Special Consideration Policy

We are often asked if CAPS provides letters for students allowing them to get extensions on papers and defer their exams. The answer is that counsellors do write Letters of Support for students, but only within certain parameters. A student who has been involved in counselling prior to exams or deadlines may receive a letter from a counsellor outlining the circumstances that have contributed to their academic difficulties. While there are exceptions, letters are not normally written after the fact (i.e. a request for a letter after a deadline has been missed) if the counsellor has no prior knowledge of the circumstances leading up to the difficulty.

Whatever the case may be, letters from Counselling do not relieve students of their academic responsibilities. It is professors and deans who make decisions regarding course requirements and grades. The purpose of a Letter of Support is to assist professors and deans in understanding the psychological and emotional factors that may have interfered with a student's ability to complete assignments or prepare for exams.

CAPS recommends that you visit the University of Sydney's webpage on Special Consideration for assistance in determining whether you meet the University's requirements.

In instances where a qualified health practitioner cannot support your claim, you may benefit from submitting a Statutory Declaration signed by a Justice of the Peace as documentation supporting your application. Submitting a Statutory Declaration form is something you may wish to discuss with your CAPS Counsellor.