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Exam Period: Extensions, Deferrals and ECs

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Exam season can be a very stressful time, and you may be facing difficulties with meeting your deadlines or studying for the exams. If you are struggling with your assessments this year and feel that your circumstances are going to have an impact on your performance, below are some options you might want to consider. You can find more information about the different options on the LSE website.



You might want to seek an extension if you have assessments with upcoming deadlines, and think that you’ll need more time to complete the work due to unforeseen circumstances. Extensions can only be given for coursework assessments, or for take-home exams longer than 24 hours. You will need to request an extension before the deadline (ideally, as soon as you think you will need one). The maximum extension you can be given is 50% of the assessment period concerned (so, for example, if you had two weeks to submit the work, you could get an extension of one additional week at most).

To request an extension, you’ll need to submit an Extension Request Form to your department. In the form, you need to explain your reasons for seeking an extension, and you’ll need to provide evidence to support your claim. This evidence should meet the LSE Standards of Evidence Guidelines.

Remember that all extension requests must be submitted before the deadline! If your request is not accepted, or you submit the request after the deadline, and you submit the work late, LSE will impose late submission penalties on your work.



If you have upcoming exams or deadlines and you don’t think you’ll be able to perform your best, you could consider seeking a deferral to postpone them. This will let you take the exam or submit the assessment at a later date (generally, this means the next exam period for your program).

To apply for a deferral, you’ll need to complete the Deferral Form and attach supporting evidence of your situation. You will need to submit evidence that meets the LSE Standards of Evidence. Make sure that you clearly explain in the form your reasons and how they will impact your ability to take the exam. If you want a deferral based on other reasons, you will still need to submit evidence as well.

After filling out the form, you need to speak with your Academic Mentor and gain approval from your Programme. You can seek a deferral up to the day of your exam, but it is always better to start the process earlier.

If you have a student visa, it’s important to keep in mind that having a deferral in place might alter you visa status. You should speak to the LSE Student Advice and Engagement Team, who will be able to give you detailed guidance and advice.



A key thing to know is that the school operates a “fit to sit” policy, which means that by taking an assessmentor exam, you are declaring yourself fit and able to do so. That’s why it’s important to try to get a deferral or extension if you’re aware of the circumstances before your exam. However, sometimes life gets in the way and this isn’t possible. If you attempt your assessment while unwell and it impacts your work, or you miss the assessment without being able to receive a deferral or extension, you may be able to submit a claim for Exceptional Circumstances. This makes the Exam Board aware of your circumstances and allows them to take it into consideration for your final classification. This application won’t change your individual marks, but it can change your final classification. It can also lift a late submission penalty or discount a failed attempt.

If you decide to submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim, you’ll need to submit the EC form to the Student Services Centre, along with any relevant evidence about your situation. Again, this evidence should meet the LSE Standards of Evidence guidelines. The form should be submitted no later than 7 working days after your final assessment of the academic year, and you will not receive the results of your application until the release of your final results.

If you need further information about any of these applications, feel free to get in touch with the Advice Team!  This is a challenging time, and we are always happy to provide more guidance. You can reach us at: or find us online at LSESU Advice.

Good luck with all your assessments!


Blog written by Gerda Kovacs.

Gerda works as an Advice Assistant at the LSESU Advice Service.



The LSESU Advice Team is based on the 3rd floor of the Saw Swee Hock Building and we provide free, independent and confidential advice to all LSE students on academic and housing matters. We also administer the Hardship Fund, the Childcare Fund and the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF).

Our service is currently operating using a hybrid working pattern. We are still open and can be accessed by emailing You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.