Throughout the year you may hear the words ‘extenuating circumstances’ or EC’s being mentioned by lecturers, but you’re probably a little thrown as to what they are? EC’s are circumstances beyond your control which can negatively affect your ability to sit an exam or undertake assessments such as coursework or group presentations. Below are some useful information on extenuating circumstances!
What is classed as an Extenuating Circumstance?
According to the QMUL’s Extenuating Circumstance guidelines by the Advice and Counselling service, extenuating circumstances are:
‘Circumstances that are outside a student’s control which may have a negative impact on a student’s ability to undertake or complete any assessment so as to cast doubt on the likely validity of the assessment as a measure of the student’s achievement’.
These are usually defined as personal or health issues, including emotional and mental health. Issues that are not classified as Extenuating Circumstances include: health issues that are within your control, academic workload issues, employment commitments and observance of religious festivals or holy days.
Who do you tell if you have an EC?
You may want to let your lecturer or academic tutor know that you have extenuating circumstances so they can support you and your academic progress. However, the best thing to do would be contacting Eleanor Schreiber (Acting Teaching and Learning Administrator) in the Geography reception as she can explain how the process works of registering and evidencing an EC claim. Eleanor will also, if necessary, make your academic tutors and professors aware of your situation so they can take this into consideration for any future pieces of coursework you do or exams you sit.
What documents do you provide to show proof of an EC?
Medical evidence – this is often in the form of a doctor’s note if you miss a deadline or cannot sit an exam. These can be obtained through an appointment with your GP or a doctor at the Student Health Service on campus. Non-medical evidence can include a copy of a death certificate (for a bereavement) or proof of any incident involving the police, ambulance or fire services. If you have further questions regarding proof of an EC, don’t hesitate to email or ask Eleanor in person at the reception desk – she is very friendly and extremely helpful!
Is Dyslexia an EC?
Yes! If you have submitted work or sat an exam and later on have been diagnosed with dyslexia, you may be able to claim an EC for any pieces of work you have submitted or any exams you have sat during the period of which you were assessed for dyslexia. Your grades may be re-marked in this case, however there is no guarantee that the marks will change. Once you have been notified of having dyslexia, you will get a cover letter for any written piece of work you do, and this allows the assessor to take your dyslexia into consideration when marking.
What to do if you have an EC?
If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance, then don’t worry! It isn’t a scary process, all you need to do is fill in a form stating the reason for you not undertaking your assessments (exams, coursework or group presentations) or under performing in your assessments. Once you have completed the form, you simply hand it over to Eleanor Schreiber (Acting Teaching and Learning Administrator) in the School of Geography reception who will then process the application for you.
Who reviews the EC forms?
The senior tutor (who is Kathryn Yusoff for the first year) reviews all EC claims with a few other members of staff. Regular meetings are held in which the EC panel that reviews EC applications and makes decisions on whether the application should be approved. All EC applications are treated seriously and equally.
Top Advice: If you don’t submit your work by the stated deadline because of an EC, there is the possibility of a late submission penalty – so don’t forget to submit an EC form as soon as possible! It can make a big difference to your grade, as well as keep the lecturer happy!