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Petitions in the Faculty of Arts and Science: A Guide for Students

Appendix: Rules & Protocol for Deferred Examinations

  1. Mailing Address
  2. Special or Regular Deferred Examinations
  3. Standing Deferred Notation (SDF)
  4. SDF & Academic Status
  5. Deferred Examination Fee
  6. Registering for Deferred Examinations
  7. Deadline to Register for Deferred Examinations
  8. Notice of Cancellation Due to Non-payment of Fee
  9. Scheduling of Deferred Examinations
  10. Contacting the Deferred Examinations Office
  11. Notice of Date, Time & Location
  12. Type & Content of Examinations
  13. Clients of Accessibility Services
  14. Further Registration with SDF Standing
  15. Pre-requisite Courses with SDF Standing
  16. Prohibitions to Further Registration
  17. Missed Deferred Examinations
  18. Outside Centre Examinations & Deferred Examinations
  19. No Re-Writes
  20. Illness during an Examination

1. Mailing Address: The petition decision will be mailed to the address that you have indicated on your petition form or letter. It is very important that you provide accurate, up-to-date contact information. Note: the Petitions system is not automatically updated by address changes you make on ROSI (for security reasons), so you must tell your registrar’s office if you change your address and have a petition in progress.

2. Special or Regular Deferred Examinations: If your petition is granted, you will be informed of the examination period during which you will be offered a Deferred Examination. You may be advised to write a “special” examination that your instructor will prepare to be written during a future Final Examination Period. Alternatively, you may be permitted to write the regular examination for the course that will be offered in the next academic session. If you will be writing a regular examination you will be urged to audit the course to prepare yourself for the new examination because the instructor may be different and the content of the new course may also be somewhat different. If you cannot audit the course, you are advised to obtain at least the course outline to inform yourself about the material that might appear on the Final Examination for the course.

3. Standing Deferred Notation (SDF): If granted permission to write a Deferred Examination, the Faculty will replace the grade reported by the department with a notation of ‘SDF’ (Standing Deferred). The course will not be included in the calculation of your GPA on your academic record on ROSI until the examination is written and a final grade calculated. Likewise, your “standing” for the session will not reflect this course. (See also #8 and #17 below.)

4. SDF& Academic Status: If you have been granted an SDF, your status and course enrolment in the subsequent session could be affected. You are warned to consider your performance in the course(s) through the session and to estimate your final grade and standing. If you are performing poorly, you could be placed On Academic Probation or even Suspended on the completion of both the Deferred Examination and the subsequent course(s).

5. Deferred Examination Fee: There is a $70.00 fee per Deferred Examination, with a $140.00 maximum charge for a session.

6. Registering for Deferred Examinations: If you have been granted a Deferred Examination, you must register for the Deferred Examination by paying the fee, and by completing and submitting the registration form that will be sent with the petition decision in order to provide us with your the most recent contact information. It is important that you provide accurate and current contact information so that the Deferred Examinations Office can inform you by mail of the exact date, time and location of the deferred examination(s) you will be writing. You will be assigned a seat if you are writing a special examination.

7. Deadline to Register for Deferred Examinations: You must read your petition decision carefully and completely. It contains essential information about the timing of the Deferred Examination and about the deadline for the payment of the Deferred Examination fee. You are urged to pay the fee immediately if you intend to write the examination. Do not wait until the deadline to pay the fee, as past experience shows that students forget about the deadline and are very upset when they receive notice of the cancellation of their Deferred Examination.

If you are having financial difficulties and cannot pay the fee by the deadline, you may contact the Deferred Examinations office to indicate your intent to write a Deferred Examination, to provide proper contact information and to make arrangements for a deferral of the fee. Note, however, that you will not be given your final grade until the fee has been paid.

8. Notice of Cancellation Due to Non-payment of Fee: If the fee is not received by the deadline stipulated, the Deferred Examinations Office will send you a notice of cancellation, informing you that your opportunity to write a Deferred Examination has been cancelled and that you will not be given a further chance to write the examination. The Faculty Records office will reinstate to your academic record on ROSI the grade that the department had originally submitted, which included a “0” for the Final Examination. The Faculty Records office will then recalculate your GPA and will notify you of your new GPA and Standing.

Please note that a great deal of administrative work is involved in preparing for Deferred Examinations on short notice. It is therefore very important that the Deferred Examinations Office receive a record of your intent early so they can do all the necessary work expeditiously.

9. Scheduling of Deferred Examinations: Note that the scheduling (and seating) for Deferred Examinations can only be completed after the regular examination scheduling has been finished, as the Examinations and Deferred Examinations offices try to avoid conflicts in scheduling between your regular examinations and special examinations. For this reason you will be only notified of the exact details of Deferred Examinations between one and two weeks (depending on the session) after the regular examination schedule has been posted or at least seven working days before the examination date. If your petition or your payment has been accepted recently, you cannot expect to receive the minimum notice. The petition decision will specify when this information will be sent to you.

10. Contacting the Deferred Examinations Office: Adjustments to the Deferred Examination schedule will not be made. For very special situations (e.g., due to academic conflicts), a student should contact the Deferred Examinations Office immediately at with a full explanation of the problem. Supporting documentation will be required if further consideration is to be given. Under some circumstances a student may need to file a further petition.

11. Notice of Date, Time & Location: If you have not received notification of the date, time and location of your Deferred Examination within one week of the Final Examination Period, you are urged to contact the Deferred Examinations Assistant at to confirm your examination dates. If you have moved residence or know that mail does not always reach you, please be proactive and make enquiries. Our ability to contact you depends on the accuracy of the information you give us.

12. Type & Content of Examinations: Special Deferred Examinations are prepared by the instructor(s) of the course you have taken and should be similar in structure and content to the regular examination you were unable to write. You should be able to prepare again for such an examination, just as you would have done for the examination that you missed. If you have questions about the examination, you must contact your instructor/department. Please do not contact the Deferred Examinations Assistant, who cannot help you in this matter.

13. Clients of Accessibility Services: If you are a client with Accessibility Services, you are responsible for informing that office of your Deferred Examination arrangements by the necessary deadlines. The deadlines are necessary for the representatives of that office to make appropriate arrangements for your examinations. (See “Deferred Exams.”) You must contact the Test and Examination Co-ordinator at 416 978-8357 as soon as you receive notification of the date and time of your deferred examination.

14. Further Registration with SDF Standing: You will not be granted late withdrawal without academic penalty from a course once you have requested and have been granted a Deferred Examination. You are urged to use judgement in registering for courses in the next session. This is especially the case in the short and intense summer session, or if you have deferred more than one examination, or if you have ongoing health, personal or financial issues. As a general rule, you are strongly urged to complete your outstanding work from the previous session before you commit yourself to new responsibilities. Far too many students find themselves in serious academic jeopardy by attempting to proceed too optimistically, only to be disappointed when they see the course outcomes and find themselves in academic jeopardy. Please seek counselling with your college registrar’s office.

15. Pre-requisite Courses with SDF Standing: If you have a Deferred Examination in a pre-requisite course, the department requiring the pre-requisite has the discretion to allow you to proceed in the subsequent course. You should not assume such discretion has been granted. Generally, if you are able to demonstrate that you were passing the course with 60% or better, you have a reasonable case to request an exception.

16. Prohibitions to Further Registration: If your CGPA is below 1.50 at the end of the session in which you have been granted Standing Deferred in a course, you will not be permitted to enrol in further courses until your Deferred Examination is resolved, i.e., until you have written the exam and your Sessional GPA and status including the incomplete course have been assessed. If your petition is granted and you have a course with Standing Deferred, and if your CGPA is less than 1.50, you will be removed from subsequent courses and your tuition refunded. If you have a case for being allowed to enrol, you must petition for permission.

17. Missed Deferred Examinations: If you miss a Deferred Exam and want a further Deferral, you must petition for this through your college registrar’s office. These requests are not easily granted. Immediately after the Final Examination Period, the Faculty Records Office will reinstate to your academic record on ROSI the original grade reported by the department. If a request for a further extension is granted, you may be permitted to write a Deferred Examination at the next sitting; however, the “SDF” will not be reinstated to your academic record. Instead, the original grade will remain until updated after you write the examination. You will be charged a further fee for each subsequent Deferred Examination. You will not be permitted to enrol in courses in further sessions until all courses that are incomplete have been resolved, even if your CGPA is above 1.50. Please contact your college registrar’s office for further information.

18. Outside Centre Examinations & Deferred Examinations: If you have good reasons for being unable to sit an examination on campus (SGC), you must petition through your college registrar’s office to be granted permission to write your examination at an Outside Centre. You will be required to provide proof of your situation. If your request can be accommodated, you will write the examination at the same time as originally scheduled under the supervision of staff at another university, college or educational institution. There is a fee of $30.00 to be paid to the Faculty of Arts and Science (in addition to the deferred Examination fee). You will also be responsible for any additional charges and costs assessed by the hosting institution.

You should initiate your petition for an Outside Centre Examination at your college registrar’s office as soon as you know that you will not be in Toronto, but no later than 3 weeks before the beginning of the Final Examination Period. Such requests cannot always be accommodated, and adequate time is required during the busy preparations for the Examination Period.

19. No Re-Writes: If you decide to write an examination and it does not go well, you may not petition for a “re-write,” i.e., another opportunity to write the examination. Post hoc arguments claiming an inability to function at full potential or to demonstrate full knowledge of the subject matter will not be accepted as grounds for consideration of a petition concerning performance on an examination. Furthermore, if you choose to write an examination against medical advice, you should do so knowing that you will not be given consideration after the examination has been written. Your reasons for needing the course as a pre-requisite or to enable you to graduate sooner will not be accepted as grounds for proceeding with an examination against medical advice. Students must not only take responsibility for making appropriate decisions about their fitness to attend examinations, but also must accept the outcome of their choices.

20. Illness during an Examination: If you become ill at an examination, you must notify the Chief Presiding Officer immediately, sign the Anomaly Form and leave the examination. You cannot do this at the end of the examination. The CPO will ask you to sign a form and submit all examination materials. The examination will not be graded. You may then petition through your college registrar’s office to “re-write” the examination. The Faculty identifies this type of request as a ‘re-write’ because you have seen the examination and may have even written parts of it. You must immediately seek medical attention and provide the University of Toronto Student Medical Certificate to support your petition. You will then be treated under the same guidelines as students who apply for a Deferred Examination.

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