Dear Abe,

Last semester I had a really bad bout of gastro just before my exam. I was so sick I couldn’t go to the exam, or go to see the doctor. When I was well enough I went to the doctor, but they would not give me a certificate for the day of the exam, and my Special Consideration application was rejected. What should I do if this happens again in the future?

Too sick for doctors

Dear Too sick for doctors,

Special Consideration applications are ideally accompanied by a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate (PPC), completed on or before the date of the exam, where it indicates that you were “very severely affected” (or totally unable to study) for a period of time that is no more than two weeks, including the day of the assessment.

If you are too sick to go to the doctor on the day of the assessment, you could call for a home doctor service. This will allow you to get a PPC on the day of the assessment. PPC’s that are backdated are only possible from a doctor who has been treating you in the past for that same condition. The University website says you can use a Statutory Declaration, but the SRC’s experience is that if this is the only document you present, it is likely that your application will be rejected. If your illness will affect you for longer than two weeks, it may be more helpful for you to register with Disability Services at the University. If you have any questions you can contact an SRC caseworker by emailing


Check out the SRC Guides to Special Consideration: