Missed exams and DEF notations
What to do if you miss a final exam
If you missed a final examination that was scheduled by the exams office due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to write it at a later date. This page explains when you may apply for a deferred exam and how to do it. Deferral applications are only applicable to undergraduate exams that were administered by the exams office.
Be sure to review all the university regulations concerning DEF notations in the undergraduate calendar.
What does a DEF notation mean?
A DEF notation on your transcript indicates that you missed a final examination and have permission to write a deferred exam at a future date. After you write the deferred final exam your final grade in the course will replace the DEF notation on your transcript.
NOTE: Requests for deferred examinations can be made in a maximum of three (3) exam sessions during a student’s undergraduate or Independent studies at Concordia.
You may apply for a DEF notation if you missed a final exam due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control. Unforeseeable and/or extraordinary circumstances may include:
- a serious illness or severe injury
- a recent death in one’s immediate family
- unexpectedly assuming responsibility of an immediate family member due to serious illness
- religious conflict (where alternate exam does not meet the needs)
- not having a private space within which to write an online examination
- responsible for children or other dependents who cannot be left unattended during exam
- lost connectivity or encountered technical difficulty during online exam (without completion of the exam)
Check your transcript when you apply for a DEF notation. If you missed your final exam your grade must be accompanied by a DNW (Did Not Write) notation. We cannot process if you receive one of the following grades:
Be aware that requests for deferred exams can be made in a maximum of three (3) exam sessions during your undergraduate or independent studies at Concordia.
Be sure to review all the university regulations concerning deferred examinations in section 16.3.8 I in the undergraduate calendar.
If you missed your exam due to unforeseeable circumstances, you may apply for an exam deferral online using the following link:
If you are unable to apply online, you may also download and print the Request for Deferred Notation form. You can also pick up the form at the Birks Student Service Centre (LB-185). By submitting a deferral application, you agree to the terms and conditions that are outlined on the deferral request form.
By submitting a deferral application, you agree to the terms and conditions that are outlined on the deferral request form.
All applications must be submitted along with a statement explaining the situation and the reasons for the request.
All statements should be maximum one page long. If you apply for a deferral online, you will find space to submit this statement on the online deferral application form. A member of the Exams Office may be in contact with you to request additional information regarding your application.
Wait for us to process your request. We only begin processing requests as soon as the official examination period is over and your final grade has been recorded. If your request is approved you will receive instruction on when to write the deferred examination.
If your request is denied, you will receive information regarding why, and additional documents can be provided.
While we make every effort to support students in difficult situations, there are limits to what we can do. Unfortunately we cannot:
- Defer a mid-term
- Defer an exam due to personal travel
- Defer an exam that was scheduled by the professor and not the exams office
- Defer an exam if you completed and submitted the exam while feeling unwell
- Defer a graduate final exam
- Process a DEF request for an exam that was written and failed
- Contact your instructor about incorrect grades
- Intervene on your behalf for missing or incomplete assignments