Uni stress and assessments: combatting the unexpected

Kim Saberton put together a quick guide to making an Adverse Circumstances application.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.32.01 pm

Sometimes life is really great at throwing you a curve ball… right when you’ve got three essays, a major project and exams to prepare for!

The simple fact is, sometimes life happens and it affects the delicate work – study balance. The University is completely understanding that sometimes these things just happen and, really, at some point they happen to everyone!

This is exactly why we thought it might be good to do a quick run through of what to do when things go a little pear-shaped and your assessment due dates are piling up around you.

1. Tell someone what is going on
I don’t just mean your bestie or your neighbour. If something has happened and you don’t think you’re going to be able to make an assessment deadline, or you feel like your exam preparation is being seriously disturbed, your tutor and course coordinator are your first port of call. If they know what’s going on they’ll be able to assist you, give advice and realise that your absent mindedness isn’t laziness or a lack of dedication to the class. Another great idea if you find you’ve missed lectures or classes is to share what is going on with a classmate and even organise to share some notes or have a group study session.

2. Get your documentation sorted
It’s important in making an Adverse Circumstance application that you present some sort of documentation to authenticate what has happened and how it is affecting your performance. This is most commonly a doctor’s certificate if you’ve been sick or had on ongoing illness. If you have suffered stress, hardship, anxiety or trauma, a letter from a counsellor is an acceptable document. It’s also important that your documentation is either an original or a certified copy, and that it has the contact details of your medical practitioner in case the University needs to make contact with them. Full details regarding documentation can be found here.

3. Make an Adverse Circumstance application
The application process is really quite easy and takes you through everything you need to do, step by step. Log in to MyUON and you will find a link which will take you straight to the Adverse Circumstance application portal. Here you will be asked to confirm your contact details and give information regarding your circumstances and whether you will require an extension of time for assessments, or the rescheduling of an exam time. You will also need to detail what supporting documentation you’ll be submitting with your application, and provide it to one of the hubs within three days of submitting the application.

4. Wait 
It may take a day or so, but you will receive an email confirming whether or not your application has been successful and what the granted extension of time or rescheduled date of your assessment will now be. It’s also very important to ensure you remain contactable and check your emails regularly during this time so that you’re up-to-date if any further changes or arrangements need to be made.

If you find that you’re suffering from assessment stress or anxiety at this hectic time of year, or have had something more serious happen that is affecting your studies, the University provides a fantastic counselling team on campus. To book an appointment or find out about clinic times, click here.

Most importantly – breathe in and out. Life can throw curve balls, but it doesn’t mean you can’t smash them out of the ballpark!

Image: David Crespo Nieto