Deferred final exam policy

If you have compelling and verifiable evidence that you are unable to write a final exam at the scheduled time, you must follow this procedure to apply for a deferred exam. 

  • Download the form and fill it in using Adobe (if you fill it out on Chrome, you will have to retype it when you download it). 
  • Complete the fillable Deferred final exam request form (PDF) DO NOT USE OLD FORMS and do not save as read only. Read the instructions on the form carefully and do not leave any sections blank.
    • Please save your form as "ECON ___ LastNameFirstNameStudentID Deferred Exam Request"
  • From your UWaterloo email, email the completed form with scanned supporting documentation to within 2 business days of the missed final exam.
  • If you miss more than one final exam in your economics courses, you must complete a separate request form and repeat this process for each missed exam. You may attach multiple request forms in your email.  The department will not make photocopies or scans of your supporting documentation. This is your responsibility. 
  • You will be notified at your University of Waterloo e-mail address whether your request is approved or denied; it is your responsibility to ensure that your UW email account is working properly.
  • If approved, your instructor will arrange a new date to write the exam.
  • Verification of illness form

If you have missed an online exam, please contact

Deferred final exams

This policy is consistent with the Registrar’s Office Accommodation Due to Illness policy.

Deferrals of final examinations are not automatic upon the presentation of suitable medical verification. We will use this documentation together with other information to determine whether accommodation is warranted.

By university policy, students are required to write their final examinations as scheduled. In extenuating circumstances, students may request a deferred final exam. However, the following are not considered legitimate reasons for requesting a deferred exam:

  • Requesting more time to study
  • Travel arrangements during the final exam period
  • Illnesses that are not supported with proper documentation
  • Misreading the final exam schedule
  • A full or busy final exam schedule (the policy on time conflicts and overlaps is outlined in the Registrar’s Office’s final exam relief information)
* Please note, requests for deferred examinations will not be accepted if any of the following circumstances exist:
  • You have not written any of the midterms for your course or your final exam is worth more than 90% of your course grade
  • You fail to provide supporting documentation explaining why you missed the final exam
  • You missed the Registrar’s Office deadline for final exam relief for a busy/conflicting exam schedule
  • Your deferred final exam request is excessively late

Frequently asked questions

I missed a midterm due to illness; what do I do?

This policy applies to final exams only. Please refer to your course outline or speak to your course instructor about missed midterms.

I missed a final exam due to illness; where do I submit my request?

How long do I have to submit my request?

You have 2 business days after the missed exam to email your request form and provide all completed documentation to

Do I need supporting documentation?

Yes. Attach all required documents to the request form when you email it, including the Verification of Illness form. 

I missed more than one ECON exam; can I submit one form for all of my courses?

No. You must complete a separate form for each missed exam and attach supporting documentation to each form.

I missed an exam in a non-ECON course; what do I do?

The form asks me for my midterm mark(s) in the course, but I never picked up my midterm. What do I do?

You will need to contact your course instructor to obtain the marks.

When and how will I know if my request was approved or denied?

You will likely receive a response within 10 business days, via e-mail to your uWaterloo account.

If I am approved to write a deferred exam, when will I write it?

You should be prepared to write the exam at any given time during the final exam period, or during the next term. Do not assume that you will write the exam at the end of the next term.

My deferral request was approved, but I already made travel plans before deferring my exam; what should I do?

Travel plans are not a legitimate reason for deferring a final exam, or for missing a deferred exam. Students need to be available during the entire final exam period.

My deferral request was approved, can I access LEARN materials from my class?

According to IST policy, access to courses on LEARN is made available to students on the first day of classes. Access to courses from the previous term will be disabled on that day as well. It is the responsibility of students writing deferred final exams to ensure that they save course materials posted on LEARN during the term.

Will I be writing an exam prepared by my own course instructor?

Yes. The deferred exam will be prepared by your course instructor based on the material covered when you took the course.

Updated Spring 2021. This policy has been in effect since Fall 2013.