semester Task: fill out this application form, and attach your supporting documents.
The relevant supporting documents cannot be signed by a family member, and can include any one or combination of the following:
Medical certificate, letter from a medical professional
Letter from a social worker, lawyer, psychologist
Death notice or certificate and evidence of relationship
Statutory declarations from students or relevant people
Juries Commissioner's Office
Emergency service organisations such as the Country Fire Authority
Monash Sport's elite athlete support program.
How to submit a Successful Application
The first course of action for you is to try and make sure you don't need to apply for Special Consideration in the first place. This means being pro-active with your mental health and/or any other extra-curricular commitments, hard as this might be! Give our mental health section a visit if you want to see some tips on how to do this. Try to pay attention to how you are feeling during the semester. Are you getting more and more anxious with each passing week? If so, slow yourself down and be introspective and self-conscious about your mental health. Its certainly not the end of the world if you do badly in a piece of assessment, it happens all the time :)
2. Early as Possible
Obviously you cannot predict and prevent everything that life might throw at you, but when you submit your application, a general rule to try and do so as early as possible. 1 - 2 weeks before the due date is a good time to aim for.
As this will often not be possible (as anxiety and mental illness normally spikes in the days leading up to the assessment), try to set up an appointment with your GP or psychologist on a date 2 - 3 days before the date of every major assessment. This will ensure that if you are feeling horrible, you can get a signed supporting document very easily. Keep in mind that a psychologist will usually only issue a signed document after you have had at least 3 visits. The deadline for applications is normally 2 days after the original due date, so anticipating this in advance can be a good strategy.
4. Supporting Documents
When you do ask for a medical certificate or document from your GP/Psychologist, make sure that you emphasise you are unwell for the date of the assessment. This is incredibly important especially if you are asking for a deferred exam!
5. Success and Retrospection
If you succeed, take a deep breath and be calm. You are not worth less than anyone else who did not apply for one. Take time to validate yourself and look back on why this happened. If it was something that could have been prevented, don't beat yourself up about it, but ask how you could have done something different to ensure you won't need to go through such a stressful process again. If it was something unavoidable, take time to process what happened and look forward into the future. Monash tends to be understanding with genuine applications for help and no one wants to see you fail and/or drop out of your degree. Never be afraid to ask for help!
More help and advice
If you need any questions answered about special consideration or extensions, you can always use ask.monash. Keep in mind that the wait period for an answered question is around 2 - 3 business days.
If you feel like you have been unfairly treated by Monash, or wish to seek some help with the application process, you can always contact one of the student advocacy organisations independent from the university.
They are available to give you free assistance in relation to:
academic progress concerns and early warning letters
special consideration or alternative assessment applications
exam rights and responsibilities
referring you to services within or external to Monash.
For students at Caulfield, Parkville and Peninsula campuses Phone: 9903 2596
For students at Clayton campus Phone: 9905 3118 or 9905 3126
For graduate students on all campuses Phone: 9905 3197 or 9903 1880
Christian Lane (Co-founder)