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What you need to know about assessments

Assessments come in many shapes and forms, including assignments, tests, pracs, laboratory reports, and exams. These are the assessable components of your course.

There are strict guidelines on submissions, especially due dates. Students can be penalised for submitting an assessment after the due date. If you are having issues with an assessment, Student Assist is here to explain the options available.
Student Assist can provide advice on:

  • Assessment Task Appeal – students can appeal against the mark you received for an assessment completed during semester

  • Final Result Appeal – students can appeal against the overall unit mark shown on your transcript once the semester is complete

  • Application for Assessment Extension – students can request to defer/ extend an assessment submission deadline because of exceptional circumstances

Assessment Appeal 

Sometimes you receive an assessment or final result back and you may feel that it does not reflect your hard work or the marking criteria.  If this is the case and you are unhappy with a university decision, the University’s Student Charter provides you with the right to have your objection heard fairly, and within a reasonable time.
There are two types of appeals

  • Assessment Task Appeal (for an assessment mark completed during study period). 

  • Final Result Appeal (for the overall unit mark shown on your transcript once the study period is complete).

 The information below applies to both types of appeals.

Informal Appeal 

We strongly encourage you to raise your concern with your unit coordinator if you have evidence that the mark or result awarded for an assessment task is inaccurate in the first instance. If this is unsuccessful, you can progress to a formal appeal.
Please note: Following the informal process may not be possible at times when staff are away on leave or failed attempts to contact them are not followed up, we encourage you to progress to the formal appeal stage and later attach documentation to show attempts at contacting academic staff as well as indicate this on the Formal Appeal Against Assessment form. 

Formal Appeal

If you are unsuccessful with the Informal appeal, and you wish to continue to appeal the decision, your next step is to submit a formal appeal. Students wishing to submit a formal appeal to the Head of School (or authorised officer) will need to do so within 10 working days of the date the mark for the assessment task was notified to the student. You will need to download Formal Appeal Against Assessment Form 

Grounds for Appeal 

Student can appeal the an individual assessment task or the final mark for a unit if there is evidence that the mark or grade received is inaccurate. Inaccurate assessment is the only criterion for a review or for an appeal. 

Process of the Appeal

The appeal will be determined within 10 working days of it being received by the Head of School (or authorised officer). 

The decision of the Head of School (or authorised officer) is final.

Notification to the Student

Once a decision has been made on the appeal by the Head of School (or authorised officer), the student will be advised of the outcome immediately and in any case, no later than 3 working days from the date of the decision.

It is the responsibility of the Head of School (or authorised officer), to ensure the student is advised in writing of the outcome of the appeal and the reasons for the decision. 

The decision of the Head of School (or authorised officer), is final.

The Assessment Appeals policy is located in Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual. The policy outlines the process you must follow if you want to appeal against any formal assessment.


Assessment Extension 

Sometimes you may become aware that you might have difficulties submitting an assessment on time due to circumstances beyond your control. In this instance, as soon you are aware of these difficulties, it is best to apply for an Assessment Extension.  This process enables you to request to have your assessment task due date changed to after the original submission date.

Application for Assessment Extension

The application for Assessment Extension is a formal process in which you submit your application to your Unit Coordinator demonstrating that there are unexpected circumstances outside of your control that will prevent you from submitting your assessment at the set deadline.

You can find the application form at: 

Please note: Student will have to complete and submit one application form for each separate assessment tasks.

Grounds for Application for Assessment Extension 

In order to apply for an Assessment Extension you must be able to provide supporting documentation proving circumstances beyond your control, which may include:

  • Student illness, injury or medical condition of such significance that completion of the assessment task by the original date/time or due date/time is not possible

  • Family issues (for example, family injury, illness or bereavement etc.)

  • Documentation may include:

    • A medical certificate or signed statement from a medical practitioner registered by the relevant National Medical Board (http://www.medicalboard.gov.au)

    • A letter of support from the Counselling and Disability Services may also be included where relevant.

Statements signed only by a pharmacist are unacceptable.

  • Commitments to participate in elite sport or other activities that warrant favourable consideration

  • Commitment to assist with emergency service activities (for example bushfire protection)

  • Unavoidable and unexpected work commitments (for example relocation, change to fly-in fly-out shift work)

 For more detailed information, please refer to Curtin's Assessment and Student Progression Manual.


An application for Assessment Extensions must be submitted to the Unit Coordinator before the assessment submission deadline. In unexpected circumstances, an application may be accepted up to five working days after this at the discretion of the decision maker, where the student is able to provide a verifiable explanation.

Approval for an Assessment Extension will only be given where the decision maker is satisfied that the reason a student was not able to complete an assessment task was due to exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control. The existence of exceptional circumstances does not in itself mean that an application for Assessment Extension will be approved.
When an application for Assessment Extension is determined, the student is notified of the outcome via the Official Communication Channel under normal circumstances within ten working days. If it is not possible to determine the outcome of the application within this normal timeframe, the student will be notified of reasons for the delay and the expected date they will be advised of the outcome

Should your application for Assessment Extension be approved, you are advised not to commit to any other arrangements that will prevent you from completing the assessment task(s). If you fail to complete the deferred assessment at the specified time, you will not be allowed another extension, unless this was due to unexpected circumstances beyond your control.

Generally an extension will be for up to seven working days after the initial due date/time unless the exceptional circumstances or CAP warrants a longer delay.

If you can demonstrate ongoing or further unexpected circumstances, you can be granted additional extension. If the circumstances are different than those described in the original application for Assessment Extension, you must complete a new Assessment Extension application form.

When an Application for Assessment Extension is not granted

If your application for Assessment Extension is unsuccessful, you have the option to appeal to the Head of School within five working days of being told you were unsuccessful. The Head of School should inform you of their decision within ten working days of the outcome.

When appealing an extension outcome to the Head of School, that decision is final. The PVC will only determine an appeal where the Head of School has previously been involved in the determination.
For clarification about  the grounds of appeal and to review your draft appeal letter, come and speak to Student Assist.  


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