Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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Exam Deferral Requests

QSAS does not pre-approve exam deferrals or permission to reschedule exams as an accommodation, and this does not appear on a the QSAS Letter of Accommodation.  The episodic, unpredictable nature of some health conditions makes the need for exam deferrals difficult to predict in advance.  Furthermore, QSAS views exam deferrals as a significant academic event, necessitating the careful consideration of each request. 

Occasionally, students with disabilities may experience a flare up of their disability that significantly impacts their ability to participate in any academic activity for a period of time.  This may occur on or around the time of when an exam or test is scheduled.  Students with disabilities who are registered with QSAS and experiencing this situation may request permission to write a missed exam or test on a different date.  

Students seeking an exam deferral because of significant symptoms stemming from a disability for which they are registered with QSAS are NOT required to apply for extenuating circumstance consideration.  QSAS typically has sufficient documentation on file verifying the student's health condition and its episodic nature.  As such, students are not required to provide the university with any additional documentation in support of their exam deferral request.   

Instructors receiving emails from QSAS students requesting an exam deferral, as described below, should NOT direct them to the extenuating circumstances process or a faculty portal.


Students requesting exam deferrals are advised to email their instructor, copying their QSAS advisor.  If the deferral request is for a final exam, students must also copy the Exams Office (  Students failing to give sufficient notice cancelling an accommodated final exam administered by the Exams Office may be charged a no-show fee. 

Students are advised to state the following in their email:

  • Confirm their registration with QSAS and include a copy of their current and valid Letter of Accommodation
  • Confirm that they have copied their QSAS advisor
  • Confirm that they are presently experiencing significant symptoms stemming from the disability or health condition for which they are registered with QSAS.  Student are advised NOT to disclose the nature of their disability
  • Request permission to defer their exam
  • Include the exam specifics such as the course code, date and time for which the exam is scheduled, etc.
  • Refer the instructor to QSAS for questions, especially if further verification is needed in support of their request

QSAS reviews all exam deferral requests and appends them to the student's file.  Advisors will contact the student and the instructor if QSAS does not support the request.  Instructors should assume that QSAS supports the student's request, unless the advisor communicates otherwise. 

In granting deferral requests, the instructor assumes responsibility for scheduling the deferred exam date.  Students are expected to write the deferred exam on dates and times set by the instructor.  Where applicable, the instructor is also responsible for arranging the student's exam accommodations.

Multiple Exam Deferral Requests:  QSAS advisors will connect directly with students who make multiple exam deferral requests, either in the same course or across several.  In these cases, the student may require other accommodations or supports.

Exams Deferrals and Academic Implications

Instructors are required to give each and every request for an exam deferral their positive and careful consideration.  However, QSAS recognizes that the final decision to defer an exam rests with the instructor.  Where a deferral is not academically feasible or appropriate, instructors may deny an exam deferral request.  Where appropriate, they may offer alternative academic options, such as re-weighing remaining deliverables.  Students are encouraged to communicate directly with their instructors about the academic implications associated with an exam deferral.

Extenuating Circumstances

QSAS students who need to defer their exam for reasons other than the disability for which they are registered should use the Extenuating Circumstances process.