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University, baby due just before exams?

(11 Posts)
needsadviceplease Sun 09-Oct-11 12:17:48


I'm new - hope this is the right place to post my question.

I'm just coming up to 12 weeks pregnancy and I'm a 3rd yr student on a part-time (4yr) degree. Going from LMP, my baby is due between 25th April - 10th May. The university exam period is from mid-May through June.

Do you think I will have any leeway to sit my exams a bit earlier or later? I definitely don't want to defer, but I also really don't want to be doing exams before baby's 3 months. Do you think it's likely they'll be understanding? Can't find any policy at all referring to my circs on the website and know I'll have to talk to my course director, but figure it makes sense to be as well-informed as possible before I have that conversation.

Any help, advice etc really gratefully received! Thx.

HillyMcGrew Sun 09-Oct-11 12:34:16

Don't do both! I know you don't want to defer, but you may have to. Your uni will probably leave it up to you to make the final call (mine did) but surely you don't want the added pressure of getting all of your assignments in on time coupled with managing your pregnancy. By the time you enter your final trimester, all you may want to do is sleep, not revise or complete coursework. And how will you cope if you go over your due dates?

Your uni may allow you to take your exams at the end of the summer, when the resits are being run, but check and make sure that yours will not be treated as resits if you get this option. In my uni, students could only get a maximum grade of 40% (a minimum grade pass) if they took a resit, whether they'd turned up to the original exam or not.

Go and talk to your course convenor first. They will have had this sort of thing happen before, and will be best placed to advise you. And good luck!

Jezzabell Sun 09-Oct-11 14:40:28

I work for a university and would advise the following to any of my students. Things may be slightly different in your university so you should speak to your tutor or someone in the administration office/Faculty Registrar who can advise on the regulations for your university.

I would sugest that the student applied for extenuating circumstances (you can find out how to apply through your faculty/tutor) due to you being pregnant. You'll need a doctor's note to confirm this to back up your application. If they validate your claim (which they should do) you can request to take your exams during the resit period, which is usually in the first couple of weeks in September, as a 1st attempt (so the marks are not capped). If you get to this time and feel that you are still unable to take your exams, or are unsure how you will do, you can apply for extenuating circumstances again to repeat the year (either next year or when you feel ready to return) if you either fail the exams or don't do them, you'd need to claim again to ensure any repeats would be as a 1st attempt and not capped.

I must stress that this is how it works in my university and things may be different in yours, but they should have a similar type of system in place. If you don't feel ready to speak to turors yet, you could approach student counselling and ask them what your options are.

Hope this helps. Congratulations on the pregnancy and good luck with everything x

MrsHoarder Sun 09-Oct-11 16:53:30

I'm in the same boat, but I've applied for a year off after the January exams. I didn't want the pressure, the worry about if baby arrived a few weeks early or to have to sit exams on material a year after I'd first learnt it. This also means I'll have 9 months off with baby and then finish my course when I'm free to start job hunting again.

Get a rough idea of what your preference order for doing things is (do exams as september resits, take a year break after semester one or defer from the start of the year) and go and speak to a tutor or person in your department. They will keep it confidential if you ask them to, and its good to know what your options are.

MrsHoarder Sun 09-Oct-11 16:54:43

Note: because we haven't got personal tutors yet, the person I spoke to was the departmental woman in charge of admissions. You just need to find someone who is used to handling university policy.

pandorasbox21 Sun 09-Oct-11 19:38:25

If you can get them to move it forward thats the best option. For my degree I was lucky the way things fell but I was in right up until my due date and didnt have to put anything back at all. I much prefered doing that as it was out of the way then and its easy doing thigs when you are pregnant but more difficult once you have a child imo

Northernlurker Sun 09-Oct-11 19:49:11

My baby (first) was due April 4th. My exams started on April 22nd........when she was a week late I freaked (had thought it would just work out somehow up till then) and went to see the exam tutor. Who promptly said 'Oh we'll just write another paper for you for a few weeks later.' Which they did. All my other exams were a bit later on and most of them were open papers where you work on a paper for a day or two so were ideal for breastfeeding!
If you don't want to do exams till your baby's three months then you'll have to defer I think but tbh I would see how you go, get in some family support, work very hard beforehand so you are well prepared and get it over with. Any exams which clash with birth/immediate aftermath can and will be rescheduled by the university if you ask in good time (ie not the morning of the exam)

Northernlurker Sun 09-Oct-11 19:52:01

BTW - it is not the case that being in the final trimester makes you unable to think. I was proof-reading my dissertation in the delivery suite during dd's induction (finally arrived on 19/04 so good job the exam was moved) and I got a first for it <<boastful emoticon>> You can achieve what you set your mind to doing.

needsadviceplease Tue 11-Oct-11 13:31:36

This is really, really helpful. Seriously, thank you all so much. Massive congratulations to those of you who've pulled it off btw. Thanks again.

likelucklove Tue 11-Oct-11 19:42:24

I know this has been answered but just wanted to let you know your not alone.

My university is incredibly understanding, in my final year of a three year course and am due on 6th March. I have a presentation due in the day before, which has been pushed forward on my request and my dissertation is due in 20th March but they have given me extra help if needed. Most places are really understanding and it is quite normal.

Last ditch, if you know you can't hand in assignments/do exams then, you can try applying extenuating circumstances and provide proof, e.g. thrust the baby in their faces??

If you can carry on, definitely try but do not make yourself ill or stressed. It is easy to defer for a year if necessary, and may be better for your health and your baby's.

Congratulations and good luck!

needsadviceplease Wed 12-Oct-11 11:32:37

Many thanks - that's really reassuring to hear and I'm pleased you've got good arrangements sorted out. Congrats and best of luck with your final year!

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