Professors may overlook obvious excuses for missing classes but missing an exam is a completely different matter.
Unless you have a legitimately good excuse, you’d likely lose any second chance to take the exam. Flimsy excuses like you overslept or missed the alarm won’t do you any favors.
Keep in mind that no one likes to be lied to. So, any attempts to outsmart your professor may land you in trouble.
We’ll be providing some excuses most professors and educational institutions would consider acceptable. But it’s advisable to only use these excuses if they genuinely apply to your situation.
Acceptable Reasons For Missing An Exam
So, what excuses would your professor or school accept for missing an examination? Keep in mind that some faculties may not tolerate any excuses except in dire cases.
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If it’s online exams, technical issues is always an understandable excuse. Maybe your computer malfunctioned or you had unstable internet connectivity, your professor or the school is not likely to punish you.
That said, you should alert them of this challenge possible during the timeframe of the examination. They would then attempt to address the issue which takes the blame away from you.
Even if your computer had an issue, we all understand such technical issues and wouldn’t punish you for something you had no control over.
Emergencies happen and you could lose power in your area or home. But you should inform your professor or the school as soon as the power goes off to avoid any problems.
If you live in an area that’s prone to power outages, you should have a backup plan to address this challenge.
Keep in mind that a power outage is only considered a valid excuse if it’s unexpected. If the power outage who previously announced, you’re expected to make adequate preparations to avoid interrupting your examination.
You can get a laptop with a strong battery, or move to a place with power to complete the exams. Most importantly, always alert your professor or the school in the case of an interruption in power.
Online Portal Connection
If for some reason you’re unable to log into the portal, you should quickly alert your professor or the school.
To avoid such issues, most schools recommend that students perform the initial log-in test and camera ID verification before the allotted time for the exams.
Students who notice any issues accessing any parts of the examination portal can then reach out to the professor for the necessary support.
Illness Or Injury
Emergencies happen and sometimes there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. However, this excuse has been abused by students, which makes professors question the authenticity of such claims.
But while professors and schools may doubt such claims, they have no choice but to accept them when they’re backed by evidence.
A doctor’s note for instance is a good way for them to validate any such claims. Keep in mind that the school or professor may contact your doctor to validate any such claims.
Let’s say a brother or sister fell ill and you had to rush them to the hospital or other family emergencies. Even in such cases, you should notify your professor to let them know why you would be missing the class.
They may ask for some form of evidence to validate your excuse, but the exact situation would determine the nature of the evidence they may request.
Conflicting Exam Time
If you have two conflicting exam dates and times, you should quickly alert your professor or the department. Missing one of these conflicting exams may be acceptable in this case, but only if your professor and/or department are aware of the situation.
They may schedule a different time for your exam once you’ve provided proof of the conflicting assessment times, before the start of the exams.
So, it’s advisable to reach out to these parties as soon as you identify the conflict to avoid any issues. Refusal to inform the professor ahead of time may lead to a score of zero on their assessment.
This excuse is considered genuine and students who fall into this scenario typically qualify to request a makeup final examination time from their instructors, so long as they contact professors to register their intent.
If for some reason you’ve been arrested and detained during the exam period, your professor or school may accept your excuse.
That said, this excuse is only viable if you can provide proof of the arrest to the professor, department, and the dean of students.
While you may not be able to inform your professor before or during the exam, you should do so as soon as you’re able to. This shows your commitment to passing the professor’s course.
If your visa is up and you have an appointment for renewal that clashes with an exam, you may be excused for missing the exam.
Keep in mind that this is only justifiable if you can provide proof and also seek the professor’s permission ahead of the exams.
Simply ignoring the exam to renew your visa does not entitle you to a second chance at taking the exam. Always inform the professor ahead of time so they can make any necessary accommodations to benefit you.
If you’re involved in some form of university-sanctioned extra-curricular activity that coincides with an exam, you should provide proof from the body sponsoring the activity.
Keep in mind that your professor should be alerted ahead of the exams so they can make any necessary accommodations.
Religious observances like fasting or holidays are also acceptable reasons for missing an exam. That said, you would need to alert your professor ahead of the event so they can make any necessary accommodations.
Failure to do so does not guarantee a second chance at taking the exam despite having a credible excuse for missing it the first time.
What To Do If You Miss An Exam
Maybe you overslept or you have a genuine reason for missing your exam, what do you do next?
The first step is to reach out to your professor or academic advisor to explain the situation. If your professor already has a procedure in place for such situations, they can direct you on how to make up for the exam.
Don’t be afraid to contact your professor. They were once students like you and understand the challenges students go through. Just make sure your excuses are genuine, as they can identify any attempts at manipulating them.
Simply missing an examination because you overslept won’t cut it. You need a valid reason and proof to back it up. If you were ill or involved in an accident, you should get a doctor’s note or police report.
Students come up with various excuses to beat the system and professors are aware of this. Simply telling them you were sick or had a family emergency isn’t enough.
You need to provide proof of the incident to convince them that your reasons are genuine.
Check School Policies On Make-Up Exams
Depending on the institution, there may be policies for handling such cases. So, you should identify your school’s procedures for make-up exams.
Some schools and professors may allow up to 3 attempts at taking an exam. This means you have a few more chances of trying the exam. Others may require you to make up for the exam by completing an assignment or a different exam at a specified different time.