How To Write An Email To A Professor For Missing Exam

So, you missed a class for some reason and ended up missing that exam which makes up a considerable percentage of your GPA. You’re panicking and need to apologize and convince the professor to possibly allow a makeup test.

While you’re not certain the professor would allow a make-up test, you need to craft the email to the professor carefully to maximize your chances of a positive response.

We’ll start by taking a look at some things to keep in mind when emailing your professor, where to find their email if you don’t have it yet, and sample templates you can customize to suit your specific scenario.

Tips For Writing To Your Professor

Writing to a professor isn’t rocket science. Just remember that they’re professionals and should be treated as such. Refrain from using slang and other forms of casual language and you’ll be good. Let’s take a look at some general things you should keep in mind.

Use Proper Title

Even if you’re on a first-name basis with the professor, you should address them officially when writing an official email. Identify their official titles to address them appropriately.

Use professor, only when they’re professors. Avoid using the title professor to address them if they aren’t yet professors. Academicians go through a lot of work to earn their titles. These titles mean a lot to them and failure to appreciate their stations can lead to a negative response. So, always use Professor or Dr. appropriately when emailing your instructor.

Dear Professor {{Last name}}
Dear Dr. {{Last name}}

Use School Email

Most tertiary institutions provide their students with official emails they can use to communicate. The same applies to professors in these institutions.

Students who want to reach out to their professors should endeavor to email them using their school-issued email addresses.

This enables the school to keep track of any communication between professors and students. Additionally, these emails are readily available in the event of an issue or investigation.

Formal Tone

Use a formal tone in any email to your professor. Even when they prefer to be addressed informally when interacting with them in person, it’s advisable to use a formal tone in an official email communication with your professor.

Avoid using emojis and other slang that you’d use in communication with your peers and also refrain from including personal information that is unrelated to the subject matter.

Correct Grammar

At the tertiary level of education, professors expect students to be good at writing simple emails. Even if you’re not the best at writing, you should be able to write correct grammar to an authority figure.

Any grammatical error in your email to your professor would make the message difficult to read. Keep in mind that professors receive numerous emails from students, faculty, and more daily.

Poor grammar in an email would only irritate the professor as it shows that you neglected to proofread your email for errors.

So, it’s advisable to always go over your email to identify any errors in your grammar. Tools like Grammarly are readily available to help identify errors in your writing. Keep in mind that these tools aren’t perfect. So manually proofreading your email can further enhance your message.

Be Polite

Keep the tone of your email polite. Like everyone else, professors don’t like to read rude messages. A rude message could disrupt the professor’s good day and lead to no response.

If you want the professor to read through your email and possibly respond, ensure that your tone is polite.

Identify Yourself

It doesn’t matter how close you may be to the professor, it’s advisable to identify yourself. Don’t give them additional work to do. No professor wants to spend the next 30 minutes trying to remember who you are.

They deal with multiple students and may not easily remember you. This shouldn’t be considered offensive but merely a side effect of the job. Additionally, not everyone has a good memory for faces.

Clear And Brief

Professors receive multiple emails from students, other professors, and various academic and non-academic sources daily. With their busy schedules, they may not have the time to read longer emails.

So, it’s advisable to keep your email short by only including relevant information. Longer emails may end up getting skipped by busy professors.

Ensure that the purpose of your email is clear using as few sentences as possible while also maintaining a polite tone.

Explain Your Situation

Don’t beat around the bush. Tell them exactly why you missed the examination. If you were sick or had a family emergency, you should tell them the truth.

Any attempts to lie could decrease your chances of getting a positive feedback from the professor. If you have a doctor’s note, feel free to attach it to the email or present it if you’re asking for a meeting with the professor.

Ask For Second Chance

Apologize for missing the exam and ask them for another chance to take the exam. You can explain what happened in a few words and also promise not to repeat this situation.

Wait Patiently

You may be anxious but that is no reason to bombard the professor with emails. You can send a reminder or visit them in their offices after 2 or 3 days.

Keep in mind that professors have busy schedules and responding to your email may not be a priority to them.

Attach Evidence

If you were ill, it’ll help your chances to attach a doctor’s note to the email. Alternatively, you can simply hint at the doctor’s note and the prospect of presenting it to the professor if he agrees to an audience.

Clear Subject Line

The subject line should spell out exactly what your message is about. Never send an email without a subject line as it’s highly likely the professor would skip it or possibly consider it junk.

Professors receive numerous emails from various sources, including students, daily. They’re very likely to ignore an email without a proper subject line.

Apology for missing exam

End Formally

At this point, you can thank them for taking the time to read the email all the way through and then sign off. Ensure that your full name and possibly your class and section are included.

Thank you
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section}}

How To Find Your Professor’s Email

If you’re not sure how to find your professor’s email address, you can try the approaches below.

School Website

If your school has a website, it’ll include a page about its faculty. You’ll find your professor’s details including email their official email address on this page.

You can also check your school management system as the professor’s official contact details would be included on the overview page of their course.

Some professors also have personal websites where their official and sometimes private contact details are publicly available. It’s advisable to only contact your professor using their official contact details.

Course Syllabus

Course syllabus includes the official contact information and attendance policies of the professor responsible for that particular course. This enables students to officially contact the professor whenever necessary.

Other Students

You’re not the only one who contacts the professor. Your peers may already have the email address of the professor.

If you’re unable to easily find your professor’s email address, simply ask your peers on students’ group pages including course forums.

Sample Email To Professor For Missing Exam

Template 1: Missed Exam Due To Illness

Email Subject
Apology for missing ({{Class}}) exam due to illness

Dear Professor {{Last name}}
My name is {{Your name}} and I am a {{Year}} student in your {{Class and Section Number}} class.
This email is to apologize for missing the {{Course title}} examination. Unfortunately, I was ill and had to visit the doctor on {{Date}}. I’ve attached a copy of the doctor’s note to this email.
If possible, I would appreciate an audience with you at your convenience, to discuss the possibility of a make up test.
I sincerely hope that you will consider my situation and I promise that this won’t happen again.
Thank you
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 2: Missed Exam Due To Family Emergency

Email Subject
Apology for missing exam ({{Class}})

Dear Professor {{Last name}}
My name is {{Your name}} and I am a {{Year}} student in your {{Class and Section Number}} class.
I missed the {{Class}} test on {{Date}} due to a {{Family emergency}}. I’m dedicated to doing well in your class, and would very much appreciate an opportunity to make up the test at your convenience.
Thank you very much and looking forward to your response.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Hi there and welcome to UnitWriter. My name's Chris, an expert in crafting effective email templates for all occasions. I created this blog to share my knowledge, by offering tips and templates to help get you started on your emails. Hope it's been helpful

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