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Exam tips from the Advice and Counselling Service

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Are you ready for exams? – Some tips from the Advice and Counselling Service

Exams are coming soon. If you have personal or health issues which you think will affect your exam performance, it’s important that you understand the procedures at Queen Mary, and take action as early as possible.

Fit to sit policy

Queen Mary has a fit to sit policy. This means that if you sit an exam, you are declaring yourself fit to do so, and any extenuating circumstances you have cannot usually be taken into account. Read more in our advice guide on extenuating circumstances.

Interrupting your studies

If you have ongoing difficulties, or if you have had problems earlier in the academic year and have not been able to catch up with work you missed, you might feel that you are not able to sit your exams. You should discuss this urgently with an academic staff member and consider an interruption of study. The deadline to submit an interruption of study form is Friday 21 April.

If your academic School approves your interruption of study, you should be able to take your exams as first sits at a later date, after you resume from your interruption.

Home students need to understand how an interruption of study will affect your Student Finance. International students need to understand how an interruption of study will affect your Tier 4 student immigration permission. This is all explained in our advice guides about interrupting your studies:

Home and EU students
International students

Extenuating circumstances

If you are too late to apply for an interruption of study but you are not fit to sit exams, you are advised not to sit. You should discuss this with an academic staff member and submit an extenuating circumstances claim with supporting documentation to your academic School, to explain why you are not fit to sit your exams. There will be a meeting after the exams which will decide whether your extenuating circumstances claim has been approved. If it is approved, you will normally be able to sit your exams as a first attempt in August, or to apply again for extenuating circumstances if you need to defer until May 2018.

For guidance about how to submit an extenuating circumstances claim, and what documents are likely to be accepted as evidence, read our advice guide on extenuating circumstances.

Annie Mitchell, Advocacy and Representation Manager in the Students’ Union, can advise on extenuating circumstances claims.

Registering with a GP

It is advisable to register with a GP before the exams. If you are claiming extenuating circumstances you will need medical evidence, and a GP can normally only provide this if you see them while you are unwell.

If you live in postcodes E1, E2, E3 or E14 you can register with the Student Health Service on campus. If you aren’t registered with the Student Health Service but you are suddenly taken ill immediately before or during an exam, you might be able to see a GP at the Student Health Service as a temporary patient. To find a GP practice to register with in your local area, use the NHS Choices website.

Building emotional resilience

Ordinary feelings of stress and anxiety are a normal part of everyday life, and these can be increased by undertaking exams and academic assignments. Indeed we often need a certain amount of stress to help us perform well. Improving your emotional resilience will help you perform better in your studies and deal with the stress that can come with that. There is information to help you build emotional resilience, on the Advice and Counselling Service website.

The Advice and Counselling Service is running workshops for students who are registered with a Tower Hamlets GP. There are three further workshops in March on managing deadlines, on managing academic stress, and on building your confidence. No booking required. For exact dates, times and locations, please see our website.

Extra support during the exam period

Mile End Library is now open 24 hours a day until Friday 9 June.

The Student’s Union is running some ‘Study Well’ events during April and May, to support you during the exam period. The timetable is on the QMSU website.

Do you need further advice?

The Advice and Counselling Service can help you in relation to your extenuating circumstances if:

  • you would like financial or welfare advice about the issues that have contributed to your extenuating circumstances, such as help applying to hardship funds
  • you would like advice about how a change to your studies (eg taking time out, or re-sitting) will affect your funding entitlement, or immigration status, or other practical issues
  • you would like emotional support about the personal or emotional issues that have contributed to your extenuating circumstances (however, please note that if you need documentation for an extenuating circumstances claim, including for mental health or personal issues, you need to obtain this documentation from your GP as the Advice and Counselling Service is not normally able to provide this).

To speak to a Welfare Adviser or a Counsellor, we have same-day appointments every weekday in term-time, subject to availability. Just turn up to register at 1.30pm. If you would prefer to book an appointment or ask for advice on email you can:

email us via our website 
call us on 020 7882 8717
visit our Reception on the ground floor of the Geography building, Mile End campus.

You can also follow us: 
on Twitter: @QMUL_ACS
on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/pj5TP3

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