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to miss an exam if my sister goes into labour?

(55 Posts)
FedoraTheExplora Tue 26-Jan-16 11:54:34

I have a few exams coming up over the next few weeks (first semester at uni). My sisters also due to give birth to her first DC in the next couple of weeks. I'm her birth partner - she was mine and she was amazing; she is very nervous and hugely focused on the idea that I will help her through.

I know it's unlikely, but if she does go into labour at the same time as one of my exams, what do I do? I've received a first in every assignment so far. Shall I miss it and receive zero, given that first years marks don't 'count', though they may affect the likelihood of me getting a summer placement or similar? Will I be given the opportunity to retake due to extenuating circumstances? When I was pregnant, she told her work they would have to sack her if they didn't let her leave when I was in labour (half in jest but I know she would have stuck to her word if necessary).


antimatter Tue 26-Jan-16 11:55:55

You should be asking those questions of your Uni not MN smile

Hihohoho1 Tue 26-Jan-16 11:56:25

Have you asked your tutors advice?

BanningTheWordNaice Tue 26-Jan-16 11:57:45

You'd have to retake but id be very surprised if that counted as extenuating circumstances so depending on the university the mark would probably be capped. Do you not have a handbook? I had a huge out outlining everything. Or speak to your personal tutor.

BanningTheWordNaice Tue 26-Jan-16 11:58:04


ingeniousidiot Tue 26-Jan-16 11:59:12

What are the consequences if you fail?

And how fast can you write??

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 26-Jan-16 11:59:22

Ask your tutor and be prepared to sit exams in September. All you can do, really. If it does happen, ask your tutor if they'll provide you with a reference over the summer testifying that you're a solid worker and only missed exams for pressing family reasons.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Tue 26-Jan-16 11:59:33

Speak to your tutors, even if they can't make special arrangements they'll have more respect for you for discussing it in advance rather than missing it and then asking them to fix it.

I would expect them to work with you, but if not then as you said the marks don't count towards your degree and you've got a previously excellent grades, I would miss the exam. It's not an event that's going to happen often, unlike your sister giving birth.

FedoraTheExplora Tue 26-Jan-16 12:00:15

No - I guess I just thought it wasn't really worth bothering him with a situation so unlikely so thought I would bother you all instead--grin. It's 4 different days - 2 hours each so realistically it probably won't happen. Just suddenly thought while I was revising and thought I would --procrastinate check with you all. I'll send an email to him now smile

chemenger Tue 26-Jan-16 12:09:28

At my university you would have it returned as an "absent" and have to take a resit. We would not make any special allowance for this, harsh though that might seem. General rules for special circumstances will be in your handbook, every university is different. Not all universities have resits, for example. Definitely ask your tutor.

MillionToOneChances Tue 26-Jan-16 12:14:37

As above, plus make sure you're really on top of your revision so the as-likely issue of it happening in the run-up to an exam doesn't trip you up says the last minute revision queen

MrsGentlyBenevolent Tue 26-Jan-16 12:16:33

Personally, I'd take the hit. It's first year, marks don't count and one resit won't be a black mark against you in the future. Of course, I'd make sure you can resit first, even if you have to take the lowest pass grade for it (as was the case in my uni). It's the last case scenario anyway, but unless it will have a severe impact on your uni/future work, would you actually drop out of being your sister's birthing partner? The best thing to do, of course, is speak to your personal tutor about your options.

theycallmemellojello Tue 26-Jan-16 12:23:54

I think it's a terrible idea to miss the exam if it's going to show on your transcript. If you do have excellent grades then you'll be able to apply for competitive jobs - to which all applicants will have excellent grades, and something marked as a re-sit will stand out. So you need to get this sorted with university management in advance.

Gobbolino6 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:27:53

I'd talk to your tutor. They can be very understanding.

DinosaursRoar Tue 26-Jan-16 12:31:45

Does your sister not have a DP who'll be at the birth as well?

I must say, it's rather selfish of her if she does have someone else to be there for her to ask you to be her birth partner over your exam period without checking if this will be possible for you, and slightly odd you haven't checked before now if you can do this, it's not just if the birth covers your actual exam, if it's an over night birth you might be shattered, if she has any complications, if you are the birth partner, would you be expected to stay with her afterwards?

AnUtterIdiot Tue 26-Jan-16 12:32:39

Have a look at your uni's regulations and student's handbook and find out what the rules on mitigating circumstances and emergency situations are. Speak to your tutor about it. I think you may struggle, to be honest. It will help you if you produce evidence that you are needed (not just wanted) by your sister for this, and that evidence will need to come from her doctor/consultant/midwife. The more medical evidence the better. Also check what the consequences are for not attending an exam as opposed to failing one as they may not be the same.

Your sister was wonderful to take a stand the way that she did for you, but she was in a slightly different position to a university which has to organise exams for thousands of students in roughly the same time frame and can't necessarily make individual allowances the way an employer can.

PotteringAlong Tue 26-Jan-16 12:33:44

You would be bonkers to miss the exam. How likely is it?

Xmasbaby11 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:34:44

It's a definite possibility so you need to talk to your tutor. I would be very reluctant to miss an exam, but if you have promised your sister, you need to have an official plan.

Tiggles Tue 26-Jan-16 12:36:28

In our uni it would show on your transcript as a 0 mark at first attempt, with your second attempt capped at 40%. So I would discuss it with your uni to see if they would even consider it as extenuating circumstances (I doubt it).
Also, bear in mind that in our uni (check your regs) that you have to have attempted every element of assessment in a module to be able to progress to the next academic year so even if you say have an exam worth 50% with an essay worth 50% and have got 80% in the essay so technically reached the pass mark for the module you would still fail the module if you didn't bother doing the exam and have to resit.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:36:35

Oh, YABU. I would not do this (admittedly I don't have a sister, but my best friend would not ask this of me and vice versa).

chemenger Tue 26-Jan-16 12:36:46

Here this would normally be considered "life" and up to you to organise, we really only give special circumstance consideration to things which are completely outside the control of the student. In this case you have made the choice to take this on so you need to find a way to make it work. First year grades may not count towards the final degree but they do count towards things like finding placements and opportunities like exchanges.

FaithLoveandHope Tue 26-Jan-16 12:37:04

I don't know about your particular university policy but fwiw I failed an exam in first year and had to resit and again in second year. I still managed to get a placement year in industry and several people offered me summer placements but as it worked out I couldn't take them up on it because of my year placement. Most places won't actually look at your transcript but do ask for your average mark. Obviously it depends on the place but I certainly don't think it's a definite barrier to you not getting a placement. Honestly though I'd check with the university, have you got a personal tutor? I'm sure theyd be happy to discuss it with you.

PurpleDaisies Tue 26-Jan-16 12:38:23

Missing an exam is a really bad idea unless it's totally unavoidable. Is your dsister's parter not able to be there for the birth?

Revising for a resist when the lectures were ages ago, no one else is doing it and you've got new courses to get your head around will be absolutely no fun at all.

FedoraTheExplora Tue 26-Jan-16 12:48:12

Pretty mixed responses then. I'll wait to hear back from my tutor and pray the baby is late, which first baby's usually are IIRC? Keep your fingers crossed for me, as I am so eager to do well at uni and I go to a rubbish (bottom of league tables) uni so I'm hoping exemplary grades will help me get onto a masters at a better one (and hopefully a scholarship). However my sister means the absolute world to me and I just couldn't not be there for her when she needs me the most. So right now I'm just hoping and praying the baby is nowhere near ready to make his appearance!

DinosaursRoar Tue 26-Jan-16 12:50:32

Another thought OP - assuming you can't take your phone into the exam with you, will you really be out of contact for more like 3 hours for each exam (switching your phone off and putting away before the exam, getting out of the hall always takes forever afterwards and by the time you've got your stuff back and got your phone back on) - plus travel time after that to get to the hospital? If she started with labour at the point you were switching off your phone, you could be 4 hours before you can get to her anyway, she needs a 'plan B' that isn't focussed on you being there for her.

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