Dispensation - special needs at exams

If you suffer from dyslexia, a mental or physical functional impairment, you may apply to your Board of Studies for permission to participate in exams on special conditions. You may for instance apply for extra time or for permission to use assistive technology for an exam.

The purpose of allowing special exam conditions is to place students with functional disabilities on equal footing with other students in the exam situation. Special exam conditions do not imply that the level of the exam is changed.

Who can apply?

You can apply for special exam conditions, if you have a functional impairment that has a significant impact on the conduct of your exam.
This could be:

  • Dyslexia
  • Mental impairment
  • Physical functional impairment

You can also apply for special conditions at the exam, if you have a native language other than Danish.

Please note that there may be different practices for awarding special conditions for exams within the different board of studies.

You can contact the student counseller’s office for your degree programme if you would like more information about the practice in your board of studies.

You cannot be granted special conditions at the exam if you are affected by a common transient illness such as e.g. influenza. If you are ill, you must report in sick. You can read more about this in the section on illness at exams.

Requirements for documentation

In order to be granted special conditions at the exam, you must be able to document that your functional impairment has a significant impact on your ability to take the exam on equal terms with your fellow students.

If you have dyslexia and a need for extra time or compensatory IT aids, you can document your needs with a statement from The Special Education Support (SPS) Department, a dyslexics test or the like.

If you have a physical or mental impairment, medical documentation must be available.

It is important that the following is stated in the documentation:

  • What is your diagnosis or symptom patterns?
  • How are you affected by your diagnosis or symptoms in connection with the exam?
  • What is the prognosis for your diagnosis or symptom patterns? Are you expected to improve, and if so, when, or are your symptom patterns permanent? 

It is important to emphasise that documentation is a prerequisite, but not a guarantee that an application for special exam conditions is granted.

In connection with the processing of an application, the Board of Studies will always make a specific, individual assessment of whether the special conditions for the exam are necessary in order to put you on equal footing with your fellow students, and/or whether there are other special conditions than those applied for which the Board of Studies deems relevant. In addition, the board of studies will always consider whether the special exam conditions can be granted without them changing the academic level of the exam.

How to apply?

You apply by logging in to mystudies.au.dk.

  • Find "Self-service systems"
  • Click on "Submit an application to your board of studies"
  • Find "Exemption from the rules in your academic regulations" and click "Apply for exemption" and fill in the application form    

In your application, please state which special conditions you are applying for. This may, for example, be extended exam time and/or dispensation to use compensatory IT aids.

If you wish to apply for an extension of your exam time that exceeds what the board of studies has the practice of allowing, this must be stated in your application. The general practice of the board of studies for the allocation of extra time has been outlined in the section concerning the study board's practice.

If you wish to use compensating IT aids for the exam, it must be stated specifically in your application which IT aids you need to use. This could be e.g. co-spelling and reading programmes, dictaphone, scanner pen or other tools.

Applications for special exam conditions should be submitted in good time before the exam, to be certain that you receive the response before your exam.

  • In general, we encourage you to submit your application in relation to your future exams already at semester start.

The processing time is in general 4-6 weeks. Read more about the processing time by clicking on the page "Exemption", that you will find in the left menu here on your study portal.

Do you have a permanent functional impairment?

Permanent functional impairment
If you have documented a permanent functional impairment, you must only apply for special conditions once. Once you have applied, the board of studies will automatically take the initiative to grant you special conditions for the exam prior to each examination period.

Functional impairment of transient grade
If you have a functional impairment of more transient grade, e.g. discomfort after a concussion or a broken arm, you will as a rule not automatically be assigned special conditions for the exam each semester.

However, if you have documented a functional impairment that is long-term, you may receive an offer of an automatic award for a limited period of time.

It will be stated in the board of Studies ' decision whether you need to apply again, or whether the initiative will come from the board of studies in the future or in a defined period. Therefore, please read your decision carefully and contact the Student Counselling Service if you are in doubt.

Re-application again - The process for automatic allocation
If you have not been offered an automatic award of special exam conditions, you must apply for special terms and conditions prior to each examination period if your need spans several exam periods.

If you have been offered an automatic award of special exam terms, you will each semester receive two letters. The letters will be sent to your e-boks:

  1. First, you will receive an offer outlining which special exam conditions the Board of Studies will award you for your current exams. You will have the opportunity to comment or make objection within a deadline of 14 days.
  2. A decision that applies to your future exams and any re-exams. You will receive the decision after the 14-day deadline, or after you notify the student that you accept the offer.

An automatic awarding of special exam terms and conditions covers all of your exams at Aarhus University, including any credit module and courses on elective study programmes. However, there may be differences in practice in the individual credit module and degree programmes, e.g. in relation to how much extra time is allocated for the exam. If you take part of your degree programme outside Aarhus University, you must apply for special exam conditions at the host University yourself.

General Practice for the Board of Studies for Political Science and Social Science

Physical or mental impairment
The Board of Studies for Political Science and Social Science has a practice of allocating 25 % extra time for exams of up to 24 hours' duration, if there is documented physical or mental impairment, which can justify this. In the case of an exam that spans several days, an additional exam day is awarded as compensation. This does not apply to take-home assignments spanning the semester, but only fixed-term exams.

Danish as a second language
The Board of Studies has the practice of awarding 25% extra time to students with Danish as a second language. This is given on the entire bachelor's degree programme.

The 25% extra time is awarded for time-limited exams in line with the practice described for physical and mental functional impairment.