Reasons and documentation


Special consideration is one of many support services available at La Trobe University.  It is specifically intended to support students who experience serious short-term, adverse and unforeseen circumstances that substantially affects their ability to complete an assessment task to the best of their potential.

Online assessment period

Technical difficulties taking online exams are rare and we understand that sometimes the unexpected does happen.  Here are our recommendations on what you need to do if an unforeseen incident occurs during your exam.

  1. Get a screenshot of
    • the problem/error message
    • the current state of your exam
  2. Contact Student IT Support, they specialise in technical issues and may be able to help you in real-time.  If you're unable to contact Student IT support over the phone, please log a support request online. Ensure that you write down the incident/reference number, you will need this to apply for special consideration.
  3. Email a copy of the current state of your exam to the subject coordinator along with a brief explanation of the problem you are experiencing so they have a reliable record of when the problem occurred. This will allow the subject coordinator to consider a fair outcome.
  4. If you lost time on your exam and/or were unable to access your exam, contact the help desk. We have ways of reviewing your exam sessions to verify your problem and will work with you and your instructor to identify fair options, such as granting a second attempt or extra time to complete your exam.
  5. If your internet connection drops out or your computer shuts down during an online exam, you just need to log back in and reconnect.
  6. If something happens and you're not able to complete your exam, you'll be able to apply for Special Consideration. You can upload a personal declaration as your supporting document with a statement describing the issue, along with any supporting evidence such as screenshots or emails and you need to apply within 5 business days* of the exam.


  • Supporting documentation must be provided and must be official and verifiable.
  • The documents must address the ways the circumstances have affected students, including the timing of the circumstances.
  • Please submit your application within five* business days of the assessment date, even if you are not ready to upload your supporting documentation.  We can hold your application for up to five business days and if supporting documentation is not provided within this timeframe, your application will be cancelled. Please indicate in your application when you expect to be able to supply your supporting documentation.
  • Supporting documentation must be in English. Translated documentation must be translated into English by either NAATI or a La Trobe University staff member.

*temporarily extended timeframe due to COVID-19. Find out more: Special consideration and COVID-19

Examples of acceptable grounds for special consideration and documentation:



Required supporting documentation

Serious illness or injury

  • emergency surgery
  • conditions requiring hospital treatment
  • broken limb impacting on the ability to undertake assessment task
  • exacerbation of a psychological condition
  • La Trobe Medical Impact Statement. A medical certificate will not suffice and your application will be delayed if additional documentation needs to be provided.
  • carer’s certificate
  • hospital admission/discharge summary

Emotional disturbance

  • death of a close family member
  • family or relationship breakdown
  • personal or family hardship as a result of a natural disaster
  • sudden loss of income or employment
  • abuse (e.g. incident of domestic violence, flight from an abusive   situation)
  • emergency travel as a result of major political upheaval in your home country
  • traumatic experience (e.g. witnessing or being involved in a serious accident, witnessing or being a victim of a serious crime
  • obituary, funeral notice (documentation such as birth or marriage certificate or a   statutory declaration to confirm family relationship)
  • letter from psychologist or counsellor
  • letter from employer or notice of unexpected cessation of employment
  • police or incident report


  • transport breakdown causing the student to miss or to be significantly late for an examination or other assessment task
  • police or incident report
  • insurance incident claim

Foreseeable circumstances are not handled via special consideration:

  • Known medical circumstances such as pregnancy (unless there are complications), elective surgery, long-term medical conditions
  • Armed services duty.
  • Jury duty / court appearance.
  • Emergency services employee or volunteer duty.
  • Religious or cultural obligations.
  • Artistic commitments.
  • Exam clash with an exam at another institution.
  • Disability or ongoing medical conditions. If you are registered with Equity and Diversity for support due to an ongoing condition we recommended contacting your disability advisor before submitting a Special Consideration application

Read about alternative arrangements for the above circumstances.

Privacy statement

La Trobe University respects the privacy of your personal information. We collect personal information in order to assess your eligibility for special consideration. Documentation that you provide as part of a special consideration application is strictly confidential and is subject to the protections of relevant privacy laws. Your confidential information is only made available to authorised staff as part of the special consideration process. You may have the right to access the personal information that we hold about you subject to any exemptions in relevant laws, by contacting us at