Requesting exam deferrals, MED, and INC notations
Life happens, and sometimes it doesn’t wait for your final exams to be written and your coursework to be completed!
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consider the following academic options if your studies are interrupted.
Deferring a final exam
A deferred exam may be an appropriate academic option if you missed (and did not write) your final exam due to unforeseen exceptional circumstances, such as:
- 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
For final exams taking place remotely due to COVID-19, there are additional acceptable reasons to defer an exam. Personal travel plans are not considered a valid reason for deferral.
Deferring your exam means that instead of writing it during the final exam period for the term the course is held, you would postpone (“defer”) writing your exam to a later date.
Should you defer your final exam?
Deferring an exam may feel like a short-term solution, but there are longer-term factors and implications you should consider carefully before requesting an exam deferral:
- Your scheduled deferred exam could overlap with future plans. If you have arranged to travel or study abroad, or plan to participate in an internship or attend a major event, your deferred exam could conflict with these plans. This means you would have to cancel your plans to be available to write the deferred exam.
- You would write the deferred final exam months after you have completed the course. It may be more difficult to recall course content and you will have to budget more study time to be academically prepared to write the deferred exam.
- You would write your deferred exam either during the deferred exam period or next final exam period, when you will be busy balancing your coursework and preparing for that semester’s final exams. This means you’ll be expected to write your deferred exam on top of your future semester’s course load.
Medical notation (MED)
Students who miss a large part of the term and do not complete a final exam or course assignments due to a long-term medical situation may request a MED notation on their transcript. The MED notation will replace your final grade for the course.
The MED notation indicates that your medical circumstances have been ongoing throughout the semester and have significantly impacted your ability to complete course assignments or your final exam.
Students who are granted MED notations can complete the missing coursework at a later date.
- MED notations for final exams
If you have been granted a MED notation for a missed final exam, you do have the option to later write a replacement exam, which would count for the same weight as the original exam within the course’s assessment scheme.
If you choose not to write the replacement exam, the MED notation will remain on the transcript for that course. There is no impact on your GPA.
- MED notations for course assignments
If you have been granted a MED notation for incomplete course assignments, you do have the option to complete the missing work at a later date.
If you choose not to complete the assignments, the MED notation will remain on the transcript for that course. There is no impact on your GPA.
Students can apply to complete course assignments after the course has ended - we call this "late completion” of a course. By applying for an INC, this means that both you and your course instructor have agreed that you can complete coursework after the deadline.
The INC notation is an option if your course does not have a final exam, and you have not yet completed all of the assignments for a course.
The INC notation will show on your transcript, if your request is approved. It will remain on your record until you have submitted the coursework. After you submit your missing work and your course instructor updates the course grade, the INC notation will be removed. If you do not complete the missing work, the INC remains on your record.
Not sure what to do? You can always consult your course instructor if you have questions about whether an INC notation is appropriate for your situation.