Missed exams and DEF notations
What to do if you miss a final exam
If you missed a final examination 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.
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 supplemental exam at a future date. After you write the 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 your immediate family
- Assuming unexpected responsibilities of an immediate family member due to serious illness
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 a short-term illness, download and print the Request for Deferred Notation form.
You must visit your medical practitioner or Concordia Health Services on or before the date of the missed exam. The medical certificate must indicate very clearly that you were unable to be present at the specific date of the missed exam.
By submitting this note, be advised that you authorize the university to verify its legitimacy. Tampering, altering or modifying the certificate in any way could lead to charges brought against you under the Code of Rights and Responsibilities and/or the Academic Code of Conduct.
In the event that the clinic or hospital you visit does not have a stamp, the following will be accepted by the Exams Office in combination with your completed Concordia Medical Certificate to authenticate it:
- Doctor’s business card
- Discharge notice from the hospital
- Clinic information written in the stamp box and signed by the doctor
- Other official documentation from the clinic (such as proof of payment, other receipts, etc.)
Fill out the Request for “Deferred” Notation and return it to the Birks Student Service Centre (LB-185) by the deadline and pay the $30 processing fee.
Fall/Winter (6-credits) or Winter
Always submit the request form before the deadline. If you are missing any of the documents to support your request, you may submit them afterwards.
Collect your supporting documents and submit them as soon as possible. If your situation is related to a health matter, you must submit the Concordia medical certificate for deferred notations with your deferral request. Photocopies of the certificate or a doctor’s note will not be accepted.
If you missed your exam for reasons other than health, you must submit as much relevant information as possible. You may need to provide documentation such as a death certificate, obituary, letter from your employer or a police report.
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.
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 if you wrote it while feeling unwell
- 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