Guidance for candidates who become unwell

Illness before or during an examination

If you feel unwell you must use your professional judgement to decide whether you are fit to a) turn up to the examination or b) continue to sit the examination after it has begun.

Those who decide to withdraw from an examination due to illness must produce an original medical certificate, or doctor’s letter.

Those who fall ill before an examination:

If you become unwell and know that you will be unable to sit the exam you should contact our examinations team as soon as possible. You should then follow this up by sending an original medical certificate to the exams team.

Part 2 candidates that become unwell less than four weeks before the date of the exam must follow the procedure set out in the Consortium’s Mitigating Circumstances Policy and Procedures which can be found here.

Policies for refunding examination fees are set out in the withdrawal policy here and the refunds policy here.

Those who fall ill on the day of the examination:

If you feel unwell during the examination you should speak immediately with the external examiner or lead internal examiner. They will write a note of all the information given to them and then send this to our exams team (for Part 1) or the consortium exams team (for Part 2). You must make a professional decision as to your fitness to continue with the examination. If you decide that you are too ill to continue with the examination, you must send an original medical certificate to the GDC exams team (Part 1 candidates) or the Consortium Exams Team (Part 2 candidates).

If you decide to continue with the examination, you should be aware that your performance will be judged in exactly the same way as all other candidates. Results will not be adjusted retrospectively regardless of the production of a medical certificate. This is because you made the decision that you were well enough to continue with the examination.

The following will apply if you decide that you are not fit to continue with the examination:

  • If you withdraw from an examination due to illness, you will be required to sit all components of that examination again in one diet.
  • If the component of the examination from which you withdraw is the first component of the examination you have sat, you may not sit subsequent components of the examination at that diet.
  • If you have sat one or more components of the examination prior to withdrawing, the results of the components already completed will be regarded as valid. You will not be permitted to sit any subsequent components of the examination at the current diet.
  • Where the results of completed components indicate that you would have failed the exam (regardless of the outcome of the component from which you withdrew), you will be regarded as having failed the entire exam. You will be required to repeat it on payment of a fee and provided that a further attempt is permissible under the regulations.
  • Where the results of components completed indicate that you may have passed the entire examination (had you completed it), you may enrol for the next available examination diet with no additional fee, provided that you have supplied an acceptable medical certificate and subject to the agreement of our examinations team.
  • You should be aware that grades will not be released until the Board of Examiners have met and all results are published. No information on the consequences for an individual of withdrawal will be available at the time of the examination other than that provided in general terms above.