Compensation for disadvantages

Legal basis:

§§ 13, 14, 15 of the Examination Procedure Regulations (PVO) 2019 (.pdf)

§§ 8, 8a, 8b of the Examination Procedure Regulations (PVO) 1998 (.pdf)

In the case of longer-term health problems such as chronic illnesses or disabilities, which prevent an examination being taken as planned, the Chairperson of the relevant Examination Board has the authority to adjust the work times, deadlines and other examination conditions, to compensate for health-related disadvantages. Based on the principle of equality/equal treatment, the university attempts to find a form of examination, and/or to create appropriate circumstances (e.g. Extensions to writing times, suitable room, etc.), to compensate for the disadvantages due to health problems. However, there should not be "overcompensation", and therefore the modified examination must be an equivalent substitute which tests the same learning objectives.

For students in special circumstances (pregnancy, nursing, raising children, caring for relatives), as well as for top athletes, there is also the possibility to apply for disadvantage compensation in accordance with the rules above.

Advice / contact persons

  • The first point of contact is the team at the Examination Office which is responsible for the degree programme. The Examination Offices can answer questions on the procedure (applications, documents to be submitted, process, deadlines, etc.). If you require assistance, please find out about the exact procedures involved from the relevant Examination Office in good time prior to the examination date.
  • Students can obtain advice about compensation for disadvantages from the officer for students with a disability/chronic illness. After taking account of the individual study-related effects of the disability/chronic illness, as well as the academic progress made to date, she offers support in finding suitable compensation measures.



  • A written application must be submitted to the Examination Board via the relevant Examination Office. This must clearly indicate the examinations for which disadvantage compensation is requested (e.g. only for written exams / only for practical tasks / for all exams, only for the current semester / until completion of the degree).
  • It should be shown to what extent the applicant is prevented from completing the examination, in the usual format and timeframe.
  • In particular, sensible forms of assistance should be described, with reference to medical certificates/reports and any other relevant documents. This makes the decision process significantly easier for the Chairperson of the Examination Board.


Proof required

  • Proof should
    • be meaningful.
    • provide comprehensible evidence for the statements made in the application regarding the impairments, and
    • recommend suitable compensatory measures if possible. Recommendations that are as concrete as possible facilitate the procedure for all parties involved (see also above under "Application").
  • In particular, suitable proof includes a medical certificate and/or medical report, but other forms of proof may also be sufficient, depending on the individual case.
  • Additional documents (such as a copy of the severely disabled ID card) may also be helpful.
  • Notices of compensatory measures for disadvantages approved by other Examination Boards can also be included.



  • It is in the student’s own interest to submit the application in good time, before the (first) examination (but preferably at the beginning of the semester). The earlier an application is made, the more likely it can be guaranteed that the application is reviewed and processed (see “Processing the application”).
  • Subsequent compensation for disadvantages is excluded, just like subsequent withdrawal from an examination!


Processing the application

  • The application is is checked for completeness by the Examinations Office and forwarded to the Examination Board.
  • The application is processed as quickly as possible, so that sufficient time is left before the examination to clarify organisational matters between the student / examiner / Examination Office.
  • The Chairperson of the Examination Board makes the decision.
    • Where necessary, consultations are held with the doctor who has issued the medical certificate/report submitted (but only if the applicant has released the doctor from their duty of confidentiality), or with the relevant module supervisor or examiner.
    • Which type of compensation for disadvantages is appropriate in each individual case always depends on the specific impairment, the learning/examination objective and the organisational circumstances. The chairpersons of the examination board are not bound by any recommendations in the medical certificate.
  • The applicant will receive a written notification of the decision. This specifies whether - and to what extent - compensation for disadvantages is granted. A positive notification may also contain further instructions on how to proceed. A positive notification does not contain any diagnosis and/or reason for the compensation. If the application is rejected, the notification includes reasons for the decision, as well as instructions on the right to appeal.


Other counselling centres at Kiel University.