UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

Deferred Examinations

 3.4.1 Deferred assessments (General Rule 13.6) 

3.4.1.1 A deferred assessment is one awarded in terms of the rules by the Dean or his/her duly appointed agent, on application, to a student who, by reason of illness, religious scruples or some other good and sufficient cause, has either failed to attend or complete his/her assessment(s), or who would suffer hardship to an exceptional degree if compelled to complete his/her assessment(s) at the normal time. 

3.4.1.2 A deferred assessment should take the same format as the original assessment and, in the case of a final assessment where one exists the deferred final assessment should take the same format as the final assessment and should bear the same relationship to the course/year mark as did that final assessment. 

3.4.1.3 A deferred assessment will be awarded under the following conditions: 

a) Illness

i) A candidate who is unable to take an assessment because of illness may be granted a deferred assessment if he/she produces a doctor's certificate, Such certificates may be referred to Campus Health and Wellness Centre for verification if deemed necessary the student may be referred to a Health Professional at the Campus Health and Wellness Centre for evaluation. Furthermore, certificates obtained by professionals who may be family members or friends and which may constitute a conflict of interest, will not be accepted by the University.

ii) If a candidate applies for deferment on the grounds of illness suffered before an assessment, although he or she may have recovered by the date of the assessment, the medical certificate must describe the nature and degree of disability which interrupted the candidate's preparation for the assessment.

iii) A candidate who falls ill during an assessment must report immediately to the chief or senior invigilator who will arrange for him or her to be accompanied to the Campus Health and Wellness Centre (CHWC). If he/she is unable to complete the assessment a deferred assessment may be granted to the candidate if he or she satisfies the conditions set out above.

iv) Save as provided in Rule G.13.7 and 3.4.3.1 it will not avail a candidate who presents himself or herself for an assessment and takes it when ill, to produce a doctor's certificate after having taken the assessment.

v) In cases where acute assessment anxiety produces illness, a deferred assessment may be granted on the first occasion that this occurs, but the candidate must be informed that unless he or she undertakes the course of treatment offered or recommended by the Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU), no further such deferments will be granted.

b) Religious grounds

A candidate who objects to taking an assessment on a holy day of his/her particular faith should submit a letter of support for his/her application for a deferred assessment from the religious leader of that faith.

c) Sporting or cultural commitments

A candidate may be granted a deferred assessment if he/she has been selected to participate in a sporting, cultural or similar event, as a formal representative of the University, province or country, or in a capacity considered equivalent by the Head of School. The Head of School will consider, inter alia, whether the timing of such an event would constitute a serious impediment, either to the candidate's presence at the assessment, and/or to the candidate's preparation for the assessment.

d) Other grounds

i) An application for a deferred assessment on grounds other than those listed above will be considered on its merits.

ii) Save in exceptional circumstances, nothing can be done for a candidate who misreads the assessment timetable.

3.4.2.4 An application for a deferred assessment (form obtainable from the relevant Faculty Office) must, except in exceptional circumstances, be completed and returned to that office within three days of the date on which the assessment was due to be taken.

3.4.2.5 A medical certificate other than that included with the application form and which is completed by CHWC should not (unless circumstances are exceptional) be accepted. If the respective Faculty Office is unsure whether or not to accept an alternative medical certificate, the matter should be referred to the head of CHWC who may decide to contact the medical practitioner concerned.

3.4.2.6 The Dean or his/her duly appointed agent , in considering an application for deferment, should take into account inter alia, the academic record of the applicant and the history of any previous applications for deferred assessments. If a pattern of deferment requests is observed, which may give concern, this must be investigated  by the Faculty Registrar. If no legitimate reasons are discovered, then students may be refused any further deferments.

3.4.2.7 If the applicant's record shows that he or she was previously granted a deferment and failed to present him or herself for the deferred assessment, and also failed to provide an explanation acceptable to Senate for his or her absence, then that applicant may not be granted a deferment on any future occasion.

3.4.3.1 This rule allows for the re-assessment of a student who has taken an assessment in a qualifying course and who has, before provisional, unconfirmed or final results are published, applied for or been granted permission to re-take that assessment because illness or his/her mental state at the time prevented him/her from bringing his/her judgement property to bear on whether to apply for a deferred assessment.

3.4.1.5 A student who does not present himself or herself for a deferred assessment shall not be permitted to have the assessment further deferred unless there are in the opinion of the Senate exceptional grounds for permitting the student to do so.