Final Exam Petitions

New Changes

Verification of Illness

U of T Engineering requires documentation when submitting a petition, including the Verification of Illness form for medically related absences.

Missed Exam due to Illness

If you are sick or you are experiencing other extenuating circumstances that you feel will severely affect your performance on a final exam, you may submit a final exam petition with documentation. The UAC will review each petition case individually and will decide if consideration is granted. At their discretion, the UAC may grant an assessed mark if there is sufficient closely supervised term work or a deferred exam if deemed most appropriate. Deferred exams are normally scheduled during early September for a missed Winter Term exam. See further information on the potential outcomes. 

Sometimes, things do not go as planned. A petition, which is submitted through the Engineering Portal, is your formal request for an exception to a Faculty or University rule, regulation or deadline.

While the information below is considered informal and unofficial, you are encouraged to review it if you are unfamiliar with petitions. Official information can be found in the Academic Regulations chapter of the Academic Calendar. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

What is a Petition?

A petition is your formal request for an exception to a Faculty or University rule, regulation or deadline. The University of Toronto acknowledges that students sometimes encounter unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances that can severely interfere with their ability to fulfill their academic obligations.

Through the petition process, you may seek a resolution for the academic consequences that may have resulted from extenuating circumstances. However, you are expected to make every effort to complete term work and final examinations. Petitions that arise from a failure to prioritize academic responsibilities or carelessness will not be granted.

Some examples of reasons you may consider submitting a petition:

  • Severe personal illness
  • Illness or death of a close family member
  • Personal or family crisis
  • Other extenuating circumstances

Final Examinations

Petitions that concern final examinations should be submitted within seven days of your last examination. Please note that deferred examinations and re-writes for courses in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering are not standard practice. If a petition is approved, the Undergraduate Assessment Committee will likely assign an assessed mark based on closely supervised term work as compared to the closely supervised term work the rest of the class in relation to their final examination performance.

A final examination petition cannot offer you exemption from writing an examination. If you have a legitimate examination conflict (see the Office of the Registrar for a definition) you may be offered an opportunity to write the examination. No exemptions will be given for personal or travel reasons.

Final examination petitions should be submitted through the Engineering Portal. Decisions regarding petitions, once decided, will appear in the Portal.

Final Examination Petition Deadlines

The deadline to submit a petition and the accompanying documentation for a final examination is seven days after your Engineering final examination.

Academic and Personal Advising

If you are having difficulty with a course, you are encouraged to speak with your professor or instructor. However, if your difficulties continue, or if they are out of the scope of what your professor can assist with, please consult with your Academic Advisor.

You should not hesitate to speak with an Advisor to obtain clarification on any rules or regulations in the Academic Calendar. An Advisor can refer you to special services that may assist you with academic, personal or financial difficulties. Students in their first year of studies should contact their first-year Advisor; all other students should contact the academic advisor in their respective departments. Consultations with Advisors are confidential. You are encouraged to contact your Advisor at the first sign of a problem that could potentially affect your studies.

Weighing the Potential Costs and Benefits of Submitting a Petition

When making a decision about your final examinations because of medical or personal difficulties, consider the following:

  • How well you feel at the time of the examination(s)
  • Whether or not you can obtain official documentation that confirms your severe illness or circumstance
  • How prepared you feel at the end of the session versus attempting to retain the knowledge for a possible later examination date

It's important to remember that the petition process is intended to assist students who are experiencing a severe illness or set of circumstances. Minor illnesses, such as a cold, are not considered severe enough to require accommodation.

Non-Engineering Course Exam Petitions

If you wish to petition for an Arts & Science final exam, you should consult the U of T Engineering’s Office of the Registrar immediately. You must submit your petition and all supporting documentation within seven days of your last exam. All petitions go through your registered Faculty (Engineering). For more information, please visit the Guide to Taking Arts & Science Courses.

Petition and Appeal Documentation

Official Supporting Documentation Requirements

If you are submitting a petition or an appeal, you must submit official supporting documentation to support your case. The official documentation is both a formal Faculty requirement and a necessary tool that assists the Faculty in making a decision. Your official supporting documentation must outline your situation and the dates you were affected. Strong documentation typically equals a stronger petition or appeal case.

Types of Documentation

The supporting documentation you need to attach to your petition or appeal must be relevant to your situation. For example, if you were in a traffic accident, you should submit a police accident report; if someone in your family passed away, you must submit a copy of the death certificate or funeral notice.


The most common piece of supporting documentation that the Faculty receives is the U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form.*

A doctor's note, which simply states that the "student cannot write" is insufficient. The Verification of Student Illness or Injury form asks specific questions the Faculty needs to be answered to gain a better understanding of the severity of your illness. If possible, please have your doctor complete the form at the time of your visit. A verification that indicates the doctor was told of your illness after the fact is typically insufficient.

Please note the successful submission of a completed U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury Form does not necessarily mean the Undergraduate Assessment Committee will provide accommodation. The Committee takes the severity, duration and date of the illness into consideration when making a decision regarding a petition.

*See note at top of the page.

Potential Petition Outcomes

If your final exam petition is granted, the Undergraduate Assessment Committee (UAC) may grant you one of the following accommodations to calculate your final grade or standing. 

Assessed Mark

If a student did not write the examination, an assessed mark may be granted. Assessed marks are granted only if there is sufficient closely supervised term work (e.g., midterms, in-person tests, etc.), if the student has not received multiple assessed marks in the past and if the assessed mark does not result in academic suspension. Courses that require the final exam to be completed and/or passed, as per the course syllabus, may not be eligible for an assessed mark. An assessed mark may be calculated according to a faculty-approved formula that considers your closely supervised term work and the class average on term work and the examination. If the examination was written under difficult circumstances, UAC will review the petition and consider all factors. However, in most circumstances, students who petition a final exam completed in its entirety will receive their earned grade. 

Deferred Examination (SDF)

Deferred examinations (SDFs) are the standard accommodation for Arts & Science, UTM and UTSC examinations. In Engineering courses, a deferred examination may be granted in cases where a petition is deemed valid by the UAC, but an assessed grade is not suitable, such as due to insufficient term work or the student has received multiple assessed grades in the past. SDFs are not typically granted to students who attempted their originally scheduled examination. 

Deferred Examination Scheduling

Under most circumstances, the deferred examination periods are during the Winter Term Reading Week for missed exams from the Fall Term or in early September* for missed exams from the Winter Term. You are expected to be available between 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during these periods, including weekends. You are strongly recommended to not make any travel plans until you receive a petition decision in case you are granted an SDF. Travel plans should be made to accommodate this schedule.  

Deferred examinations may be offered at the next offering of the course. This includes the summer exam period for courses offered during the Summer Session. Students granted a deferred exam at the next offer are strongly recommended to audit the course and will be required to follow the course materials, exam and calculator type. You will be responsible for following the exam schedule when available.  

If you are granted a deferred examination, the Registrar's Office will notify you with specific details about the time and location of the examination. Every effort will be made to provide you with at least three weeks' notice. Your academic record will then be updated from “Did Not Write – DNW" to “Deferred Examination – SDF.” The course instructor will be notified of the deferred exam and will draft a new examination.  

*Consideration will be given to graduating students. Earlier exams may be offered for graduating students.  

Pre-requisite Courses with SDF Standing

If you have an SDF in a pre-requisite course, you must immediately seek the permission of your department to continue in the subsequent course while your standing is incomplete. If you miss or fail the deferred exam, you will be immediately removed from any courses for which it was a pre-requisite 

Aegrotat Standing (AEG)

Aegrotat standing (AEG) is granted in very rare cases based on a review of the student’s term work and the reason for the petition. On approval of a student's petition, the UAC may grant aegrotat standing, which carries credit for the course, but is not considered for averaging purposes. Aegrotat standing is a substitute for assigning an assessed mark; it is considered when three or more final examinations were missed or extraordinarily impacted, and the student was clearly passing the course. 

Special Consideration Petitions

Students who have experienced significant disruptions to their entire term may wish to submit a special considerations petition.  


While the Undergraduate Assessment Committee is mindful of your requests for a specific accommodation, the request is granted or denied on the appropriateness of standard practice.


If your petition is denied, you have thirty days to submit an official appeal to the Faculty. Typically, an appeal will include additional information that was not submitted with the original petition.

Frequently Asked Questions About Petitions

What documentation do I need for a petition?

Any documentation that can verify the facts of your case. Medical documentation will only be accepted on the U of T Verification of Student Illness or Injury form (formerly the U of T Medical Certificate). If you are seeing a physician, please download and print the form for your doctor to complete. If you did not have your doctor complete the form on your original visit, please return it and have the doctor complete it.

Other documentation may also be relevant depending on the situation. The more "professional" the individual providing the documentation, the stronger your case will be. Someone unrelated to you and bound by professional standards of ethics is in a better position to provide formal documentation than a relative or friend. If you have any questions about what might be useful, consult the Office of the Registrar.

Why can’t I appear in person to argue my own case?

The Faculty reviews hundreds of petitions a year. The Undergraduate Assessment Committee uses written materials to consider petitions in order to expedite the process and to create a record of activities. If the Academic Appeals Board requests a hearing for your appeal, you will be asked to appear to answer questions about your case.

How long does it take to get a decision?

Even with the large number of petition requests the Faculty receives each session, most are dealt with promptly. The simplest petitions, such as those for missed exams that are accompanied by appropriate documentation, are answered almost immediately. Others take a little longer, but the vast majority of petitions are answered in a very timely way. The Faculty makes a firm endeavour to deal with all petitions within 90 days of receiving the petition and all documentation from the student. If a response seems to be taking a long time, you can follow up with the Office of the Registrar.

Should I wait to view my final marks before submitting a final exam petition?

No. A stronger petition is submitted before viewing final marks as it shows evidence the petition is based on circumstances or impairments and not an undesired result.

How will I receive notice that my petition request has been decided?

Decisions for petitions for special consideration and final examinations will appear on the Engineering Portal. You will receive an email advising that a decision has been rendered. If you have difficulties navigating the Engineering Portal please visit the Office of the Registrar.

I've received a petition decision but I don't understand what it means. Who can help?

Petition decisions will state if an accommodation was offered. If you require additional information about your petition circumstances, please see your undergraduate academic advisor. For help understanding remedies and petition procedures, please see the Office of the Registrar.

Will the Undergraduate Assessment Committee "give me more marks?"

There is no approved accommodation that awards higher final marks. If the Undergraduate Assessment Committee grants an assessed mark, your final mark may change according to an assessed mark formula. All other final exam remedies involve non-grade symbols. While the Committee invites you to state the desired outcome for your petition and takes your request under consideration, it grants remedies based on the appropriateness and standard practice.

I just received "official" final marks but I have a final examination petition pending. Does this mean my petition was denied?

No. Petitions are reviewed after marks become "official." Unless you receive a petition decision, consider your petition still under review.