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Illness at exams / postponed exams

If you are ill at the time of the exam or have another valid reason for not taking an exam, your absence can be approved. With an approved reason for absence, you do not use an examination attempt, and you can apply for a postponed examination or an extended submission deadline.

What is valid absence?

Valid reasons for absence must be documented and include the following:

  • If you, or a person for whom you are the primary caretaker, are ill
  • Childbirth
  • Death of a close relative
  • Other substantial reasons outside of your own control

Other substantial reasons outside of your own control may include for instance military service, trials or political representation. High-level sports or cultural events may also be approved.

A student who is pregnant has the right to postpone the exam if the exam date is in the period between three weeks before term and six weeks after birth. The father / co-mother has the right to postpone the exam if the exam date is in the period two weeks after birth.

Nervousness, insomnia, traffic delays, private travel or the like do not entitle you to a postponed exam. Illness during the preparation period for the exam does not normally entitle you to a postponed exam. In the case of illness during the preparation period, you should consider applying for a leave of absence.

What is a postponed exam?

Postponed exams are arranged for students who are ill or have another valid reason for not attending an ordinary exam. With home exams and assignments, you may be granted an extended submission deadline instead of a postponed exam.

The postponed exam is usually held in the same semester as the regular exam or before the teaching starts the next semester. In courses which are offered each semester, students with an approved reason for absence may be directed to the next ordinary examination.

You can usually apply for a postponed exam or a postponed submission deadline at the same time as you apply for a valid absence from the exam.

Some studies have their own regulations:

Do you have symptoms of coronavirus?

You should stay home and get tested when you get symptoms of covid-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Symptoms of the coronavirus can be a fever, coughing, breathing difficulties, headache, lethargy, reduced sense of smell and taste, and muscle pain. A sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and sneezing may also be symptoms in some cases.

You should take a negative test for the coronavirus prior to returning to school or work, If you have substantial symptoms and your general condition is weak, you should stay at home until your general condition has improved and you have not had a fever for 24 hours.

When only mild symptoms are observed - symptoms that disappear after only one day - you can return to school or work.

Read more about testing, symptoms and infection control at


The deadline is three calendar days after the exam. If the deadline expires on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it will be extended to the next working day.

If you apply for a postponed submission deadline for a home exam or for a submission, you must do this before the exam is over.

In the case of serious illness, the faculty may give an exemption from the deadline.


NB! In the spring semester 2022, the following applies to exams that require physical attendance at UiO:

  • If you fall ill and cannot attend an examination that requires physical attendance at UiO, you do not need to attach documentation. This applies to all school exams in Silurveien as well as to other oral and written exams that require physical attendance.
  • If you attend an examination and have to withdraw during the examination, you must present documentation for the withdrawal to be registered as legitimate absence. You must visit a doctor immediately upon leaving the examination venue. A medical certificate must be issued on the day of the examination indicating whether the illness arose during the exam. 
  • Note that for all examinations for courses at the Faculty of Medicine there is no need to attach documentation independent if the exams requires physical attendance or not.

Valid documentation is a doctor's certificate, confirmation of birth / term or equivalent. Medical certificates must have a signature and stamp from the doctor, or a digital signature, to be valid. The medical certificate must show the period and scope of the sick leave, and it must be clear from the certificate that you were ill at the time of the exam. If you have to withdraw during a school exam or a home exam with a duration of less than one day, the medical certificate must also be issued on the exam date.

A positive corona test can also be approved as documentation. You must take a PCR-test, UiO does not approve self tests/rapid tests. At you can select "Show printable page" and download the test answer as a pdf.

You upload the documentation in the web form. If you have documentation on paper, you can scan or take a picture of it. Keep the documentation until you have received an answer to your application.

How do you apply?

Fill in the online form and upload documentation:

For oral exams, you must also give notice directly to the course's contact point. You will find contact information on each course page.

If the absence applies to several exams, you must submit one application per exam.

Please note: The faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has its own regulations concerning registration for postponed exams.

How is the application processed? 

The faculty or department which is responsible for the examination receives your application.

If you receive approved valid absence, you will receive a short feedback by e-mail. You can also see the conclusion in Studentweb under the menu option "Results".

If you do not receive a valid absence, you will receive a short feedback by e-mail with information about what is missing in the application or documentation.

You have the right to appeal the faculty's decisions on valid absence. The Central Appeals Board at UiO is the appeal body in this type of case.


Contact the faculty's information centre.


Published Oct. 12, 2021 12:24 AM - Last modified May 6, 2022 9:00 AM