I become unwell during exams

Falling ill during the exam period

If you become unwell during exams and need advice contact the Student Services Advice Team

There are a number of options available if you become unwell during the exam period. Expand the sections below for more information.

If you need further advice in relation to your specific circumstances. please contact the Student Services Advice Team by submitting an enquiry or calling +44(0)20 7955 6167.

Fit to sit policy

LSE operates a 'fit to sit' policy, which means that if you enter the exam room or submit an assessment you are declaring yourself well enough to do so.

Seeking medical help

It is important that you register with a doctor as soon as possible. St Philips Medical Centre on campus will allow most students to register with them; please contact them directly to arrange this. Alternatively you can register at a GP closer to where you’re living.

If you are not yet registered with a doctor, or need medical attention sooner than your GP can offer you an appointment, please visit an urgent treatment centre or, for immediate life-threatening emergencies, call 999.

There are a number of support services offered to you within LSE too. All of these services are confidential and free. Staff members are well versed in dealing with a huge range of issues, and we encourage you to make use of them. You can find the full range of services here, along with all the relevant contact details.

You will need to submit supporting evidence with all Deferral or Exceptional Circumstances forms and if you are not registered with a doctor you might find it very difficult to obtain the necessary evidence. It is vital that you register now to avoid problems in the future.

If you think you have a contagious illness

If you are unwell and think you might be suffering from an infectious or contagious illness please seek medical attention, but remain in isolation wherever possible.  In many cases you should avoid going to your local GP or hospital in order to avoid spreading your illness further.  You can instead call your GP or NHS 111 for further advice.  For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, always call 999.

Please do not travel to campus until you are sure that you are not at risk of making others ill. This is especially important at this time of year so that you don’t affect other students’ ability to sit their exams.

If you are due to sit exams but can’t come on to campus due to an infectious or contagious illness please submit an enquiry, or contact the Student Services Centre Advice Team,  who will be able to advise you further, on +44(0)20 7955 6167.  You will not be allowed to sit exams if you have an infectious or contagious illness and all paperwork for deferrals and exceptional circumstances can be completed and submitted remotely if required.

If you are not able to sit your exam

If circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, prevent you from being able to sit an exam, deferring the exam to the next academic year may be the best option. Deferrals can be sought up to the time your exam is scheduled to end on the condition that you have not entered the exam room. Requests to retrospectively defer an exam cannot be considered. 

If you need to request a deferral very close to the time of the exam, it’s important that you make contact with the Student Services Advice Team quickly.

Please visit deferral for more information on how to apply for a deferral and who to contact for more information

If you might be able to sit your exam with some adjustments

If you are experiencing a short term or unexpected medical condition that affects your ability to sit your exams under usual conditions, you may apply for Individual Exam Adjustments (IEAs). Full details of what sort of adjustments can be considered and the application form can be found at Individual Exam Adjustments. You will need to apply via the ‘short term conditions’ route.

The IEA Panel meets each day at 11am during the exam period. We recommend that you submit your request for short term IEAs as far in advance as possible, but no later than 11am on the day before your next exam. If approved the Panel will do all they can to ensure your adjustments are put in place in advance of your next exam, but there is no guarantee that IEA applications submitted close to an exam can be implemented in time. In the event that IEAs are not approved or can’t be put in place in time, you are advised to follow the Exceptional Circumstances process. 

Any queries about IEAs should be directed to this enquiry form.

If you sit your exam(s) but feel your performance may have been affected by illness

If you sit your exam(s) but later feel that your performance may have been affected by illness you can submit Exceptional Circumstances (ECs).

You are advised to submit ECs if you feel that something beyond your control has impacted your academic ability in the lead up to or during the exam season and thus prevented you from performing at your full potential.

ECs can be submitted for any or all impacted exams and other assessments and should be submitted for the current year of study within seven days of your last assessment in that particular assessment period.


There is more information about what to do if things go wrong during your exams in Section 8 of Exam Procedures for Candidates.


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