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If you are unable to sit an examination due to illness or other unavoidable reason you should do the following as soon as possible:

  • Submit a Self Certificate or Absence form.
  • Notify the Examinations Officer ONLY if there is a problem submitting a Self-Certificate - please contact (01334) 464100 if you are unable to submit a self certificate.
  • Contact the School to make arrangements for deferred or alternative assessment.
  • You might also want to discuss the issues affecting you with Student Services.

Take a look at Absence reporting for more information.

It is entirely your choice whether you sit an exam after experiencing difficulties, but there are several things you should be aware of. If you choose not to sit the exam, you will need to provide some evidence as to why you were unable to attend the exam. Deferred assessment is not automatically guaranteed, and you'll need to talk to your School about your options. However, if you choose to sit the exam (especially if the School offer you deferred assessment), it is much more difficult to make allowances for your circumstances at a later date. You should also bear in mind that if you pass a module, you cannot take the module again.

In the event of failure (a grade of between 4 and 6.9), you will be eligible for one reassessment before the end of the session. If you have scored 3.9 or below (and therefore have no right to resit), or if you fail the reassessment, contact your Adviser of Studies and in most cases you will need to be advised into additional modules during the next semester or academic year.

It is normal to be Feeling stressed or anxious about your exams. You could download the exam relaxation track, or contact Student Services for details of upcoming exam help sessions or to make an appointment to speak to an Adviser. You can also book an appointment using our Online Booking System.

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Advice and Support Centre
79 North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 46 2020


Student services

Eden Court
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AS
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 46 2720
Fax:+44 (0)1334 46 4007

Eden Court location map

Tell Us What You Think

We welcome feedback about your experience with Student Services. Whether your experience has been positive or negative we would like to hear about it so we can understand what we did right or where we could have done better. If there are issues with the service that need to be resolved or if you haven’t formed a good rapport with your Adviser/Counsellor we may put you in touch with an alternative member of our team or signpost you to an external source of support (if appropriate). Please share your feedback with Adam Welstead ( or Dr Penny Turnbull ( Assistant Directors of Student Services. Alternatively, you can fill in our Comments and Suggestions online survey.

Please also be aware that the University has Complaints Handling Procedure for formally addressing concerns.

  • Book an Appointment online