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The Student Administration Examinations team advises students regarding examination-related matters and administers Special Consideration, Variation, and Alternative Arrangement applications.

The following general information covers most common enquiries from distance students. For detailed information about these and other matters, see the Examinations webpage.

Keeping in Contact

Important: The primary means of University communications with students about examinations information is through eVision and the student email address allocated by the University. Please note that it is your responsibility to update any change of contact details on eVision.

Email forwarding: Forward your University student email address to the one you use most often, as follows:

  • Log onto eVision
  • Click onto "My Details"
  • Select "Email Forwarding" from the list on the left-hand side
  • Type in the email address you wish to forward to
  • Enter your password
  • Click the <Change Email Forwarding> button

Contact the Student Administration examinations team

You can contact the Student Administration examinations team with any questions you have about distance examinations, or visit their website.

Tel 64 3 479 8237

Examination Periods and Personal Timetables

The University of Otago has three main examination periods:

  • The Summer School examinations run from mid-February
  • Semester One examinations run from early June
  • Semester Two and Full Year examinations run from mid-October to mid-November

The dates for these periods are set two years in advance. Check the Examinations website for specific dates.

Because of the flexible nature of study at the University of Otago, specific examination dates are scheduled and released as follows each year:

  • For Summer School - late January
  • For Semester One papers - mid-late April
  • For Semester Two and Full Year papers - mid-late August

Once scheduled, your individual timetable will be displayed on eVision, giving the date, start time and duration. We will advise you once your particular venue details have been finalised and can be viewed on eVision.

Examination Location

Where practicable, students will sit their examinations at a local centre based on their semester address in eVision. Some students, however, might be required to travel distances of up to an hour’s drive. Supervisors appointed by the University will attend each examination centre.

Please ensure that any change of address is updated in eVision well in advance of your exam date as requests for a late change in your examination centre (because you have moved) will be accepted only if the centre has been booked in advance and at least ten working days’ notice has been given. Please notify  the Student Administration, Exams of any late changes as well.

IMPORTANT: There are no provisions for candidates to sit final examinations at different times or at different places from those scheduled – the examination centre is the nearest University of Otago approved examination venue to your normal semester address in eVision. Changes to the date, time, and/or venue of a candidate’s examination(s) are granted only very rarely, and only in exceptional circumstances clearly beyond the candidate’s control. Examples of such circumstances, and information about applying for a Variation from the Examination Regulations are provided on the Examination Periods and Timetabling website.

Examination Rules

We strongly advise that you become familiar with the University of Otago's Preparing for and sitting examinations webpage.

Alternative Examinations Arrangements for Students with Disabilities

If you have a temporary or permanent impairment, injury or chronic illness and you will have difficulty sitting examinations under conventional circumstances, please contact the Disability Information and Support Office:

Disability Information and Support
Tel 64 3 479 8235

Check the Disability Information and Support website for further information on applying for alternative examinations arrangements, including deadlines.

Absence from Examination

If you remain enrolled in a paper, but do not sit the final examination for it, the marks for all the work you have completed which count towards the final result will be added up, including a zero mark for the final examination. This total will then generate an actual final result — which in most instances will be a “Fail”. If you decide not to sit the examination, you must notify AskOtago, in writing of your withdrawal from the paper(s) concerned. Refer to Key Dates regarding final dates to withdraw with and without the refund of fees.

Special Consideration in Final Examinations

The Special Consideration in Final Examinations provision applies only where it is clearly documented that a candidate has been:

(a) prevented from sitting an examination, or

(b) significantly impaired in their examination performance and/or in their preparation for an examination through illness or other exceptional circumstances beyond their control at the time of, or in the 14 day period immediately prior to, the examination itself.

Appropriate supporting documentation is required to provide evidence of your circumstances.

Special Consideration in Final Examinations does not apply to illness or other circumstances occurring outside of this period.

If you have been affected by illness or other exceptional circumstances during the teaching period, you are expected to have informed your Head of Department directly at the time (not individual lecturers or tutors).


Applications can only be made through eVision and must be made within five calendar days from the date of the last examination for which you are making an application for Special Consideration.

Final Examination Only

In most courses, if you have completed your course work satisfactorily but fail or are unable to sit the examination, you may apply for Final Examination Only enrolment (formerly called Terms Carried Over). This means that you may sit the examination on the next occasion that the paper is offered without attending teaching sessions or submitting assignments. If your application is approved, a fee per paper will be charged, but you will not have to pay tuition fees again. This concession is granted only once for a particular paper, and only for the teaching period in which the paper is next offered.

An application would not be approved if the content of the course is going to be significantly changed when it is next offered.

Results and Recounts

Official results will be available via eVision once confirmed. Please note that candidates must not communicate with examiners in regard to an examination, either in the examination script or otherwise, before confirmed results are released, except through the Manager, Student Administration. To do so is a breach of the University of Otago’s Examination rules.

To apply for a recount, please see the Examinations website. Please note that a recount is not a remark.