General news and announcements

apple for the teacher?
before the exams: deferring and withdrawing....
by Janet Prescott - Wednesday, 30 May 2018, 12:22 PM
as the RHS exams are getting closer,
  • some of you will find that circumstances beyond your control mean you can't sit the exams you have entered: you may have an important work meeting you aren't allowed to postpone, the sale of your house may finally be agreed and you move that day...
  • some of you may have problems, illness and and unexpected personal crises to cope with
  • some of you may find that your plans to study regularly have been derailed by work, life etc and you don't feel ready to take exams.
The RHS does set out some guidance on when it is possible to defer exams (without loss of exam fees):

In exceptional circumstances the RHS will consider allowing a candidate to defer their examination entry to the next examination session only, with no additional fees payable to the RHS.

Exceptional circumstances include (this list is representative and not exhaustive):

  • Close family or friend bereavement
  • Illness to close family or friend that requires the candidate to act as carer
  • Candidate incapacitation due to illness or injury
  • Court summons or Jury Service
  • Visa refusal (if travelling for examinations from outside the EU)

Except in the case of bereavement, supporting evidence will normally be required. We accept that in certain circumstances the candidate may not be able to supply the supporting evidence at the time of the application, if this is the case the application to defer should be made as soon as possible and should be followed up with the supporting evidence when it is available.

It is the responsibility of the centre to register the candidate for the unit(s) that they have deferred from for the next examination session. Please be aware that if any candidates defer for the examination but do not register for the next session, they will lose their money and will have to pay the examination fee for future registrations.

 This may seem quite harsh but is in fact an improvement - a year or so ago we were asked to get a candidate to provide a death certificate for a member of his family to support his deferral.

If you have what you consider are similarly important grounds for deferral, we will contact the RHS for you - or ask your exam centre to do so if you are taking exams locally.

If the problem is logistical, like a holiday booking or work shifts not being adjustable, I'm afraid that withdrawal and re-booking for the next exam session will be the only answer.

If you are worrying that you aren't as prepared as you wanted to be, well yes, you could withdraw and re-book the exams, and if you are a perfectionist who will be really upset by a poor exam result then please don't put yourself through unnecessary stress if another few months will give you time to do yourself justice: there is no time limit with the RHS on achieving your Certificates.

Otherwise, why not just give it a go, even if you don't feel completely ready?  When you pass your certificates they don't come with an endorsement 'unit 2 at the second attempt', it's the final pass that is recorded. Treat it as a mock, the best preparation you can have for a real exam, do your best  - and you might just pass it anyway. A surprising number of candidates who arrive at exam sessions saying 'I've only prepared for the first two, I won't stay for the other unit' find they know more than they thought if they sit the paper.  It's better than going home, then looking at the exam paper online the next day and thinking...'I could have done that' !!